The Silliest Generation

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 August 21, 2017|
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Every generation, in its modesty, used to think the prior one was far better. Tom Brokaw coined “The Greatest Generation” to remind Americans of what our fathers endured during the Depression and World War II—with the implicit message that we might not have been able to do what they did.

For the Roman poet Horace to be a laudator temporis acti (“a praiser of a past age”) was a natural if sometimes tiring inclination. His famous lines at the end of his Ode 3.6 on moral degeneracy run, “Worse than our grandparents’ generation, our parents’ then produced us, even worse, and soon to bear still more sinful children”—and managed in just a few words to fault four generations for continual moral decline.

Yet what is strange about the present age is that our current generation uniquely believes just the opposite. Apparently, we believe that most cadres before us were not up to our standards. Indeed, we are having to clean up their messes of racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, as well as environmental desecration and global warming.

Even their statues must fall as bothersome reminders of their moral depravity. And the way they come down would do either Hitler (who carted off to Germany the French dining car in Compiègne that had been commemorated as the site of the 1918 armistice) or Stalin (who primitively photo-shopped out each year’s new enemies of the people) proud. Usually our generation kills the dead by the mob or a frightened mayor in the dead of night—rarely by a majority vote of elected representatives, referenda, or the recommendations of local, state, and federal commissions and carried out in daytime.

Apparently, proof our generation’s genius is that no one in the past had a clue how to build an iPhone or do a Google search—or even make a good Starbucks Teavana shaken pineapple black tea infusion. Yet given our own present lack of humility and meager accomplishments, we have combined arrogance with ignorance to become the smuggest generation in memory. What good is the high-tech acceleration in delivering information if there is now precious little learning to be accelerated? Google is an impressive pump, but if there is no real water, what is the point of delivering nothing faster?

Ours is an age that passes easy judgment on prior generations by sandblasting away the mention of those deemed unsuitable in the past, often by our present and sometimes laudable standards of morality—but without much concession to the cruel physical landscapes and poverty of the past or our own shortcomings that will be all too clear to subsequent ages. Which prompts more activist outrage by Antifa—a century-old sullen statue of a beaten secessionist Robert E. Lee or the indifference shown to unchecked bloodletting and murder in the streets of Chicago?

When the street protests target Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, or Planned Parenthood, their progressive outrage at the public honoring of yesterday’s racists might gain more credibility. It is an easy moral judgement to condemn unhinged racists in vile Nazi and creepy Confederate garb, but quite another for progressives to demand that America finally stop honoring the now iconic former progressive attorney general of California who sent tens of thousands of Japanese Americans into camps or to march on Princeton to demand an end of deifying a progressive President Wilson whose animated hatred of blacks set back race relations for years.

But then again, we are an opportunistic generation who looks often at the past but rarely as a mirror of ourselves—and if we did, in a variety of areas, we might find ourselves wanting.

Compare how long it took just to rebuild one segment of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, with the work of those 80 years ago who in Depression-era poverty built the entire bridge near simultaneously with its twin, the massive Golden Gate, in far less time (four years compared to seven)?

Despite our much-ballyhooed high-tech achievements, California’s s high-speed rail project will likely take five times as long to build (if it’s ever finished) as did the transcontinental railroad—each foot the work of pickaxes and shovels—across the country a century and a half ago. Driving in California in 1980 was often far safer (and quicker) than in 2017.

How did our generation manage to achieve a near 60 percent remediation rate for incoming students at California’s massive state university system—only then to solve the problem by discarding the word “remediation”? When the silliest generation hits reality it often resorts to the fantasies of wordplay or the tantrums of erasure, as illegal aliens become “migrants” and Al Sharpton’s activism that only acerbates the plight of the inner city is empowered by his  calling for an end to the public Jefferson Memorial.

We are in our 17th year of a stalemated war in Afghanistan, as the tragic flotsam and jetsam of the battlefield has become a courtroom of legalese. Our much poorer fathers and grandfathers with their allies defeated Imperial Japan and the Third Reich in less than four years after entering the war. Are F-16s inferior to Mustangs and Thunderbolts?

But has not the 21st-century made the greatest strides in eliminating racism, sexism, homophobia, and bias in general?

Yes—and no.

When the silliest generation hits reality it often resorts to the fantasies of wordplay or the tantrums of erasure, as illegal aliens become “migrants” and Al Sharpton’s activism that only acerbates the plight of the inner city is empowered by his  calling for an end to the public Jefferson Memorial.

More than a half-century ago Martin Luther King did not dream of present-day college dorms and safe spaces resegregated on the basis of race when he asked of America to look at the content of our characters and not the color of our skins. We laugh at “bowdlerizing” racy sections of 19th-century novels and plays. But are not our trigger warnings and blacklists of politically incorrect books and plays similar Victorian censorship?

Puritan prudes of the 17th century shamed those who engaged in premarital sex with a scarlet letter; we sometimes exceed that ostracism by the denial on campuses of due process to the accused offender, with the progressive assumption that merely charged is synonymous with proven guilty.

Are we a renaissance people who have revolutionized art, music, and culture—in part due to our parting from the constraints of traditional religion, the nuclear family, and silly taboos about free sex, drug use, and obscenity? Yet could our top sculptors rival the work of Praxiteles or Michelangelo centuries earlier? Is the Kennedy Center more pleasing to the eye than the Parthenon? Is “Piss Christ” Rembrandt?

Does the creative writing program at Harvard turn out an Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, or Thomas Wolfe of a supposedly backward America of the 1920s and 1930s? Did a Yale graduate of 1930 write better essays than his average counterpart of 2017?

Does a student who demands pulverizing a Confederate statue know for sure whether a General James Longstreet was an abject racist or whether his brave service for an ignoble cause either nullified his later noble postbellum career—or made him a worse figure than an unrepentant racist Woodrow Wilson, who used the power of the federal government to stymie integration of the civil service and military for decades? Or do individuals from our past now just blur into cardboard cutouts to fit the purposes of present ideological activism? How can our generation so hate the past when it is so often ignorant of it?

I once gave a lecture on a local college campus three weeks after 9/11. Dozens of shouting students, egged on by their professor, screamed that the KKK had toppled the twin towers and demanded that I deny it. I said I would discuss it, if just one of 300 students in the hall either could name the founding racist of the KKK or what the triple-K acronym meant. None could; but all yelled louder.

Two years later I gave a lecture on illegal immigration to congressional staffers on Capitol Hill; an activist who was a liberal California House member’s aide, disrupted it, screaming that because I was a “classicist” I must believe in “classist” privilege and “classist” prejudice—and therefore should not be allowed to continue. Again, arrogance and ignorance are our era’s trademark.

Our universities pride themselves in their loud commitment to diversity. Yet there was more diverse intellectual give-and-take at Berkeley in 1930 than in 2017. What would Sixties-icon Mario Savio think of our trigger warnings—60 years after the establishment of free speech areas?

Who is the moral superior to whom, and how much progress—or retrogression—has our generation achieved?

We rightly deplore the dark days of McCarthyism and loyalty oaths. But would an untenured professor now fare much better than his Communist counterpart 70 years ago if he professed doubts about the origins or the severity of climate change—or the government’s ability to do much about it?

The corporation of the past might have fired an engineer for obscenity. Google just dismissed an engineer for suggesting that bias might not fully explain why women were underrepresented in computer engineering.

Who is the moral superior to whom, and how much progress—or retrogression—has our generation achieved?

Did we not redefine uncool corporate America into a hip, caring culture at the cutting edge of social justice? Superficially yes, fundamentally no. Future historians might compare the outsourcing, offshoring, monopolizing, cash accumulation, tax avoidance, company paranoia, and crassness of a Google or Facebook with the ethos of Standard Oil or U.S. Steel of the 19th century—and find the former far more adroit at amassing fortunes, destroying competition, and evading taxes and regulations.

The point of such comparisons is to not deny our own progress. It is instead to assume a little humility when judging the past according to our modern standards of morality—without much acknowledgement that each succeeding generation should have some advantages of accumulated wisdom, both ethical and scientific.

We arrived at our unprecedented levels of affluence and leisure in part due to heroic sacrifices of prior Americans, who by trial and error, challenge and response, bequeathed us a richer and freer nation, with a vibrant tradition of self-criticism and a zeal to both improve upon but also respect the flawed past.

Before we blast our past irredeemables as environmental desecrators, we should ask ourselves why we still find their Hoover Dam, the California State Water Project, or Fort Bragg useful to our own purposes—and whether we could or would create something comparable to leave to future generations other than new names and pedestals without statues? For now, we can scarcely patch up Oroville Dam that almost collapsed during this year’s rain; in contrast our grandfathers built dozens of such massive dams ex nihilo.

We may be the richest and freest generation in history, but we are increasingly the most neurotic and mercurial as well. We overthink and triple guess things to the point of paralysis—or, in contrast, rush from one moral crusade to the next. Donald Trump ran in 2016 in support of gay marriage; Barack Obama opposed it in 2008. Does that disconnect make Obama then a homophobe and Trump now a liberal? If in 2015 hesitating to tear down a statue of Robert E. Lee in the dead of night was conventional wisdom, would such caution in 2017 be proof of inveterate racism?

Doing a good job becomes impossible because we demand a perfect job. To alleviate guilt about our crass material desires for tasteful homes, status cars, and electronic goodies, we virtue signal by attacking the “privilege” of others, or smear the dead for their illiberality. Tearing down a statue or renaming a street is a lot easier than tutoring kids in the inner city or moving to the barrio and putting your children in schools with the ‘other.’ What if 40,000 people rallied in Chicago to demand an end to epidemic murdering in the streets; would such activism’s theoretical success have more positive influence than assembling to eliminate bothersome mute memorials of a distant age? Or is focusing on the misdemeanor a de facto admission that the felony remains unsolvable?

For the silliest generation, human nature should somehow be seen as perfectible as a smartphone app. So no wonder we allow no glitches in the way people talk or think, if we sense they dare to deviate from our programmed correctness.

This present generation’s impulse to play judge, jury, and executioner of the culpable of the past takes for granted that it does so as the moral superior of our forefathers. But that premise is an unfounded assumption.

Rhetoric trumps muscle. The majority of Americans no longer work with their hands, grow food, make or build things, and they are paid quite handsomely to avoid such drudgery.  But the result on society at large is that abstraction rules over practicality, and nature remains theoretical and deified rather than concrete and thus sometimes feared.

Those who sit at desks all day believe nature is mastered as easily as the temperature control in their offices—without much acknowledgement that different sorts of people are pumping natural gas to heat turbines to make electricity to send it into high-rises—and it isn’t always easy or clean. Techies love four-wheel drive cars, hiking boots, and parkas, as if by being prepared to go anywhere they can feel good about going nowhere.

The more technologically sophisticated we become, the more like a Mycenaean top-heavy palace we grow vulnerable. If the grid goes down, will those in Menlo Park learn that food is not grown at Whole Foods or that there is no such thing as a raisin plant?

The strange thing about the present generation’s silliness is that one can dream of the next theoretical Orwellian target—the Jefferson Memorial or a statue of Abraham Lincoln—only to learn that statue-toppling and name-revising progressives have already beat you to them. This present generation’s impulse to play judge, jury, and executioner of the culpable of our past takes for granted that it does so as the moral superior of our forefathers. But that premise is an unfounded assumption.

About the Author:

Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He was a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars – How the First Global Conflict was Fought and Won (Basic Books).
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34 Comments

  1. boondoggle August 21, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    What an absolutely fantastic column. It’s ridiculous to judge people from the distant past on today’s mores. It was a different time, there were different circumstances and the absurdity of judging great people who might have been racist or sexist is shocking. A life of good deeds can be negated by one aspect of their personalities. What if we one day find out that Mother Theresa said something untoward about a POC just once? Is her devotion to helping the poor and lepers then for naught? I’m beginning to hate this world that we’re living in.

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    • bdavi52 August 23, 2017 at 8:45 am

      Worse than that.
      Like asking you today, “Are you now or have you ever been Deradacistic?”

      And you would respond, we all would respond, “What the hell is Deradicistic???”

      If we actually could reinhabit the past we would discover that words like “racist” or “sexist” (like the nonsense word ‘deradicistic’ ) are empty, are meaningless, and carry no weight. Even more confusing, they describe a condition which was not even recognized.

      We would accuse these past actors of some ‘ism’ which we now see as abhorrently discriminatory and they would respond (once the word was explained) that of course they ‘discriminate’ against XYZ because XYZ deserves to be discriminated against … because XYZ (whatever it happens to be) is,indeed, (as we all knew then) lesser. As hard as this is for present sensibilities to grasp, slavery (as a for instance) for millennia was seen as a completely reasonable solution.

      But never mind all that for we specialize now in judging all who came before against our current standards….and we find them, unsurprisingly, severely lacking. If they weren’t already dead, they should be ashamed! And so we hate them. Hard to imagine a more pointless waste of time.

  2. Luke Lea August 21, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Correction: Puritans vilified extramarital sex with the letter A, not premarital sex. They did believe in shotgun weddings however:

    “Researchers have found that while less than 10% of New England brides were pregnant at their wedding in the 17th century, this number climbed to a whopping 40% in the 18th century.” https://goo.gl/nMJdbn

    • Epaminondas August 22, 2017 at 11:33 am

      Says a lot that they would keep such statistics around.

    • Dragblacker August 23, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Not coincidentally the clergy of the time bemoaned America’s godlessness and demanded repentance. Today’s clergy tolerates their flocks’ decadence.

    • J K Brown August 23, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      How documented is the “scarlet letter” or was it more the use of the Puritans to take a swipe at the pietists of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s time?

      I did run across a book on sex in 17th century NE at the Internet Archive. Can’t relocate it. It used church records for its source data so make of that what you will. But I do remember every few pages there was an entry of a young couple confessing to fornication before the congregation. I got the impression the young woman/wife was holding the evidence. Apparently, many noticed the short time between the wedding and the issuance from the marriage’s arrival.

  3. Sam McGowan August 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Interesting but I bet you a dollar to a doughnut that Hanson thinks the KKK was founded by General Nathan Bedford Forrest. It was actually founded by three young Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee. When they organized, they did not chose Forrest as their leader, they chose General George W. Gordon, who also lived in Pulaski. Forrest denied that he was ever in the Klan. By the way, the FBI caught a home-grown terrorist here in Houston over weekend as he was preparing to blow up a monument to a Houstonian who served in the war as a junior officer.

  4. Peter63 August 21, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Spot on, as usual from Professor Hanson.
    The prospect for so silly a generation is self-evident. ‘Pride goes before a fall.’

  5. D4x August 21, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    The ‘silliness’ is not generational. How did so many pundits and politicians know, starting same day Aug 12, 2017, with such venomous certainty, that James Alex Fields Jr., was guilty of murder, and domestic terrorism, in the tragic death of Heather Heyer?
    Perhaps some counter-protesters did hit his car, with their sticks and baseball bats, crowded in and screamed at him,
    and he panicked? Is that not unintentional or involuntary vehicular manslaughter?

    Did criminal law in America change from the premise “innocent until proven guilty”?

    Did we lose the U.S. Constitution, Article [VI] (Amendment 6 – Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions)

    “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy
    the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and
    district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have
    been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause
    of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have
    compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
    Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

    [Trial by public opinion in a 24/7 news cycle does not count.]
    Dr. Hanson – this essay lacks your usual precision of language. Me too – this campaign to delete our history and monuments has really disrupted my sleep cycle past 10 days, after too many years of negative fear.
    The barbarians are too close to becoming the gatekeepers, giving Vandals a bad name.

  6. D4x August 21, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Woodrow Wilson ignored the advice of Army doctors, thus spreading
    the Spanish influenza with troop movements: “The Great Influenza: The
    Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History” 2004 by John M. Barry

    “On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell reported
    sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. By noon on 11 March 1918, over 100 soldiers were in
    the hospital. Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick. By 11 March
    1918, the virus had reached Queens, New York. …In the U.S., about 28% of the
    population became infected, and 500,000 to 675,000 died.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic

  7. CumExApostolatus August 22, 2017 at 9:50 am

    The title to this piece should have been “One of the Most Dangerous Generations,” because it can’t find its way out of a paper bag. We have Freud, the Macy group and the Frankfurt School to thank for it.

  8. NoUsurpers August 22, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Victor has slipped lately- his defense of McMaster riled conservatives who’ve watched the NSC advisor keep Obama holdovers in place- while purging those staff w/ views aligned with Trump’s campaign. In this piece, he smears Confederate monument supporters in “creepy” Confederate garb as racist. Are re-enactors in Confederate garb all racists? He didn’t interview anyone in Charlottesville to know their views- and given the $25 an hr Craigslist ad for “models” for protests and rallies in my hometown Charlotte, it’s possible that there were operatives in Charlottesville- or even Antifa posing as “racists.” He needs to read Malkin on the Japanese internment- or Sen Sam Hayakawa from California who opposed reparations. After the Japanese fighter pilot crashed in Hawaii, turned two Japanese immigrants into supporting the Emperor and wreaked havoc in a village, the US military recommended internment to FDR- fear of sabotage/infiltration was real. Victor is guilty of PC revisionist history. Lincoln offered the Corwin Amendment to the South- to make slavery “permanent and irrevocable”- but it was the onerous tariffs that the South could not tolerate. They chose to secede in peace; Lincoln chose war. In 1862, Lincoln said the war wasn’t fought to free the slaves. Yet today, the Union gets to wear the “white hat’ when Lincoln wanted to deport freed slaves to Liberia- to institute a purge. He was a white supremacist, yet he gets a pass because men like Victor don’t seem to know the truth.

    • Epaminondas August 22, 2017 at 11:29 am

      You’re wasting your time trying to get VD to come to grips with this reality. Today’s cuckservative lives in an impenetrable bubble known as “The Lincoln Mystery Cult.”

      • NoUsurpers August 22, 2017 at 3:15 pm

        It was predictable that the victors would write the history books, but Victor should not be so easily fooled…surely in CA he saw what Antifa did to Breitbart’s Milo at UC-Berkeley- or knew of author Charles Murray getting similarly derailed in Vermont at Middlebury in a violent protest that injured his female liberal professor host? You can watch Antifa videos in the UK- same bullying/violence & nary a Confederate statue in sight. Charlottesville’s leftwing City Council was just taken over by mob rule– only white-hating, sexist (“if she don’t moan, it ain’t rape) Vice Mayor Bellamy left to “negotiate” with the irate crowd. There is no white candidate in the country who could get elected with Bellamy’s tweets (if you substitute “white” for “black”), but liberals hold blacks to a lower standard of conduct, making them the ultimate modern-day racists.

    • mlopez August 23, 2017 at 9:03 am

      No, sir, it is you who refuse to acknowledge the truth. The south was a barbaric and violent culture determined to go to war and had been so for decades. Henry Clay’s compromise barely contained them. They threatened succession constantly and while the tariffs were definitively an issue, slavery was the driving wheel behind succession with the admission of California to the union as a free State. Southern society was incompatible with modernity and had little to no capacity for change. The south was a train wreck waiting, begging, determined to happen.

      • NoUsurpers August 31, 2017 at 5:31 pm

        You are obviously ignorant and uneducated- it’s secession, not “succcession.” Abe Lincoln himself admitted in an interview in 1862 (realize the war started when he crossed the line in the sand at Fort Sumter, provoking the ensuing carnage) that the war wasn’t fought to free the slaves. Anyone would acknowledge that Lincoln should be considered an expert on a war he launched. Learn history- study- look up the facts.

  9. Epaminondas August 22, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Hanson has a long history of reviling the South and the Confederacy. So if you came upon some rather jarring instances here (“ignoble cause”, etc.), just understand this GOP cuck is still trying to figure out a way to shake hands with people he doesn’t like and move on to the real enemy on the left. He’s a bit clumsy, still. We hope he’ll finally figure out that his enemies to his left are FAR worse than anything on his right. And living in California, he can see the truth of this, even as he shadow boxes with the Old South.

    • mttiro67 August 23, 2017 at 7:22 am

      What exactly is it about the “Old South” that you and all the others seem to love so much? And what about this entire discussion provokes you to a point where you will lower the level of the rhetoric and call someone who disagrees with you a c-ck s-cker? By definition, an ad hominem attack is an admission of defeat. Is that what you’re doing–admitting defeat?

      • Epaminondas August 23, 2017 at 7:37 am

        “…and call someone who disagrees with you a c-ck s-cker?”

        Wow. You really are over there in the cuckosphere, aren’t you? We call certain Republicans “cuckservatives” because this term is a blend of the words “cuckold” and “conservative.” See if you fit into these categories…

        A cuckservative is a Republican who enjoys watching his friends on the right (and indeed his entire country) get screwed by the radical left.

        A cuckservative will never have the back of his “friends” or “allies,” and instead often joins in the rapes of right-wing allies.

        A cuckservative will purge “wrong thinkers” like Steve Sailer, The Derb, and RamZPaul from the right even though the left gives Al Sharpton (an actual murderer and racist) and Bill Ayers (an actual terrorist) media platforms.

        A cuckservative wants to be part of the establishment. They take their rules from Gawker and other social justice warrior run media sites.

        A cuckservative spends massive amounts of time status signalling (also called “virtue signalling”) to the left.

        A cuckservative sells out his allies by calling them racist as part of their effort to signal their virtue and “good thinking” to the left.

        A cuckservative cares more about attacking Donald Trump (see virtue signalling, above) than in understanding why Trump has grown a huge audience. (Hint: Trump’s rise is not due to his policy positions. Instead Trump’s success is due to America’s fatigue with supplicating cuckservatives bowing down to the media establishment.)

        A cuckservative believes Israel’s border must be protected at all costs, but that even suggesting America has a border is racist.

        A cuckservative wants to be part of the establishment. Being a “New York Times best-selling author” matters more to a cuckservative than making America great again.

        A cuckservative lives in terror of being labelled a racist.

        A cuckservative calls people who use the term “cuckservative” racist.

        A cuckservative is so far up the SJW establishment’s a$$ that they think we care.

        • mttiro67 August 23, 2017 at 7:58 am

          Such silly word-games. So that makes you better, that you call your political opponents “cuckolds” instead of something else that starts with “c—“? I don’t think so. It’s still *ad hominem*, which by definition is an admission of defeat.

          • Epaminondas August 23, 2017 at 8:14 am

            Your reaction tells me those definitions have you and people like Mitt Romney NAILED.

          • Stanley1 August 23, 2017 at 12:32 pm

            There’s a pretty large conceptual difference between “cuckold” and your unmentionable “something else that starts with ‘c—.'”

            And since “cuckservative” really is shorthand for Epaminondas’s bill of particulars (or most of it), it’s not “*ad hominem*.”

            I don’t think of Hanson as a cuckservative, but I share a few of Epaminondas’s reservations about him.

  10. NoUsurpers August 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Victor needs to wake up out of his slumber- radical NYC Mayor deBlasio wants Columbus taken down too (another “symbol of hate”- was he a Confederate in “creepy garb”? Recognize this for what it is- an attack on Western civilization: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/US-new-york-columbus-circle-monument/2017/08/22/id/809063/?ns_mail_uid=24268352&ns_mail_job=1749421_08222017&s=al&dkt_nbr=010135o4s53f

  11. CincyGal August 22, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    I have implicit belief in the power of ridicule to curtail behavior. The Silly Generation is the perfect label for these self-absorbed adolescents. Sure — I recognize they are really after the destruction of western civilization. I guess they haven’t suffered enough in their short lives and are hoping to experience silent desperation in their later years … whatever. Isn’t that silly! They have turned Candide on his head. This must be the worst of all possible worlds!

  12. bdavi52 August 23, 2017 at 8:25 am

    We take the path of least resistance. Like any mindless, thoughtless, soulless thing…this, the Silliest Generation, moves only & always in the easiest direction, the one requiring no real effort or insight, no deep historical/cultural understanding — only sound and two-dimensional fury (formatted nicely for the nightly news).

    Shall we protest the mass murder occurring daily in our city streets, children shooting children, in faux tribal outrage? Shall we mount a massive campaign against the death of the nuclear family, the epidemic of out-of-wedlock births & fatherless savages carrying guns? Shall we commit ourselves to rebuild, repair, & even revolutionize the failing national infrastructures built by all those sinful generations who came before us? Shall we give a damn, dear Scarlett, about who we are as a People, as Americans — about how we came to be, how this day arrived, about how much blood was spilled in endless sacrifice to build this Shining City on a Hill (always and forever challenged by its dreams)?

    Nah! Why bother. Sounds like work. Sounds like we might risk learning something we don’t already know. And — since we know certainly that we already know it all — that would be nothing but a waste. Rather the pout & the tantrum. Rather the irrational demands for More of this and Less of that because we say so, that’s why! Everything, we’re sure, can be litmus-tested. A simple, one-dimensional dip in the scummy pond of Progressvive Certainty and we know (if blue or red) whether this thing or anything (statue, person, behavior, glance, word, book, movie, building, or stained glass window) is Good or Bad. And we’re making a list (no reason to check it twice).

    Life is simple that way. Mr. Collingwood, fool that he was, suggested that we cannot begin to understand history (which, of course, is everything that makes us what we are and where we are and who we are and how we live) if we cannot re-envision, re-live, and re-inhabit the world that used to be… if we cannot understand & feel the reasons which drove the actions we now (from our Olympian heights) review & deign to test (against our Olympian Standards). He would share, or so we might imagine, Lincoln’s perspective, voiced in his 2nd Inaugural Address, speaking directly of the beliefs which animated the Secession: ” let us judge not, that we be not judged.” But no!! What a silly thought and what a meaningless intention.

    We know — via litmus test — who was naughty or nice (recognizing, of course, that tomorrow brings with it yet another litmus test which might lengthen (inevitably) that naughty list, indeed.). No need to think about it. No need to ‘Collingwood’ the world which came before the glorious We were birthed (amazing that such brilliance issued from such losers as preceded us) — we know. And now we despise it all. Tear it down. Damnatio Memoriae their names & faces. Start fresh: this a blank slate upon which the New Unlearned, this rough beast, can only scrawl & prance.

    Silly — if seen only from a vast difference. Soul-killing in their mindless obeisance to the Four Headed God, Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, and Social Justice. Deadly in their barbarism. So do we have an answer when they put us to the Litmus’d Question?

  13. Felix Funemone August 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    “Those who disrespect the past, will disrespect the future” Edmund Burke from “Reflections on the French Revolution”

  14. SupplyGuy August 23, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    As people reject God their lives become meaningless and they need to fill their lives w/ something that gives them a sense of purpose.

  15. J K Brown August 23, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    “deifying a progressive President Wilson whose animated hatred of blacks set back race relations for years.”

    Ah, but as we can see from the careful crafting of the blurb for this exhibit of the Library of Congress regarding the NAACP, Wilson’s party association and his actions can be implied upon the Republicans. And as long as you have minions in place to manage to obfuscate, there is no need to admit to reality.

    A Letter to President Woodrow Wilson

    In 1913 President Woodrow Wilson introduced segregation into federal government agencies. Black employees were separated from other workers in offices, restrooms, and cafeterias. Some were also downgraded; others discharged on fictitious grounds. Oswald Garrison Villard met privately with President Wilson to recommend the appointment of a National Race Commission to counter the new discriminatory policies. When President Wilson refused, the NAACP released this open letter of protest to the press. Segregation in the federal government persisted through the next three Republican administrations.
    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/naacp/founding-and-early-years.html#obj20

  16. Clark Kent August 24, 2017 at 1:58 am

    “…should have some advantages of accumulated wisdom, both ethical and scientific.”

    What’s missing today is the Judeo/Christian dedication and ubiquity of the past. What if everybody honored their parents, didn’t steal or kill. Today more and more are missing that stabilizing aspect of society. More Reform Jewish Temples and Christian Churches are empty like never before. It only takes a generation or two to lose moral grounding like before.

  17. lucifer August 24, 2017 at 8:15 am

    The judging of the dead corpses? The democrats, the leftist, socialist, communist, totalitarians left their morals at home this time. Is it silly or what, protest a statue? They have been there for years, but they needed some excuse to cause ahvoc in these cities. Every little bitty thing they will make and excuse to rally against the sanity of the nation, ” Why “. They cannot face reality, they are a bunch of snowflakes, the educated ones know less than the low information folks. Can those statues talk or make speeches? All these people are showing the rest of the world their single digit IQ??? Thank You.

  18. macsvens August 24, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Just an outstanding article.

  19. USInfidelPorkEater August 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I’m just going to suppose that all of this HS is caused by all of those damned Yankees that are in the South and won’t leave. The South is just fine and I doubt that there are any genuine Southerners showing their axes over these monuments. So, the original problem was the north wouldn’t leave the South alone and it continues not leaving us alone still.

  20. Epaminondas September 26, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    There was nothing “ignoble” in the Confederate cause, Hanson. You are a blind adherent of government run amok, even though you give lip service to “conservative” principles. Most of the issues you flail against were the result of the victory by the Lincoln statists. It’s easy for anti-Southern bigots like you to write your screeds in this present day atmosphere shaped by government history textbooks. Some of us know better. And just for record…you, sir, are not fit to lick the boots of R. E. Lee.

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