A question or topic of discussion that comes up a lot in the intellectual-web (such as high-IQ Reddit subs and blogs is) is, has American society collapsed and or is dying?
This is a difficult to answer, as there’s evidence either way. America is collapsing yet simultaneously booming, depending where you look. There is evidence of collapse in terms of changing social norms and cultural values, as someone on Reddit writes:
The big ones are the decline in marriage rates, rise in single-parenthood despite overall decine in birth rates, the dissolution of so many social groups that people previously relied upon (see: Bowling Alone), rising suicide rates, and increasing political polarization/decreasing national unity.
Many political pundits and authors cite such modern developments as evidence of purported decline or collapse.
As someone who follows dissident right-wing politics, I understand what Derbyshire, Coulter, Sowell, Dalrymple and other pundits and authors are saying about the decline of America, but at the same time, it seems like a dead end. When speaking about decline, people tend to cite stats, such as falling marriage rates or rising illegitimacy, but when pressed as to what happens next or what the bigger implications are, are stumped. Just saying what is wrong with society tells us nothing about the endgame or why it matters.
20-30 years ago talk radio hosts were saying the same thing, but blaming Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt instead of Obama and Pelosi, yet look at all the technology, economic wealth, and other stuff that has been created since then. The period from 2010-2020 saw the greatest increase of wealth in the history of human civilization in terms of stock market wealth, private and home equity, web 2.0 valuations (such as Uber), the information technology and consumer-tech boom (Facebook, Apple, Tesla. Netflix, Amazon, Google, etc.). The aforementioned companies combined are presently worth $4 trillion (Amazon alone worth $1.3 trillion). But also non-tech companies such as Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Disney, Nike have also boomed.
But that is not to say all right-wing pundits and authors should be lumped to together as being dead-ends or obsolete. An exception is Charles Murray, whose books are worth reading for their information value and prescience in predicting that society would become increasingly stratified by IQ. Murray understands that IQ more so than nurture is the key determining factor for success at both an individual and societal level, although that is not to say that environment can be dismissed either. China stagnated for decades due to failed central planning, yet became the #2 economy in the world thanks to high IQ, when starting the ’70s they adopted a better economic system. Spain, Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, etc., in spite of high rates of religiosity and mixed-economies, have lagged considerably on a per-capita basis behind secular but high-IQ East Asian and Northern and Western European economies.
In regard to the decline of bowling leagues, maybe bowling is boring and smart phones, multi-player online and PC games, and Netflix are more fun. Suicides may by rising, but maybe that is due to under-reporting of suicides in the past, or other factors. Japan and the Republic of Korea have high rates of suicide yet are economically successful and are more traditionalist than the US. Many of the countries that have among the highest rates of suicide are impoverished and have no conceptualization of ‘social justice’ or other values of modern liberalism, so blaming liberalism and modernity for suicide is possibly wrong.
In regard to the ‘loneliness epidemic,’ as discussed before, maybe people are choosing to spend more time alone because technology has progressed to the point that social media and digital entertainment are preferable to being with people. 60 years ago, TVs were considerably more expensive relative to income than they are today, so people watched TV together, not necessarily out of choice, but because there was no other option.
In regard to out-of-wedlock births, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland are economically successful and peaceful in spite of low religiosity and high rates of illegitimacy. Sowell and others blame high rates of illegitimacy for low African American achievement, but ignore the real reason, that being low IQs. Turkey has among the lowest rates of illegitimacy in the world yet is much less economically successful on a per-capita basis than the aforementioned countries, and much more civil unrest too.
My hypothesis as to why the US is so strong economically in spite of everything that is wrong socially–such as BLM riots, LGBT indoctrination, government dysfunction, opioid epidemics, the dissolution of the ‘family unit,’ etc.– is because the private sector–particularly, those high-IQ enclaves of wealth creation, innovation, capitalism– is strong enough and competent enough, but also autonomous enough from the less competent public sector, to offset or be immune or insulated from the social decay. A single high-IQ Google or Amazon employee , in terns of economic value, is equal to hundreds or even thousands of marginally useful people. Without such enclaves, there would be nothing particularly special about the US economy relative to the rest of world, rather than the US pulling way ahead of the rest of the world, especially since 2009.
I sorta wish it weren’t this way. If social decay threatened the US economy, national security, and wealth creation, it would perhaps compel policy makers to do something to stop it. Things will not change unless things get bad enough that it is the only option.
Again, alluding to Murray and also Lynn’s IQ and the Wealth of Nations, 2002, I think the common thread in is not so much about values but rather IQ, in that smarter countries and regions tend to be more successful regardless of their values, which is why the Silicon Valley, despite being secular and left-wing, is much more successful by many economic metrics than Louisiana. Same for China, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan vs. Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, and Thailand. Or wealthier Northern/Western Europe vs. poorer Southern Europe.