Historian Victor Davis Hanson chronicles the sad decline of the once great state of California in his book, The Decline and Fall of California: From Decadence to Destruction. Clearly modeled on famous British historian Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Hanson’s book makes it clear that the increasingly dystopian California has been the author of its own decline. A half-century of bad policy and failed ideology has reduced the Golden State to a shell of its former glory.
... Hanson—a college professor, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and an expert in the classics—is a product of many generations of Californian’s who made their home in the state’s mostly agricultural central valley. Few come closer to Thomas Jefferson’s idealized philosopher-farmer than Hanson, who is highly educated in history, warfare, and philosophy, yet runs a working farm like his forefathers.
Unfortunately, Hanson’s prognosis for California is bleak ... the only mystery is how Carthaginian will be the victor’s peace, e.g., how high will taxes go, how many will leave, how happy will the majority be at their departure?”
... It is clear that Hanson is mostly attempting to warn fellow Americans about a future that looks like California, rather than preach to his native state which is intent to keep the wheels of history turning in a militantly progressive direction.
... Hanson writes:
"The sin of not investing in “infrastructure” to keep up with population growth was compounded by a greater sin still of misappropriating infrastructure. Those who had stopped the building of more unnatural dams—a green movement birthed among the opulence of Northern California that sought exemption from the ramifications of its own ideology—now wanted infrastructure to store the water necessary for its own dreams of replenishing salmon in the rivers."
... Hanson writes that “as in most of California’s existential crises—budgeting, infrastructure, pensions, immigration, education, law enforcement—the problem lies in its thin coastal corridor, a surreal place where liberal grandees assume that they are exempt from the chaotic ramifications of their own utopian ideologies.”
“There is a great sickness in California, home of the greatest number of American billionaires and poor people, land of the highest taxes and about the worst schools and roads in the nation,” Hanson writes. “The illness is a new secular religion far more zealous and intolerant than the pre-Reformation zealotry of the Church. Modern elite liberalism is based on the simple creed that one’s affluence and education, one’s coolness and zip code, should shield him from the consequences of one’s bankrupt thoughts that he inflicts on others.”
... Hanson’s book is an excellent primer for Californians and Americans in general to discover what went wrong in a state with almost unlimited natural and geographical advantages. It is a dissection of the rapid descent of the Golden State that stood above all others in power, wealth, and prestige–to a national laughingstock in three generations.
Story is here. Click the picture of the book above to find it on Amazon.