Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Modern prophets often say one thing and do another. Worse, they often advocate in the abstract as a way of justifying their doing the opposite in the concrete.

The result is that contemporary culture abounds with the inexplicable — mostly because modern progressivism makes all sorts of race, class, and gender exceptions for politically incorrect felonies, an appeasement that ensures an absence of deterrence and thus even more transgressions.

Paradox No. 1: Merchants of Hate. We are told that white, racist young men are preying on people of color, obsessed with skin color (and gender), and emancipated by Donald Trump’s Klan-like MAGA army. In truth, the purveyors of such theories are themselves merchants of hate, who stereotype and demonize on the basis of skin color. And they do so, largely for anticipated career advantages, on the principle that supposed victims of white bigots can translate such ill treatment into publicity and, with it, attention and career enhancement. How did this epidemic of hate happen in 2019 America?

Answer: a) There are not enough racists left to fuel the current insatiable appetite of the anti-racism industry. So both victimizers and victims have to be invented — as we see with the Duke lacrosse lynching, the Virginia fraternity hoax, the Covington-kids invention, and the recent Jussie Smollett fraud. b) There are few punishments for fraud, but lots of rewards for being victimized, and so deterrence is lost and the merchants of hate assume they are free to invent what they please. c) Anything useful to destroy the presidency of Donald Trump is seen as a moral act, whether equating the Covington MAGA-hatted teenagers as veritable Klansmen or fitting out Smollett’s hired thugs with lynch rope and red hats.

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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.

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