Is America on the same path as France before the French Revolution, or Russia before the Russian Revolution?
For a special that aired on his television program Monday, Glenn Beck traced the parallels between America and a number of historical revolutions, repeating the line, "and so it begins."
"Where we run into trouble over and over and over again, throughout all of history, is when a few in positions of power try to organize everybody else's lives and tell them exactly what to do," Beck said. "That's where disagreement and conflict enters. You've seen this pattern repeat itself throughout history. ... We have to know what they are. We have to know everything about them if we're going to successfully and peacefully see a way out."
Beck invited historians David Barton and Larry Schweikart on the program to analyze what America can learn from tumultuous periods of history, and the two repeatedly warned that America is starting to view people as groups, rather than individuals, and doing so has been extremely destructive throughout history.
"That's where France was [in the 18th century] ... and that's why they went through so many revolutions so quickly," Barton explained. "Whoever won the first revolution, that was the enemy for the second revolution. The second group came in and said, 'They're not of our group, we've got to get rid of them.' Same with the third revolution, every group thereafter. So they go for groups rather than individuality."
Barton said America did the opposite: "We said all men are created equal and they're endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. So we start with the premise that the individual is what's key here."
Barton said the same attitude prevailed among those responsible for the Russian revolution. People were divided into groups based on how much money they had, and it led to countless deaths. The American Civil War, he added, was no different.
"[It was] a repudiation of many of our founding principles," Barton said. "'You're black, you've got a different set of rights.'"
Barton said that because "we're forgetting the principles we were founded on ... we're letting all these other philosophies come in."
"They're not new philosophies, but none of them have ever worked in the history of mankind," he said.
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