It is obvious that feelings of decline are now widespread in a way that they were not in the past. Without exception, everyone that I have asked about whether America is in decline has said yes, regardless of his or her political stance, age, occupation, or social position. A wave of palpable unease has spread across the United States.
The self-appointed defenders of present-day America against the “declinists” tend to stress the collapse of our enemies, but historically, the collapse of one’s enemies is not necessarily a victory. There are many cases in history where both rivals collapsed simultaneously: Sassanian Persia and the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman and the Spanish Empires, the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires, and so on. One of the early signs of the collapse of the communist societies was the decline in life expectancy and health care. Recent headlines in the United States suggest that we are going through a similar phenomenon....
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