Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers
Eeyore could continue, but what we are witnessing is unapologetic nihilism. We are engaged in a suicidal impulse to delight in primaeval tribalism, to destroy the entire concept of merit—and to erect in its place a Sovietized system largely overseen by middle-aged, privileged white people and minority elites, who as bureaucrats, lawyers, politicians, media functionaries, and academics dream up these apartheid systems, apply them to less well-off others, and then traverse around the very consequences of their own ideologies.
I am not cynical, but I do expect that homeless camps will not pop up next to Silicon Valley prep schools (as they do near Seattle public schools), that the walls of Montecito and Malibu were better erected than the pre-Trump rickety border fence, and that the pilots of John Kerry’s or Mark Zuckerberg’s private jets were and will be selected only on the basis of meritorious records of flying, period.
Where does it lead? A vast Lord of the Flies nation, worshiping a Boar’s Head, with victory going to the strongest tribe?
Fortified hamlets and pockets similar to the world of Augustine in the 4th Century AD, outside Hippo Regius?
Our major downtowns now the weedy streets and rubble-filled agoras of the abandoned heartland city-states of Roman-era Greece, as described by Pausanias and Plutarch?
The medieval keep and the peasantry hugging its outside walls?
A return to 1970s and early 1980s, popularized by Dirty Harry, Death Wish, and Escape From New York?
Or the Time Machine’s Morlocks and Eloi?
Or just our same old, same old juxtaposition of the pre- and post-modern slow decline, in which the rule of law has been replaced by the rule of the tribe. But then again as the great economist Adam Smith warned us, there is a lot of ‘ruin’ in a successful state to bank on, as we consume the inherited gifts from the hard work, investment, and sacrifice of our betters now long dead—and maligned for their generous inheritance to us.