The View from Versailles

At the conclusion of his epic “Establishment Blues” essay from this past week, Walter Russell Mead wrote:

The French aristocrats laughed at the manners and the morals of the common people and ridiculed the faith that lit the darkness and softened the harsh conditions of ordinary lives.  Enlightened and cosmopolitan, the establishment mocked the attachment of the ignorant peasants to the king.  The well educated, well connected elites accepted no limits on their ability to convert their social privilege into personal wealth; they accepted no limits on the gratification of their physical desires — flaunting their romantic affairs in the same spirit in which they feasted at Versailles while the gaunt peasants starved.  They used and abused to the fullest all the privileges that came with their status while mocking and rejecting any sense of duty and obligation.

It was fun while it lasted.


In 2008, CNN veteran Fareed Zakaria’s book on The Post-American World was photographed approvingly in the hands of post-American presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008. In December of 2010, Zakaria appeared on CNN’s anemically-rated Parker-Spitzer show and uttered remarks that dovetail remarkably well with the above paragraph by Mead: 

Parker asked Zakaria if he had faith the American people could handle the fiscal discipline he advocated. Zakaria used the platform as an opportunity to attack Americans and refute the notion “the American people are wonderful.” His solution: Less consumption by the American people.

“No, I think the people are the big problem,” Zakaria said. “I mean, Americans — everybody wants to say the American people are so wonderful. You know, I think that when they come to recognize that they have to make sacrifices too that it’s not just wasteful — they need to have — they need to recognize that some of what’s going to happen here is fewer. They have to consume fewer things. They have to accept slightly higher taxes. And in the long run, you will have a much better economy.”

On Friday, the Blaze noted via a clip from CNN, “Revealed: Obama Calls CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria for ‘Wisdom & Advice.'”


As Chris Muir spotlights in his latest “Day By Day” cartoon (wittily titled “Tourist Guide”), at last, the president has finally found a legacy journalist who’s almost as condescending to America as himself.


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