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September 17, 2012

Some Perspective On Civilization From Victor Davis Hanson

By way of today's Transom, there's a very good, if somewhat long, Hoover Institution interview with Victor Davis Hanson that's well worth your time.

The decline in civility—in the idea of being a good citizen—has taken a particularly tough toll on men, who have not adjusted to today’s 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 it’s 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 don’t know how to run a lawn mower or a chain saw. Today’s male lives at home. He kinda’ sorta’ dates a girl, kinda’ sorta’ doesn’t 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 don’t 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: “Today’s 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 don’t expect to lose our jobs. When these things happen, we go to counseling, thinking life’s not fair. Or we look to the government for help.”

“The society’s attitude toward the citizen—that we will guarantee you a degree of material and psychological security—is something that we can’t honor.” He adds: “I think that we are emasculating the citizen.”

There's a lot of carping about the Romney campaign going around on the Interwebs this morning, but I fear there's a more substantive reason than the deep details of how his convention speech was prepared that explains why he doesn't have a double-digit lead over TFG.

People like free stuff. Mean guy Romney wants to take it away and put our civilization back on a paying basis. A significant amount of the SCOAMF's support is just this simple to explain.

This election isn't a battle between the haves and have-nots, as the Democrats want to paint it.

It's a battle between the responsible and the irresponsible; the realistic and the unrealistic; the self-reliant and the dependent.

Frankly, it's a battle between an adult's view of the world and a child's. And the adults are precariously close to losing.

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posted by Andy at 10:50 AM

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