I must express a certain disappointment with this book. I thought it was going to be a comparative historical analysis of why nations and civilizations end with a focus on what is happening in the USA. I thought this would be both educational and entertaining. Instead it utilizes a fascinating ‘warning system’ to evaluate decline, and focuses primarily on the state of the USA in the early 1990s.
It is not that I found the book unpleasant in any way, only that it was not what I expected. In all fairness, I do not think very many people would have found a comparative historical analysis very interesting, and as such the author was probably wise in this matter. The book was well written, and very well presented. If anything the problem may be that I am too much in agreement with the author. For me it was a bit like preaching to the choir. I do not need any more convincing that the USA is on a terrible course of national and cultural decline, and perhaps collapse. For those who may not agree, but who have an open mind, this book will be very interesting.
What I found particular interesting is the “Ten Warning Signs of a Culture in Crisis”. The author has created a compelling evaluative structure defining the factors that we should all be concerned about in regards to our nation’s future:
The author breaks the Ten Warning Signs into three sub-categories: SOCIAL DECAY, CULTURAL DECAY, and MORAL DECAY.
- The Crisis of Lawlessness – a nation beset by crime and lawlessness.
- The Loss of Economic Discipline – a nation that cannot govern its finances, government, business, or individual.
- Rising Bureaucracy – a nation that allows its government to grow so large that it threatens the liberty and prosperity of its citizens.
- The Decline of Education – a nation that fails to educate its people in the arts, sciences, literature, and civic duty, but instead promotes propaganda and ignorance.
- The Weakening of Cultural Foundations – a nation that promotes aimless change over preserving important societal institutions.
- Loss of Respect for Tradition – a nation that fails to honor past traditions that made it strong and successful.
- Increase in Materialism – a nation whose citizens do not focus on who they are, but on what they have.
- The Rise of Immorality – a nation that abandons the idea of ‘good’ vs ‘evil’ and tolerates indecency on the basis of moral relativism.
- The Decay of Religious Belief – a nation that abandons its traditional religions and instead embraces novel new cults and political beliefs.
- The Devaluing of Human Life – a nation that no longer protects the weak, such as the very old and the very young, because it does not value life over other priorities.
This is my short version of what is presented in the book. I encourage you to read this book if these issues are important to you.