Our Revolutionary Age, by the Zman

The almost complete disconnect between our powers that be and the common clay is similar to that between the French aristocracy and the peasants before the French Revolution. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

If one were to conjure just one image to explain the French Revolution, it would be of the sheltered and self-indulged Marie Antoinette saying “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” when told the peasants were starving. Perhaps framing it alongside an image of the peasants in the streets, desperate for food. The story is apocryphal, but it probably stands as the most enduring image of the Revolution. The decadent and indifferent ruling class on one side and the desperate peasants on the other.

Even though the story is not true, it works as an explanation for what happened in 18th century France. On the one hand, there was a ruling class that was increasingly out of touch, physically and culturally removed from the people. On the other hand, the people were evolving away from the ruling class. The growth of what we would call a middle-class was changing the nature of France. It is the psychological separation that drove the political dynamic, leading to the revolution.

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