VDH UltraHistorian’s Corner: Ten Easy Ways to Unwind a Nation in Just a Few Months

Part Three: Steps 6-8.

VI. Trash the Productive Class

Why are frackers considered not just polluters, but near criminal enemies of the planet?

Thanks to them, abundant natural gas has reduced US carbon footprints in a manner that exceeds those nations in the Paris Climate Accord.

Thanks to them, the US has no strategic interests in seeking to secure oil and natural gas supplies in the Middle East.

Thanks to them, consumers were until recently paying near record low fuel prices.

And thanks to them, thousands of Americans landed high-paying jobs.

The well-off should pay their fair share. But why war on the upper middle class? A Californian pays the top income tax rate of 13.3 percent on top of 39 percent on income in federal taxes, on top of payroll taxes, on top of Medicare taxes, on top of sales taxes and on top of property taxes.

For most, they work from January to July just to pay for various local, state, and federal governments. But why then largely exempt nearly half the country from paying any income tax, and allow the richest to avoid income taxes altogether either through shelters or declaring income only from capital gains?

If we destroy incentives for upward mobility, will socialism take up the slack? Will the elders of BLM forgo personal expense accounts and buying multiple homes? Will Bernie Sanders then be happy with just one rather than three houses? Will Elizabeth Warren still be able to write about the profits to be made from flipping houses? Will George Clooney and John Kerry be able to jet into the Obama birthday bash, in a time of a pandemic and quarantines?

Civilizations fall when the government goes after the productive upper middle classes while exempting the poor and the rich. The end result is a long line at a government store, or a waiting list to buy an apartment, or ration tickets to shop.

In other words, the country emulates the service at the local DMV, the attention span of the Social Security hotline, and the pandemic clarity of the CDC or NIH, or the crony capitalist woke airline help line.

VII. Politicize the Military

Weaponizing a military starts with the effort to concentrate or acquire internal political power. It then proceeds to the wartime services, as forces become weaponized people’s armies. A review of the Soviet Army in Finland in 1939 is a textbook account of ideological perversion of military doctrine and operations.

In World War II, one reason why the Eastern Front saw perhaps 25 million dead was that both opposing armies were politicized and suffered imbecilic strategic decisions predicated on crack-pot ideologies. The ranks were full of commissars, ideologues, and informants who assessed respective German and Russian battle performance, often on loyalty to the party. Sycophants who muttered party slogans were advanced; maverick geniuses were shunned—at least until called back in extremis to save what they could.

The strength of the American army was always that politics that warred with merit was reduced to the personal, as in the jealousy that denied George S. Patton a higher battlefield command, or the obsequiousness that instead put an incompetent like Llyod Fredendall in charge of an entire corps command during the North Africa campaign, or the ossified old-boy bomber club who insisted that daylight, unescorted bombing over Germany in 1942-3 would win the war.

So why would the US begin weaponizing the ranks, promoting on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender, and often downplaying proven records of talent

Why would ideology even permeate frontline combat units? And in our new proportionally representative military, when do such unspoken quotas apply or not apply to the percentage numbers of wounded and dead?

Are our troops to swarm the battlefield, under the banners of gender, equity, trans-rights, and BLM, as they war against the killers of Russia or China? Will we name our bemedaled “Heroes of the Woke,” when our correct soldiers show bravery for the Cause?

Will we always have a restive retired military, coiled and ready to strike out in the media, on TV, and throughout the universities, when an elected president seems to them a danger to the status quo? Will our weapons procurement now hinge on which defense contractor has a board of directors that best “looks like America” or develops weapons that reflect the interests of race and gender?

This is no joke. Even cinema, leftwing as it is, could not hide the injurious or superfluous roles of the Nazi propagandist assigned to monitor the crew in Das Boot or the commissar flaks in Enemy at the Gates.

The CIA is now politicized. So is the NSA. No need to mention the FBI of Robert Mueller, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe or the DOJ that has blessed us with Bruce Ohr and Rod Rosenstein.

Yet the Pentagon, for all its bloated bureaucracy, revolving-door cronyism, and favoritism in promotions, was at least not infected with ideological coercion. It seems to be now, and thus logically became the darling of the Left. How the military fights as the New People’s army of America will be interesting, given its slow transformation to where we have now arrived was already evident in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where strategic decision-making, lawfare, and ideology often trumped battlefield efficacy.

VIII. Destroy the free Media

Media are rarely simply destroyed by an autocrat, theocrat, or dictator. The process is more complicated. Usually media grandees seek concessions, aggrandizements, or simple attention from leaders, as the price of surrendering their objectivity and competence.

Nobody forced Twitter to ban accurate accounts about Hunter Biden’s embarrassing confessionals on his laptop. None forced Mark Zuckerberg to use his media riches to target key precincts in swing states to flood them with $500 million in ‘help’ money to augment the work of friendly government election officials. No government had to ask Amazon and Google to crush conservative upstart Parler.

In a moment of his signature narcissism, Ben Rhodes bragged about the slothfulness and stupidity of journalists who “know nothing” and were pawns in his own creation of an “echo chamber” to promulgate misinformation about the Iran Deal. He was speaking from experience, as his brother was then President of CBS News.

Hillary Clinton hatched Russian collusion. And Barack Obama’s subordinates fueled it. But both would have failed without the voluntary enlistment of the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, PBS, the network news, and cable news channels CNN and MSNBC.

Is there an iconic moment that marks the end of US journalism? I think there is.

From 2017-19 reporters ad nauseam told us Donald Trump was non compos mentis. They adduced no proof other than his unorthodox bombast and twitter bluntness. Nonetheless, Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe took these narratives seriously and pondered entrapping the President in a sort of Biden-like moment of forgetfulness or nuttiness.

Trump under pressure agreed to take the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Dr. Bandy Lee from Yale swore to Congress that Trump was mentally damaged. None could explain how he gave hundreds of impromptu mini-press conferences by constantly talking ad hoc to hostile reporters, by being in the public eye nonstop, and by jousting daily with those who hated him.

Contrast all that to Biden, who, reporters assume, will work a three- to four-hour day, and cannot finish a scripted, teleprompted paragraph without a brain freeze, incoherent ramble, or weird tic. And yet the Twenty-Fifth Amendment has vanished from journalese.

Sometime in between 2009 and 2021, the US media finally died. Its adulation of Barack Obama was designed to hide his temperament and incompetence. And its fake-news enlistment in the 2020 noble cause was aimed at shielding the public from the truth of Biden’s incapacity. In between, it fused with the Left in a mission to destroy an elected president. When we damn other countries for being unfree, ask ourselves how free is our social media, how free our journalists, how free is the network news to report the truth?

Once the media is fused with the government or an ideological movement, there is no freedom and soon no nation as we knew it.

Next up, Our Final Steps 9 to 10 to Civilizational Implosion

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3 thoughts on “<span class="ultra-flag"><i class="fas fa-lock"></i>VDH Ultra</span>Historian’s Corner: Ten Easy Ways to Unwind a Nation in Just a Few Months”

  1. I am wondering what our NATO Allies are thinking? They must be horrified that Biden cut and run, leaving Americans, Foreign Nationals and Afghan friendlies behind.

  2. Annette kimball

    When our son graduated from U.S. Air Force training in San Antonio, Texas in 1999 I remember being SO impressed by the sight of Americas young lads proudly marching in formation, the playing of the AF ‘Wild Blue Yonder” and all the patriotism I felt. We were so very proud of our son ! When I reflect on our military today I pray for them and support . I honor the dead and revere their sacrifice. Today I am ashamed of what military command has become, although I suppose it is not surprising. It seems to me they are betraying the nation they swore to preserve and protect. It actually makes me sad and angry that I revered them so much . HOWEVER, I still support and honor those who serve under some of these current dreadful leaders. Watching our soldiers, marines and pilots restores tons of admiration and respect for them. God please bless America. …..And Victor Davis Hanson

  3. Dear Professor Hanson,
    I am so grateful for your use of historical facts as a basis for characterizing our current state of affairs. Today I read the CDC decided no working dogs, presumably (by their photos, military soldiers), were not allowed to evacuate Kabul on C 17 flights.
    When did the CDC become the arbitrator of rent control domestically and the decision makers for military working dogs? I consider military dogs an essential part of both Airborne, Seal, Marsoc
    and Spec Ops platoons, every bit as life precious as our 13 brave soldiers, now in caskets. Rabies; I understand it’s not a pandemic, a condition reserved for wild rodents and their prey. What gives?

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