Sunday, October 30, 2005

This Is Called Revulsion

I feel pretty ashamed about the fact that, until I recently learnt that Lavoisier died on the guillotine during the French terror, I was pretty neutral (if not favorable) with the concept of revolution, more precisely, violent ones.

I needed to realize the atrocity of the death of such a beautiful mind, who contributed so much to the development of science, to reconsider my position. Lavoisier was hastily judged on the fact that he used to be a "general farmer", i.e. a tax collector for the king. His death was merely symbolic.

For the same symbolic reason, millions of people died in Cambodia, Cuba, China and many other places where the word "revolution" has been invoked as a reason for violently removing the people who were somehow symbols of the previous regime.

Were all these deaths and all this pain worth it? Read my lips: not a drop of blood was worth it. History has shown, and shows time and again, that a revolution always ends up by replacing one form of human servitude with another one.

What happened recently in Ukraine (the Orange revolution) brilliantly confirms the message of Gandhi: a peaceful crowd can accomplish great things, including revolutions that would take the life of no-one, hence that would not nurture fear, anger and the need for revenge.