Category - Social Change

Decadence: the Beginning of the End?

Decadence: the Beginning of the End?

What happens when a society reaches its peak?  When the age of discovery—not just of far-off lands but of life-changing inventions—ends?  This is the subject of Ross Douthat’s recent book The Decadent Society.

“Where are you, Thomas Edison?” the author implores, sadly noting the drop in meaningful patents in the last couple of decades and the failure to produce life-altering changes like the electric refrigerator, the vacuum cleaner, the horseless carriage, the jet plane, the atomic bomb, and even the moon shot. But the last on this list, the moon landing, took place in 1969. What do we have to show for ourselves since then?

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