Relevant to what’s happening today.
This post is about three empirically based theories of national decline. It’s written as a freestanding essay. Some readers may want to know, however, that it’s also Part II of a two-part project to help me better understand the root causes of the United States’ growing social and political instability.
Part I (312) explored the Gilded Age, which is the closest parallel to the present. In addition, I wrote a shorter bridge essay (319) that provides some useful historical information on the U.S. tax code and takes a critical look at the narrative, embedded in the legal profession’s code of ethics, that lawyers have special roles and responsibilities in the preservation of constitutional democracy and the rule of law.
As noted in Part I and the bridge, I am using these essays to “build a sturdier, more informed, and more realistic intellectual frame — i.e., something that can be fully squared with the present day.” This is a difficult topic that requires a lot of work. Yet, in our present environment, and speaking only for myself, I’ve concluded that it would be unethical, immoral, and decadent to focus on other “more practical” projects. Further, I suspect a subset of readers shares my sense of alarm. Hence, I’m sharing my work.
Continue Reading Three empirically based theories of national decline (book review) (321)