Jewish World Review June 27, 2013/ 19 Tammuz, 5773
How will America hold together?
By Victor Davis Hanson
By the year 200, the
A stubborn common popular culture and the prosperity of Mediterranean-wide standardization kept things going. The Egyptian, the Numidian, the Iberian and the Greek assumed that everything from Roman clay lamps and glass to good roads and plentiful grain were available to millions throughout the Mediterranean.
As long as the sea was free of pirates, thieves cleared from the roads, and merchants allowed to profit, few cared whether the lawless Caracalla or the unhinged Elagabalus was emperor in distant
Something likewise both depressing and encouraging is happening to
Most young people cannot distinguish the First Amendment from the Fourth Amendment -- and do not worry that they cannot.
Separatism is believed to bring dividends. Here in
Yet housing prices in elite enclaves --
The government and the media do their best to spread the ideals of radical egalitarianism while avoiding offense to anyone. There is no official war on terror or against radical Islamism. Instead, in "overseas contingency operations" we fight "man-caused disasters" while at home dealing with "workplace violence."
In news stories that involve crimes with divisive racial themes, the media frequently paper over information about the perpetrators. But that noble restraint only seems to incite readers. In reckless fashion they often post the most inflammatory online comments about such liberal censorship. Officially, America celebrates diversity; privately, America is fragmenting into racial, political and ideological camps.
So why is
About half of America and many of its institutions operate as they always have. Caltech and
Get up at
Like diverse imperial Roman citizens, we are united in some fashion by shared popular tastes and mass consumerism. The cell phones and cars of the poor offer more computing power and better transportation than the aristocracy enjoyed just 20 years ago.
Youth of all races and backgrounds in lockstep fiddle with their cell phones as they walk about. Jeans are an unspoken American uniform -- both for the
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
© 2013, TMS