Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.
When Maximillien Robespierre first said this in 1790, he didn’t know that it would be used to defend every insurgent action taken against Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the rest of the Bourbons during the French Revolution. He didn’t know that it would lay the foundations for not just the First French Republic created just two years later, but the Second, Third and Fourth (as well as present day France). He didn’t know that it would triumph the Vichy Regime’s “Travail, Famille, Patrie” (Work, Family, Homeland), and he didn’t know that those three, simple but resonating words would majorly influence not just France, but the rest of Europe.
He also didn’t know that the same words would be interpreted in a different way, and used by the National Convention to defend their guillotining of Robespierre during the Thermidorian Reaction. He didn’t know that the terms “Liberty”, “Equality” and “Fraternity” could be so misconstrued, that in the 21st…
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