The brilliant site Tradicion Clasica (translated into English from the original Spanish) considers the expression “Après moi le déluge”, and Its Classical Antecedents in depth with many references to writers of antiquity (as of course befits this most erudite and catholic of sites) including Seneca, Lucretius, Diogenes, Strato of Sardis and numerous others.
For those, sadly, not versed in classical Greek (surely there are not many) there are handy translations into English and for those who prefer more up to date references there is this update “Geraldus Bucoldus translated this ancient Greek epigram into Latin in the Renaissance. In Spanish literature, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1503-1575) composed a sonnet which is a re-creation of the epigram”.
In examining the well know phrase, translated into English as (“After me, the deluge”) attributed to the King of France Louis XV (1710-1774): the editor posits (and goes to to consider both in some depth with support from classical writers) two possible meanings;
1a) On the one hand, if we understand After me the deluge will come, the saying seems to imply, as an assertive affirmation: “After my reign, the nation will be plunged into chaos and destruction.”
b) The verb could also be understood as a subjunctive concession: After me, let the deluge come (it can come, but it makes no difference to me). In this second case, the speaker asserts that nothing that happens after his disappearance matters to him.
However, there is a third possibility which relates directly to our current,sad and dangerous, political situation and can be said of President Obama. “after me comes the deluge, that is after my election, and due to my inexperience, disconnect with the average person, and what I described as my “healthy ego” the deluge will come during my four years in office not subsequent to them”.
The voters have signalled their concern,or possible panic given the massive size of the defeat inflicted on the he Obama administration the mid-terms, their unhappiness with the economic direction of the country. What has happened after nearly two years, especially in the seemingly intractable employment, housing, deficit and now inflation areas, may just be a start to an even further financial cataclysm-or deluge.
Here is one scenario looking to next year based on the current economic situation;
Marc Lichtenfeld writes: “There’s going to be a massive stock and bond market sell off in the first half of 2011. Not only that, the sell off could cause a worldwide financial disaster, global market crashes and the destruction of wealth that will make the popping of the dotcom and housing bubbles feel like a mild inconvenience.”
Because, quite simply, America is playing a dangerous game of “chicken” with its national debt. And the ramifications are extraordinary. I’m going to explain the situation and give you three ways to protect yourself from this mess before it’s too late…
America’s debt ceiling currently stands at $14.3 trillion. This is the level that, by law, the government’s debt is not allowed to exceed. Trouble is, the government’s present debt has swelled to $13.7 trillion.
This means that at the current rate, we’re on course to smash through that $14.3 trillion ceiling around May 2011 (although it might happen a month or two later, depending on what budget cuts are enacted in the next few months and how quickly they’re implemented). So what will the government do about this? Same thing it’s done almost every year since 1962: Raise the debt ceiling so America can pay its bills.”
For this to happen a bill allowing this has to pass through Congress.Will President Obama agree to spending cuts, possibly including his signature health care program? Will a House vote of a senate filibuster block the passage of such a bill ? If this scenario plays out will investors at home and abroad take fright and abandon the U.S. economy leading to a massive crash? And, even if the debt ceiling is raised, how long can the economy carry on endlessly creating trillions of dollars in deficits before hyper inflation and a crash situation occurs ?
If, through gross mismanagement by Obama/Giethner and Bernanke, the economy crashes-the deluge after Obama’s election, before the ‘commonsense” solutions of President Palin has the chance to put the ship of state back on course, the damage last for generations. The only solution in sight is to pray that the collapse doesn’t come before November 2012, and that if it does, that President Palin can draw on the goodwill of the American people to help and support her through the tough challenges of reconstruction.