“Losing Confidence in the Pillars of Our Civilization” and commentary

by Victor Davis Hanson, Epoch Times, Nov. 24, 2021 Link to this article

[and my commentary below]

Millions of citizens long ago concluded that professional sports, academia, and entertainment were no longer disinterested institutions, but far Left and deliberately hostile to Middle America.

Yet American conservatives still adamantly supported the nation’s traditional investigatory, intelligence, and military agencies—especially when they came under budgetary or cultural attacks.

Not so much anymore.

For the first time in memory, conservatives now connect the FBI hierarchy with bureaucratic bloat, political bias, and even illegality.

In the last five years, the FBI was mostly in the news for the checkered careers of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Robert Mueller, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok. Add in the criminality of convicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.

The colossal FBI-driven “Russian collusion” hoax was marked by the leaking of confidential FBI memos, forged documents, improper surveillance, and serial disinformation.

Prior heads of the CIA and FBI, as well as the director of national intelligence, have at times either not told the truth under oath or claimed amnesia, without legal repercussions.

Mention the military to conservative Americans these days, and they unfortunately associate its leadership with the disastrous flight from Afghanistan. Few, if any, high-ranking officers have yet taken responsibility—much less resigned—for the worst military fiasco of the last half-century.

Instead, President Joe Biden and the top generals traded charges that the other was responsible for the calamity. Or both insisted the abject flight was a logistical masterpiece.

Never in U.S. history have so many retired four-star admirals and generals disparaged their president with charges of being either a traitor, a liar, a fascist, or a virtual Nazi, as occurred during the last administration.

Never has the proper advisory role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff been so brazenly usurped and contorted.

Never has the secretary of defense promised he would ferret out alleged “white supremacists,” without providing any evidence whatsoever of their supposedly ubiquitous presence and dangerous conspiracies.

Conservatives have always been amused by the liberal biases of the old network news and big-city print media. But they grudgingly admitted that many liberal journalists of the last century were mostly professionals. News divisions mostly reported the news rather than simply made it up.

Not so now with Big Tech and 21stt-century “woke” journalism. Few reporters have yet offered apologies for helping hatch and spread the Russian collusion hoax that paralyzed the country for three years.

Few have admitted culpability for reporting as fact the various fantasies surrounding the Duke Lacrosse team’s prosecution or the Covington Catholic kids deception.

Many in the media ran uncritically with the Jussie Smollett concoction and the “hands-up-don’t shoot” Ferguson distortions. Journalists promulgated misinformation about the “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin encounter, and doctored photos and edited tapes.

They invented the myth of the supposedly brilliant—but now utterly disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo—as well as the “Russian disinformation” yarn that allegedly accounted for the missing Hunter Biden laptop.

Most recently, reporters spread serial untruths surrounding the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

For much of 2020 to even suggest that the Wuhan Institute of Virology may have played a role in the birth and spread of the COVID-19 earned media derision.

Few reporters suggested that federal health agencies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases might be disseminating contradictory or even inaccurate information about the pandemic. To believe this was happening instead earned condemnation in the media as if one were some conspiracy theorist or nut.

Rarely have communication industries—veritable utilities in the public domain—so asymmetrically censored speech and applied such one-sided standards of suppressing free expression.

Conservatives used to oppose regulating larger corporations. Now, ironically, most are calling for regulating and breaking up multibillion-dollar social media monopolies and conglomerates that suppress as much as transmit private communications.

The American criminal justice system also used to earn the respect of conservatives. Prosecuting attorneys, police chiefs, and big-city mayors were seen as custodians of the public order. They were entrusted to keep the peace, to prevent and investigate crime, and to arrest and prosecute criminals.

Again, not so much now.

After 120 days of mostly unchecked riot, arson, looting, and violent protests during the summer of 2020, the public lost confidence in their public safety agencies.

District attorneys in several major cities—Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and St. Louis—have often predicated prosecuting crimes on the basis of ideology, race, and careerism.

In the current crime wave, brazen lawbreakers enjoy de facto immunity. Mass looting goes unpunished. Indictments are often aimed as much against those who defend themselves as against criminals who attack the innocent.

Conservatives now have lost their former traditional confidence in the administration of justice, in the intelligence and investigatory agencies, in the nation’s military leadership, in the media, and the criminal justice system.

No one yet knows what the effect will be of half the country losing faith in the very pillars of American civilization.

Victor Davis Hanson is a conservative commentator, classicist, and military historian. He is a professor of classics emeritus at California State University, a senior fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University, a fellow of Hillsdale College, and a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Hanson has written 16 books, including “The Western Way of War,” “Fields Without Dreams,” and “The Case for Trump.”

Commentary by Ungekrzte

This article above is on how three major American institutions — law enforcement, the media, and the health industry — have fallen to Leftist corruption and manipulation to the point they’re no longer trusted by tens of millions of Americans.

Tragically, all that Hanson alleges in the article is true. The same thing is happening in Canada and the entire Western world, it should be added.

Hanson doesn’t mention two other major institutions: education and the church. More specifically the numerous ‘liberal’ church denominations that have torn asunder or have been completely capitulated to Leftism. They could be included as well, but then the article would be too long. The topic is worthy of a whole book.

The author doesn’t say why this is happening. I believe there’s a reasonable explanation, so I will add it here:

The West was already in decline, having lost its dominant Judeo-Christianity myth and ethos to the rise of secularism. Without meaning or a moral compass, a society will flounder. Empires — entire peoples — have fallen before for this reason.

This is not to say that Judeo-Christian was perfect in its execution. The church has had many flaws, to say the least — but it provided a vehicle for faith in the sacred that our society increasingly lacks. When everything is profane life can have no meaning.

The sad thing is that this is probably the best civilization in human history. Yes, it had many faults, including environmental destruction and the many excesses of capitalism. Consumerism has not filled the spiritual void.

But the combination of Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian ideals remain unmatched in human history for their promise of a just society for all. The West has a dual legacy; its good should not be overlooked. There is much about the West worth hanging onto. Its promise of freedom and prosperity for all is unmatched.

If we lose them now, never again will we have a society founded on egalitarianism and individual rights and freedoms. These include the right to a fair trial; freedom of speech; freedom of religion; freedom of religion; women’s equality; natural rights; opportunity for all regardless of one’s station.

Science, literature, great art, history, philosophy, theology — the West has given the world great treasures of the mind and soul. These great artists and thinkers are now dismissed by the ignorant and uncultured as mere “dead white men.”

The world is a darker place now than it was even just ten years ago.

What’s replacing these Western ideals and accomplishments is far worse: collectivist thinking and ultimately totalitarianism. It is not the benign welfare state and ‘democratic socialism’ of Scandinavia envisioned by Bernie Sanders fans.

Yes, some elements of that might occur for a time, but the ultimate trajectory we’re on is nothing less than Communism, which has left a stain of genocidal evil in its wake. Even now, the society we’re turning into — China — is committing genocide. We seem to be headed back to that kind of horror. Dehumanizing medical segregation is a very sign of what could be.

Some Left-leaning has already realized this. They, like myself, are apostates of that secular religion, seeing it for the danger it poses.

Censorship, rigidity of speech and thought and movement, absolute state control over our lives, loss of constitutional rights, forced conformity, loss of bodily autonomy and imposition of medical tyranny, less prosperity, and far less freedom of moveth, thought, or speech. The state and large corporations telling us what to do, say, and even think. Our lives locked into place by a bureaucratic elite, the new elites.

It’s Orwell’s 1984 unfolding before us, in degrees — all impersonally enforced by increasing technocracy and censorship.

The other element in this is the asymmetrical warfare being waged on the world by the CCP. They would not succeed were it not for the internal divisions and weaknesses of our society, which they’re glad to exploit.

The CCP is intent on world domination, which bodes well for relatively free societies, such as the U.S. or Canada. Their influence can be felt in how Canada’s PM Trudeau is seeking to abolish traditional Canadian values and replace them with what’s been termed ‘corporate Communism.’

Again, it would not be possible if we were not already weakened by a fatal loss of sense of meaning and purpose. Conservatism is simply an attempt to hang onto the best of this waning world: freedom of speech and assembly and religion, love of family, the best of Judeo-Christian values (e.g., love of neighbour), a sense of basic decency and responsibility.

All these good things, which most of us always took for granted, are now threatened by the new world order that has imposed itself in a short time through medical tyranny, exploiting our species’ innate fear of pathogens. I am afraid of what will happen in this new world, how it will reduce us.

Leftists have overplayed their hand with this audacious gambit and exposed themselves as would-be despots. But they are still succeeding right now because they control the media and get to shape the truth to their own ends.

There is still hope for humanity, though. Some people are daring to speak the truth and not cooperate with medical tyranny. The Epoch Times is one of the truth-tellers.

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