The “woke” movement that is currently engulfing America mirrors China’s Cultural Revolution under communist leader Mao Zedong, according to classicist and military historian Victor Davis Hanson.
The Cultural Revolution took place from 1966 to 1976. Mao Zedong declared class war, bringing chaos and violence to the country. During the 10-year period, schools were closed, historical relics and artifacts were destroyed, and cultural and religious sites were ransacked. The economy stagnated, millions were persecuted for their political beliefs, and an estimated 1.5 million people died.
“They went after people with eyeglasses; they went after people [who] had any foreign accent or had a degree,” Hanson told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program on Feb. 14.
“It was sort of like this ‘woke’ revolution that is permeating every part [of our country]. It’s not just political. It’s cultural. It’s social; it’s racial. And it’s trying to change the way we think about our country. And that’s what’s scary,” he added. . . . (read more on Epoch Times, subscription needed)
Victor Davis Hanson: The Chinese Spy Balloon, Orwellian Newspeak, and the Top-Down Revolution Engulfing America
“I’m just bewildered that these two evil regimes are so asymmetrically treated as we saw with the balloon … Had Russia done that, we would have shot that down the moment it got near the Aleutians,” says Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist, military historian, and author of a number of best-selling books, including most recently “The Dying Citizen.”
In this broad-ranging interview, we discuss the Chinese spy balloon, Orwellian newspeak, and the woke revolution he sees gripping America.
“When they were trapped about the balloon, the new Soviet talking point came: ‘Balloons came in during Trump. Trump ignored them. Trump ignored balloons.’ And that talking point, it was sort of like the old Roman maxim that a lie travels around the world before the truth can catch up. And that’s how they operate.”
Unlike the protests of the 1960s, this current woke revolution “was staged from the top,” Hanson says. “The left was not marching on the Pentagon. The left was not marching on the campus administrator. The left was not marching on Anaconda Copper or I.T.T. as they had been. They were inside the boardroom. They were inside the president’s office. They were inside the FBI. They were inside the CIA. They were inside the Pentagon.”
Ultimately, we are witnessing the unraveling of Western civilization, Hanson says.
“It’s actually an attack on meritocracy, and the whole empirical system of hiring the most qualified better person for the stability and success of society … Where this ultimately goes … it means that, as you see in Cuba or Venezuela or Colombia, very successful societies start to break down and they can’t deliver the essentials of life because they have a commissariat, a commissar system of ideology trumping empiricism,” Hanson says. . . . (watch video, requires a subscription)
From Epoch Times video transcript:
Mr. Jekielek: Victor, as you’re speaking about all this, I am thinking back to this piece that you alluded to that Bill Maher put out recently. The message was, “If you’re involved in the revolution, you should look at history.” And frankly, that is one of your most powerful contributions to this discourse.
Mr. Hanson: What he was trying to say is that the reference for the woke movement is not Lenin or Marx, it’s Mao. Because they believe in a class revolution and they tried to change vocabulary on the whole, but not to the degree that Mao did. Mao was responsible for killing 60 to 70 million people. And that was a totality, 24/7, 360 days a year.
They went after people with eyeglasses. They went after people that had a foreign accent or had a degree. They had the Red Guards going out. They had dunce caps. It was sort of like this woke revolution, permeating every part of society. It’s not just political—it’s cultural, it’s social, it’s racial, and it’s trying to change the way we think about our country. And that’s what is scary.
Orwell would always say, when he talked about Eastasia and Oceania and the memory hole, and it’s mentioned explicitly twice in the novel, he says, “We in the present can control and alter the past to ensure the future.” What he’s saying is you can go back and if you’ve got control of the institutions, like Harvard and The New York Times, you can convince people that 1776 was not the founding of the country. It was 1619 when the first slave was landed by the British, and your revolution was not what you think it was for in fighting the British, because they wanted to free slaves and you wanted to keep them. You can make that false narrative.
You can institutionalize it, then in the future you can justify everything from reparations to repertory admissions and hiring. Ultimately, it’s always these revolutions from Mao or Stalin or Robespierre, they’re always from the upper middle class. It’s the nomenklatura, and this thing is top-down. You can look at Ta-Nehisi Coates or Professor Kendi or Van Jones, a recipient of $100 million Bezos award who lectured people that the five African American policemen were guided by white racism, in a city that’s 68 per cent black, against a poor innocent African American man who was beaten to death by the Scorpion Unit, which came from appeals in the black inner city to a black police chief, and a black assistant police chief to deal with out of control black crime.
Van Jones is going to take that entire matrix, and from his $100 million perch is going to say, “That’s white racism and whitelash.” Then, you jump the shark. Nobody believes you anymore. What’s the use of arguing anymore if everything is racism? You couldn’t go beyond that, but they do go beyond that, because then they said, and I’m talking about they being the wokesters in the media, “Well, the fact is these people were so quickly charged with murder. Chauvin wasn’t charged with murder as quickly as they were. It was racist because they were black, and the unit was racist. The idea of having a special anti-crime unit to help the inner city helpless was racist.”
That’s where we are going, and we’re cannibalizing people. That’s why you see, as we said earlier, Matt Taibbi or Bill Maher defecting or peeling off. You would think by now, when it has been two years since George Floyd, you would think if you were an alumnus of Stanford University and you thought it was a great university that had helped cure cancer, and it has, and you saw what they were doing to their admissions and you saw all this woke stuff on campus, you just wouldn’t write them a check anymore. But no, it’s not happening yet.
Mr. Jekielek: You’re reminding me of a very short tweet that I noticed, and it said something really profound. Basically, and this is me paraphrasing, “Just remember you have the opportunity to change your society until you don’t.”
Mr. Hanson: Yes, that’s a good point. At some point it doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t know how close we are to that point, because what that means is that at some point you’ve lost control of the institutions and the institutions are reformulated in a way that ensures you have no power.
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