Victor Davis Hanson: the Worthiest Intellect of Our Time

Olivia's picture
Submitted by Olivia on Thu, 2019-02-28 04:26

By Olivia Pierson
http://www.oliviapierson.org/b...

It is impossible to sum up with any kind of justified generosity the value of the body of knowledge put forth by Professor Victor Davis Hanson in his lectures, books, columns and public interviews. The man is simply a modern day phenomenon in possession of an incredible mind that is capable of gifting us with the details of the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s most powerful empires: from ancient Greece to today’s America and everything in between that 2.7 millennia time-line, including the Romans, the Byzantines, the Renaissance Florentines, the British Empire, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. This softly spoken man is a powerhouse of intellectual accomplishments.

Professor Hanson is a classicist, a military historian, a political commentator and a fifth-generation farmer. He puts me in mind of the talented, manly eclecticism that so typified Thomas Jefferson, minus the slaves.

​His books include:- The Saviour Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - From Ancient Greece to Iraq, The Decline and Fall of California: from Decadence to Destruction, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern, The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day - How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won and Hanson’s latest work, The Case for Trump. (This list of his books is far from being exhaustive.)

​If there is one outstanding virtue which Professor Hanson exudes in spades (I know he has many more than one), it is a strong sense of how history connects us with the present moment. He lives on the same family farm that his great, great grandparents of the 1870s lived on in the San Joaquin Valley in California. After growing up on the same plot of land which his family saw through WWI, the hardships of the Great Depression and then WWII, he has watched his home town transition from a high trust society to its current lack of neighbourly decency, largely because of unprecedented, illegal immigration through America’s Southern border. Hanson says in this recent interview with the Hoover Institution’s Classicist podcast:

“Who thought that in 2018 at night you’d hear cock-fighting in the air, as I do when I walk my dogs at night. We don’t know what we’re going to find - we found a dead body, we found stripped down cars, we find hypodermic needles piled up, we find people beating up their girl friends… that’s what you’d expect from a non assimilated, illegal cohort that comes into your country and the first thing it does is break the law. The second thing it does is break the law by residing here and the third thing it does is often have a false identity. So all of these things are the realities that a lot of Americans deal with and it’s a world away from Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and Mark Zuckerberg who have these palatial estates and they virtue signal as a way of balancing their apartheid existences.”

This post-modern state of affairs stands in stark contrast to the world in which Hanson was sired and raised. No better recent historical overview stands than his own personal experience gleaned in just one generation of astute observation, summarised beautifully in his 2018 Christmas piece for the National Review titled, Remembering a Farm Christmas: where old and young blended together, and diversity was natural, not conscious. Here is an excerpt:

“Diversity was natural, not conscious. Our farm neighbors were Japanese, Punjabi, Armenian, Mexican American, and German. Stereotypes were far more positive than biased. So my grandfather would say in admiration, “No one can farm as well as the Japanese,” and “The Punjabis work into the night”. My aunt would learn recipes for Armenian food and say, “Why cannot we eat such delicious food?” and so on. So-called WASPs were rare in our rural neighborhood.”

"To a small boy it seemed that siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, neighbors, workers, and friends drifted in and out all day long, especially during Christmas holidays. There was no such thing as being unwanted, much less any need for invitations. Fear of strangers was absent. People just showed up and my parents and grandparents shoved coffee and desserts in their faces and pulled up chairs. There was no concept of “private space” or “downtime,” much less “quality time” at all. To the contrary, the worst fate was “living alone” or “having no one to visit” or proving inhospitable.”

To witness such a change in one’s own beloved country must be a saddening experience. Yet Professor Hanson keeps hold of a certain dignity that can only be described as a sense of gentlemanliness which comes from good breeding, not of the snobbish variety, but of the old-school American variety that is seeded in one’s DNA from those who forged the modern spirit of the New World after Lincoln’s nation-defining presidency. His higher education as a classicist professor worth-his-salt only adds to his fair-minded dignity. He is one of the few current intellectuals alive today worth us listening to every single word he has to say or write.

In today’s cultural climate, which too often reeks of historical ignorance coupled with opinionated arrogance, Professor Hanson is a wonderful antidote. His ability to illuminate in great detail the civilisations which came before us, with insights to be taken note of, from every civilisation and every war, is pure gold to those of us aware of the always timely adage that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

We may even find that there are features of the past worth repeating, for the past is certainly not all bad. But in order to repeat only the best of former times, not the worst, we need to know them as fully as we possibly can. I regard this as the great challenge of our era and we are lucky enough to have Professor Hanson’s knowledge as a lodestar in this worthy struggle.


Mankind Rising

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Doug -- The 2600-year battle between philosophical and cultural liberals and illiberals continues apace. And the Good Guys are currently winning. Yes, they're doing so with agonizing, appalling slowness -- but it's happening.

Victor Davis Hanson is a relatively decent and superior semi-liberal in philosophy and politics. There are many others today who have also slightly risen above the old and defunct right/left philosophical spectrum: Ron Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Clarence Thomas, Ben Shapiro, Lauren Southern, Milo, Mark Levin, Thomas Sowell, George Will, and many, many others too numerous to name. The even better semi-liberals inside the libertarian and Objectivist communities are also continuing to rise, albeit also slowly.

With all due respect to your sometimes important insights, that crazy quilt terminology of "neocons on foreign policy", "neoliberals on cultural policy", "cuckservatives", "anti-imperialist right-wingers", "paleo-conservatives" etc. is quite confusing and awkward, and mostly unhelpful to clear thinking.

Olivia and countless other women are fully capable of thinking on a really high level, including one very superior to those trapped in the false and evil right/left ideological spectrum. But the Objectivist community needs to focus more on refuting ideas and less on denigrating personalities.

See Bruno

Doug Bandler The Second's picture

This is the Objectivist idiocy you are dealing with:

"Hanson is the least of your worries - in fact, as my post suggests, he is a guiding light through the bullshit. Fuck you. One dumb fuck millennial out of his depth, dear Bruno - go join forces with Dumb fuck nameless Dougie - I’m sure he’d agree."

Olivia has no understanding of what Hanson, a Neocon represents. She does not even know the DAMAGE that man did by providing popular support for Neocon / Jewish wars through the popularity of his books. She thinks he is the "worthiest intellect of our time". lol Not Pat Buchanan or Ron Paul (and his fellow Misesians) or a host of other anti-imperialist right wingers (Paul Gottfried, etc). No. Victor Davis Hanson. Double lol. She says this with a straight face and in all seriousness AND with no shame whatsoever. LOL x 100

And... you are a "dumbfuck millennial" Bruno for even questioning her Gen X NeoCon garbage. You who are part of the up and coming far right youth movement we are seeing all over the Occidental world are a "dumbfuck millennial". Know your place son!

As I keep saying, Objectivists live in a bubble that prevents them from saying ANYTHING useful. They just don't consume meaningful information. So garbage in, garbage out. They are basically Neocons on foreign policy and Neoliberals on cultural policy. You see it in the mainstream O'ist movement in spades. But you see it here as well. In fact I would say that Lindsay has established himself as the Fox News of Objectivism. Which means he's basically a Cuckservative with a better understanding of economics. And he will be that until the day he dies. Old dog, (no) new tricks as they say.

And Olivia is just a woman. As Pericles said over 2000 years ago, women should keep their mouths closed and not embarrass their men. Capisce Olivia?

Oh please.

Olivia's picture

Yes, I was just overwhelmed by all the "facts, evidence and overall reason” which came my way over Hanson. Bruno got what he deserved. If he’s going to be knee-jerk idiot, I’ll treat him as one.

False Ideas

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

I think the Objectivist Community is rather-frequently deficient in displaying proper respect and courtesy to it various members. To make your point and convince the audience, it's almost always better to refute another person's ideas ahead of engaging in ad hominem. The best way to defeat false and evil ideas is to systematically explain why they're mistaken using facts, evidence, and overall reason.

You Kidding Me?

Olivia's picture

The problem is not his attitude - it’s the effects of 30 years of Leftist bullshit. Put the blame where it belongs, not where it doesn’t. Hanson is the least of your worries - in fact, as my post suggests, he is a guiding light through the bullshit. Fuck you. One dumb fuck millennial out of his depth, dear Bruno - go join forces with Dumb fuck nameless Dougie - I’m sure he’d agree.

Semi-Liberal

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Victor Davis Hanson is about as much a classical liberal as a conservative. He's also a relatively impressive intellectual. Hanson is sort of the upscale version of Jordan Peterson. Smiling

Hanson wrote the best piece I read about the recent Jussie Smollett racist hoax, including a lot of stuff I heard nowhere else: https://amgreatness.com/2019/0...

Hideous

Bruno's picture

"Diversity was natural, not conscious. Our farm neighbors were Japanese, Punjabi, Armenian, Mexican American, and German. Stereotypes were far more positive than biased. So my grandfather would say in admiration, “No one can farm as well as the Japanese,” and “The Punjabis work into the night”. My aunt would learn recipes for Armenian food and say, “Why cannot we eat such delicious food?” and so on. So-called WASPs were rare in our rural neighborhood.”"

That sounds hideous.

Hanson is of "swedish and welsh" descent according to wikipedia. Of course he would spit on real-American WASPS. "So-called".. so-called? Neocon prick.

He might as well be talking about Belgium in 2050. "So-called ethnic Belgians were rare in our rural neighborhood. But hey, there was plenty of good Armenian food , and them Punjabis and Japanese were real hard workers!"

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