Jean Jacques Rousseau was the influence for Robespierre’s conception of revolutionary virtue and his program for constructing political sovereignty out of direct democracy. In pursuing these virtues, Robespierre became the architect of The Terror and was eventually executed. His commitment to the cause of the revolution led to him eventually becoming known during the Jacobin Republic as “the Incorruptible”.
Like John Brown, Robespierre’s commitment to a cause casts him as ‘incorruptible’, heroic, and monstrous. How do these features of his person fit together?