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April 19, 2005

Revolution or Independence?

As I mentioned earlier, today is the 230th anniversary of the beginning of America's War of Independence. Many are erroneously calling it the American Revolution. There are several clear distinctions.

John Adams said, “But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.”

In that spirit the revolution began when the colonists began to feel that England had acted in such a way as to lose their loyalty. Some date that as early as 1763 and the Treaty of Paris and see it as continuing well into the 19th century.

But in modern times the term “revolution” has taken on a different, more sinister meaning. In March of 1917 various groups in Russia overthrew the Czar and worked to replace the government with a democracy. But by October a small faction had taken power and proclaimed itself in charge and Russia a Socialist state. They glorified their treachery as the October Revolution, and thereby fouling the term with their cruel and bloody reign. Even after numerous decades of despotism, they still referred to their totalitarian regime as “The Revolution” and any who opposed it as “anti-revolutionary” thereby turning the word upside down.

It bothers me that our War of Independence is being erroneously referred to by the name “revolution”. The government wasn't overthrown — the colonies were freed to form their own nation. Yet there are those who would try to lend some legitimacy to the barbarity of Communism by using the term the Communists misused.

Lenin wrote, “The history of modern, civilised America opened with one of those great, really liberating, really revolutionary wars.” in an effort to paint his atrocities with the nobility of the American War of Independence — a comparison only successful with the useful idiots he was addressing as well as those to come.

Communist organizer Albert Weisbord said, “We must claim these ‘founding fathers’ the forerunners and ancestors of the proletarian revolution whose heirs are the present Communists.”

Those are just two of the more blatant examples. Many more repeat the error with the same motive (to validate Communism) or a slightly different motive (to validate Socialism, which is Communism with a happy face painted on it) or another slightly different motive (To validate American Liberalism, which is Socialism in an expensive Gucci suit) or simply because they want to sound like the pseudo-intellectuals already regurgitating the error.

The trouble is one constantly comes across such statements as, “The American revolution was truly revolutionary,” meaning it didn't fit the mold of revolutions. Or “Like no other revolution the American revolution was...” which begs the questions, “Then was it really a revolution?”

Maybe the War of Independence gave the word “revolution” a boost in prestige for a century or so, but the Bolsheviks quickly smeared it back to what it had previously been. There is no excuse for trying to legitimize atrocities by continuing to call America's War of Independence a Revolutionary War, when it bears only superficial resemblance to any other actual revolution in history. Otherwise there would be no reason not to refer to the Civil War by the name it's known in some parts of the US, The War of Northern Aggression.

Posted by Danny Carlton at April 19, 2005 02:36 PM

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