The Corner

DSK’s Technocratic Socialism

The bizarre story of socialist IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was almost storybook: The socialist guardian, now facing sordid sexual-battery charges, we are told, was slumming in a $3,000 per night hotel, with an understanding that he can show up at any time at an Air France flight and hop on a first-class seat. His sense of entitlement — from violating the law to living like 18th-century French royalty to purportedly having his way with a worker of the lower classes —was the logical bookend to the IMF’s harsh lectures to Greeks and others to suck it up, cut back, and live according to their means in these times of global recession. (Not to mention the prior exemptions granted by the IMF to the suspect’s past sexual peccadillos.) It is almost as if the more our global experts assure us that equality-of-result central planning works, the more such an egalitarian veneer seems to mask a self-indulgent core.

As we saw with allegations of Al Gore’s having groped hotel masseuses, there seems to be some sort of synergy with global humanitarian elites toiling on our behalf, fancy hotels, exclusive travel — and sexual aggression against those toiling in the service sector. In some sick way, just as Gore’s mounting hypocrisies came to symbolize the decline in global-warming religious observance, so too Strauss-Kahn’s “indulgences” may be emblematic of the mounting hypocrisies of the IMF.

In any case, Greeks who were thinking of defaulting (and they were legion) were looking for the slightest excuse of any sort, and now they may well have found one, however unlikely: If the head of the IMF overseers cannot follow the law, symbolically reflect in his own life the tough sacrifices asked by others, and abide by protocols of common decency, why then should his indebted subjects?

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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