Our old friends among the smug, self-appointed Neocon Intellectual Elite are at it yet again. Victor Davis Hanson---a gadfly who keeps popping up on Conservative forums because of his ability to sound smart by throwing endless historical and philosophical non sequiturs into his various jeremiads against the current state of society---has written another such specimen titled American Delira.
Hanson's basic premise is that Americans have become weak and degenerate (which is true); but not because of social apathy, rampant narcissism, and corporate totalitarianism. Instead, he believes that Americans aren't working hard enough, have been too prosperous, and have had too much freedom of expression. It's as if the 9/11 Anniversary brought back fond memories of the erection of the Security State and Bush Administration attitude of don't ask questions, just trust us. (Which, BTW, is the same general attitude of the RNC when asked about their objectives in the upcoming election---assuming that we have an election of course).
There seems to be strange assumption on many parts of the political Right that unelected Corporate bureaucrats are more sympathetic to the Rights of Man than elected Governments are. It seems to have escaped their notice that our cultural and economic decline really took off in the 1990s and 2000s decades when we had massive 'deregulation' that created monopolies, lifted controls on lobbying, permitted outsourcing, and created numerous private NGOs and so-called 'Private-Public Partnerships.' People like Hanson look back with nostalgia at eras like the 1950s but forget that the Eisenhower Administration was expanding public investment in infrastructure had very strict regulations against concentrations of wealth.
They also seem forget that as private entities, Corporate policies are not subject to Constitutional Law: in other words, the bigger the enterprise the less accountable it is. This week it was announced that Visa and Mastercard were setting up databases to track and record gun purchases. No Government agency is forcing them to do this. Under the US Constitution, a database like this would have to be approved by Congress and subjected to Judicial Review by the federal courts. But Visa and Mastercard are private entities and not subject to this kind of oversight. These two corporations also control 77% of market-share. In fact, there's nothing really stopping them from banning gun purchases from their system altogether. If anyone believes that this can't happen, consider that these same people blockaded transactions to Wikileaks just a few years ago. If the 'power to tax is the power to destroy', it shouldn't be forgotten that the power to control private transactions is also the power to destroy.
In his article, Hanson remarks that "Properly understood, wokeness is simply the doctrine that all perceived inequality must be the result of culpability, not personal behavior or conduct. There is no role for chance, individual health, inheritance, or character that make us different. There are no cosmic forces like globalization that transcend race. What’s left instead is a nefariousness that divides the world into a collective binary of the noble victimized and their demonic oppressors. Thus, the duty of government and righteous egalitarian culture is to divide the country, in post-Marxist style, to identify the victims/oppressed, and to redistribute power, money, and influence to them. That allows the anointed to condemn the victimizers/oppressors collectively and to stigmatize, ostracize, and enfeeble them."
It seems to have escaped Hanson's attention that the distribution of wealth and power has not trickled down during the last three decades: in fact, wealth distribution has become more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. He says that "thus the duty of government and righteous egalitarian culture is to divide the country" without explaining who benefits from such division. A 'stigmatized, ostracized, and enfeebled' productive class is precisely what the Corporate Overlords want: first, because it eliminates the potential for competition; secondly because less-skilled workers demand lower wages and benefits; and third because they haven't the initiative, resources, or organization to challenge the Oligarchy politically.
Hanson rather disingenuously adds that: "Every agency available—government, popular culture, science, history, literature, the arts, the university, the media, big tech, the corporate boardroom, and Wall Street—must be subordinated and recalibrated to spot supposed inequality so that they can fix it through reparatory discrimination. All being equal and poorer is preferable to all being richer, but with some richer than others," as if none of these institutions has the power to resist wokeness. The fact is that government, the media, academia, and the boardrooms are completely under the thumb of Wall Street---and it is Big Business, not Big Government, that is driving the woke agenda.
If anyone would like an example of what an unregulated Corporate social order would look like, one need look no further than the World Economic Forum. The Top 100 'Strategic Partners'---promoting such polices as the Great Reset, depopulation, and 'smart cities'---have among American representation alone the following:
AIG Insurance, Amazon, Bain & Company, Bank of America, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BlackRock, Boston Consulting Group, Bridgewater Associates, Chevron, Cisco Systems, CitiBank, Clayton, Dubilier,& Rice, Coca-Cola, Dell Technologies, Deloitte, Dow Chemical, Goldman-Sachs, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell, IBM, Infosys, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan-Chase Bank, JLL Investments, Kearney Consulting Group, ManPower Group, Marsh McLennan Consulting Group, Mastercard, McKinsey & Co., Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Morgan-Stanley, Open Society Foundation (Soros), Palantir Technologies, PayPal, PepsiCo, Proctor & Gamble, Salesforce, Uber, UPS, Verizon, and Visa.
Foreign-owned Companies heavily invested in the US include: Allianz Insurance (Pemco in the US), AstraZeneca, Alibaba, British Petroleum, Credit Suisse, DHL, Ericsson-Sony, Hitachi, HSBC, Huawei, Lazard Advertising, Mitsubishi, Nestle, Novartis, Pfizer, Publicis Group (owns Zenith in the US), Royal Dutch Shell Oil, Royal Dutch-Phillips, Saudi Aramco, Siemens Electric, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Unilever, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
This isn't even counting the two hundred or so 'Associate Partners' who also are on board with the WEF Agenda. Here we only listed the ones based or operating in the United States. This combined level of capital, if it were an independent country, have more assets than the national GDP of every country except the US and China. Is anyone going to pretend that a bloc like this stands for Free Enterprise and Free Markets?
People like Hanson ought to reflect that the WEF holds annual meetings with it's so-called 'stakeholders' and governments send representatives there. Are these corporations and cartels protesting to any of these leaders about excessive 'wokeness?'
If anyone is still inclined to doubt this, they need simply observe the modern 'woke' Police State known as Canada. The entire leadership of that nation is under the WEF jackboot. Every year, the WEF selects and honors a group of 'Young Global Leaders'---the very fact that they are doing this ought to be a huge red flag as to what the objective of these corporations really is. The WEF for 'security reasons' doesn't reveal all the names, but that didn't stop Klaus Schwab from boasting in 2017 that "I was at a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau, and I know that half of this cabinet, or even more, are actually Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum."
Here, though, we have Hanson's parroting the same Corporate party-line while posing as opposition: "What will end wokeness? The reversal of the leisure and affluence that were the bounties of 233 years of what birthed it—free-market capitalism, constitutional government, meritocracy, human rights, tolerance, and free expression...Destroy the bounty that produced and empowered the woke decadence, and we won’t have anything—the woke included. Wokeism is, for now, an affordable irrelevancy that rests on the wealth and lessons produced by those long dead and now much rebuked. But it won’t remain affordable."
How exactly is Hanson's position materially different from Schwab's? One offers a future where we'll own nothing and be happy, the other tells that we'll own nothing and be hopeful.
This notion is reflective of a concept which Neocons promote for everyone other than themselves: rugged individualism. Despite the revisionist history surrounding the term, our forefathers probably never heard of it since its first known use was during the 1930 mid-term elections. President Hoover's Interior Secretary explained to the media that: "It is common talk that every individual is entitled to economic security. The only animals and birds I know that have economic security are those that have been domesticated—and the economic security they have is controlled by the barbed-wire fence, the butcher's knife and the desire of others. They are milked, skinned, egged or eaten up by their protectors." His interpretation of the term was obviously much different that the way that today's 'Conservatives' mean it. Hoover's position was not the 'lift-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps' snake oil peddled by today's pundit. Hoover's belief was that American initiative and commitment to Christian principles of duty to one's neighbor would play out and solve the economic crisis.
The Official Narrative as the term is used today is provided for us by Wikipedia: "American rugged individualism has its origins in the American frontier experience. Throughout its evolution, the American Frontier was generally sparsely populated and had very little infrastructure in place. Under such conditions, individuals had to provide for themselves to survive."
The Unofficial Narrative (i.e. the truth) is that the American frontier was settled by pioneers who arrived in convoys of wagon trains, usually from an established settlement. The pioneers---so far from 'rugged individualists' depended upon each other to a huge extent. They took turns working in teams to build each others' cabins and barns; as well as clearing, plowing, planting and harvesting each others' fields. When we read of stories of frontiersmen like Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone; it's often forgotten that they were leaders of hunting parties and that the extraordinary amount of game that they harvested was dressed, processed, and sent to the community where it was divided up for wintertime use. Widows with families got an equal portion despite not participating in the hunt. Collecting firewood was carried out much the same way. The community's women would do similar things, forming teams to weave clothes and blankets and preserve food.
If one seriously thinks about it, the odds of lone individuals with an "I got mine, screw everybody else" attitude surviving on the frontier were very remote. Consider that the Indians---who were already used to frontier life---lived in mutualist communities. The revisionism has been difficult to dismiss in our national psychology. The majority of Americans perceive wealth and success to be the outcome of individual talent, effort, and entrepreneurship and see poverty due to bad choices or lack of effort, according to recent Pew Research polls. This is basically Hanson's position: that the poor could become rich if they tried hard enough. It's an illusion, and Hanson knows it. It's also essentially little more than apology for Crony Capitalism, and a rationalization for blind selfishness and outright greed.
We will elaborate a bit further on this latter point in a future article, but suffice to say for now that top-down imposed 'wokeism' is a problem of the American people's own making---the political Right included. This is a Third Rail Topic among both Republicans and Libertarians---for obvious reasons they don't want to admit to their culpability in creating the problem, and calling out their own constituency for its hypocrisy isn't considered a good electoral strategy. However, it's necessary. The Right needs a thorough spiritual cleansing and owning up to the American People is the first step to rebuilding. The President-in-Exile Donald Trump is heroically attempting to do something similar through purely political means, but his efforts are going to come up short. What we need on the Right is a secular version of the Catholic Sacrament of Penance or 'wokeness' is going to continue rolling over us without significant opposition.