Who Eventually Won the Cold War?

Who Eventually Won the Cold War? By Victor Davis Hanson.

In the ancient days of the Cold War, the United States relied on its open society, political tolerance, the Bill of Rights, and meritocracy to outproduce and out-arm both the far larger Soviet Union, and Red China.

The Soviet commissariat and ideological watchdogs of Communism were drags on Russian and Chinese research and development. Apparatchiks were not only unproductive but expensive. They even hampered the pursuit of science if they believed it challenged the monopoly of Marxist-Leninist ideology and control.

In the case of Mao’s Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, Communist China destroyed entire cadres of scientific and intellectual research teams for generations by unleashing the Red Guards who applied Orwellian revolutionary litmus tests to the most productive elements of society. And they usually found them worthy of death, imprisonment, or forced nonexistence for their supposed lack of correct Maoist fervor — as proven by reading the wrong books, wearing the wrong clothes, saying the wrong slogans, or belonging to the wrong faction. …

In contrast, the United States even welcomed countercultural and idiosyncratic capitalists — from the wacky founder of CNN Ted Turner to the unorthodox Nebraska investor Warren Buffet to the loner Steve Jobs of Apple. SAT and ACT college-entrance standardized tests were seen as meritocratic. They were envisioned as a balance to toady letters of recommendations, wealth and status, or grade inflation and distortions, and thus helped ensure talented undergraduates from all walks of life. …

The result was that postwar American universities surpassed their global hostile counterparts in almost every field of research. …

Not any more:

Most American universities are now madly rushing to institutionalize expensive, unproductive, and dangerous commissars to warp research, restrict free speech, and monitor instruction and expression. They are euphemistically deemed diversity, equity, and inclusion administrators and human relations directors. Like French Jacobins, Russian Bolsheviks, and Chinese Maoists they justify their anti-Enlightenment and totalitarian means by their supposedly exalted ends of “equity.”

A social media lynch mob, born and bred in America, equates incorrect thought with felonious behavior. Our online American Red Guards act as judge, jury, and executioner canceling out careers and lives in the manner of a virtual online gulag — in hopes of deterring all incorrect thought and expression.

Ministries of the U.S. government sic the FBI, as if it is the KGB, on incorrect expression at school board hearings. The IRS both targets and exempts the elite on the basis of ideology. The CIA and Pentagon are likewise weaponized, as attuned to the dictates of social justice ministers at home as thwarting enemies abroad. …

As in the Soviet and Maoist systems that likewise in multifaceted ways destroyed meritocracy, so too engineers, researchers, CEOs, mavericks, innovators, writers, artists, and musicians now calibrate their own career trajectories in terms of whether they will satisfy or offend critical race theory, green, or identity politics commissars. The Communist Chinese put dunce caps on professors and political operatives deemed counterrevolutionaries; we simply dox, cancel, ostracize, and shout them down or drive them off campuses.

Note how the United States, in its woke reinvention, is doing its best to stifle creativity, free expression, and scientific and social research by applying ideological parameters and doling out political rewards and punishments for right and wrong thinking.

They are laughing at us:

Notice how both the former Soviet Union and the former Maoist Chinese are reacting to our own regressions into systems that they once embraced, but finally discarded when they resulted only in poverty, civil strife, and ultimately mass death.

Autocrat Vladimir Putin, smiling as the Cheshire Cat, recently lectured America on its bizarre regression into racial tribalism, ideological intolerance, and cultural revolutionary nihilism. Putin surreally assumed the role of the all-knowing “I warned you” truth-teller, as he compared 2021 America to his own former Soviet Union.

So, he acted delighted that such wokeism might do to the United States what Sovietism once did to his Mother Russia …

There is nothing like an old Bolshevik grinning that ossified American wokesters are stuck circa 1920s in the old Bolshevik Russia. …

The Chinese are more adroit. They prefer not to mock but to tap into what they see as our fatal strategic disadvantages. In other words, rather than boasting that even the former Soviet Union is tired of destructive ideological wokeism, Beijing eggs it on — albeit in America.

During the COVID-19 pandemic that China likely birthed … and helped to spread, the Chinese hierarchy replied to any criticism with accusations of “racism!” An accusatory China was hardly shamed that it is one of the most racist countries in the world and institutionally discriminates against non-atheists and the non-Han Chinese residing in its midst. Instead, Chinese propagandists brilliantly egg on U.S. wokeism in the surety that it is both weakening the economic, military, and political sinews of the country, and useful in deflecting its own racist, imperialist, and colonialist policies by accusing America of just those sins. …

Bottom line:

America is now seeking to emulate the crude modalities of the old Soviet Union and Maoist China that the now-gleeful autocratic Russians and Chinese at least realize nearly destroyed them.

They came in through the education system.