Guy Fawkes and his legacy

Guy Fawkes. "Guy Fawkes - The Fifth of No...

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been reading Guy Fawkes lately, it’s a story about rebellion against theocratic government. The 5th of November is a tradition of Guy Fawkes day in england, where the majority of people build big epic bonfires. Then make a ‘Guy Fawkes’ guy out of newspaper stuffed into old clothes which is then placed on the top of said bonfire. This is then set alight and lots and lots of fireworks are let off…

it can be concluded
1, that Guy Fawkes Day is about celebrating the foiling of the plot and burning Fawkes in effigy … true.

2, that Fawkes wasn’t a hero of the people and was somehow bad for wanting to “install” a theocratic monarchy … not true. Or at least, very misleading.

That’s bad history, trying to project modern-day sensibilities onto the past. The fact is that he was trying to overthrow an absolutist, theocratic monarch — just as Cromwell would succeed in doing later that century in the English Revolution. He was trying to stick it to the man, and he wound up brutally tortured to death. Sure, Fawkes was a Jesuit, but remember that no one had even heard of a non-theocratic government back then.

Let’s take an example of other known historical figure, Martin Luther King was vehemently anti-war and anti-government. Today, he is only recognized as a race warrior. Abraham Lincoln was a flagrantly racist man that explicitly violated the constitution to carry out a Civil war costing more American lives than any other war in American history. He imprisoned a member of the opposite political party and had him exiled from the country for his political views. Today he is idolized as the savior of the union and gatekeeper to freedom of slaves. Richard Nixon removed the US from metal-backed currency. He also opened trade with China; the single most important contributor to the world-and in particular american economy.

Guy Fawkes was just one more historical figure that is painted as his proponents (or detractors) want him to be. in V for vendetta, V wore a Guy Fawkes not because he wanted to institute a theocracy but because he had the courage and willpower to actually be a threat to what was (is?) considered an oppressive government. It was a symbol of resistance.

I suppose what I mean to say is that, for V, Guy Fawkes is a symbol for a certain meaning, and not for others. It’s pretty clear that V’s motives were more than a teabagger trying to blow up a government building. As for Guy Fawkes himself, sure, he might not be a hero, but he believed something was wrong with his government and took action. How many of us can say the same?


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