How even stupid people can overthrow governments

There's no secret to it.  As Mordred showed in The Once and Future King, all you need to dethrone an Arthur is to create dissension: libel the king, spread slander and false rumors, watch the competing factions fight – and then, all by itself, Camelot falls.  (A little nudge now and then by a mob will help.) We can see the same method in operation against Louis XVI.  Louis was a kindly gentleman, if not quite bright enough to walk the political tightropes without falling off, but certainly nothing he did was worthy of the guillotine.  Nevertheless, some people wanted him gone, and they followed the playbook: rumor, innuendo, and factions. The more serious libelles took the form of essays, which often presented as serious and legitimate journalism.  These publications would promise to provide the 'true story' behind the crown, the royal family, notable aristocratic families or the goings-on at...(Read Full Post)