Optimism, Inc.: The Crushing Weight of Lies

Image by SomeMeans @ Getty Images

Victor Davis Hanson // VDH’s Blade of Perseus

One reason why I remain optimistic about the impending end of wokism and the failure of the cultural revolution is that the dangers they pose are unsustainable. And by that I mean that they require such dissimulation, that the load of lies eventually will snap the spine of those asked to carry and disseminate them. 

Star Trek’s John Gill

Joe Biden last week gave a series of speeches, answers and riffs that were nonsensical. By that I don’t just mean that he has no clue about how to arrest inflation, or the dangers of a spiraling violent crime rate or of an open border. 

The problem is that he increasingly cannot finish a sentence and at times seems entirely incoherent. And the media, the Left, and the Democratic party—all once so eager to seek Trump’s removal as unhinged, and all but forced to take the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, or the target of a supposedly wired-up Rod Rosenstein, or diagnosed in absentia as nuts by Yale Professor Bandy Lee—seem determined to hide, but cannot, the all too obvious truth.

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Incompetence + Arrogance = Woke

Outrage mob and cancel culture symbol or cultural cancellation and social media censorship as canceling or restricting opinions that are offensive to the public with 3D illustration elements.

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.  

We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.  

And we know, too, how such insanity—from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism—can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.  

But does wokeism serve another purpose as well? Specifically, does it either hide preexisting incompetence or fuel it? 


What Is Woke Really About?

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Most Americans were as indifferent to the unexpected loss of our Olympic women’s soccer team as they were once excited about their World Cup win. 

In between was the team’s nonstop politicking, from whining about compensation to virtue signaling their disrespect for the United States. The celebrity face of the team, perennial scold Megan Rapinoe, is going the way of teenage grouch Greta Thunberg—becoming more pinched and scowling the more she is tuned out.

BLM co-founder and self-avowed Marxist Patrisse Marie Khan-Cullors Brignac used her corporate grifting to buy four homes. The last in Topanga Canyon, surrounded by a new $35,000 security fence. 


Historian’s Corner: Civilizational Death or Renewal?

Knossos palace at Crete, Ruins of Minoan Civilization
Image by Vladimir Timofeev @ Getty Images

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

History is replete with examples of societies in crises that either imploded or were destroyed, through internal and external forces—as well as those that met such dangers and endured. 

Life or Death?

Controversies remain over why the Western Roman Empire broke apart by the end of the 5th-century AD, while the Eastern Empire at Constantinople would survive and persist as what became known as the Byzantine Empire for 1,000 years as Christendom’s outpost in the East. Certainly, Rome had a less defensible border than did Constantinople, which was ringed by sea and whose geography served as a valve between the Mediterranean and Black Sea. 

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China’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Stonewalling investigations into the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan? A hundred new hardened intercontinental nuclear missiles silos? Dressing down U.S. diplomats on purported American racism? 

Braggadocio about nuking non-nuclear and once-nuked Japan, if need be? Winks and nods that Taiwan will soon be Hong-Kongized?  

Hacking into Western institutions?  

No apologies for lying about the origins, nature, and transmissibility of the gain-of-function, virology-lab-engineered Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 virus? Or rather, an attitude of maybe/maybe not the virus leaked from a military-related lab, “So what are you going to do about it—this time or next”?