He was moved to use the word after watching endless news accounts of U.
This day is rapidly approaching because…. He was moved to use the word after watching endless news accounts of U. This particular imperial decline promises not to disappoint. Can the United States emulate the stoic example of the country it once surpassed? Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. The federal government will downsize drastically.
I flinched, perhaps because a Frenchman accusing Americans of decadence seems contrary to the order of nature. And the reaction to Harvey Weinstein et al. Perhaps in a democracy the distinctive feature of decadence is not debauchery but terminal self-absorption — the loss of the capacity for collective action, the belief in common purpose, even the acceptance of a common form of reasoning. We listen to necromancers who prophesy great things while they lead us into disaster. We cannot blame everything on Donald Trump, much though we might want to.
But in a democracy, the process operates reciprocally. A decadent elite licenses degraded behavior, and a debased public chooses its worst leaders. Then our Nero panders to our worst attributes — and we reward him for doing so. It is the right, of course, that first introduced the language of civilizational decay to American political discourse.
That all-accusing voice became the voice of the Republican Party. Today it is not the nihilistic hedonism of imperial Rome that threatens American civilization but the furies unleashed by Gingrich and his kin. The Republican primary was a bidding war in which the relatively calm voices — Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio — dropped out in the early rounds, while the consummately nasty Ted Cruz duked it out with the consummately cynical Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, the church-going folk of Alabama were perfectly prepared to choose a racist and a pedophile over a Democrat. Republican nominee Roy Moore almost became a senator by orchestrating a hatred of the other that was practically dehumanizing. Trump functions as the impudent id of this culture of mass contempt. Of course he has legitimized the language of xenophobia and racial hatred, but he has also legitimized the language of selfishness. During the campaign, Trump barely even made the effort that Mitt Romney did in to explain his money-making career in terms of public good.
He boasted about the gimmicks he had deployed to avoid paying taxes. Yes, he had piled up debt and walked away from the wreckage he had made in Atlantic City.
But it was a great deal for him! Then Americans elected the man who had uttered those words with demonic glee.
Voters saw cruelty and naked self-aggrandizement as signs of steely determination. Half a century ago, at the height of the civil rights era and Lyndon B. The commitment sounds almost chivalric today. Do any of our leaders have the temerity even to suggest that a tax policy that might hurt one class — at least, one politically potent class — nevertheless benefits the nation?
There is, in fact, no purer example of the politics of decadence than the tax legislation that the president will soon sign. Of course the law favors the rich; Republican supply-side doctrine argues that tax cuts to the investor class promote economic growth.
“Normally, the U.S. order would collapse upon the decline of the United States and the rise of a country like China,” he wrote. “But some U.S. A fall of the United States is probably inevitable. People said that Rome couldn't fall-look what happened. The Mongols fell. The British Empire collapsed (largely .
What distinguishes the current round of cuts from those of either Ronald Reagan or George W. Second, and no less extraordinary, is the way the tax cuts have been targeted to help Republican voters and hurt Democrats, above all through the abolition or sharp reduction of the deductibility of state and local taxes.
He would have thought that grossly unpatriotic. The new tax cuts constitute the economic equivalent of gerrymandering. Finally, the tax cut is an exercise in willful blindness. The same no doubt could be said for the Reagan tax cuts, which predictably led to unprecedented deficits when Republicans as well as Democrats balked at making offsetting budget cuts. Yet at the time a whole band of officials in the White House and the Congress clamored, in some cases desperately, for such reductions.
They accepted a realm of objective reality that existed separately from their own wishes. But in , when the Congressional Budget Office and other neutral arbiters concluded that the tax cuts would not begin to pay for themselves, the White House and congressional leaders simply dismissed the forecasts as too gloomy. Here is something genuinely new about our era: We lack not only a sense of shared citizenry or collective good, but even a shared body of fact or a collective mode of reasoning toward the truth.
Global warming is a hoax. Barack Obama was born in Africa.
Neutral predictions of the effects of tax cuts on the budget must be wrong, because the effects they foresee are bad ones. After that, I turned to Marxian history and economics. Marxian-inspired anthropologists are rather infamous for constantly predicting crisis. I started thinking much more anthropologically under the guidance of Michel-Rolph Trouillot. And Trouillot was very clear that the value of anthropology was not from prediction. That was before John Bolton.
The rise of Peter Navarro.
Plus various legal troubles, and apparently firing people faster than they can be appointed. It seems we would hear something about such matters on anthropology blogs, but even the usually reliable Zero Anthropology has been silent. The most convincing arguments I have read thus far, see the current decline of US dominance as beginning around the end of the war in Vietnam, with some brief moments of respite, even a rally, along the way.
Trump would thus represent a moment along the downward slope.