French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

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French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#1  Postby Ciwan » Apr 11, 2016 10:57 pm

Hello Friends

I am not well informed on the French revolution, but I remember watching a documentary once on how powerful an impact it had on Europe and civil rights.

I had a few guests over the other day, and one was saying that there isn't much difference between the French revolution and the Syrian Revolution. They were both uprisings against tyranny.

Is he right in thinking this? What would be a good read to really get a good accurate understanding of how the French revolution happened, why it happened and what impact it had on Europe.

I am here to learn and know very little about this, so go easy on me :)

Thanks
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#2  Postby tuco » Apr 11, 2016 11:18 pm

I am so well informed that when visiting friend in Paris and getting off Bastille Métro station I was like: .. and where is the prison? and Marc was like .. are you idiot or something?, so allow me to bookmark it.

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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#3  Postby DougC » Apr 12, 2016 12:51 am

The French revolution was aimed against powers such as religion, as much as the government.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#4  Postby kiore » Apr 12, 2016 2:00 am

I think such similarities will belong to hindsight sometime in the future. Immediate links I can see are beheadings and serious social dislocation in the region. The French revolution was not one thing but many, and can perhaps be broken down into a number of stages with the initial revolt followed by the 'terror' followed by the reaction to it and the early wars both civil and international, with the Directory being a entirely different period. Whether Napoleons consulship and finally dictatorship as Emperor are actually part of the revolution or just a result of will depend on points of view, and it could be argued that it continued in the 1840's and onto the Paris Commune at least.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#5  Postby Ven. Kwan Tam Woo » Apr 12, 2016 5:23 am

Ciwan wrote:
I had a few guests over the other day, and one was saying that there isn't much difference between the French revolution and the Syrian Revolution. They were both uprisings against tyranny.


:lol:

I suppose these people also think that Trump is Hitler 2.0? :lol:

I wonder what "liberty, equality, fraternity" is in Arabic?
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#6  Postby DougC » Apr 12, 2016 5:31 am

I bet it sounds something like 'Admiral Ackbar'.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#7  Postby zoon » Apr 12, 2016 8:09 am

Ciwan wrote:Hello Friends

I am not well informed on the French revolution, but I remember watching a documentary once on how powerful an impact it had on Europe and civil rights.

I had a few guests over the other day, and one was saying that there isn't much difference between the French revolution and the Syrian Revolution. They were both uprisings against tyranny.

Is he right in thinking this? What would be a good read to really get a good accurate understanding of how the French revolution happened, why it happened and what impact it had on Europe.

I am here to learn and know very little about this, so go easy on me :)

Thanks

Speaking as a non-historian, the Wikipedia article on the French Revolution here looks like a good introduction.

The French Revolution was significant globally, not just for France, but historians are still arguing about its causes and its impact (quoting from the Wikipedia link):
By the year 2000, many historians were saying that the field of the French Revolution was in intellectual disarray. The old model or paradigm focusing on class conflict has been discredited, and no new explanatory model had gained widespread support.[231][232] Nevertheless, as Spang has shown, there persists a very widespread agreement to the effect that the French Revolution was the watershed between the premodern and modern eras of Western history.[233]
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#8  Postby tuco » Apr 12, 2016 12:41 pm

Since we have globally and Emperor, let me slip one of my fav anecdotes here:

In 1803 Beethoven composed his third symphony (now known as the Sinfonia Eroica) in Heiligenstadt, a village about one and a half hours from Vienna....In writing this symphony Beethoven had been thinking of Buonaparte, but Buonaparte while he was First Consul.

At that time Beethoven had the highest esteem for him and compared him to the greatest consuls of ancient Rome. Not only I, but many of Beethoven¹s closer friends, saw this symphony on his table, beautifully copied in manuscript, with the word "Buonaparte" inscribed at the very top of the title-page and "Luigi van Beethoven" at the very bottom. Whether or how the intervening gap was to be filled out I do not know.

I was the first to tell him the news that Buonaparte had declared himself Emperor, whereupon he broke into a rage and exclaimed, "So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, he too will tread under foot all the rights of man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!"

Beethoven went to the table, seized the top of the title-page, tore it in half and threw it on the floor. The page was later re-copied and it was only now that the symphony received the title 'Sinfonia Eroica.'

From Biographische Notizen über Beethoven, F. Wegeler and F. Ries, 1838


http://www.beethovenseroica.com/Pg2_hist/history.html
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#9  Postby jamest » Apr 12, 2016 7:45 pm

I'm no expert, but I think The Enlightenment was the root cause of the French Revolution, spreading as it did ideals based largely upon reason to do with liberty and religious tolerance (amongst other things), which were largely at-odds with the principles held by the monarchy and catholic church. There were appeals for constitutional government which [of course] fell on deaf ears in the higher echelons. The ideas spread, the unrest gradually grew, the rest is history.

Most here mock philosophy, but philosophers played a huge part in instigating the French revolution.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#10  Postby igorfrankensteen » Apr 12, 2016 11:50 pm

If you actually study History in enough depth and breadth to develop a valid point of view about it, the number one thing you will come to recognize, it that any large event is VASTLY complicated.

Oversimplifying the French revolution down to "uprising against tyranny," as a part of making a presentation about Syria, is Historically and politically irresponsible.

Revolutions have happened all over the world, and everyone of them has actually been unique. The alleged reasons for revolt were usually present for a very long time before the actual upheaval, so claiming that somehow "the people just happened to come to a boil right THEN," requires either extreme naivety, or duplicity. Maybe laziness.

Philosophers are often given credit for firing people up, but if you look carefully, you will not find a situation where everyone was happy and easy going, until a brilliant philosopher showed them they were actually suffering horribly, so that they rose as one, chanting the philosopher's words as they marched on the castle. What actually happens most commonly, is just like what happens when some marriages go down the tubes. The people were already restive, unhappy, depressed, and so on, but couldn't out their finger on what it all meant. Until some talented word guy blurted out just the right phrase or idea to get everyone's already existing thoughts to crystallize and become focused enough for them to feel up to taking action.

But for a revolution to succeed, a lot of factors have to come together at the same time. The primary supports of the power structure have to ALREADY have been undermined, usually by the top leadership failing to properly maintain the loyalty of the next most powerful people in the entity, and over a long period of time. AND the people in revolt, have to have sufficient support from the bulk of the populace, such that they can't easily be stopped. And there are thousands of little factors, sometimes including the time of year, events elsewhere in the world, and on and on, ALL of which have to align like a complicated tumbler lock, or all we end up hearing about is that the Government discovered a plot and nipped it in the bud.

As for comparing Syria of today, to France in the 18th Century, that's silly pretty much across the board. The people talking about it MIGHT have done so, simply because Syria was once a French colonial holding.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#11  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 16, 2016 6:19 am

igorfrankensteen wrote:If you actually study History in enough depth and breadth to develop a valid point of view about it, the number one thing you will come to recognize, it that any large event is VASTLY complicated.


That's a fair statement, igorfrankensteen. If you line up all the history fanboys who love telling us that large events are complex, a platitude if ever there was, and never have much else to say about history, they won't reach a conclusion.

It's not that history is uninteresting when told with writerly flair; it becomes interesting literature that purports to be rooted in 'actual events' instead of openly admitting grounding in purely fictional ones. The great thing about fiction, as opposed to history, is that it can tell the truth, to which accounts of 'actual events' do not have access:

kiore wrote:I think such similarities will belong to hindsight sometime in the future. Immediate links I can see are beheadings and serious social dislocation in the region. The French revolution was not one thing but many, and can perhaps be broken down into a number of stages with the initial revolt followed by the 'terror' followed by the reaction to it and the early wars both civil and international, with the Directory being a entirely different period. Whether Napoleons consulship and finally dictatorship as Emperor are actually part of the revolution or just a result of will depend on points of view, and it could be argued that it continued in the 1840's and onto the Paris Commune at least.


Another platitude is that revolutions do their best to rewrite history from top to bottom, but only succeed in little ways, and for only a few years. The best way not to lie about history is not to insist on any of its 'truths'. Historical accounts proceed by consensus, which science does not, in the long run, have to do.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#12  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 16, 2016 10:28 am

Why does history sound like philosophy especially when you get "historians" interpreting facts to suit their version of the event?
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#13  Postby tuco » Apr 16, 2016 11:30 am

I believe the point is here:

I am not well informed on the French revolution, but I remember watching a documentary once on how powerful an impact it had on Europe and civil rights.


not in interpretation or reconstruction of historical events and facts.

In this regard, I would say the so-called Arab Spring is close to revolutions, like the French one, striving to change society.

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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#14  Postby jamest » Apr 16, 2016 11:34 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:Why does history sound like philosophy especially when you get "historians" interpreting facts to suit their version of the event?

Politics and philosophy go hand-in-hand.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#15  Postby tuco » Apr 16, 2016 11:44 am

Actually, there is another point:

What would be a good read to really get a good accurate understanding of how the French revolution happened, why it happened and what impact it had on Europe.


Requiring interpretation and reconstruction of the French Revolution. However, here I do not see much use for such comparison for reasons stated by other posters. Complexity and context.

To understand what is happening in Syria, and lets say Arab world today, and to speculate on impact, broader understanding of the societies in question would be required.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#16  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 16, 2016 2:28 pm

jamest wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:Why does history sound like philosophy especially when you get "historians" interpreting facts to suit their version of the event?

Politics and philosophy go hand-in-hand.


Now, your only job is to explain what's important about politics that isn't perfectly optional. You'd sort of have to believe in some sort of ultimate reader of the book of history in order to think politics was that important. But we knew that already, so just cut to the fucking chase. Me, I wouldn't be happy with the regime even if the anarchists were in power, whatever that could mean. Yes, somebody's going to be running the show, regardless, and their friends will all get rich. Is that your secret thrill?
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#17  Postby jamest » Apr 16, 2016 3:29 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
jamest wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:Why does history sound like philosophy especially when you get "historians" interpreting facts to suit their version of the event?

Politics and philosophy go hand-in-hand.


Now, your only job is to explain what's important about politics that isn't perfectly optional. You'd sort of have to believe in some sort of ultimate reader of the book of history in order to think politics was that important. But we knew that already, so just cut to the fucking chase. Me, I wouldn't be happy with the regime even if the anarchists were in power, whatever that could mean. Yes, somebody's going to be running the show, regardless, and their friends will all get rich. Is that your secret thrill?

All of human history was forged politically, which is to say that it was forged emotionally. To fully understand and narrate history one must have a good grasp of the human condition, nay philosophy.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#18  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 16, 2016 3:46 pm

jamest wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
jamest wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:Why does history sound like philosophy especially when you get "historians" interpreting facts to suit their version of the event?

Politics and philosophy go hand-in-hand.


Now, your only job is to explain what's important about politics that isn't perfectly optional. You'd sort of have to believe in some sort of ultimate reader of the book of history in order to think politics was that important. But we knew that already, so just cut to the fucking chase. Me, I wouldn't be happy with the regime even if the anarchists were in power, whatever that could mean. Yes, somebody's going to be running the show, regardless, and their friends will all get rich. Is that your secret thrill?

All of human history was forged politically, which is to say that it was forged emotionally. To fully understand and narrate history one must have a good grasp of the human condition, nay philosophy.


Cut to the chase. You've just taken it a few millimeters farther, and now are yammering about understanding and narrating fully. That's something that isn't for everyone, whether scientists or philosophers. How do you show it? Any spoons to be bent? If you become a political leader, then that's great. But you're here, ranting anonymously on the internet. Why are you claiming it's important for me? I asked you that in the previous post, but you just put it off for another round. What's the matter, don't you have something to say? If not, then why speak? It's an honest question. What is it you want from me? My respect for your style of philosophy? Cry me a river.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#19  Postby jamest » Apr 16, 2016 10:42 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
jamest wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
jamest wrote:
Politics and philosophy go hand-in-hand.


Now, your only job is to explain what's important about politics that isn't perfectly optional. You'd sort of have to believe in some sort of ultimate reader of the book of history in order to think politics was that important. But we knew that already, so just cut to the fucking chase. Me, I wouldn't be happy with the regime even if the anarchists were in power, whatever that could mean. Yes, somebody's going to be running the show, regardless, and their friends will all get rich. Is that your secret thrill?

All of human history was forged politically, which is to say that it was forged emotionally. To fully understand and narrate history one must have a good grasp of the human condition, nay philosophy.


Cut to the chase. You've just taken it a few millimeters farther, and now are yammering about understanding and narrating fully. That's something that isn't for everyone, whether scientists or philosophers. How do you show it? Any spoons to be bent? If you become a political leader, then that's great. But you're here, ranting anonymously on the internet. Why are you claiming it's important for me? I asked you that in the previous post, but you just put it off for another round. What's the matter, don't you have something to say? If not, then why speak? It's an honest question. What is it you want from me? My respect for your style of philosophy? Cry me a river.

Politics ain't my thing as it involves selfishness, though history is my thing as it allows me to understand selfishness and the human condition as a whole. Fuckin' love history, as it's a telescope into the soul of man. And man is a fascinating beast to be sure, albeit very predictable once one has read sufficient narratives from the past... to the extent that predicting the future becomes a piece of cake short of a major paradigm shift in emotional thought/intelligence. No evidence of that yet though (especially where the power holds sway), so the future don't look bright. In fact, I've seen brighter looking caves using a candle.

The bottom-line is that man is so predictable that one can write his history [in general terms] before it happens. And when you are at that level then you're qualified to be a historian. Ironically, when you have gazed at life sufficiently to understand it, you're also a philosopher too. Hand-in-hand, as I said, go history/politics and philosophy.

Why is this important to you? I never said it should be. You are free to not give a fuck about anything until your last breath, as are we all. As for myself, I choose to live my life in accordance with what I know, which means that I do give a fuck and will [sometimes] make efforts to bring about that aforementioned paradigm shift. Our future, though bleak, is not yet confirmed to end in communal tears. If that should be the case then it will be the ones who cared who will be venerated, as if being venerated were the issue. But that's what people do... we know that from reading history. :dopey:
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#20  Postby james1v » Apr 17, 2016 2:11 am

One lot beheaded their oppressors, the current lot will behead anyone who does not yield to oppression.
"When humans yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon". Thomas Paine.
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