What do you do in the course of a Revolution, or after?
To overthrow the status quo, is to remove a cliche from power.
But what do you do with the Old-Guard?
Do you rehabilitate them – send them to re-education camps?
Do you work on the basis like they did in Germany (and Japan) after WWII. They had some show trials, and nominal banishment’s/ostracism’s. But pretty much continued on with the vast majority of people continuing where they were, and with what they were doing.
The basic principle being followed of letting human nature shape society such that most people will proceed to assume the attitudes and beliefs of the Conquerer. they will self identify with the winner, and reject the old failed system and leaders.
There is some merit in that, it is certainly the least-effort solution.
You can rigorously hunt down all and every known offender and collaborator.
That is quite hard work however, so it does depends how much you care.
But, how rigorously do you pursue this, how much fear, destruction and loathing do you create, in order to rebalance the ledger for all the crimes committed by the old regime? How much is enough to punish the guilty – establish a precedent and deterrent – break the old systems, institutions, linkages, connections and loyalties.
For that course of action, it was the Romans who provided a precedent and example: decimation.
Pick out ever tenth person and execute them.
… conceivably – that could be every tenth person from among the guilty – or 10% of the whole population…
With the second interpretation, the range of capitol-crimes gets very wide and sweeping indeed. The Khymer Rouge had a bit of a go at something like that.
Traumatic to society – but not necessarily a bad idea…?
If you have an alternative option or opinion, feel free to add your comments.
I think I am probably in the ‘Hunt-Down-and-Persecute’ camp.
Otherwise, what have you really changed, and what stops the old weeds from re-growing?