A curious leveling takes place: the common people learn words and ideas hitherto not familiar and not interesting and discuss them like intellectuals, while other people neglect their usual concerns art, philosophy, scholarship - because there is only one compelling topic, the revolutionary Idea.I think not only of the American Revolution or the Protestant Reformation when I read that, but smaller examples as well. This happens in any great change, violent or not, though it may be less pronounced.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Barzun on Revolution
Jacques Barzun, in From Dawn To Decadence, 2000, discussing what happens to the intellectual life of a country in revolution (defined as a violent transfer of power, whether quickly or slowly)
Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at 3:36 PM