Continuing onward with our studies of the French Revolution… I told Joey that today’s lesson would be on “The Declaration of the Rights of Man”, and he instantly reached his hand towards the letter board.
J: THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN NEEDS TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN MY LIFE TODAY. YOU KNOW I LIKE TO KNOW WHAT THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE RULING CLASS ARE AND IF THE EXPECTATIONS ON EVERYONE ELSE ARE THE SAME.
From October 1789 until September 1791, The National Assembly tried to establish a new order, and a new set of standards by which to live, in France. The National Assembly abolished many of the biased class privileges that characterized the old regime and issued a document called “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”.
J: THEY WROTE THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN AND CITIZEN TO PUT AN END TO THE NONSENSE THAT WAS IN PLAY THAT THE RULING CLASS GOT SPECIAL TREATMENT.
It is also worth recognizing that these French Revolutionaries were heavily influenced by Enlightenment ideas about politics. I reminded Joey that we studied the Enlightenment, and the philosophies of great thinkers like Locke, Montesque, Hobbes, Descartes, etc. Specifically, the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” asserted “men are born and remain free and equal in rights”, and it defined these rights as “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression”.
I asked Joey to explain what was going on, using his own words?
J: THE SWING IN MOOD WENT TO ENLIGHTENMENT IDEAS TO SET THE TONE. MOST ON POINT TO SAY THAT MEN ARE BORN EQUAL AND STAY THAT WAY UNTIL DEATH TAKES THEM TO A BETTER PLACE.
And how did the National Assembly define these rights?
J: HAVING THE ENLIGHTENMENT PHILOSOPHERS’ THOUGHTS TO TICKLE THEIR FANCY THEY SAID THAT EVEN THE POOREST OF FELLOWS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIBERTY PROPERTY AND FREEDOM FROM OPPRESSION.
At this point I gave Joey a quick break. When he returned, I offered him the letter board.
J: YOU KNOW THAT I’M TOO SENSITIVE TO THINKING PEOPLE WON’T FATHOM THAT THESE WONDERFUL WRITINGS ARE MINTLY MINE… YOU KNOW THAT IS REALLY BECOMING A FORM OF MENTAL OPPRESSION I NEED TO FREE MYSELF FROM.
I encouraged Joey not to worry about that, pointing out that it is clear to me and others that he has a quite unique and recognizable writing style.
Bringing it back to our lesson, I mentioned that the declaration also promised freedom of religion and the right to have a fair trial in court. Also, this was not a time when emails and the internet could instantly send information around the world, but these Frenchmen did print and circulate thousands of copies of their “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” throughout France as well as abroad.
I asked Joey to encapsulate what we just discussed.
J: YOU KNOW THIS NOW INTERNAL DOCUMENT TONED TO OTHER LISTENING PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE RELIGION BEST BE LEFT TO CHOICE TOO. REALLY FALSIFYING COURT PROCEDURES WAS NOT STOKE WORTHY EITHER.
At this time, we had to break from our session, as we were expected to attend Joey’s “Current Events” class upstairs on the 7th floor (the office we do our one-on-one RPM sessions is on the 5th floor). We returned to our office to continue our lesson an hour later.
Knowing that Joey loves creative writing, and applying the information that has learned to his own life, I asked Joey if he would like to write his own version of “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”? Verbally, Joey exclaimed, “YES”!
J: WON’T YOU KNOW THAT THE FIRST INALIENABLE RIGHT MUST BE EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO SMOOTHIES MADE FROM THE FRESHEST ORGANIC INGREDIENTS. THE NEXT NATURAL RIGHT THAT NO MAN SHOULD BE DEPRIVED OF IS THE RIGHT TO TALK AS MUCH AS THEY WANT. YOU KNOW THIS MOST SPECIAL RIGHT THAT MOST MOUNTAIN MEN CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IS THE RIGHT TO SNOWBOARD IN ASPEN. WITHOUT A DOUBT THE RULING CLASSES CANNOT CUT OFF THE RIGHT OF MEN TO INTERRUPT THEIR MEAGER DIET “ENOUGH, IT WON’T HARM ME MUCH!” EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE!
THE LAST AND COMPLETELY INALIENABLE WONT-YOU-JUST-TRY-TO-TAKE-IT-AWAY RIGHT OF MAN IS THAT STRONG ROMANTIC TYPES LIKE ME MUST BE ABLE TO FIND SOMEONE OUT THERE TO LOVE US ROMANTICALLY EXACTLY THE WAY WE ARE.