So I’m reading along in Ben Shapiro’s new book and really loving how he takes the complicated and makes it simple. He drops some pretty high powered philosophers’ names in there (Aristotle, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, etc.) and capably boils down their essential ideas for those of us who don’t have time to wade through their stuff (or can’t remember what they read 40 years ago in college).
Thank you Ben, very good job.
However, I was just a little disappointed when Ben discusses the French Revolution. He asks the question on page 127: “Where, exactly, did the French Revolution–born with dreams of liberty, equality, and fraternity–go so wrong?” Like so many, he is comparing the bloodbath and massacre of the French Revolution with the far less bloody American Revolution (the Americans did quite a bit of bloodletting among the Indians–tragically–but did not lop off the heads of Tories or British soldiers).
Ben says: “It went wrong because of the Enlightenment of the French Revolution rejected the lessons of the past; it saw in the history of the West mere repression and brutality, and longed for a tomorrow full of visions and dreams based on vague notions of human goodness.”
Almost. What Ben never says is that the leaders of the French Revolution did not see humans as fallen sinful creatures with a sinful nature. Paraphrasing James Madison, “if men were angels, we’d have no need for government.” But since we are very sinful, and because we tend to do evil if we do not have proper restraints, we will corrupt and run wild. The American Revolution was based upon a biblical world view that by and large understood and believed in the Judeo-Christian idea that man is sinful and not to be trusted. The US Constitution was the result of such a world view. The French Revolution rejected the biblical notion of a sinful human race…and thus reaped a revolution of guillotines, terror, and tyranny.
It does indeed what your worldview is.