It’s always the end of the world for somebody

Courtesy of Hit & Run, here’s a neat article from World Affairs on how the current crop of “America-in-decline” books & articles is nothing new:

As with the pessimistic intellectual troughs that followed the Depression, Vietnam, and the stagflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s, there is a tendency among declinists to over-extrapolate from a momentous but singular event—in this case, the Iraq War, whose wake propels many of their gloomy forecasts.

It’s always easier to

  1. call for the end of the world, and
  2. pretend that now is how things are always going to be.

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