Ross Douthat’s "Decadent Society"

Video from Hoover Institution

"Recorded on May 28, 2020 In his new book, The Decadent Society, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat presents a theory: “Western society stopped advancing in the second half of the 20th century, and the combination of wealth and technological proficiency with economic stagnation, political stalemates, cultural exhaustion, and demographic decline creates a strange kind of ‘sustainable decadence,’ a civilizational languor that could endure for longer than we think.” Against this backdrop, Peter Robinson and Douthat discuss movies, TV shows, the iPhone, SpaceX, and the 747, with some detours into the COVID-19 crisis and our current political situation. For further information:" from video introduction.

We live in a decadent society.

We are stagnant not only in our institutions but in our lives, our culture. As Christians our calling is to be Christ-like in whatever historical moment we find ourselves in. - Andy

"..Douthat outlines four aspects of decadence: stagnation (technological and economic mediocrity), sterility (declining birth rates), sclerosis (institutional failure), and repetition (cultural exhaustion).

Stagnation is the most evident. Look up from your phone, and compare our time to 1969. “Over the last two generations,” Douthat writes, “the only truly radical change has taken place in the devices we use for communication and entertainment, so that a single one of the nineteenth century’s great inventions [running water] still looms larger in our every­day existence than most of what we think of as technological breakthroughs nowadays..." from the article: Back to the Future

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success (link)

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