Victor Davis Hanson

Category Archives: Education

Medieval America

By Victor Davis Hanson // Town Hall


Pessimists often compare today’s troubled America to a tottering late Rome or an insolvent and descending British Empire. But medieval Europe (roughly A.D. 500 to 1450) is the more apt comparison.

The medieval world was a nearly 1,000-year period of spectacular, if haphazard, human achievement — along with endemic insecurity, superstition and two, rather than three, classes.

The great medieval universities — at Bologna, Paris and Oxford — continued to make strides in science. They were not unlike the medical and engineering schools at Harvard and Stanford. But they were not centers of free thinking.

Instead, medieval speech codes were designed to ensure that no one questioned the authority of church doctrine. Culturally or politically incorrect literature of the classical past, from Aristophanes to Petronius, was censored as either subversive or hurtful. Read more →

Diversity: History’s Pathway to Chaos

America’s successful melting pot should not be replaced with discredited salad-bowl separatism.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Great Regression

Today, it seems that Orwell’s 1984 would better have been titled 2016.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Protesters Have Jumped the Shark

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Hypocrisy Behind the Student Renaming Craze

By Victor Davis Hanson // Tribune Media Services

University students across the country — at Amherst, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UC Berkeley and dozens of other campuses — are caught up in yet another new fad.

This time, the latest college craze is a frenzied attempt to rename campus buildings and streets. Apparently some of those names from the past do not fit students’ present litmus tests on race, class and gender correctness. Read more →

Can Our Colleges Be Saved?

By Victor Davis Hanson // Tribune Media Services

The public is steadily losing confidence in undergraduate education, given that we hear constantly about how poorly educated are today’s graduates and how few well-paying jobs await them.

The cost of college is a national scandal. Collective student loan debt in America is about $1.2 trillion. Campus political correctness is now daily news.

How could higher education be held accountable and thereby be reformed?

Just as expensive new roofs are not supposed to leak, $100,000 educations should not leave students unprepared for the real world upon graduation. Rain and snow calibrate the effectiveness of a roofer’s work, but how does society know whether students’ expensive investments in their professors and courses have led to any quantifiable knowledge?
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Weimar America

 By Victor Davis Hanson // Works and Days by PJ Media

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 2016 is a pivotal year in which accustomed referents of a stable West are now disappearing. We seem to be living in a chaotic age, akin to the mid-1930s, of cynicism and skepticism. Government, religion, and popular culture are corrupt and irrelevant—and the world order of the last 70 years has all but collapsed.

Neither the president nor his would-be successors talk much about the fact that we are now nearing $20 trillion in debt—in an ossified economy of near-zero interest rates, little if any GDP growth, and record numbers of able-bodied but non-working adults. (The most frequent complaint I hear in my hometown is that the government lags behind in their cost-of-living raises in Social Security disability payments.) Read more →

America’s Balkan Values

White liberals and black careerists vigorously reject the MLK ideal of a color-blind society.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The racial spoils industry survives on several requisites.

One, Americans must be readily identifiable as being non-white or white. Two, once non-white claimants pass the racial litmus test, they must think and speak in a particular progressive manner, in dutiful obeisance to those who set up and perpetuate the racial spoils system. And three, racialism must remain defined as a one-way bias.

The problem with the first criterion is multifold. America today truly is a multiracial, intermarried society in which the old rubric “white” no longer equates to “of European descent.” Obama’s racist former minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright appears whiter than many Americans of Mediterranean heritage. Read more →

The Regrettable Decline of Higher Learning

By Victor Davis Hanson // Tribune Media Services

What do campus microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, speech codes and censorship have to do with higher learning?

American universities want it both ways. They expect unquestioned subsidized support from the public, but also to operate in a way impossible for anyone else.

Colleges still wear the ancient clothes of higher learning. Latin mottos, caps and gowns, ivy-covered spires and high talk of liberal education reflect a hallowed intellectual tradition.

In fact, today’s campuses mimic ideological boot camps. Tenured professors seek to indoctrinate young people in certain preconceived progressive political agendas. Environmental studies classes are not very open to debating the “settled science” of man-caused, carbon-induced global warming — or the need for immediate and massive government intervention to address it. Grade-conscious and indebted students make the necessary ideological adjustments.
Read more →

How the Public Can Boycott Campus Fascism

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
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