Skip to comments.Profile in Classics: Victor Davis Hanson Interveiw
Posted on 09/17/2012 2:35:03 PM PDT by djone
The decline in civilityin the idea of being a good citizenhas taken a particularly tough toll on men, who have not adjusted to todays post-industrial economy as fluidly as women have. As society has been cut off from the drudgery of nature and the tragic view of things, it has become whiney. This is probably sexist, but its had a more direct effect on the males of the species who have had their muscular world radically redefined. All the young men I knew growing up knew how to do these things. But the young kids I see today dont know how to run a lawn mower or a chain saw. Todays male lives at home. He kinda sorta dates a girl, kinda sorta doesnt date her. He is becoming superfluous as a bread-winner and family head." In the ancient world, farming and war instilled a sense of duty and responsibility in men. Today? Men dont know much about farming, and few are in the military, but most know a great deal about video games, says Hanson. Hanson comes back to the virtue of self-reliance and the toll its absence is taking on society: Todays suburban American has a therapeutic view of the world. We think we all die in our sleep at 90 years old without ever being sick. We dont expect to lose our jobs. When these things happen, we go to counseling, thinking lifes not fair. Or we look to the government for help. The societys attitude toward the citizenthat we will guarantee you a degree of material and psychological securityis something that we cant honor. He adds: I think that we are emasculating the citizen. "
(Excerpt) Read more at hoover.org ...
VDH : “Hanson thinks that we should find heroes to admire that are paragons of self-reliance. For his part, Hanson looks to truck drivers and hardware store owners. I just stopped by a truck stop in a wild area near where I live, and the guy who owns a shop there has been robbed three times. And yet, he stays open. He simply gets a bigger gun than the one he had last time”
Reminds me of a short middle-aged Latino guy from El Paso I knew many years ago when I was in the engineering business. He used to say to our boss “You know, the problem is we have too many weemps. You criticize these kids right out of college and they whine ‘He doesn’t like me.’”
He said “This is an easy job. These kids don’t know what real work is. They are weemps. When I was going to to school, I worked all summer in West Texas, building roads. On that job, men were men.”
So he got into his pickup truck and headed to the closest university aroundCSU Fresnoand asked the academic dean for a job. Hanson was dressed in his farmers overalls. As he approached campus, the tools were clanking around in the back of his truck. The dean and others did not believe that Hanson had received a doctoral degree from Stanford. So the farmer went back home to get his diploma for proof...
Great story. From there he built a department. One of my friends at the university where I work is the recently-retired last Classics professor, and there is no more Classics major at this place. That wasn't an easy decision for the administration to make, and rumblings are that it was far from a permanent one.
Finally, the ancient Greeks were skeptical of utopianism.
Not all of them, of course. Plato practically invented it. The Greeks did invent hubris, a thing most utopians seem to have disregarded then and now.
But the young kids I see today dont know how to run a lawn mower or a chain saw.
A bit of an overgeneralization, but part of that problem was identified by VDH himself - it's because they don't have men to teach them. We have put so much effort into avoiding stereotypes that we have ended up avoiding types altogether, and only a utopian should be surprised if the result is confusion, disorientation, and moral ambiguity.
I sit here agape at this news (to me).
Wow. I’m always impressed when I read about this guy. I hope those students know the treasure they are receiving from him. Like my Dad would say, “He’s a sharp one.”
Bump for later