A Christian Monarchy, exemplified by Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain, is best for saving souls. The devil didn’t think it was fair. “If everybody has to obey the King, and his laws are good, then fewer people have the opportunity to sin. When fewer people sin, I get fewer souls. It isn’t fair!”
After Europe had been mostly Catholic for a thousand years or more, God allowed people access to different types of governments and denominations. Those greedy for power and importance came swarming out of the woodwork.
“Let everyone do whatever they want!” was a consistent, though often ignored, demand. More moderate vanities cried, “Let’s elect our King! Let’s elect everyone! Let’s be fair!” Those making the demands wanted powerful roles in the new government.
By the late 1700s, once-Catholic France came under control of those who replaced the hierarchies of Church and State with the unholy trinity of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. The early days of that revolution descended into a chaos in which the most bloodthirsty had the guillotines running on their behalf. Those who clawed their way into power one month lost their heads the next.
Finally, out of the bloody chaos, Napoleon emerged. He believed in a military chain of command. Liberty, equality, and fraternity took a back seat to one of the smartest men in history. Something amazing happened.
Napoleonic France became the only country in Europe dragged down the least by the demands of an inherited aristocracy. In France, many of those who had inherited their titles were gone. Money that had been channeled to well-connected aristocrats and special interests was suddenly flowing to others. Napoleon grasped this.
Napoleon, the take-over expert of his age, corporate raider writ large, ran France like his own business. He had a Board of Executives reporting directly to him.
Did a bridge need to be built? A harbor, deepened? Should a new road connect vital cities? New military supplies necessary? What kind of ships did the Navy need? Every issue, along with all the tax revenue in France, was brought to Napoleon. One of the smartest men since Caesar made decisions on what he thought would be best for France. Suddenly, France’s debt began to drop. French financial affairs were put in order. French productivity increased in agricultural, manufacturing, and trade.
The rest of Europe was weakened by the burden of inherited aristocrats and the often useless bureaucrats who’d replaced many of them. Outside of France, special interests paralyzed every step froward. Costs were driven up. The bridge that took ten minutes for a construction decision in France might take ten years in other countries. Civic projects of every kind became needlessly slow and expensive because more people were in a position to take bribes before they would issue the necessary permits.
European aristocrats and bureaucrats didn’t care. They were so paralyzed with fear that their governments became even less responsve. “If Napoleon takes over, he will start cutting costs. We are overpaid and augmenting our salaries with bribes before we allow anything to be done. Under Napoleon, every useless one of us will lose our jobs. We have to stop Napoleon!”
Every European living on privilege unified to destroy Napoleon before he replaced their corrupt structures with new people and systems at far lower costs. Their nations sank into debt to pay for armies, navies, saboteurs, spies, and anti-Napoleon propaganda.
Many brighter individuals, on the other hand were pro-Napoleon. “Napoleon takes over, our taxes will go down and our country will have more assets. Less money will be wasted on bribes to useless bureaucrats, aristocrats, and special interests. Under Napoleon, people will be more prosperous. Look at all the new roads, bridges, and canals in France! Things are booming! With Napoleon in charge here, we will all be richer and more prosperous, too!” many of the more intelligent realized.
Every special interest in Europe replied: “Stop that kind of talk! My income is more important than anything!”
The result? Waterloo.
What do we learn from The French Revolution? God has given us governments under which literally every person is free to lie, even if only on their tax forms. More people are free able to cheat, and steal. Now, abortion and life-destroying birth control chemicals and devices have become”rights”. More people than ever are also free to kill.
It’s how He separates more sheep from more goats than ever.
Can anything save us? The Church that Jesus began by saying “Thou art Peter, and on this rock, I build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” is the only thing that can deliver us from making the decisions that will drown us in the sea of freedom in which we now live.
Two thousand years of history in less than a page.