Don’t call me a “declinist.” I really don’t believe the United States—or Western civilization, more generally—is in some kind of gradual, inexorable decline.
But that’s not because I am one of those incorrigible optimists who agree with Winston Churchill that the United States will always do the right thing, albeit when all other possibilities have been exhausted.
In my view, civilizations don’t rise, fall, and then gently decline, as inevitably and predictably as the four seasons or the seven ages of man. History isn’t one smooth, parabolic curve after another. Its shape is more like an exponentially steepening slope that quite suddenly drops off like a cliff….