dimanche 28 octobre 2007

And then what ?

Considérations sur le film "Marie-Antoinette" de Sofia Coppola.
Samedi 27 mai 2006.
in english, like the movie...
" I’m wondering… what if Louis the XVI had been self confident enough to not let himself influenced, manipulated by his own ministers ? What if he had had the courage to stand up to them, and impose his own will ?

What if he had refused to send funds to help the Americans back in the 1770’s ?

I’m wondering… what if young Marie-Antoinette had had the nerve to stand up to the Court of France, smash rumors, crush criticism ? What if she had had the charisma to get over her loneliness, and fully play her role of Queen of France ? What if, instead of letting herself being intimidated by the Court, and thus spend huge amounts of money in luxurious parties, fabrics, and jewerlies, she had had the strength, willingness, and self confidence her husband lacked ?

What if she had been exemplary, would she have been the target of criticism to the monarchy ?

Go on… And imagine : no funds to America. Britain wins, and owes France for their victory. Thus : no retaliation : Britain doesn’t hold back the ships carrying wheat and flour to France, to supply for the bread shortage ; the very same bread shortage that triggered the Revolution.

No funds to America, no extravagant ruining parties every evening at Versailles : no public debt, no tax raise, no public outcry.

Keep going… no Revolution. The crown is not challenged.

Still with me ? Imagine that Louis and Mary Antoinette educate their children to follow their steps.

Would we still have a King at the head of France, if the Revolution had never happened ?

Would it be… a BAD thing ?

I still hang on to my theory about power, that power is something too heavy, too dangerous for one man to carry. That the best that could happen for such a man, is to go mad. You never have enough of it, and you never stop fighting to keep it, or to get more.
But what if you were born with all the powers, raised with the idea that you will one day rule over a kingdom, and that no one were to challenge your authority, that you would remain supreme AND only sovereign until your death.

What then ?

No pressure. No need to get more power : you’ve got them all. No need to fight to keep it : there’s no one to challenge you, no five-year terms, no electoral campaign, no elections.
That leaves your mind free of all those unimportant matters. You can focus on what matters, make important decisions without any other concerns that being a « good » sovereign, like your father taught you to be. To leave your name in History.

You still get surrounded by ministers and counsellors who will try to influence you. Who are closer to the people, and will relay the popular will. But you only have the wisdom to decide, according to the popular will AND the national interest.

Is it… So hard to imagine ?

Again : what would have happened IF… back in the eighteenth…

It strikes me how much personal stories can change the course of History. How two single people sealed the fate of the next generations, for centuries to come.

Now tell me again that one person cannot make a difference. Tell me again « that’s the way it is, and there nothing one single person can do. »

One person really is too insignificant to influence the course of History.


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