re: #1 Randall Gross
I don’t post much of VDH’s writings- I’m not a fan of the vast majority of commentary (I waffle between his simplistic./jingoistic view of the world) but I do believe the article offered up a good look t where he comes from.
What I find most interesting is his unshakable belief that history really does repeats itself. He refuses to acknowledge what are similarities between now and the past are really no more than optical illusions- different times, different places, different people all make for a different realities.
While it is true there are connecting parallels, to recent past events, to use the classics as a template to find solutions for contemporary problems is at best, problematic.
The classics are important, but not for their political lessons. We study the the classics so that we might address more moral and ethical matters- on what basis shall I make my decisions, what is really important in life, what do we want our kids to learn, what do we want to pass on to next generations, etc.
In a way, the classics are like religion- they can provide us with the tools we need to make the right decisions, guide our choices and so on.
We do not look at the classics for our answers- only for guidance. We are meant to choose for ourselves, predicated on current realities.
Clearly, Hanson is a bright guy- more than that, even. Maybe that is why I’m fascinated by him- he has the tools to differentiate between reality and the world he inhabits- be it his Grapes of Wrath background or the classics he is so attached to.
Anyway, I hope you read this.