So Familiar

“Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire said that the following five attributes marked Rome at its end: first, a mounting love of show and luxury (that is, affluence); second, a widening gap between the very rich and the very poor (this could be among countries in the family of nations as well as in a single nation); third, an obsession with sex; fourth, freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality, and enthusiasms pretending to be creativity; fifth, an increased desire to live off the state. It all sounds so familiar. We have come a long way since our first chapter, and we are back in Rome.”

– Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? (p. 227)

12 thoughts on “So Familiar”

  1. We have been up to our eyebrows as a nation in all 5 for a long time… As the word says, “…God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows he will also reap…” Peace to you, Inky. Happy New Year.

    1. The “freakishness in the arts” stood out to me, too – it’s everywhere. But if you point that out, someone will inevitably respond that you’re just not “artsy” enough to appreciate it (or some such nonsense). “Masquerading as originality” indeed.

  2. I would humbly add to that list an imperialist, interventionist foreign policy in which the empire was over-extended and therefore weakened. Today’s America calls this “nation-building.” Long gone is a foreign policy rooted in humility and Christian just-war doctrine.

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