History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
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C. S. Lewis:
One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting.
“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.”
— Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Richard Simmons III:
According to Gibbon, the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasion because it had grown weak and it had gradually lost its civic virtue. He said the following five attributes marked Rome at its end:
First, a mounting love of show and luxury; second, a widening gap between the very rich and the very poor; third, an obsession with sex; fourth, freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality, fifth, an increased desire to live off the state.
Does this sound familiar?
“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”
+ St. Anthony the Great, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection
“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”