Hanson: Struggle Between Elites And Masses Defines US Policy

Clifton Parker // Hoover Institution

Victor Davis Hanson says history offers lessons for today’s technology-driven world, especially when it comes to elites, the masses, and the future of society.

“When the masses feel their will is not reflected in government policies or respected by the professional classes that manages society, then historically there can be a pushback in the form of a populist movement,” said Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Conventional society typically views populist movements as “good” or “bad,” Hanson said, depending on whether they are progressive or traditionalist. While the Left traditionally embraces a Bernie Sanders-style populism of high taxes and an expanded welfare state as the “good” form, they typically show disdain for middle or lower class-driven Trumpian populism highly skeptical of an elite class that in today’s landscape benefits almost exclusively from globalization—a “bad” populism, in other words, that appears to them too nationalist or parochial.

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