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From Uncommon Knowledge: Prof. Victor Davis Hanson on Iran and the decline of the U.S.

October 25, 2010

In this interview with Peter Robinson, Prof. Victor Davis Hanson has some trenchant commentary on the situation with Iran; if I understand him correctly he basically compares the current Administration to the Neville Chamberlain regime in the 1930’s. He has additional comments on the possible decline of the United States – quite an interesting interview. (Meritocracy and equality of opportunity (not results) are two things Prof. Hanson says we need to stem any decline.)

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From Uncommon Knowledge: Prof. Victor Da…, posted with vodpod

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. H Lee Poteet permalink
    October 25, 2010 2:27 am

    If you were brought up as an American, there is nothing new or wonderful that is being said here. But since that is now rare, very rare, this must come as quite a shock to many. This is what November two is all a bout this year.

    • October 25, 2010 12:34 pm

      Yes, that is one thing for which I hope November 2 does signal a new start: the beginning of a return to “meritocracy” along with other ideas expressed by Prof. Hanson. So much of this has been lost in the last two generations in the USA.

      • H Lee Poteet permalink
        October 25, 2010 7:58 pm

        Will, it has not been lost; it has been suppressed and outlawed. Since Nixon the thrust has been to “give” jobs and other positions to people who otherwise would never be able to have them because they lacked the skills to actually do them. This was the way in which it was during my twenty five years of government employment and even more so in the eighteen years since. This is not the way to keep the country great and build an even better future for our children and grandchildren.

        Hanson is one of those intellects that needs to be more generally read. I have always found him delightful, but more than that, informative.

  2. Benton H Marder permalink
    October 27, 2010 3:01 pm

    All this is very interesting but it doesn’t begin to touch the whole of reality.
    The USA can do nothing about Iran’s nuclear capabilities for a simple reason. China is our great creditor. We dare not step on their toes. China draws about a sixth of its oil requirement from Iran. China will not jeopardise that access lest the loss pitch China into a depression. Much talk is made of blockading Iran’s importation of finished oil product (gasoline and diesel fuel, etc) If blockaded, Iran will not export oil or gas unless the finished product is provided. China will provide this even if the tankers come under Chinese flag from Chinese ports under Chinese naval escort. Does the USA want to risk a war over this? Does the USA want to run the risk of China refusing to finance our debt and/or dump their holdings on the market? China’s economy has reached critical mass. China no longer needs the USA as a principal trading partner.
    Over a century ago, in his book, ‘The Law of Civilization and Decay’, Brooks Adams asserted that Asia was the creator of real wealth. When the East Idia Company made huge profits and gains from India, the British Industrial Revolution was financed. A century and more later, British capital financed the industrialisation and major infrastructure of the USA. In recent decades, US capital financed the industrialisation of Asia. Yes, economic supremacy is returning to Asia, from whence it came.
    Over the last eleven centuries and more, China enjoyed the largest gtoss domestic production in the world during nine of those eleven centuries; only during the last two centuries did that supremacy reside in Europe, Britain, and the USA.
    Sometime in the ’50s or ’60s, Karl Schwarzenbery wrote his study of world dominion, ‘Adler und Drache’ (never translated, alas). He asserted that the concept arose in Asia and passed to Europe and Britain, passing over sea to the USA as a result of World War II. Now, this ‘Weltherrschaft’ is passing over sea back to Asia, even as does economic supremacy.
    Lenin remarked that the capitalists would sell the rope used to hang them. I am sure the Chinese leaders are chortling over the fulfillment of this prophecy. The West has destroyed itself despite many warnings long since, including from Napoleon III.

    Heaven protect us all.

    Benton

    • October 27, 2010 9:47 pm

      I have to admit that the prospect of China no longer needing the USA as a principal trading partner has tremendous implications for us all – for that would also quite likely mean the dollar’s status as a reserve currency would come to an end. We truly live in interesting times.

  3. Benton H Marder permalink
    October 29, 2010 5:14 pm

    Yes, WWill, there’s that implication.
    For some time now, there’s been a fuss over the Chinese pegging their currency to the dollar. Most arguments are to the point that China does this to keep their export products cheap. There’s another point, just as important: China finances a very large part of our debt. China would like to be repaid in reasonably constant dollars. China is very aware that our regime would inflate our debt into nothing if we could get away with it. China does not intend to be left holding an empty bag.
    The ‘five-letter’ countries (China, India, Japan, Korea_ hold much of our debt. They are aware that we are just ‘rolling’ it over into new and greater debt. When do they stop lending to a near-certain dead-beat nation?
    It is only a matter of time before the financial centres of the world move away from New York and London. The new financial centres will be JongKong, Shanghai, Singapore, Bombay. This is inevitable.
    All the supremacies are moving over sea to Asia, from whence they came.

    Benton

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