Historian’s Corner: Assessing America in the Age of Woke

G-7 Summit

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

Part Three


The Left used to march on the Pentagon; now it runs it from the inside. Secretary of Defense Austin represents the new profile of a defense secretary and upper-echelon of the military. In exchange, upon retirement and without criticism from the Left for revolving right onto corporate defense contractor boards, and getting rich, these military/industrial/intelligence retired elites become loudly woke. Wokism, then, serves as a veritable insurance policy against the old Elizabeth Warren-type railing against generals and admirals cashing in. Lower down the chain of command, captains and majors know their own promotions rest more on the quality of their diversity memos and quota promotions, not so much anymore on the strict military performance under their commands.

The ideal leftwing aim is perhaps a “people’s army” that bypasses legislative conundrum and simply by fiat implements radical race theories, wokism, and green change, with plenty of commissar coordinators to weed out any Winston Smiths. The body-snatched Pentagon assumes by its new advertising that minorities, gays, and the sorts who demonstrated all last summer will flock to the woke military. Meanwhile, the suddenly now despised old middle class, rural, and often southern military sorts will be hounded out. The latter is certainly targeted by constant witch hunts following January 6, and antagonized by 24/7 woke training run by anti-military activists who, to be frank, hate their guts. 

I think Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are delighted. They welcome an American generation of woke soldiers, intersectional chaos, nonstop social tensions in the ranks, and retired multimillionaire top brass determining our defense needs from the corporate boardroom. And they too don’t expect the anti-military left suddenly to become hyper-patriotic and to flock to the regimentation of the chain-of-command. But they do assume that the once lethal American military family will simply say, “Goodbye to all that.”


Here too, the US has radically flipped from right center to hard left. Ostensibly the UN, EU, and globalist Davos crowd are exhilarated with the thought of Biden leading the G-7 effort to globalize and harmonize corporate taxation (a taste of world government by elites to come?), to reenter the Iran Deal, to reboot the Paris Climate Accord, to clamp down on Israel, and to beef up the WHO, ICC, IMF, and the World Bank. It is, again, the ‘Great Reset’ dream, come true, and China is delighted. And so are the enemies of Israel, who feel that wokism is a euphemism for their own supporters to be bolder in their anti-Semitism. We used to be told by Leftists that hating Israel was not hating Jews; now we see that indeed hating Jews is a good requisite to hating Israel.

Our Western friends abroad are not so much leftists as aristocrats who mouth leftist bromides as the necessary penance to keep their wealth and hereditary influence. They want the US to work in the same way. And so they quietly fear that a non-compos mentis Biden really is a hostage of the hard left and really will flip the US along the lines of Obama’s failed “fundamental transformation.”

If the US were to become fully socialized, the old wink-and-nod schtick of ankle-biting the US while expecting it be NATO and to protect the West won’t work. Remember, Trump was not an isolationist. He was a Jacksonian, a punitive, unpredictable leader intent on restoring US deterrence while helping friends and hurting enemies. Those who control Biden are internationalist socialists. The New America won’t play the big brother Europeans loved to hate but secretly counted on. And the “bipartisan,” Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution, liberal elite may be surprised that those around Biden hate them as much as they hated Trump.

Hang on—we are in the midst of the greatest revolutionary attempt to grab power since 1933. The effort does not earn 51 percent public support, but the movement doesn’t care because it relies on the money, influence, and reach of almost every institution that it has infiltrated and flipped. Critical theory, critical race theory, critical legal theory, critical everything theory are simply dumbed-up versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which we never know what to expect from those we once trusted.

 It should be an interesting 18 months.

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7 thoughts on “Historian’s Corner: Assessing America in the Age of Woke”

  1. Patricia Heng

    It sounds so depressing – how many of us are out there that still have common sense? Are the young that easily duped? Do they need a horrible war to get back to reality?
    How is it possible that we are under the rule of amoral billionaire idiots?
    Where does it all end?

  2. The 2nd Amendment was put in the Constitution for a reason. That reason is now before us. Will we rise up or not? 1776 Redux with some 1861 Redux injected, followed by military trials for the traitors.

  3. Robert Somers Mortenson, Jr

    Well said as always. Still Human culture exists on a precipice with the end of the world as we know it and the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in power and judgement hanging over it.

  4. Dr. Hanson,
    I always truly appreciate reading your work and hearing your perspective. It is a refreshing taste of wisdom and common historical sense.
    Are you writing anything to interpret the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan? If not, would you consider doing so, or discussing it on a podcast episode? I would look forward to reading or hearing such an analysis.
    Thank you,
    Sam Kimzey

  5. Mr. Hanson,
    Yer KILLIN me heah! Oh, how I reminisce for the innocence of a culture at war over plastic drinking straws…

    When next in the greater DC area, I’d much like to shake your hand.
    –Chris Cloud

  6. Doctors checkup yesterday…….. My trusted doctor said “I’d do anything to keep Trump from being re-elected.”
    We’re talking about people trusted with our lives having views that puzzles people that have reasoning skills.
    I suggested that as a bussinessman Trump’s policies were really good for the economy and the country.

    Yes, Her response was “Trump’s robust economy was put in motion by Obama.” The educated elite have been drinking the media Kool Aide far too long. We should be concerned. …………………..

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