Disclaimer: I'm French.
At school I was taught how the French Revolution was an amazing thing. It freed us. It was the end of a time of the absolute, divine right monarchy that France and other European nations had for almost a thousand years. I learned later about The Terror, where nobles would get their heads chopped off. Including the wives and kids, and I reckon some servants too. There's probably been a rape or two, as well, since that's what you get when a mob forms up and there's nobody to police them. They don't teach you much of that when you're at school. I guess it's understandable, since you don't want 12 years old to learn about rape and kids their age being killed just because they were born in the right family. Or do you?
Anyway, I learned much, much later, in my late 20's, that the actual History is much more cynic. It was not "we, the people" (to paraphrase an American concept) who started this. People got riled up by the bourgeois. A bourgeois is a very, very rich commoner. He can hardly hope to ever become a noble. That limits, right there, the richness he can ever hope to achieve. He'll always be looked down from the nobles. He can be killed for talking wrong to a noble. It's better to be a poor noble than a rich bourgeois. So, they didn't like that very much. They started the Revolution. They manipulated the peasants and poorly educated population to do the Revolution. Just so they could usurp the power from the nobles.
Note that I'm personally fine with the fact that we took the nobles out. Nobody should have a birthright over somebody else, just because. This is unfair, this is archaic, and it doesn't make the society move forward. The problem I have with the Revolution, besides the way it's taught (unless you do a History Major you won't hear much of this), is that it replaced one nobility with another. At least the previous one, the actual nobles, where honest about their absolute power. They said "I'm better than you, you're lesser than me, fuck you and fuck off." But the Bourgeoisie, which is still in power today (we call them Oligarchs, because they are the ultimate Bourgeois and there are not so many of them), is much more hypocritical. They will make you think you're in a Democracy, when really you're not. When the Banks can decide whether or not a state will default its credits, after pushing them towards into a mass debt, it's not a democracy. It's an illusion.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, as I just started typing with no set plans for the post. I guess my point is, I'm fed up of hearing we are in a democracy, and we should feel lucky, because more and more I feel I have no choice and no say. Even if my situation isn't as bad as a serf from 400 years ago, it sure as hell isn't as good as the people back them wanted my life to be.