Wikipedia (a trusted source, relatively speaking), posted this little blurb on their face page among the "Things that happened in history on this date July 27.
In 1794, the National Convention ordered the arrest and execution of Reign of Terror leader Maximilien Robespierre after he encouraged the execution of more than 17,000 "enemies of the French Revolution."
The way this small post makes it appear, suggests that the National Convention found a way to make old Robespierre pay for his atrocities.
But, this is not the case. His trip to the guillotine, though justified, was not remotely connected with justice. Rather, it was a continuation of the bloody avalanche that he was instrumental in setting in motion.
Now, while it is very difficult to get all the vitals in one small space set aside for these little bytes, I think that a little more effort by Wikipedia could have been made to assure credibility without sacrificing too much space.
Here is my example.
"On this date in 1794, Maximilien Robespierre got his just desserts for the juggernaut of murder that he helped create. In his environment of anyone can be put to death for the mere suspicion of being an enemy of the Revolution, he became a suspect and was executed."
Oh now, Merwin, your rhetoric used almost three lines Wikipedia used just a little over two.
My question is, why the laundered report?
Robespierre, as well as almost all (I would say all, but have no proof) of his cronies appeared to be power mad murderers who were caught up in their own holocaust.
And, while it is probably true that "seventeen thousand" is a lot of people to murder, it is only Robespierre's tally of responsibility. The real carnage was in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, that began on Bastille Day and didn't end until well after Robespierre's demise.
According to the history nuts, there never really was a definitive end, it merely lost momentum, and certainly did not end with Robespierre as the little blurb might lead one to believe.
Why the need for anyone to try and introduce a "sane" accreditation to an otherwise insane pseudo-political movement that ate its own young? Or, even to allude that somehow the mad anarchy died with its first-born leader?
In my opinion, it is far too easy and comforting to focus all the villainy on this rogue, rather than see the shared guilt, and potential for murderous conduct that we all possess.
And with this subtle deflection, comes the possibility of yet another round of hideous behavior in the works.
Indeed, if this is a possibility, a tweaking of the collective mind is needed to set the stage. This seems best accomplished via the Orwellian double-speak rewrite of history.
The choices for revisions should be extremely subtle to avoid notice, and if noticed, to avoid alarm and blame. Unlike the blatant lies Winston was forced to write at his word processor in 1984, unsaid lies can be just as effective - sometimes more so.
In a real sense, this entry of What happened this day in of Wikipedia’s is blameless. Its wordage does not conclude that Robespierre was the soul architect.
Other than his guilt, and what eventually happened to him, it doesn’t say a lot really. But, in the things left unsaid, it whispers volumes.