Victor Davis Hanson // Week In Review
We do not know when we hit peak wokeness—only that no constitutional republic can long exist in a climate of McCarthyite fear and anti-racism racism. I wrote about this crux for next week’s American Greatness (“Anti-Racism Racism”) in a long essay that will appear on Monday. It refutes the idea that a white supremacist ideology stifles all the aspirations of the non-white, and explains why the current racialization of dialogue and weaponization of debate have a bad history.
One of the most disturbing developments is the recalibration of the military.
None of us can remember the Pentagon ever going after an individual journalist in the fashion of the recent attack on Tucker Carlson, both in its press secretary’s remarks and on the DOD website, especially in lumping him in with the Chinese communist military. Ferreting out supposed white insurrectionists in the ranks, appointing diversity overseers in critical branches of the military (especially Special Forces contingents), and lowering physical standards for combat units will not end well. It is redolent of the Soviet commissar system and will require a great deal of misinformation and disinformation to sustain its continuance.
The military, or rather its beltway brass, seems oblivious that it is insidiously eroding its traditional conservative foundations of support. And soon it will be at the mercy of a mercurial Left. The latter, only for the moment, fawns on the chain-of-command, which by fiat can implement progressive social awareness agendas. But the Left is never satiated. Radical progressives have greater designs on the military, envisioning it as a sort of People’s Army that will serve as the tip of the cultural revolution’s spear.
All of us are also equally worried about the increasing revolving door habit of top generals and DOD officials retiring onto the boards of large corporate defense contractors, and often revolving back into civilian service at the DOD. Is there any serious refutation that these lifelong public servants are being hired largely for their familiarity with and influence upon the bidding process within the Pentagon? This is no charge of impropriety, but rather of a Caesar’ wife dilemma, in which our retired brass, given their influence within the serving military and in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, must be above suspicion. Again, the politicalization of the active and retired high-ranking military is opening an entire can of worms, about which the Pentagon for now is absolutely clueless.
I had a lot of email inquiries about whether or not I left National Review after 20 years (cf. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/393327.php). I thought I had addressed that issue in my last column for NR three months ago (https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/12/a-guide-to-wokespeak/). At the end of December, I officially went off the NRO/NRI payroll and ended a two-decade relationship with NR, again as noted at the end of the last column.
The confusion—to the extent anyone much cares—arises over NRO continuing to carry my Chicago Tribune syndicated column (the syndicator is now called, in yet another iteration, “Tribune Content Agency”). A contributor contractually has no say concerning the syndicator’s clients.
I resigned in January from TCA as well after 16 years (effective April 1), and now write only a long essay (2,000 words) on Mondays for American Greatness and a shorter column (750-800 words) for AG on Thursdays. It may soon be syndicated by American Greatness after my contract expires with TCA.
As far as the NRO podcast with Jack Fowler( https://chartable.com/podcasts/the-victor-davis-hanson-podcast), sometime in May the podcast will be retitled and put on a new platform, and Jack will continue to serve as host for the 40-minute weekly interview about the news. By late April, we hope to have three weekly podcasts, the VDH podcast with Jack Fowler, the Classicist (https://chartable.com/podcasts/classicist ) with Troy Senik—and a new one I’ll do on my own, The New Traditionalist.