Mr. Blunt and Cranky was made to study entirely too much history in his youth, and after reading Twain and Dumas chose to study the French Revolution in more depth. Recent events in our own country have brought that bloody, mindless, and savage period back to mind: and the parallels are eerie. A few examples:

Number A:  Poverty and malnutrition were increasingly common due to economic instability, governmental ineffectiveness and a distribution network that failed to deliver food to those who needed it. Indeed, the nation’s overall  infrastructure was antiquated and crumbling, and no one was willing or able to take the needed steps to update and repair it.

Letter 2: Previous wars of choice had left the French government deeply in debt, and the dire economic situation led to a steep drop in revenues, effectively bankrupting the national treasury.  There was a huge wealth gap between the very small percentage of the nobility (and other rich folk) and the rest of the population. The legislature spent its time taking potshots at the head of state (and each other) instead of addressing the problems of the nation.

Thirdly: Those who had wealth and power were disconnected from the vast majority of the nation.  While Marie Antoinette did not exactly say “let them eat cake”, the aristocracy did express such sentiments: this further inflamed the anger of a population who were already frustrated by the actions of disinterested royals, priests and plutocrats.

The resulting revolution destroyed an entire culture, killed uncounted people, and left much of Europe destabilized for over a decade.  If the monarchy had listened to their ministers and adopted the needed reforms, it is likely that any needed societal changes would have been made in a far less traumatic fashion. As we know, the ruling class did no such thing, and they (and France as a whole) paid with their lives.

This writer trusts that the present-day situation is sufficiently similar to his readers as to not require a long-winded explanation: many Americans are suffering while a very few live high on the hog; we have members of the new aristocracy like Carly Fiorina, Mitt Romney, Lloyd Blankfein saying very Antoinette-ish things; and the legislature is far too busy playing reindeer games  to solve the urgent problems that are slowly destroying the social fabric of our country.

If we do the same things that France did in 1789, we will have the same results. Want to avoid winding up like they did? Work to change the current paradigm in a firm but peaceful manner. Or just sit around hoping for divine intervention, and watch centuries of progress go up in flames.

Next time: why a revolution would be even worse this time around.

Mr. B & C