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The Downfall of the Ivy League: Victor Davis Hanson (Transcript)

Transcript of JBP Podcast titled ‘The Downfall of the Ivy League’ whereinDr Jordan B Peterson and Victor Davis Hanson discuss the state of Ivy League universities, the rise of administrative exploitation, and the cost of our institutions losing credibility.


JORDAN B PETERSON: Hello, everyone. I have a guest today that I’ve wanted to talk to for a long time, Dr. Victor Davis Hanson. He is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution with his focus in the classics and military history. He’s an accomplished academic professor and author. He’s taught at Stanford Hillsdale College, the U.S. Naval Academy and Pepperdine University. His books, many of them, 26, I believe, include The Second World Wars, The End of Sparta, The Soul of Battle, Carnage and Culture, and The Case for Trump in 2019.


But I think we’ll start today with a discussion about citizenship. I’ll just make a couple of comments. You know, one of the things I’ve noticed over the last, I suppose, the span of my life really is that during my lifetime, the word citizenship or citizen seemed to be replaced by the word consumer, which I always thought was a bad replacement. Given that citizen has this, you know, it’s got a stalwart and traditional and dignified connotation that the word consumer seems to lack entirely.

Well, you wrote a whole book about citizenship recently, and so I thought we might weave our way through that. And you contrast citizens with pre-citizens. The book, by the way, is called The Dying Citizen. How progressive elites, tribalism and globalism are destroying the idea of America. And you start that book off, well, first of all, decrying that destruction, but also contrasting the modern idea of citizenship, of citizen, with the pre-modern idea of, say, peasant or resident or tribe. And so let’s delve into that a little bit.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Yeah, I mean, the idea of citizenship is pretty recent in the long history of civilization. It appeared somewhere around 700 B.C. in rural Greece and swept pretty quickly. And so by the 5th century, there were 1,500 city-states. And what it was was the first time that citizens were self-governing, and that meant that they were pretty clearly defined. They made up their own militias. They adjudicated the circumstances under which they would go to war. They voted for their own officials. And more importantly, they had property rights. They could pass on property.

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