Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Victor Davis Hanson on Why "American Decline" is a Choice, not Destiny

Echoing earlier themes, Classicist, Victor Davis Hanson makes the point that the "decline of America" is a choice, not a forgone conclusion. It is up to us to take destiny in our in own hands. And, importantly, despite all the problems, there are many positives. Says Hanson:

"It was common to suggest that the American military was “broken” in Iraq; in fact, enlistments are currently at record numbers, as all four branches of the military in 2010 met or exceeded their recruitment goals. The American military has trained an entire generation of officers in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose knowledge of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism is unmatched elsewhere in the world. In every category of military technology—armor, artillery, aircraft, ships, missiles, drones, robotics, small arms, and space—America remains far ahead of both its allies and rivals.

Recent surveys of higher education place American universities overwhelmingly in the top twenty internationally. In many surveys, California alone—Cal Tech, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCLA—has more of the twenty top-ranked universities than any other nation in the world. Even during the supposed American downturn, most of the world’s largest corporations—Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobile, Chevron—remain American. It is unlikely that an Amazon, Apple, Facebook, or Google could have originated in Germany, Russia, China, or Japan, given their more highly regulated economies, less vibrant popular cultures, and less impressive universities."


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