What is a Bastille?

The following was an old blog post of mine from September 2008 originally titled, “What’s In a Name?” All changes have only been made to the grammar and not the content.

Why this blog is called The Last Bastille is for historical and intellectual reasons. According to Dictionary.com, a bastille is “a fortified tower, as of a castle; a small fortress; citadel.” Of course there is the Bastille Saint-Antoine, a prison destroyed during the course of the French Revolution. I do not refer to The Last Bastille as a prison; in fact, the title refers to the persistence of liberty in all its forms as a social institution of sorts, represented by a corporeal building (specifically a tower like the one depicted above).

I do use the title with a French connotation; in Mark Twain‘s Joan of Arc, the Siege of Orleans depicts the losing and reacquisition of bastilles on the battlefield between the English and French forces. Being “Last” refers to an ideological strife where an arbitrarily emotive moral code has backed rationality (as well as humanity’s pride) into a corner. The number of bastilles is a metaphor for how much influence (as a socialization agent) any moral code has upon a culture; my premise is that rationality and egoism are undergoing subterfuge by a contradictory ideology of death.

I argue that most agents of (political) socialization serve to restrict individual liberty in some way; most agents by default are in actuality the Orwellian thought-police, and have been ever since the beginning of human civilization. I advocate the liberation of thought and self-determination regardless of the consequences; it’s not the result that ultimately matters, it is the process (just like science). Humanity and its various governments historically (and especially presently) are progressing toward a collectivist zeitgeist. If you do not want that world, but instead desire to survive and thrive on your own merit, then The Last Bastille is at least realistic and honest enough to respect that. If anyone was being intellectually honest, nobody truly gives a damn about you, except yourself. 
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