The downward spiral of decadence

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The downward spiral of decadence

Postby WW_III_ANGRY » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:29 pm

There was a time, not too long ago, in which decency, decorum, honor and integrity reigned supreme. Those days are over for US culture. It has been over an by hordes of the outrageous, attention gained through being crass has become more important. Maybe social media has something to do with the desperation for attention, maybe the lack of parenting. Surely there are a lot of reasons.

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-reach ... se-2017-12

"In The History of the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon luridly evokes the Rome of 408 A.D., when the armies of the Goths prepared to descend upon the city.

The marks of imperial decadence appeared not only in grotesque displays of public opulence and waste, but also in the collapse of faith in reason and science.

The people of Rome, Gibbon writes, fell prey to “a puerile superstition” promoted by astrologers and to soothsayers who claimed “to read in the entrails of victims the signs of future greatness and prosperity.”

Would a latter-day Gibbon describe today’s America as “decadent”? I recently heard a prominent, and pro-American, French thinker (who was speaking off the record) say just that.

He was moved to use the word after watching endless news accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets alternate with endless revelations of sexual harassment.

I flinched, perhaps because a Frenchman accusing Americans of decadence seems contrary to the order of nature. And the reaction to Harvey Weinstein et al. is scarcely a sign of hysterical puritanism, as I suppose he was implying.

And yet, the shoe fit. The sensation of creeping rot evoked by that word seems terribly apt.

Perhaps in a democracy the distinctive feature of decadence is not debauchery but terminal self-absorption— the loss of the capacity for collective action, the belief in common purpose, even the acceptance of a common form of reasoning.

We listen to necromancers who prophesy great things while they lead us into disaster. We sneer at the idea of a “public” and hold our fellow citizens in contempt. We think anyone who doesn’t pursue self-interest is a fool.

We cannot blame everything on Donald Trump, much though we might want to. In the decadent stage of the Roman Empire, or of Louis XVI’s France, or the dying days of the Habsburg Empire so brilliantly captured in Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities, decadence seeped downward from the rulers to the ruled.

But in a democracy, the process operates reciprocally."
Last edited by WW_III_ANGRY on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby The Eternal Warrior » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:58 pm

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:There was a time, not too long ago, in which decency, decorum, honor and integrity reigned supreme.



I wonder which time that was. Pretty sure it was for an hour somewhere back in the dim past where someone brainfarted for an hour that it existed and then the hour was up.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:51 pm

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:There was a time, not too long ago, in which decency, decorum, honor and integrity reigned supreme. Those are ones are over for US culture. It has been over an by hordes of the outrageous, attention gained through being crass has become more important. Maybe social media has something to do with the desperation for attention, maybe the lack of parenting. Surely there are a lot of reasons.

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-reach ... se-2017-12

"In The History of the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon luridly evokes the Rome of 408 A.D., when the armies of the Goths prepared to descend upon the city.

The marks of imperial decadence appeared not only in grotesque displays of public opulence and waste, but also in the collapse of faith in reason and science.

The people of Rome, Gibbon writes, fell prey to “a puerile superstition” promoted by astrologers and to soothsayers who claimed “to read in the entrails of victims the signs of future greatness and prosperity.”

Would a latter-day Gibbon describe today’s America as “decadent”? I recently heard a prominent, and pro-American, French thinker (who was speaking off the record) say just that.

He was moved to use the word after watching endless news accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets alternate with endless revelations of sexual harassment.

I flinched, perhaps because a Frenchman accusing Americans of decadence seems contrary to the order of nature. And the reaction to Harvey Weinstein et al. is scarcely a sign of hysterical puritanism, as I suppose he was implying.

And yet, the shoe fit. The sensation of creeping rot evoked by that word seems terribly apt.

Perhaps in a democracy the distinctive feature of decadence is not debauchery but terminal self-absorption— the loss of the capacity for collective action, the belief in common purpose, even the acceptance of a common form of reasoning.

We listen to necromancers who prophesy great things while they lead us into disaster. We sneer at the idea of a “public” and hold our fellow citizens in contempt. We think anyone who doesn’t pursue self-interest is a fool.

We cannot blame everything on Donald Trump, much though we might want to. In the decadent stage of the Roman Empire, or of Louis XVI’s France, or the dying days of the Habsburg Empire so brilliantly captured in Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities, decadence seeped downward from the rulers to the ruled.

But in a democracy, the process operates reciprocally."


K: yes, you are correct, but are these causes or symptoms?
I don't believe IQ45 is the cause but certainly is a symptom of
something else.....

the problem with the word "decadence" is what exactly is "decadence"?
to what do we compare "decadence" with? to compare some modern idea of "decadence"
with some ancient idea is the moving and changing enviroment of society and culture...
we are different today because of events and our thoughts about those events.....
we are different then the past because of the world wars and the Holocaust
and how we think about those events....

I am old, about to turn 59 and I must say, I see a different America
because of 9/11... I see that as a turning point....we have become something
different because of 9/11..... we are far more fearful and have malaise of
indifference and hatred (such a weird combination to be sure, but that is what I see)
we have lost our nerve, just as Gibbon felt that the Roman's lost their nerve...
the America I grew up in was confident and sure about the future, but the
America I see today is lost and confused... and the blame partly, goes to
the leadership of America... because we no longer see a postive future, we
gravitate to greed and hate and fear because they aren't of the future
and we no longer have a future to look for or aim for... those lower needs,
instincts replace the higher needs of love and peace and charity.....
when you lose hope in the future, you need to replace it with something
and we have lost hope in the future....we are the first generation in American
history that has lost faith in the future...and thus arise the need for
tyrants like IQ45....we are pretty much following the fall of Rome...
from idiotic military campaigns of the three wars, Iraq, Afghanistan and
the pretend war on Terror which is draining us dry... but that is the point...
to weaken us to allow the forces of "evil" to control and dominate us...
to allow the military and governmental forces to dominate us...
and this is following the path of the Roman fall.... I give us maybe,
15 years before America falls into third world terrain... maybe....
if the civil war doesn't begin before that....

the future looks rather bleak... unless we become aware and change..
but that requires some reflection on our part... something we seem to be
incapable of.... I fear for the worse for America.... I am hoping to die
before the shit hits the fan... but we don't always get what we want....

Kropotkin
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:58 pm

How can an empire not collapse when it is sustained by hollow idealism?
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Fixed Cross » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:34 pm

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:There was a time, not too long ago, in which decency, decorum, honor and integrity reigned supreme.


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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:24 pm

https://youtu.be/M3W9Z7XBzYc

Who knows, maybe this explains Don Trump's base in part. At least the part embedded in the white working class. America is getting less and less like the folks that they are. And colluding with the Russians and making the rich richer and fucking Stormy Daniels is tolerated as long as he can keep things from getting even more decadent.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Inconvenient Reality » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:47 pm

Decadence is what affords humans the ability to think up stupid ideologies and descend into depravity (any lifestyle or ideology that promotes ideas that hinder reproduction, the natural culture or stability of society), ultimately causing a cyclical rise and fall of civilizations. This occurs when humans forget that they must fight for survival the same as any other animal. When survival and comfort (defined by all of your REAL needs being met, namely food, shelter, heat, water and safety) are taken for granted by a large enough segment of society (usually among those who do not produce), this process begins and always follows a similar pattern.

Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.

It's not hard to see where we are roughly in the cycle right now.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:50 am

Reflecting on instances of repeating patterns is sometimes useful ... on occasion the repeating patterns are found to be mathematical ... eg. the Fibonacci sequence.

There is likely a mathematical relationship between "prosperity" and "decadence/depravity" ... with prosperity being the left side of the equation and decadence/prosperity being the right side of the equation.

Prosperity being inextricably linked to decadence/depravity.

Certainly would explain a lot of today's circumstances.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:14 pm

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:
He was moved to use the word after watching endless news accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets alternate with endless revelations of sexual harassment.

It is not like nutbags in power positions and systemic sexual harrassers were not present in the [fill in the decade of your choosing], it's that we now how someone with no moutneditor and women coming out in mass via social media on the latter.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:15 pm

decorum has always been misleading
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby The Eternal Warrior » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:14 pm

WendyDarling wrote:How can an empire not collapse when it is sustained by hollow idealism?


strength of the emotion tied into the hollow idealism by the idiot zealots. Unless, of course, you actually believe in God or a higher power that is able to supply better.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby WW_III_ANGRY » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:36 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
WW_III_ANGRY wrote:
He was moved to use the word after watching endless news accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets alternate with endless revelations of sexual harassment.

It is not like nutbags in power positions and systemic sexual harrassers were not present in the [fill in the decade of your choosing], it's that we now how someone with no moutneditor and women coming out in mass via social media on the latter.


I don't think that's the problem that we are experiencing now though. It is not just those in power. It's everyone.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:06 pm

WW_III_ANGRY wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
WW_III_ANGRY wrote:
He was moved to use the word after watching endless news accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets alternate with endless revelations of sexual harassment.

It is not like nutbags in power positions and systemic sexual harrassers were not present in the [fill in the decade of your choosing], it's that we now how someone with no moutneditor and women coming out in mass via social media on the latter.


I don't think that's the problem that we are experiencing now though. It is not just those in power. It's everyone.

Well, shallowness is more perfectly created these days. The smartphone addiction that is accepted as a norm is really quite incredible. I suppose one could call it a kind of decadence. Though hell, decadence should be more physical or why bother. All these people walking around staring into devices, never being where they are.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Meno_ » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:46 pm

In different words, the idea of a democratic capitalism or a capitalistic democracy has always exhibited a dilemma , of ideological cross purposes. How can an idea succeed when the ideals of the Bill of Rights slide into economic inequality by fiat?

The crisis of Capitalism has always been factored in as one of the great unknowns and the Great Depression and the Recession are signals to that effec.

Upsurge s are not entirely lucrative, the conquest through the victories of the World Wars, effected a short lived, merely 2 generations of promoting so called 'freedom. After that , a contended society was killed into a feeling that such will manifest an eternal well being, not unlike that promised by the Furher as the Third Imperium. Had that succeeded, the Roman Imperium would not have suffered a de classes of confidence through its intermediary state of the Holy Roman Empire, and the decadent label would have not progressively taken it over as a self imploding conceptual reality.

But the idea has diminished through this cross wiring between freedom , de jure and de facto bringing this hidden paradox into from and center.

Decadence could morph into a way of life only until violence erupts and it is for the prevention of such violence that Trumpism was installed as a way to cause minor turbulence to undermine major ones, a damage control of sorts.It may be a good thing for those who see how the ruling class can fare as examples by the elite of the French Aristocracy of the Louis XVI th dynasty. The process remains the same and the emperor remains, albeit differently clothed.

Trumpism and Trump himself may be a cover of a politically made up interlace of carefully planned program predicted by Eisenhower , in reference to the danger posed by the military industrial complex.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:34 am

The smartphone addiction that is accepted as a norm is really quite incredible. I suppose one could call it a kind of decadence. Though hell, decadence should be more physical or why bother. All these people walking around staring into devices, never being where they are.


KT ... I shared your opinion about the smart phone phenomenon until yesterday ... let me share my epiphany ... which may be totally worthless. :-)

My conjecture is based on the habit smart phone users have of checking for messages ... it's my impression ... not being a smart phone user ... it almost qualifies as obsessive compulsive behavior.

Why?

It occurred to me yesterday that these people may be starving for love and affection ... and a phone message ... is the closest they get to the real thing.

Just a thought.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:04 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
The smartphone addiction that is accepted as a norm is really quite incredible. I suppose one could call it a kind of decadence. Though hell, decadence should be more physical or why bother. All these people walking around staring into devices, never being where they are.


KT ... I shared your opinion about the smart phone phenomenon until yesterday ... let me share my epiphany ... which may be totally worthless. :-)

My conjecture is based on the habit smart phone users have of checking for messages ... it's my impression ... not being a smart phone user ... it almost qualifies as obsessive compulsive behavior.

Why?

It occurred to me yesterday that these people may be starving for love and affection ... and a phone message ... is the closest they get to the real thing.

Just a thought.
I think there is some truth in that. But look facebook executives, some with much regret when they explain this, have said they used the latest knowledge from cognitive psychology and neuroscience to make that shit addictive. They set thinks up with sounds and images and emoticons to go direct to certain systems in our souls/brains/minds where we are vulnerable. They did it to make it addictive and it is. The alcoholics first reaching for a shot of whiskey may be similar to reaching out for love, but they will not find love there.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Zero_Sum » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:22 am

Democracy is the epitome of decadence and therefore cannot create anything else but a decadent environment.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Mr Reasonable » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:10 am

In our democracy, most people are poor. Only a small amount of the overall population gets to live really well. How is that decadence?
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Zero_Sum » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:14 am

Mr Reasonable wrote:In our democracy, most people are poor. Only a small amount of the overall population gets to live really well. How is that decadence?


Well, at least you're honest with all of that instead of somebody say like Peter or WorldWarIII.

It's decadence also because the leaders themselves are decadent since leaders should actually care about their people and if that fails people should force people in positions of power to care through violence. We can either have a civil society or none at all, take your pick.
The temple mount will be rebuilt in Jerusalem and all the nations of the world will be ruled from there. All races, cultures, leaders, and nations will come to bow before the new messiah yet to come. All will come to know the chosen of God who refer themselves as Jews. For every Jew there will be a thousand goyim that will be their slaves as it was ordained by God. Every man, woman, and child will convert to Zionism.
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Re: The downward spiral of decadence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:30 am

Mr Reasonable wrote:In our democracy, most people are poor. Only a small amount of the overall population gets to live really well. How is that decadence?

You can be poor and decadent, in fact a lot of corporate energy goes into making this as likely as possible.

It's not a democracy by the way, it's an oligarchy.
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