Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire

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9780393058666: Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire
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In Dark Ages America, the pundit Morris Berman argues that the nation has entered a dangerous phase in its historical development from which there is no return.

As the corporate-consumerist juggernaut that now defines the nation rolls on, the very factors that once propelled America to greatness―extreme individualism, territorial and economic expansion, and the pursuit of material wealth―are, paradoxically, the nails in our collective coffin. Within a few decades, Berman argues, the United States will be marginalized on the world stage, its hegemony replaced by China or the European Union. With the United States just one terrorist attack away from a police state, Berman's book is a controversial and illuminating look at our current society and its ills.

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From the Author:

From author Morris Berman: When I published my previous book in 2000, I characterized the historical phase we were in as a "twilight" period, similar to Rome in the waning days of its late-empire phase. It seems to me that it is not entirely an exaggeration to suggest that since 2000 we have effectively transited from twilight to night, entered a new Dark Age. Thus there are a number of developments that can be characterized as frankly medieval: the triumph of religion over reason, and a progressive rollback of Enlightenment humanism; a massive breakdown of education and critical thinking (the statistics of which will probably strike the reader as surreal); the actual legalization of torture, and its widespread use by the American government; and the growing political and economic marginalization of the United States on the world stage. Equally sobering is that the vast majority of Americans are either ignorant of these developments or actually approve of them, bringing to mind the famous remark by Will Durant that "a great nation is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." Certainly, as one British colleague wrote me, the United States will be part of the future, but (he added) most of the future will take place outside of the United States. There is abundant evidence to indicate that our historical moment is passing, and that the zeitgeist, as it were, is moving on.

From the Inside Flap:

A sobering work that reveals that America has entered an inescapable social, cultural, and economic Dark Age.

Historians now recognize that the fall of Rome, and the subsequent onset of the Dark Ages in Europe, cannot be ascribed to any single cause. The truth is that Rome no longer knew how to live; its decline was the result of a general malaise and structural weakness that grew over time. In Dark Ages America, Morris Berman argues that much the same can be said of the United States today. As religion triumphs over reason and democracy turns into plutocracy, the nation has entered a phase in its historical development from which there is no return. A particular strength of this book lies in the connections Berman makes between the large-scale processes of national collapse, such as an overextended economy and a self-destructive foreign policy, and the obvious deterioration of our daily lives: the frenzied acceleration of work, the erosion of integrity and community, and the impoverishment of the mass media. As the corporate-consumerist juggernaut that now defines the nation rolls on, removing meaning from our lives and leaving no real alternatives in its wake, the very factors that once propelled America to greatness--extreme individualism, territorial and economic expansion, and the pursuit of material wealth--are now, paradoxically, the nails in our collective coffin. Like the citizens of ancient Rome, we too no longer know how to live; and within a few decades the United States will be marginalized on the world stage, its hegemony replaced by China or the European Union.

Our options at this point, Berman suggests, are two: to continue pursuing policies that are short-sighted and destructive, thereby guaranteeing a fairly rapid decline; or to attempt some slight modifications of these policies, thereby rendering that decline a bit more gradual. What is not an option is reversing this trajectory, for the levers of social and political change have effectively vanished from the scene. There is, in short, no rabbit to be pulled out of a hat here; our eclipse is a fait accompli.

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. As the corporate-consumerist juggernaut that now defines the nation rolls on, the very factors that once propelled America to greatness--extreme individualism, territorial and economic expansion, and the pursuit of material wealth--are, paradoxically, the nails in our collective coffin. Within a few decades, Berman argues, the United States will be marginalized on the world stage, its hegemony replaced by China or the European Union. With the United States just one terrorist attack away from a police state, Berman s book is a controversial and illuminating look at our current society and its ills. Seller Inventory # NLF9780393058666

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. As the corporate-consumerist juggernaut that now defines the nation rolls on, the very factors that once propelled America to greatness--extreme individualism, territorial and economic expansion, and the pursuit of material wealth--are, paradoxically, the nails in our collective coffin. Within a few decades, Berman argues, the United States will be marginalized on the world stage, its hegemony replaced by China or the European Union. With the United States just one terrorist attack away from a police state, Berman s book is a controversial and illuminating look at our current society and its ills. Seller Inventory # NLF9780393058666

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