[Marxism] Inglorious Revolutions | The National Interest

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jan 3 08:28:32 MST 2014

TWO AND A HALF years after it began, the revolution was widely 
considered a quagmire, even a disaster. Rebels had made disappointingly 
little headway against the forces of the hated tyrant. The capital and 
the country’s second major city remained under his control. Foreign 
powers had provided sympathy, but very little real aid. And despite 
promising to respect human rights, rebel forces were committing 
widespread abuses, including murder, torture and destruction of 
property. In short, the bright hopes of an earlier spring were fading fast.

This may sound like a description of Syria today, but it also describes 
quite well the situation of another country: the young United States in 
the winter of 1777–1778. George Washington had taken refuge in the 
miserable winter encampment of Valley Forge. Philadelphia (then the 
capital) and New York were both in British hands. France had not yet 
agreed to help the new republic militarily. And in areas under rebel 
control, loyalists were being persecuted—far more than most American 
school textbooks admit.


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