Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist, commentator, and almond farmer. He is the author of thousands of articles and many books, including The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, and the book that features in this conversation, co-authored by John Heath, Who Killed Homer?
As Socrates said in a pre-Christian way, 'No one can hurt my soul.' I think that's very important for young people. They are looking for ways to be heroic in an unheroic society that values conformity and consensus and 'we're all going to be victims.'
Have we killed Homer for good? Stephen Blackwood and historian-farmer Victor Davis Hanson examine the state of the contemporary West by returning to its ancient Greek origins. They explore the richness of its first principles, including self-critique, the elevation of rational understanding, the democratization of learning, and the unification of thought and action. They also bring to light our current cultural crisis: the uncritical rejection of the inherited past, an intellectualism divorced from reality, and a surrender to relativism at the cost of true self-reflection. They close by reflecting on the lateness of the hour, and offer a vital call to seek and speak truth, to ignite the fire of independence of mind, and to remember that while we may know more than those who came before, they are, as T.S. Eliot said, that which we know.
- 0:00 – Introduction
- 4:52 – Core values of Western civilization as inherited from the Greeks
- 8:29 – The ways in which these values have been preserved across history
- 15:17 – The role of conservatism in society
- 22:28 – How to better transmit these values to the next generations
- 28:38 – Highest realities accessible to everyone; reading from Homer
- 35:38 – Advice for young people to live lives of freedom, depth, and courage
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