In such periods people in the ruling class follow the principle "Après nous le déluge" and each thinks only of himself, abandoning the public good to the mercy of blind chance.

What is the meaning of "Après nous le déluge"? Thanks
Contributing Member1,138

It's a famous French sentence; allegedly, this was said by Madame De Pompadour (King's Louis XIV's mistress) to her lover to comfort him after France was soundly defeated in a battle.

Its literal meaning is something like "After us, the deluge" (if you need a definition for "deluge" go here or think of Noah's deluge): she meant that everything would get worse after the reign of Louis's, but she wouldn't care about what was going to happen to French people.
Similarly, in your sentence the ruling class doesn't care about the public good.

Well, at least this is the way this sentence is used in Italian. Emotion: smile
Senior Member4,115
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
Thanks Tanit a lot.
Looking for ESL work?: Try our EFL / TOEFL / ESL Jobs Section!
Some fact checking is in order. The phrase in French attributed to both Louis XV and his wife, Madame de Pompadour, is "Après moi le deluge" and it foreshadowed the future of the Republic after Louis - meaning the chaos of the French Revolution.
Not after me (moi) but the royal plural us (nous).
© MediaCet Ltd. 2016, xC v7.3.1.14987. All content posted by our users is a contribution to the public domain, this does not include imported usenet posts.*
For web related enquires please contact us on
*Usenet post removal: Use 'X-No-Archive' or please send proof of the poster's email, we will remove immediately.
Views expressed in this community do not reflect the views of MediaCet LTD, and we are in no way liable for such content.
Offensive or malicious content will be removed immediately, please send an email to