DUELING POPULISMS, by Victor Davis Hanson

Published on May 1, 2024 by Eugene Ho

Hoover Institution, 2018 | 7 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

by Benjamin J. Montoya, PhD


About the Author

Victor Davis Hanson is Professor of Greek and Director of the Classics Program at California State University, Fresno. He is the author or editor of many books, including Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (with John Heath, Free Press, 1998), and The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999). In 1992 he was named the most outstanding undergraduate teacher of classics in the nation.



It is very tempting to think that the debates of our political day are new, such that current discussions are something we must face anew. But, alas, history repeats itself once again. One of the popular political debates surrounds a divide on the issues of equality and liberty. This debate goes back to at least Ancient Greece. 

The popular tribunes argued for the same kind of redistribution that we see argued for today—redistribution of property, higher taxes for the wealthy, greater support for public employment, and more of the same kinds of things we see pushed today. But another sector, rising from the middle classes, spoke out against this political ideal and argued in favor of liberty. They argued for the continuation of private ownership; their views would eventually lead to the rise of the Greek city-state and constitutional government.

Enter Donald Trump. Not only do we see the same political debate happening again today, but he has thrown the proverbial gas on the fire because he is in support of the same kind of liberty mentioned before in Ancient Greece. He came in the political area after years of hearing the kinds of political ideals of those who continue to seek to redistribute wealth, but his ideals continue to resound with such a large part of America that has had to deal with the difficulties created by the equality mindset. . . .

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DUELING POPULISMS, by Victor Davis Hanson

Hoover Institution, 2018 | 7 pages

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