My Dear Harry and Ramin:I
‘ll split the difference with you and I’ll say that it is very difficult to say just where a society is when one is having the conversation contiguous with events themselves.In no other time in history has man been able to sit and say “Oh, well, we are on the rise, or we are now robust and in full flower, or, Oh, well , we’re, in decline or at the beginning, middle, high middle or end of decline.”Imagine the Romans having such discussions?
Or even the Germans under Hitler or the Russians under Stalin or the Red Chinese under Mao?
Suffice to say that those of us who have decent educations and active minds are in sync to think that America and the West are not, today. in their finest hours.I think to a degree that the very bad hours we are in are driven by our very ability, unprecedented in history, to talk in the present tense about the present time.
To what degree that ability affects outcomes themselves, I couldn’t say except to say that it is a part of the equation, most particularly so with respect to politics.
As to totalitarians, in various forms, they have existed forever and will exist forever. All sorts of guys want to run the world and force other men to bend the knee to them. For a time, some men are very successful despots. Beyond debate, those of us who know Lady History know this: in the end, all the little tin Gods fall down.
All the little tin Gods fail.The only certain consolation Lady History gives us is this certain categorical: the big shots of today are the dried, fallen and forgotten leaves of tomorrow.