Western Totalitarianism, its roots and its development (1)
Chapter one : Social roots : era of popular and democratic revolutions
Between 1776 and 1825 took place in both sides of the Atlantic a series of interconnected revolutions during which had been expressed a genuine and real democratic aspirations and had been launched an idea of popular sovereignty and the Rights of Man. These interconnected revolutions were the American Revolution expressing herself in the Declaration of Independence of 1776, the Jacobin short interlude in France 1793-94), the Haitian revolution in the French colony of Saint-Domingue and its influence and its role it played in the accession to independence Spanish colonies in south and central America.
The American revolution and the Declaration of Independence could be considered as the coronation and the outgrowth of a long period of struggle and resistance and democratic aspirations of oppressed peoples in the New world against the European imperialist powers and the beginning of a new one that of model for modern freedom and genuine democracy. As conflicts within the European imperialist powers became planetary in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, we have to witness a parallel direction with increasing spirit of resistance and a rash of “freedom suits” and assertions of civic liberty, equality, liberty and brotherhood among oppressed people, whatever the color of their skin, whites, blacks and colored people. The slave revolt on both sides of the Atlantic had been joined by other oppressed layers of the society artisans, journeymen and port workers mostly white but some colored. Support for action against the imperial power came from all those felt that the imperial power was arbitrary intrusive and oppressing power and also from white elite and white colonists whither propertied or not and whiter their mother tongue was English German or Dutch. These oppressed people who came to embrace the American cause and to form the impetus and the fuel leading to the first and genuine and successful rebellion in the modern history, the American revolution and the draft of the first declaration of human rights, the Independence declaration of 1776. The rebellious forces expressing strong convictions stemmed from a widely held doctrine of “republican” liberty seen as synonymous of “abject slavery” and colonial tyranny
Of course, the revolt against the slavery and the tyrannical English colonialism in North America was not the outcome of spontaneous and unforeseeable movement initiated by oppressed and disorganized masses but the result of centuries of revolt, rebellions, popular and slave uprising. It was through class struggles over centuries that the class conscious of oppressed masses had been shaped and formed. At the start of class struggle, there were a few occasions that white and black and colored layers did make common cause in their fight against their oppressor. In 1676 the Virginian revolt known as Bacon’s rebellion occasioned a brief allianace between rebellions whites and varying conditions (planters, small-holders, debtors, indentured servants) and eventually came to include rebellious blacks, though not Native Americans Indeed the revolt was ignited by Bacon’s claim that the royal governor was too indulgent to the Indians and that an expedition should ne mounted against them. While planters merchants and the colonial state were ultimately united by religion nationality and the stream of plantation the different contingents of oppressed immigrants and displaced natives were divided by language and tradition and found it difficult to forge a shared vision. Such acts were isolated and did not come together in a challenge to planter power.