Storming of Capitol Evokes Horrors of French Revolution, Not Ideals of American Revolution

Katherine Emily
6 min readJan 7, 2021

Certain members of the right-wing media, who don’t deserve even the attention condemnation would bring, reacted quickly to Wednesday’s events by attempting to brand themselves “revolutionaries.”

Alongside images of themselves lounging on the floors of the chambers of Congress and in the offices of Congressional leaders, rioters and their sympathizers indulged in gross acts of self-aggrandizement, praising the “revolt” by “patriots” who’d ridden up against the iron glove of government tyranny.

By the narrative these people paint, they’re all apple pie and family values, reluctant to engage in violence but driven past their breaking points by a constant barrage of lies and usurpations.

This narrative is false, and their smug self-congratulatory attitude needs to be completely and totally demolished. This was not just an attack on a physical space and the people who occupy it, but on the very fabric on republican government and state sovereignty. Those who stormed the U.S. Capitol — interrupting a legitimate function of Congress and putting not only the politicians who work their but their aides, the capitol support staff and internal security at risk — are not revolutionaries. They’re penny ante thugs whose convictions are so fragile they apparently require force. They’re moral despots who can’t countenance the idea that someone might disagree with them. And their actions defile the very document they claim to hold sacrosanct.

In this country, the word “revolutionary” has a meaning that goes beyond dictionary definitions. It speaks to the great American mythos, conjuring up images of patriotic work-a-day citizens who’ve been abused and exploited at every turn, whose voice was taken from them, and who finally had enough and took up arms, not just for themselves, but so that their children might have freedom and a better life. There’s nobility to that connotation.

And it’s a nobility that is completely absent from the self-styles “revolutionaries” who today brought terror to the capitol and attempted to upend the Constitutional order. Their thoughts were not for the long-term consequence of their actions, nor the degradation it would bring to the document they supposedly…

Katherine Emily

Founder, The Subversive Scrivener. Writer. Thinker. Intransigent ideologue. Radical individualist. Talent fully developed is the highest moral good.