Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Bastille Day!

Like freedom? Today's a day to celebrate. Though highlighted by glorious moments during the war, often the American Revolution comes across as a particularly ambitious tax revolt. Remember the slogan "Taxation without Representation", which inherently implies that granting Americans representation wasn't the only solution.

In contrast is the French Revolution, which was an idealistic revolt against the monarchy. Socialism had its first dry run during the Paris Commune, and yes, they busted some people out of the Bastille. Most importantly, it was the beginning of a modern democratic, secular France. And the ideals of democracy and secularism spread from there through Europe, and beyond. The French Revolution converted the American experience into something resembling a normal way of life. Not a bad deal.

If wine isn't your thing, then get some French fries at least. Better yet, eat 'em with mayonnaise -- the only way to go.

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