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The coming dark age: Victor Davis Hanson took a journey through California recently and what he learned he found quite depressing.
The state bears little to no resemblance to what I was born into. In a word, it is now a medieval place of lords and peasants—and few in between. Or rather, as I gazed out on the California Aqueduct, the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Luis Reservoir, I realized we are like the hapless, squatter Greeks of the Dark Ages, who could not figure out who those mythical Mycenaean lords were that built huge projects still standing in their midst, long after Lord Ajax and King Odysseus disappeared into exaggeration and myth. Henry Huntington built the entire Big Creek Hydroelectric Project in the time it took our generation to go to three hearings on a proposed dam.
His analysis is cogent and worth a careful read. I think the most depressing point he makes is how the priorities of liberal elites of California have no connection with the real needs of the general population, and are thus causing the quality of life for those without gobs of money to decline precipitously.
Stranger still, the infusion of hundreds of billions of global tech capital created a new, politically active, multimillionaire elite, completely insulated from the consequences of their own therapeutic ideologies. The reason why California’s gas and electricity prices are among the highest in the nation, why its income, sales and gas taxes are likewise among the steepest, and why the price of housing per square foot soars over $1,000 while nearby tens of thousands of acres of open ground sit sacrosanct—essential open viewing space for those who can afford $1.5 million, 1,500 sq. feet 1970s houses—is this new rich elite.
California is No Place for the Middle Class
Easy money translated into a utopian view of living. Higher taxes were a small price to pay for the psychological reassurance that a millionaire was still liberal. Professions of abstract progressive piety make guilt-free grasping materialism possible. I suppose if you make $800,000, having your legislature outlaw dogs chasing bears and bobcats instead of building a reservoir makes you feel as if you make $80,000.
We are seeing this pattern repeat everywhere across the country. We are even seeing it repeat in Europe, with the ordinary citizens finding their lives destroyed by Islamic immigrants forced on them by pie-in-the-sky elite elected officials.
The last link is very illuminating. It shows a German townhall meeting where an elected mayor tells his citizens that rather than stop the physical abuse of women by Muslim immigrants the women should run and hide. The crowd understandably reacts in horror and indignation. Whether they will move to replace this mayor and his ilk remains an unknown. In the U.S. too many Americans remain willing to accept the rule of similar elitists, which is why we still have a viable Democratic Party.