42-CITY OF LIGHTS

In France, in 1804, after 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, who was head of his dynasty in the City, had taken a wait and see attitude in order to determine whether or not a constitutional monarchy was possible for France. He let Louis XVIII have a go at it, followed by Charles X and Louis-Philippe d’Orléans. Those three monarchs were more interested in doing the Holy Roman Empire’s bidding by perpetrating the White Terror and taking their revenge on the Bonapartists and old revolutionaries in general than in founding a constitutional monarchy. When Nathan died in 1836, France was still being plagued by political unrest, and his son Lionel decided to put the French constitutional monarchy matter to rest. Putting a stop to anarchy in a country to which Mayer’s family 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, now controlled the monetary systems of America, England, France and most of Europe, and he personally wanted to do something special for France. This country had given a lot to his family and the world, and yet had been subjected to untold miseries 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 did the City’s bidding during that time. In 1830, after helping to bring down Charles X, who had replaced Louis XVIII, he supported the Orléanist Louis-Philippe and had him elected with Lafayette’s help. When this third attempt at Constitutional Monarchy failed, political unrest continued, and Lionel decided that enough was enough. In 1841, mindboggling amounts of credit were made available to Thiers in order for him to build a wall around Paris.

When the wall was completed in 1844, it was time to get rid of Louis-Philippe d’Orléans, the last king that was to be. In 1848, Lionel had Thiers support Louis-Napoleon, a Bonapartist, who was easily elected President with the help of intellectuals such as Victor Hugo. Thiers then encouraged Louis-Napoléon to declare himself Emperor Napoleon III, which he did in 1852, before starting to demolish much of Paris, for this would not be a very popular move. In 1853, Adolphe Thiers and Baron Haussmann, the Paris Prefect, started levelling whole sections of the city to make wide avenues that would, as far as the federalists were concerned, facilitate the movement of troops within the city. Nonetheless, 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, continued. 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 an elevated 250-meter strip of land defended by sixteen fort cities that were part of that wall?

It obviously meant there was a Machiavellian plan in place. In fact, as beautiful as Paris had become, the fortifications had turned Paris into a fishbowl that was meant to contain the Federalists. When the time came, they were to be rounded up with their families and sent into exile to New Caledonia, thus removing a major political obstructionist force. Although the Federalists were true democrats, like none before or since, and as appealing as pure democracy is in theory, it is not feasible. Human nature simply won’t allow it. The only type of democracy possible is one where the monetary system is run by private interests. The one who prints the money cannot be the one spending it, and that’s what the Federalists were in effect trying to do. The very unique and democratically minded Federalists had to go.

Moreover, if France was to be stabilized, the Royalists had to be given a death blow as well. The period from 1789 to 1840 had proven that the two groups could never achieve constitutional government on their own. The only solution was to enforce the centralist state concept that Napoleon had put in place in 1804, and have the population elect a president every seven year. This would empower the people at the expense of the Federalists and the Royalists who would never recover.

So, when the City of Lights was more or less completed in 1870, it was time to get rid of the Federalists. Louis-Napoleon, listening no doubt to a divine voice coming from the City, made the most absurd decision 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 Paris. After the preordained siege of Paris, Louis-Napoleon fled to England, and Thiers, now the self-proclaimed head of government, transferred his whole administration to Versailles. Surprisingly, he came up with the colossal sum of money needed to buy back the 100,000 French prisoners from Bismarck. Inexplicably, it was Thiers, not Bismarck, who marched into Paris with the recently purchased French prisoners. His orders were undoubtedly to surround and capture the members of the Commune, Federalists all, before exiling them to New Caledonia, but things didn’t work out as planned. The Federalists put up too strong a resistance, and a panicking Thiers commited the worst atrocities imaginable. Tens of thousands of Federalists, including women and children, were executed, while perhaps twice as many were imprisoned under atrocious conditions and died in the process. Thiers did succeed in exiling thousands of Federalists to New Caledonia, and it did mark the end of that political force, but the Paris Commune remains one of the worst blood baths in history, much to Lionel’s chagrin, to be sure.

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 established France as 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 elect their President, a “father knows best” figure, who somehow becomes l’État, and they trust l’État more than they do their fellow citizens. The people’s Assembly is composed in great part by duly elected mayors, and since mayors answer directly to prefects nominated by the President, it means that France is a centralist state, or a democratic dictature.

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