Restoring Dynamism in a Decadent Society with Ross Douthat


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Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT), New York Times columnist and author of The Decadent Society, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways:
- Since the moon landing, we have entered a period of stagnation. Confidence and optimism have declined and culture has entered a repetitive spiral where patterns from the 60s/70s have been repeating themselves.
- Government has become less effective and more gridlocked over time.
- The world’s richest societies are dealing with a population problem. They are not reproducing themselves, which has led to aging societies that are “stable but stuck” because they are resistant to change.
- The internet has been more of a conduit to cultural repetition than people think — old music is often most popular music on streaming services.
- The traditional story of science has been that it triumphed over religion but science emerged from an extremely religious society and it would be no surprise to Ross if as religion decays scientific progress might as well.
- Ross says that we need a renaissance to get ourselves out of the age of decadence — a reaching back into the past while synthesizing all the advancements that have come about in the meantime.
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