The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Victor Davis Hanson Surveying The Big Red American Soviet

Posted on | April 28, 2011 | 12 Comments

by Smitty

Over at the National Review Online, Hanson characterizes the duplicitous nature of contemporary American political life. It’s as though we’ve entered into an era of mandatory doublethink, ‘simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs, often in distinct social contexts’. Quoting Hanson, with my formatting:

In the American Soviet, only two questions remain.

  1. Do these double lives of ours make a sort of sense: Is it that the official utopian rhetoric about love among the masses offers psychological compensation for our private self-interested skepticism about the nature of man?
  2. Or is the daily lie a modern Western rather than an enduring human phenomenon — our 21st-century leisure and affluence infecting us with intellectual and moral boredom, in which we long ago outsourced our collective morality to our bureaucratic overseers as we busied ourselves with far more enjoyable private indulgences?

I submit that history is like a noisy wave, e.g. a stock ticker, and you can always be like Hudson in Aliens:

Hudson: That’s it man, game over man, game over! What the f**k are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?
Burke: Maybe we could build a fire, sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don’t we try that?

The other extreme would probably be the President’s seemingly detached golf swing. Neither tangent off of history’s signal really indicates the direction in which events stagger.
As I’ve been wont to argue the American Soviet has been a century-long process. While it’s fine to characterize it at various degrees of magnification, what matters now is energizing the American people to defend “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and not the cheap substitutes of “constrained existence, managed liberty, and Orwellian spin”.
The people have been conditioned to depend on the government, hate capitalism, and avoid the challenge of independence. Has the American spirit been vanquished? Nah, just restin’. It may be the case that the Baby Boomers, like the slaves coming out of Egypt, are a lost generation. The question then moves to whether the death spasms of a morally dysfunctional generation can take down the whole country. Look at the pictures of the Tea Party rallies. Not a few gray hairs about. I’d say, no: the fish may have rotted a bit at the head, but the body retains vigor.
There is no other option but to recover liberty and economic vigor for the United States.

Update: That Mr. G. Guy appreciated the dead parrot reference.


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