38-CITY OF LIGHTS

In France, in 1804, when the Civil Code was rammed through, non-elected Prefects answered directly to the central authority in Paris and ran their departments with the help of the dreaded Fouché police. After Napoleon was sent to St. Helens, Nathan in the City had taken a wait and see attitude in order to determine whether or not a constitutional monarchy was possible for France. Louis XVIII had a go at it, followed by Charles X and Louis-Philippe d’Orléans. Those three monarchies created a lot of turmoil, especially the one headed by Louis-Philippe. When Nathan died in 1836, France was still being plagued by insurrections, and his son Lionel decided to put the French constitutional monarchy matter to rest. Putting a stop to so much unrest in a country Mayer’s family loved, and to which it was so beholding, was the only decent thing to do. Lionel decided to turn Paris into the City of Lights, and give France stability by enshrining the centralist state put in place by Napoleon.

The 500 tons of gold sent as an aid package to America in 1768 had been used by Mayer to open the Bank of North America, and the roughly 5000 tons of French gold generated by the real estate scam in 1789 and stored in the Goldsmid Bros. vaults in the City, had been used by Nathan to take over the Bank of England. Lionel, as head of the family dynasty, controlled the monetary systems of America, England and most of Europe, and he personally wanted to do something for France. This country had given a lot to his family and the world, and yet had been devastated just because it happened to be the cornerstone of the Holy Roman Empire. Things had to be put right.

Adolphe Thiers was an active French political figure from 1825 to 1875, and no doubt worked for the City from the very beginning. After helping to bring down Charles X in 1830, he supported the Orléanist Louis-Philippe and had him elected with Lafayette’s help. The third attempt at Constitutional Monarchy failed miserably, and seeing the insurrections continue, Lionel decided that enough was enough. In 1840, he had Thiers build his infamous wall, and in 1848, he had him support Louis-Napoleon, a Bonapartist, who was easily elected with the help of Victor Hugo.

As of 1840, mindboggling amounts of credit were made available to Thiers to get the wall built around Paris. In 1844, Adolphe Thiers and Baron Haussmann, the Paris Prefect, started levelling whole sections of the city to make wide avenues that would, among other things, facilitate the movement of troops within the city. It included the demolition of crowded and unhealthy medieval neighborhoods, the building of wide avenues, parks and squares, the annexation of the suburbs surrounding Paris, the construction of new sewers, fountains and aqueducts, and row upon row of the most beautifully designed residential buildings in the world. Since gas used for lighting was now accessible throughout the city, Paris became known as the City of Lights. One could ask, however, why they had surrounded Paris with an impregnable thirty-three-kilometer wall bordered by a 250 meter strip of no-man’s land and a huge embankment, and defended by sixteen fort cities that were part of that wall?

It obviously meant there was a bigger Machiavellian plan. In fact, as beautiful as Paris had become, the fortifications had turned Paris into a fishbowl that was meant to contain the Fédérés. When the time came, they would round up the Fédérés and their families and send them into exile to New Caledonia, thereby removing a major political obstructionist force. Although the Fédérés were true democrats, like none before or since, and as appealing as it is in theory, true democracy can’t possibly work. Human nature simply won’t allow it. The only type of democracy possible is one where the monetary system is run by private interests.

If France was to be stabilized, the Royalists, the Fédérés and the Republicans had to be dealt with and put under one administrative roof. The period from 1789 to 1840 had proven that the three groups would never achieve this on their own. The only solution was to enforce the centralist state concept that Napoleon had obligingly put in place in 1804, and have the population elect a new president in rotating fashion for a determined period.

So when the City of Lights was more or less completed in 1870, it was time to get rid of the Fédérés. Louis-Napoleon made the most stupid decision imaginable by declaring war on Prussia over an insignificant diplomatic incident. Even more bizarre, he wasn’t the one who attacked Bismarck, it was Bismarck who attacked him. After the preordained defeat, Louis-Napoleon fled the country, and Thiers, the self-proclaimed head of government, transferred his whole administration to Versailles, and surprisingly came up with the colossal sum of money needed to buy back the 100,000 French prisoners from Bismarck. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Bismarck who marched on Paris, it was Thiers with those same French prisoners. The idea was to surround and imprison the members of the Commune before sending them off into exile, but things didn’t work out as planned. The Fédérés put up too strong a resistance, and Thiers felt the need to commit the worst atrocities. Tens of thousands of Fédérés, including women and children, were executed, while perhaps twice as many were imprisoned under atrocious conditions where many died. Thiers did succeed in exiling thousands of Fédérés to New Caledonia, and although it marked the end of the Fédérés, the Paris Commune remains one of the worst blood baths in history.

On January 3rd, 1875, Henri Wallon tabled an amendment proposing that the President of the Republic be elected by an absolute majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives for a renewable seven-year period. It became known as the Constitutional Laws of 1875 which officially turned France into a centralist state. Thiers, who had been chosen as the 1st President, conveniently resigned, and Patrice MacMahon, a catholic aristocrat who was neither monarchist nor republican, was elected to succeed him. The wall that had cost countless billions to build was torn down, and the Stockholm syndrome kicked in. The French have since put their trust in one man, their President. They trust l’État more than they do their fellow citizens, and not surprisingly, the people’s Assembly is full of duly-elected mayors and regional presidents, all bona fide civil servants who answer to their Prefect, who in turn answers directly to the President. They elect a president, a “father knows best” figure, and he somehow becomes l’État

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