July 14th, 2009

give me a baguette or i'll give you death.

all most americans are able to say about bastille day( official name in france =Fête du 14 juillet in honor of the Fête de la Fédération, 1790 the celebration of the founding of the first constitutional monarchy) is that the bastille was indeed stormed and there was a guilotine and some queen said we should all eat cake.

it was really about bread. the price of flour and bread.

we're like that-french people. we like our fucking bread and we like to eat. we don't like to starve. we're suppose to be effete snobs and cowards. we smell and are little beady eyed, big nosed frogs but the truth is we like our bread so much that to this day there are laws in france concerning the weight and girth of the baguette.

starting in the late 1760's the prices of grains escalated causing widespread starvation which led to violent rioting. when their children are dying, the people don't much care for the royalty flouting their 6000 million livres handbags as they flounce about the forests. this was followed by crop failures on a massive scale. when the cost of bread went up 50%, the rioting really started to spread through out the country.( as a side bar, while this was going on the french, through loans, basically financed the american revolution. for all the nasty things that are said about french people, i never once hear any mention of the fact that we, in a time of severe economic, social and political turmoil, provided the economic support that led to the foundation of the united states of america.) . following crops were destroyed by a hale storms( in fucking july),there are tax increases and the treasury still runs out of money forcing a further economic melt down. more bread riots, ' flour wars'- bad enough that the military guards bakeries. unemployment soars. people start attacking businesses and in one wise move destroy the toll gates of paris( residents of massachusetts take note) and start attacking abbeys and castles- anywhere rich government pig hacks hide( think- both houses of the united states congress, the white house and the kennedy compound). nobles and manufacturers flee the country causing even more unemployment, even higher prices and more deprivation. the military has fired upon and killed rioters, who are even attacked by students for demanding food that they can afford.

this high point of misery , despair, and anger culminated in july 14th 1789 storming of the bastille. only about 7 people are actually released. the marquis de sade, an criminally insane woman hating member of the aristocracy, is imprisoned there at the time.

on august 26 one of the most important documents ever produced insisting on the innate rights of humans( all be it of only certain humans) , along with the declaration of independence and us constitution, is issued:

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more food shortages and political upheaval follow this extraordinary document( including the reign of terror) lasting through the early 1800s. the lawless and violent legacy of the revolution in france was ended by the dictatorship of napoleon who not only emancipated the jews of france from restrictions on their lives and rights but bequeathed to europe the napoleonic code- the basis for the modern nation state and it's civil rule of law.

it's only through a tyrant that france was forced to stop turning in upon itself .

it's hunger not political ideals that caused the french revolution.

"14. All the citizens have a right to decide, either personally or by their representatives, as to the necessity of the public contribution; to grant this freely; to know to what uses it is put; and to fix the proportion, the mode of assessment and of collection and the duration of the taxes.

15. Society has the right to require of every public agent an account of his administration.

16. A society in which the observance of the law is not assured, nor the separation of powers defined, has no constitution at all."

still words to govern by. if only someone would.