Sometimes a culture disappears with a whimper, not a bang. Institutions age and are ignored, and the complacent public insidiously lowers its expectations of state performance. Infrastructure, the rule of law, and civility erode — and yet people are not sure why and how their own changing (and pathological) individual behavior is leading to the collective deterioration that they deplore.
ShareThere is still a “West” in the sense of the physical entities of North America, Europe, many of the former British dominions, and parts of Westernized Asia. The infrastructure of our cities and states looks about as it did in the recent past. But is it the West as we once knew it — a unique civilization predicated on free expression, human rights, self-criticism, vibrant free markets, and the rule of law? Or, instead, is the West reduced to a wealthy but unfree leisure zone, driven on autopilot by computerized affluence, technological determinism, and a growing equality-of-result, omnipotent state? (Read more.)