This post is inspired by Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast.
The Seventy-Third Republic
Friends, citizens, it is with great joy and with even greater solemnity that I proclaim to you the formation of a new government. Too long have we suffered under the tyranny of the Trudeaus. Their crimes, their corruptions, these are known to all and I only pollute the air to repeat that catalogue of infamy. Let us then, rejoice in our ancient freedoms, and the glorious dawn that awaits our new republic, the seventy-third in the history of our people.
I know the scoffers and the doubters will question our fortitude. The Seventy-Second republic, after all, was proclaimed with no less grandeur. The scientists, the poets, who graced the June Assembly inspired hope in even the bitterest cynic. Am I a greater man than they? I deny it! More worthy? More honored? No, and no again. It is only history’s pendulum that gives me force, and the brave crowds that give me weight.
Why then, do I have the courage to stand before you? To declare yet another Mayfly Republic? My reason is simple: boredom. Boredom, repression, perhaps even compensation for failures in the bedroom. I joke of course, but I mean it too. There was no shortage of bread under Justin III, no reckless wars. The press laws were cruel, but even the neo-Directorists could hatch their satanic plots with no more than two or three informers present.
It is boredom then that compels me to rise up, to cast down an ancient dynasty, besotted in filth but governing with moderation and some wisdom. Amusement, too, is one of the Rights of Man. Was it not stated in the Seventeenth Charter of Government: “The salons, the wits, the libertines: these are the ornaments of our Realm. Should they wither, then cast this paper into the fire. It is but words, and fun is life itself.”?
Today we stand up a new edifice: ministries, programs, monuments, and proclamations. I admit though a certain torpor has already overtaken us. The Syndicalists bicker with the Girondins. The Jacobin-Bourbonist alliance is in tatters. Where is the camraderie of the barricades? The fine sentiments of the political clubs? If only I could defect, and begin another revolution tomorrow!
Sadly I am committed to the cause. I made power my mistress, and she has ensnared me. Soon they will curse my name in the cafes, but gentlemen remember I was among you once. My cruel fate, this terrible victory, will one day overcome you. Have pity on an old man, and do not be too slow in your plotting.
Ours is a broad government. We offer money to the poor. To the rich, we offer power. We will strengthen the weak, and exert the strong. The landless will receive land. Those with great estates will be respected. The horses, will be given hay. The cows, outlets for their milk.
Who could possibly oppose such a program? I am excited to find out. As a republic, surely we will have the monarchists against us. I fear though that the protection of property and titles will win them over. Perhaps the socialists will oppose our free market principles. If only we weren’t so committed to social welfare!
Truly I struggle to name a single plausible opponent. Maybe only foreign intervention can topple our government. If so, I will be disappointed in the character of my countrymen. The spirit of contention must rise again! The flame, now extinguished, rekindled. For ours is the eternal flame, the undying spirit of chaos.
I conclude, friends, with an exhortation. Do not be satisfied with existing philosophies. Your bellies may be full, but your minds are empty. Into that great vacuum I call forth the creative spirit. Rise up, Muse, and surprise us one more time. We have poured forth our energies in one great movement. Let the new dawn come, and restore us!