Fall Of The West

Interesting article forwarded to me by Edmund S. Phelps at Project Syndicate:

"...In fact, since 1970, aggregate labor compensation (wages plus fringe benefits) has grown only a little more slowly than aggregate profits have, and average wage growth at the bottom of the income scale has not slowed relative to the “middle class.” But the average hourly compensation of private-sector workers (production and non-supervisory employees) has grown far more slowly than that of everyone else. And the male labor-force-participation rate has declined significantly relative to that of women. In 2015, the share of manufacturing in total employment was just one-quarter of its level in 1970."

I don't think there's much doubt that there's a contraction taking place in the West. We're seeing it right before our eyes. There isn't any vibrant intellectual 'Age of Reason'. Just a bunch of protests and grievances of identity politics masking as intellectualism.

From Spengler's Decline of the West to Orwell's 1984 to Rand's Atlas Shrugged and even obscure books like The Strange Death of Liberal England. Writers and thinkers alike have been pointing to this in different ways for decades in the 20th century.

I for one contend were currently mired in a Dark Age. Our superstitions equivalent to those we saw in the Middle-Ages are to be found in the climate change movement, political correctness (right down to  what transpires on college campuses from SJW to micro aggressions to trigger warnings to the grotesque attack on men regarding consensual sex and etc.), foolish economic beliefs (tax and spend, minimum wage and vague terms demonizing people thus pitting people against one another based on bull shit economic theories) and so on. These are examples not of progress but of an ignorant and deeply irrational populace who have let superstition take over reason.

Historian Charles Murray, to add, in his Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950, joins Phelps' contention by putting it up on a bigger scale. Specifically, that it's not just innovation (and Phelps is absolutely correct it's the excessive regulatory state that has committed this crime; not free markets as Obama ignorantly expressed. Government intervention has driven prices up, eroded purchasing power and damaged and distorted the voluntary exchange economy) that's been in decline but innovation and achievement in a wide spectrum of areas in Western civilization be it in literature, music, the sciences, mathematics. We seem to have reached our apex in the 1950s.

We have moments here and there but NOTHING like we saw during Renaissance Italy or Ancient Greece and Rome or the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions or the Age of Reason that marked the West.

What we're in a dire need of is a Second Renaissance.

Alas, we can but sit and wait patiently until we watch the trash pass through.

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