SILK PANTS ARISTOCRACY | 2002-03-30
Conservatives always talk about Tradition but they know nothing about real history.
The National Review conservative, for example, thinks French and aristocracy go together. If you know any history, this is hilarious.
French (the Franks were Germans) became the international language in imitation of Louis XIV and Versailles. Louis' purpose in building Versailles was to destroy the French aristocracy. He succeeded.
When Louis XIV was a boy, the French aristocracy became so powerful Louis' home was invaded by rebellious aristocrats and he was displayed to them. He hated them, and he determined to build a total despotism in France. As part of this, he built Versailles.
The Versailles Palace was so huge almost the entire French aristocracy moved there. All preferment under Louis XIV was on the basis of whom he saw at Versailles. His most damning remark was, "He is a man I do not see."
As a result, the entire French "aristocracy" spent all its time playing personal servants to the Sun King. In order to stay where Louis XIV was they had to cut all their roots with their people in the countryside. They gave up all real power and put on silk pants and the latest fashions and said witty things while packed together at the Palace.
All the smaller kingdoms tried to imitate Versailles. French and the latest French fashions in every area became the rage with those who wanted to ape aristocracy.
But the real aristocrats in England and Germany and other places stayed with their power-bases. The real aristocrats stayed with their own people in the countryside.
The pretend aristocrats today are as pitiful as the ones they imitate under Louis XIV.
The ones today tell each other how sophisticated they are and they use untranslated French phrases and look down on the "masses." They think that makes them upper class.