Skip to comments.The Canard of Decline
Posted on 12/09/2013 2:15:47 PM PST by neverdem
Prophesying doom for America is a hearty perennial with many uses. A fifth wave of declinism in as many decades is now rising.
Decline is as American as apple pie, a cyclical theme antedating even the birth of the American Republic, and popular among Americans and foreigners alike. Its modern, homegrown version dates from the Sputnik scare of the mid-1950s. History records five waves of American lets call it hasbeenism, in as many decades.1 What is the moral of this oft-told tale?
There are many, but all share a common theme. Decline Time in America is never just a disinterested tally of trends and numbers. It is not about truth, but about consequencesas in any morality tale. Declinism tells a story to shape belief and change behavior; it is a narrative that is impervious to empirical validation, whose purpose is to bring comforting coherence to the flow of events. The universal technique of mythic morality tales is dramatization and hyperbole. Since good news is no news, bad news is best in the marketplace of ideas. The winning vendor is not Pollyanna but Henny Penny, also known as Chicken Little, who always sees the sky falling. But why does alarmism work so well, be it on the pulpit or on the hustingswhatever the inconvenient facts?
Since biblical times, prophets have never gone to town on rosy oratory, and politicos only rarely. Fire and brimstone are usually the best USP, unique selling proposition in marketing-speak. In our days, the looming-disaster strategy carries even more heft thanks to the dominant historical trajectory of recent centuries. There was a time when historical optimism ran rampant in the West, roughly from the Enlightenment of the 18th century to the eve of World War I. Adam Smith and Karl Marxone the father of liberalism, the other of communismwere...
(Excerpt) Read more at the-american-interest.com ...
Obama is "The Bard of Canard". Next time someone says what a great speaker he is, I'll tell them that's what he is.
When I look at the quality of American education over the last fifty years, decline is what I see, but for the very top level.
Long article on philosophurbation. Quotes nothing on the way of contemporary facts to support the premise. In sum, another defender of the status quo who must be being paid by the word.
Previous empires were done in by their more dynamic rivals. To suffer terminal decline, America will have to be done in by Americaif it shuts its doors, if it unshoulders the burden of global order, if it stops reinventing itself, if it loses the magnetism that has pulled in talent and ambition for 200 years. If it comes, decay will be made in the U.S.A.
It is being made in the U.S.A -- by B.H.O.
A duck that only says no?
the USA is turning the corner economically in a very big way...however, the moral decline of the USA continues unabated.
This just means the medium term outlook has improved substantially but the long term outlook remains a great bad something for the USA. Sad thing.
A much more relevant work on this subject was a book released in 1992 entitled, "Generations". The thesis is that each generation belongs to one of four types, and that these types repeat sequentially in a fixed pattern. The vision of Generations allows us to plot a recurring cycle in American history -- a cycle of spiritual awakenings and secular crises -- from the founding colonists through the present day and well into this millenium. Which holds true except for the civil war when we destroyed most of a generation.