Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Progressive Elites Ignore Human Nature at Everyone Else’s Expense

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

21 Thoughts on “Progressive Elites Ignore Human Nature at Everyone Else’s Expense

  1. Your eye keeps hurting my elbow! says the Progressive-Retardnation Worldview tyrant… or tyrant wanna be.

  2. mudnducs on July 16, 2015 at 9:47 am said:

    Progressive arrogance wont let reality intrude on their vision…it would destroy it. There’s nothing new here.

  3. Marc Wilson on July 16, 2015 at 9:50 am said:

    These are all good questions, but the answers to them are fairly simple. You just have to understand who progressives really are. The left consists of 3 groups: 1) The majority of democrats who vote for and support whoever and whatever the party puts forward, without thinking or questioning it. This group doesn’t see the flaws and contradictions in their positions on student loans, immigration, health care, foreign policy, crime, etc. They just repeat what they hear and do what they’re told. It’s cool to be a caring, sensitive, democrat and uncool to be a rich, white, uptight Republic. The second group is the ideologues who actually study the issues and intellectually argue for the progressive positions. They truly believe that the world and values they are destroying, free people and markets, is evil and the one they are attempting to create, redistributed, socialized, and utopian, is good. And finally the third and smallest group, the power seekers – the Clintons, Reid, Pelosi, Obama – who don’t particularly believe in anything other than that progressivism is the best strategy to use to gain power. After all, when their version of world socialism arrives, somebody has to be in charge. And in the meantime, life is good. These three groups don’t question or even care that their positions contradict human nature. The majority doesn’t think critically enough, the ideologues are too committed to ever question their party, and the power seekers don’t dare rock the boat lest they fall from power.

    • buybuydandavis on July 17, 2015 at 6:31 pm said:

      “You just have to understand who progressives really are.”

      It’s very simple. Progressives wish to be the toes on the foot that stamps a human face forever.

  4. The truth…hard for the elites to accept responsibility for their own actions.

  5. This is all a key ingredient of the Socialist scheme. Socialists demand perfection from their opponents. Then they blame their own shortcomings on the alleged aggression of their opponents.

    Their Agitprop Propaganda relies on controlling the flow of information so that their hypocrisy is not readily apparent to the general public.

    They can promise the world, but of course they can’t deliver. When it becomes apparent that they are failing then they point to the conspiracy of obstructionists.

    It is quite effective in a superficial culture.

  6. dupere on July 16, 2015 at 1:15 pm said:

    Found the following from Kevin D Williamson’s twitter page. “” Still too big to fail U.S. News.”” In the USA, it’s finance—- 2016 bold, competent leadership, breaking gridlock. But alas, ” no man is an island”, and that statement has never been more true in all of world history. It is a GLOBAL tsunami of debt, in need of the brightest minds working in concert with global leadership. ” Working in concert ” is fantasy-land, except for the BRICS. World as One-Mind must tackle this monstrosity, otherwise, Dr. Hanson’s paul-revere-call of the four horseman will prove prescient.

  7. Doctor French on July 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm said:

    C´est pas moi, c´est l´autre…….

  8. zygote314 on July 16, 2015 at 5:12 pm said:

    Greece has become a basket-case. A majority of the country seem to think that other people, ie: the Germans, are somehow morally responsible for underwriting their profligacy and lazy, Ouzo drinking early retirement lifestyles. Why the EU has not cut themselves loose from them remains a mystery. I guess as the EU feels morally obliged to accept and support any Third World refugee who can crash its borders, it doesn’t see a problem in supporting its least responsible and least contributing member. One wonders how long such an intolerable situation will last.

    I hope O’malley’s call to reform the student loan system will spark a desperately needed honest discussion about how and why the costs of higher education just seem to keep spiraling out of reach of working and middle class Americans. We could start by examining the tenure system (do community college instructors really need to be tenured and, thus, virtually devoid of accountability?) and overhauling expensive bureaucracies. It seems like every time you turn aound most colleges and universities are adding a new “coordinator” for this or “liaison” for that. These jobs tend to pay well and have excellent benefits, yet provide few discernible benefits to justify their cost. And let’s start at the top: does any president at a public university, no matter how effective he or she may be at fund raising, really need to paid a 7 figure salary? We could also work to change the celebrity images of many universities. For example, why does an English degree from Harvard carry more cachet than an agricultural science degree from Texas A&M, or, for that matter, a two year vocational degree in auto mechanics? Maybe we could look to other nations for ideas. I grew up in Britain, and in their system you need to pass what are called A-level exams in order to enter university. These exams consist of 3 subjects germane to your major, and eliminate the need for not only freshman and sophmore classes, but remedial ones as well. In other European countries apprenticeship programs for trades are available to students without the social stigma of not going to university.

    I don’t know all the answers to how we should reform our education system, but I do know the current system can’t go on for ever.

  9. dupere on July 16, 2015 at 5:55 pm said:

    “” Sanders moves phoenix rally to bigger venue.”” Mesmerizing……. Populace that elected Obama twice may put Bernie near a nuclear button!!

  10. I am glad to be old. Hopefully God will bring me home soon. But I am extremely anxious for for my kids. I wish my generation had not ruined what my parents generation had bequeathed mine.

  11. Roy Digliani on July 16, 2015 at 9:04 pm said:

    I remember when I was in High School debate class in the 60’s arguing against the Great Society.
    It seemed obvious to me that poor people had enough survival instinct enough to realize that if they weren’t married and could get $200 a month per child from welfare they’d come out ahead and wouldn’t have to work.
    Why do progressives not understand simple facts of human nature?
    Of course there would be absentee Dads and there would be no incentive to get married if the Fed Gov would pay people to not be married.
    I think the disintegration of inner city families is the result and speaks for itself.
    Liberals for some reason can not understand those simple ideas.
    I was 15 years old and I could see the obvious way back then.
    I think there are plenty of dumb Conservatives of course but absolutely no smart Liberals.

  12. WRFREE on July 18, 2015 at 8:36 am said:

    Re: our higher education system

    Many moons ago I had the opportunity to receive 4 years of college…..free, that is paying nominal school fees and absolutely no tuition. And that was from one of the finest university systems at the time, the City University of New York. Lucky for me because there sure wasn’t any way I could have gone to college. Very lucky Znd it changed my life.

    Today though I find it crazy to think that this ‘perk’ is probably dead in the water even after taking into account the towering sums we dither away on various ‘budget’ lines the size of Louis XIV’s noble retinue.
    Instead students now are mired deep in debt after they graduate. Makes one question who makes out in education the student or the institution getting all that lucre? Thinking on this just makes me think well our government isn’t all that smart. Seems they just use their heads for hat racks.

  13. These are all real problems, but they won’t be fixed by moralizing about the evils of socialism.

    Human nature is what it is. Ambitious politicians know that they can further their careers by appealing to the base instincts of their constituents. Ambitious politicians know that they can harvest votes simply by offering something for nothing to the millions of voters who cannot understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch. A figure like Benjamin Franklin would not conduct himself in that way, but who among the modern-day politicians has integrity like that?

    That problem lies at the very heart of democracy: A modern election is seldom a battle of ideas. Rather, elections usually degenerate into an auction for votes, with the rival bidders competing to offer ever higher bribes to voters (which the voters themselves will have to fund indirectly). The system is utterly corrupt. Yet, it will get a lot worse before people realise that something must be done to stop the rot.

    What is the solution?

    I don’t know; I’m not smart enough to work that out. However, one possibility might involve re-considering the old notion of equating taxation with representation. For example, we might change the voting system so that each person gets a number of votes she/he may cast at an election which varies depending on the taxation that person has paid in the recent past.

    Could such a change ever be adopted? Unlikely, as there are too many vested interests which would rant vociferously against it, not the least of which would be the cries of the current crop of politicians who are so adept at manipulating the system.

    Short of fundamental change, however, the current voting system will continue to be biased in favour of politicians who preach solicialism. And we will continue to see the sorts of problems to which you rightly refer.

  14. Dan Morris on July 19, 2015 at 7:00 am said:

    I’d love to see O’Malley’s charitable giving. If he’s like most liberals, he only believes in stealing other people’s money to fund his chosen charities. Just look at VP Bite-Me and his 1% annual largesse and the Clintons donating used underwear for tax deductible contributions.

  15. libra on July 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm said:

    Martin O’Malley a wanna be president of the u.s.a.– believes the govt should assure every student in the u.s.a. a free college education.. Well let me tell you–I have donated to my alma mater and one day in a one to one with the university fund raiser–I asked why were these students so deeply in debt.. He replied–they like to live in expensive apartments and drive expensive cars. It made me rethink the amount I should bequeath to the alma mater upon my death.. I worked my way through and graduated without debt. It was not easy but I did it. Many of these students will never pay back the trillions they have borrowed–many have taken up space in classes on gender studies, racial studies, psychology, history, and other studies that will not make an empl;oyer outbid another employer to hire these graduates. Why have so many vocational schools at the high school level have been closed? Why was Elizabeth Warren before she retired from her cushy professorial job and was elected to the senate–t only teach one class and received $325,000.00 per year in salary?

  16. Retired on July 19, 2015 at 4:01 pm said:

    O’Malley has demonstrated why he is not fit to be President. He “earns” a one-percenter’s salary and then complains about having to pay back money he borrowed to buy an over-priced educations for his kids. Whiners are not leaders. The Obama’s who are wealthy for life made the same complaint about their affirmative action enabled educations.

  17. Pingback: Ain’t Being Irresponsible Great? | The Bloody Nib

  18. MarkInKansas on July 20, 2015 at 5:23 am said:

    Is there any other solution than the Mussolini solution? Ropes and lampposts for leftists of all stripes.

  19. Art Hippler on July 21, 2015 at 1:01 pm said:

    Human nature is ignored as one element of ignoring Natural Law. Since under the new dispensation everybody’s ideas are as good as everyone else’s you can ignore human nature to the full extent of pretending that the sex you were born with is “changeable” substituting grammar (“gender”) for reality by the simple expression of the will. It’s a convenient way of ignoring traditional Christian virtue. You simply assert that in your infinite wisdom, what you want to do is wiser than the accumulated wisdom of mankind. It is true that the “worst are filled with confidence”, the best are too uncertain to act”.
    Inevitably this leads to the full demand that anything you want you should get and that you needn’t pay for it in any kind of coin. Of course you do pay a terrible and historically endlessly documented cost.
    Judgement and wisdom come to those few who get them usually only too late to save them.

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