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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/105

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55
Revolutionary Majorities

service of the universal will which had been betrayed by a handful of courtiers, privileged persons, and traitors. Thus the use of force was in no way an audacious stroke on the part of a minority, but the vigorous means that the majority took to defend itself.

It is of course true that the Revolution was led on to exceed its first demands and its opening programme. In 1789 not a single revolutionary foresaw the fall of the monarchy or desired it. The very word Republic was almost unknown, and even on the 21st of September, 1792, when the Convention abolished the monarchy, the idea of a Republic had not altogether ceased to terrify. But the monarchy did not fall under the assault of a passionate minority or the formulas of republican philosophy. It was only lost when it became evident to almost the whole nation after repeated trials, after the royal coup d'état of the 20th June, 1789, after the 14th of July, after the King's flight to Varennes, and after the invasion, that the monarchy was betraying both the constitution and the country. Monarchy only fell when the contradiction between royalty and the universal will appeared in all its irreconcilable violence. It is evident then that it was by the necessary and logical action of the universal will, not by a surprise stroke of the minority, that monarchy was abolished.

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It is undoubtedly true that the revolutionary