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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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[W]hat truly makes the French Revolution the first fascist revolution was its effort to turn politics into a religion. (In this the revolutionaries were inspired by Rousseau, whose concept of the general will divinized the people while rendering the person an afterthought.)
Jonah Goldberg (2007). Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. NY: Doubleday, ISBN 9780385511841, p. 13

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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In not more than a month’s time terror will assume very violent forms, after the example of the great French Revolution; the guillotine... will be ready for our enemies... that remarkable invention of the French Revolution which makes man shorter by a head.

Leon Trotsky

But Rousseau — to what did he really want to return? Rousseau, this first modern man, idealist and rabble in one person — one who needed moral "dignity" to be able to stand his own sight, sick with unbridled vanity and unbridled self-contempt. This miscarriage, couched on the threshold of modern times, also wanted a "return to nature"; to ask this once more, to what did Rousseau want to return? I still hate Rousseau in the French Revolution: it is the world-historical expression of this duality of idealist and rabble. The bloody farce which became an aspect of the Revolution, its "immorality," is of little concern to me: what I hate is its Rousseauan morality — the so-called "truths" of the Revolution through which it still works and attracts everything shallow and mediocre. The doctrine of equality! There is no more poisonous poison anywhere: for it seems to be preached by justice itself, whereas it really is the termination of justice. "Equal to the equal, unequal to the unequal" — that would be the true slogan of justice; and also its corollary: "Never make equal what is unequal." That this doctrine of equality was surrounded by such gruesome and bloody events, that has given this "modern idea" par excellence a kind of glory and fiery aura so that the Revolution as a spectacle has seduced even the noblest spirits.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Instead of gambling on the eternal impossibility of the revolution and on the fascist return of a war-machine in general, why not think that a new type of revolution is in the course of becoming possible, and that all kinds of mutating, living machines conduct wars, are combined and trace out a plane of consistance which undermines the plane of organization of the World and the States?"

Gilles Deleuze

...1776 is a very significant year. and this is not just because the American Revolution began. Watt's patent of the steam engine... Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations... the failure of the French to reorganize their political system occurred in 1776, and so forth. ...The destruction of communities, the destruction of religion and the frustration of emotions were greatly intensified by the Industrial Revolution: railroads, factories, growth of cities, technological revolution in the countryside and in the growing of food and so forth.

Carroll Quigley

If you can't have a revolution without Jacobinism, then it becomes a matter of how to have reform without revolution. Anyone who "accepts the necessity of Jacobinism" wants to try his hand at it. When François Furet hinted at this conclusion in his truly revolutionary book on the French Revolution, he found himself immediately tagged by the left as a diehard spokesman of the reactionary right. It was assumed that if he was against the Terror, he was against the people. His contention that the Terror had been against the people was not accepted.

Clive James
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