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BAYSIDE, NY – Certain elements in our culture are in advance. There have been great advances in medicine. People live longer and healthier lives, sometimes pain free. At one time until the 1940s people lived for the most part to their forties and fifties, and if, lucky sixties. But now many live until their eighties. Cancer, once a death sentence, is now treatable and in some instances curable. There have been great advances in technology. Cell phones, emails, computers, and text messages have made communication easier and faster. Distances and time have shrunk. Anyone in the world with a computer is available and reachable.
On the other hand, there have been declines. With cell phones, text messages, and emails, print is not the only form of communication as it once was. We are bombarded with images, blips, and the quick fix. The result is the attention span and ability to focus has declined and many people do not read at all, and if they do, the only read what is immediate and current and modern and of momentary appeal and interest. The staples of the western canon such as Charles Dickens; War and Peace by Tolstoy; Anna Karenina; the Greek tragedies; The Iliad; The Odyssey; Paradise Lost by John Milton; the poetry of Keats and Shelley; the Bible; Plato; Aristotle; Cicero; and the Confessions of St. Augustine, are some of the older books and literature that may not be assigned in our colleges these days and remain unknown to the masses. A society which does not read and does not read the great books I have mentioned is a society in decline and in darkness.
Second, our system allows discharge for no reason at all. This doctrine is known as the legal rule of termination at will. The result is that the employee has little or no recourse and is the victim of a of a merry-go-round where he is fated to go from per diem position to per diem position with no benefits and earning no pension. With the loss of a job at forty, there is great difficulty in finding a comparable position. Firing at will presents great difficulty for the employee to pay his expenses and support his family. Without unions or civil service protection, life for the worker in this system of termination at will is extremely difficult.
Third is the resurgence of anti-semitism in our society. Reps. Omar and Tlaib have both come out in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel. Both made statements directed to Jewish people. A world war was fought on this issue in which 6 million Jewish lives were tortured and lost. Ms. Omar has referred to evil-doings of Israel. Ms. Omar states that Israel fails to recognize other religions living in it and still claims to be a democracy. Ms. Omar used the term ‘benjamins’ as a stereotype of Jewish-Americans and stated that AIPAC funds the Republican Party’s support for Israel. This obvious resurgence of anti-semitism is un-American, unheard of, and represents a decline in our culture and its values.
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Fourth is political correctness and political code words. Political correctness means that a political lie is allowed to govern our intellectual discourse; ‘undocumented’ is a substitute for the true word ‘illegal.’ ‘Progressive,’ when directed to the issue of abortion, means that the wholesale slaughter of innocent babies, most of whom are black and Latino. In reality, the pro-life side is ‘progressive’ as it is trying to stop the slaughter of the innocents and relegating their lives to garbage cans.
Fifth, our culture is a culture based on wealth and money. Greed and money as the sole aim and goal is destructive. There is no love and no connection where money solely governs. This represents decline and descent.
Finally, there is what is named ‘moral relativism.’ Moral relativism posits there are no moral moral rules, and moral relativism holds that as long as you don’t harm others, anything goes. Thus casual sexual liaisons of any kind have now become acceptable on this basis and what it amounts to is whatever moral view you may have subjectively is OK. The result is that there is no moral objectivity any longer. There can be no greater decline than the view of moral relativism that there is no objective moral truth and in fact no objective truth of any kind.