Victor Davis Hanson talks with cohost Jack Fowler about why Jordan Peterson quit the university, VDH’s own experience working at a Californian State University, Los Angeles train theft and failing airline industry. VDH finishes with a discussion of his own father’s approach to a world so poorly put together.
13 thoughts on “Givings and Misgivings”
Continuing education is a Puritan idea that went nation wide about the time of the transcendental and abolitionist movements. You can already find Irving making fun of Connecticut as the nation’s supplier of teachers in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I benefited extraordinarily from the lyceum and athenaeum movements and was even able to take a university taught course in basic geology at age 10, not to mention having a big brother mentor who studied the nervous system of sea slugs at Yale. My MA (2 years -they wanted 3 and gave no career help but lots of guilt) was worse than useless for moving forward in academia, but it made me a good high school teacher. Now, my younger buddies with Ivy league MAs can only teach at private high schools and suffer from study induced trauma. The wisest of the lot is planning to go back into general contracting when he wraps up this semester. The only person I’m aware of who advanced was unethically close to their advisor who pulled some seriously unethical stuff to advance them. They’ll do really good work, but what about the Promises made to the other students who worked their tails off to get mile long crvs? I share the values Victor enumerated and keep getting told that they’re what’s always held me back and I suspect that’s true of my buddies too.
P.s. Victor’s dad sounds like mine.
It all sounds like ‘Falling Down’ is the daily experience of millions of US citizens.
We absolutely look forward to hearing and seeing you on
television. We always say out loud “Hey, Victor Davis Hanson is on— Hurry come here and listen”!
We love what you are doing and that you are trying your best to help our country. We need you full tme on Fox or Newsmax. How about it?
All the best to you and your family….We live over the hill from you in Reno.
I had professor Hanson for my Latin teacher at Fresno State back in 95 if I remember correctly. I was a business major and took his class to satisfy my general ed language requirement. I remember that the class was challenging but it was one of the few classes where I could not guess the instructor’s political leanings. He played it strait and did a wonderful job relating the content from antiquity to modern times. It was rather refreshing to be in his class as I had come out of an English class a few semesters before where I had dared to question why so many women saw the pop star known as Madonna as an icon for feminism after reading a poorly written piece in the class claiming she was. Why we read that garbage for an English class I will never know but I made a strong case that Madonna had done nothing to help the cause of feminism if the goal of the movement was to see modern women as more than sexual libertines. This view was widely panned by many of the female students. I was accused of not understanding that feminism is about owning your sexuality by one female student. My retort was that it was hard to take any woman seriously when they simulated sex acts on stage and put out a raunchy sex book with an image of her having relations with a chicken that was banned in some countries. I think the class would have been better served by reading the classics but modern education leaders and educators had already started to warp classes into pop culture dribble.
I agree — an “exit test” would be a great idea, as would indexing tuition hikes to inflation.
Better, though, would be to eliminate the federal loan guarantees on student loans.
I was raised as a spoiled doctor’s son in Memphis TN, and got a splendid Catholic education there (mostly), but grew to manhood in Wyoming. I worked cow-calf outfits, usually the sole cowboy on the place, just me and the rancher, lived in small camp houses with hand pumps in the kitchen (somehow remembered a cupful of water to prime the pump), stacked 35 bales on a 4WD and tied the steering wheel to the vent window post, set it in Double Low 4WD, and laid out a trail of hay on the snow for the cattle. Occasionally I fell off the haystack when the truck ran over some log or obstruction, ran to catch up, climbed the stack and went back to work. It was not romantic, it was not elite in any way whatsoever. 15yrs later I entered law school in Florida – it was the first graduate school door that opened, so I went through it – and I often thought of my nearest neighbor 12 miles away up on the Beaver Rim. I would call and ask if there was anything they needed from town (Lander WY, another 15 miles West). They said yes, and I backed the outfit pickup up to the loading dock at the IGA store, swept the snow out of the bed, and signed for $450 worth of groceries in 1972, dropped them off on the way back to the ranch. At the time, in the law school, I was surrounded by the meanest, most underhanded self-centered people I had ever met in my entire life. They razored out the pages of the law reporters that answered professors’ assigned questions in classes. That’s what we have lost.
Circa 2010, I “discovered” VDH and immediately became a “VDH-aholic”. I have a topic to suggest for one of your podcasts; but first a brief background of me: I consider myself a classical liberal. I believe in free speech; the rule of law (I am a retired lawyer); and private property rights. I was a democrat until that night in “the Nam” in September of 1969 when a mortar barrage on my platoon night laager position (3/4 Cav., attached to the 25th Infantry Division) blew me several yards onto my back, unhurt (the “hurt” came later in April of 1970 amidst preparations to invade Cambodia), but contemplating for several minutes the beautiful star-clustered SE Asian night sky and LBJ’s promise (that swayed me away from Goldwater) “[I am] not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” And I left the Republican Party some years later after the Elder Bush’s naive statement “Read my lips: no new taxes”. Now for the topic I would like to hear you opine: What does the Republican Party stand for? Thank you for your time, your enlightening and challenging podcasts, columns, and books. P.S. I just received “Who Killed Homer”; and that should complete the VDH shelf in my library…for the time-being!
Mr. Hightower, if you feel it’s ok for a youngin’ to say, thank you for your service. I have friends from Vietnam who would be very quick to tell that your service was not wasted and the fruits of it are still quietly growing over there to this day.
I wish Victor were my neighbor. What a pleasure it would be to lean on the fence and talk.
… fyi, The National Post in Canada is not ‘left of centre’. It was once a flagship for Conrad Black. …
I really enjoyed hearing about your family life and the values you were taught (particularly like the way your father addressed “situations”). Btw – what happened to masculinity? The childhood fights that I had as a boy and young man turned into the best friendships.
Dear Mr. Hanson, I have finally managed to set up a private complaints procedure in DK so that we (me and a few politicians/Member of Parliament/Folketinget) can send a few formal complaints about unscientfic practices to the universities in DK a week.
The reason why we can do it is because every citizen can lodge a formal complaint. I am the formal complainer.
We have already gotten a few good resuls: We have the scientific complaints boards saying in decisions such things as that the “autoetnographic method” (you use your own memories as the data for a conclusion (men are misogynist, whites are supremacists etc.)) are OK as science.
Obviously that is preposterous. So this has spurred a national debate about the scientific levels in the humanities.
It works like this:
1. Politicians / Scientists send me the stupid scientific articles.
2. We go through the article to pin point what we should complain about e.g., the method (using Butler etc.), the results (it can’t be tested – Popper) and/or lack of proper data.
3. I as a lawyer write and file the complaint.
4. We have a database of decisions that are more or less insane: All complaints have been dismissed as unfounded as the complaints board are actually not checking the science – they are just checking if the article is part of an established method/scientific practice. That means whiteness studies this way gets the formal stamp of “science”. And that is useful politically.
Thank you – you are a rock!
So my last post was just to let you know that a few of us are trying our best to fight the woke in DK. If someone has the guts it could be replicated in the USA but I do not know your formal complaints system regarding claims of unscientfific articles or practices.
Kind regards to you dear Mr Hanson – God bless you and your family with many more years of good health!
Ps. be nice to Sami and Fowler – they are so kind and nice!