Romains de la décadence
A.D. 1847.  Thomas Couture A.D. 1815-1879; (Credit:
Paris, musée d’Orsay)

Standing Athwart History: Can We Stop the Decline of the West?

. . .that Western culture is in an advanced state of decay is, but a consciousness of this decay goes back further than many people are probably aware.  In his 1997 book The Idea of Decline in Western History, historian Arthur Herman reveals the many phases of declinism in Western thought dating all the way back to the aftermath of the French Revolution.  (Around that time, the German writer Friedrich Schlegel went so far as to suggest that the atrocities of the Reign of Terror signaled that the “drama of human history” was drawing to a close.)  The thrust of Mr. Herman’s book is that declinism & decline theory poisoned Western thought, & decline became a self-fulfilling prophecy.  He treats the history of cultural pessimism from a variety of angles: industrialization, racial pessimism, & eco-pessimism are among them.  One motif that struck a chord with me is the idea that “material comfort & opulence have drained away all creativity & life” from the West—a theme that emerged with the onset of the Industrial Revolution & the Romantic movement & that still resonates today. . .

by Michael De Sapio

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Sweden’s Ambivalence on Immigration – Fredrik Sixtensson & Tom Gunnarsson, Amrcn Affairs
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Everyone in the West Should Be Concerned About Asia Bibi – Charlotte Gill, Telegraph
Appeasing Islamists Will Only Make Europe More Dangerous – Helen Raleigh, The Federalist
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Will China’s Neighbors Speak Out on Its Uyghur Issues? – Sarah Brooks, The Diplomat
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