Day 179: June 28 – Social Revolutions And Lessons Learnt

The Execution of Maximilian	by Edouard Manet

~ The Execution of Maximilian by Edouard Manet

~

Three years after persuading the Hapsburg Archduke Maximilian to accept the Mexican throne, Napoleon III withdrew his French troops from Mexico. This of course, left Maximilian totally defenseless. Captured by Guerillas, Maximilian was executed.

~

Wisdom

Can a society in which thought and technique are scientific persist for a long period, as, for example, ancient Egypt persisted, or does it necessarily contain within itself forces which must bring either decay or explosion?

~ Bertrand Russell

~

Wit 

I love London Society! I think it has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.

~ Bertrand Russell

~

What Happened

1491: Birth of Henry VIII in Greenwich Palace.

1519: Charles I of Spain is elected Holy Roman Emperor and becomes Charles V.

1712: Birth of French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau.

1762: Catherine the Great seizes the Russian throne from her husband.

1836: Death of Fourth American President James Madison.

1838: Coronation of Queen Victoria.

1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated.

~

Writer’s Addendum

No society has ever last a few decades without some kind of turmoil and displacement. The civilization with the longest continuous history is China. Every couple of decades you see some kind of social revolution happening in China. Peasant rebellions, religious uprising (the Kingdom of Heaven) and economic upheavals. In the recent century, China went from extreme communism to extreme capitalism (although it still maintains a communist political system). 

Social revolutions are extremely costly. In the recent 2011 revolutions of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the economic costs are so great that even economists would find hard to measure.  Decades of economic growth would be wiped away. 

Costly as they are, social revolutions continue to happen.

The key thing that politicians never learn is: Governments should be accountable to their people.

Well, a wise man once said, “we learn from history that human beings never learn from history.”

I rest my case.

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