Monday, July 4, 2011

Hanson and the Decline of the West, To Date

Victor Davis Hanson, always recommended for his erudition covering the past 3000 years (give or take a few centuries) holds forth in a splendid column about the state of the statists, and why the “liberal dream is dead”.  This is not necessarily good news in and of itself, since the West, enmeshed as it is with socialist dogma, must conjure a way to resurrect a proper culture. 

Every paragraph is a jewel and describes the current state of our decline, and why.  Some tempting tidbits to entice you to read the whole article:

Here in the United States, we await the imposition of Obamacare, despite the fact that the public does not want it, the nation cannot afford it, politicians regret it, and companies seek exemption from it. . . .  As we near 50 million Americans on food stamps, another year of 9-plus percent unemployment, and the third $1 trillion–plus budget deficit, even statists are beginning to see that statism does not work — a fact brought home not just by the disaster in Greece, but also by the growing divide between a successful red-state paradigm and California-like blue-state doldrums. What saves the United States for now is only the fact that, unlike California, it can print money — plus the fact that there is no red-state version of America to flee to.
On the immigration front, there will still be some quibbling, but the liberal argument for open borders has been lost, both here and in Europe. The United States simply cannot afford any longer the $50 billion that flows to Latin America each year in remittances, coupled with multibillion-dollar costs for providing social services to seek parity for illegal aliens, in addition to vast new outlays in education and criminal justice. California elites swear that a multimillion-person community of illegal aliens has nothing to do with our near-bottom ranking in public-school math and science scores, but privately even the most die-hard unionist teachers confess that it does. When Los Angeles has more resident Mexican nationals than do most cities in Mexico, . . . then it is logical, not aberrant, that tens of thousands in the Rose Bowl would not merely cheer a Mexican soccer team over a home-team American one (understandable, though regrettable, garden-variety ethnic chauvinism), but trump that by booing even the mention of the United States. . . .
Open borders, non-assimilation, ethnic separatism, and tribalism lead to the Balkans or Rwanda — not, as envisioned, to a society patterned after the boutique diversity of the faculty lounge. . . .
In the last hundred days, the world has seen not only how weak and divided are the European members of NATO, but also how the once-celebrated European notion of “soft power” means very little in the world of perpetually savage nations. . . .
Hanson continues with more examples to reinforce his conclusions, including an inside attack on the lotus-eaters of academia (this from a professor of classics, having taught at California State University, Fresno and now at the Hoover Institution at Stanford).  He is inoculated from the heady vapors of the ivory tower probably by inclination, but a notable contribution also comes from being a farmer when not teaching.  My favourite work of his many books is Carnage and Culture, which explains why the West has been successful in spreading its ideas elsewhere.

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