from Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish, A Tour of Our Decadent Civilization
Vigorous civilizations pursue meaningful risks. Decadent civilizations pursue meaningless ones. For a vigorous civilization, adventure ends with an accomplishment. For a decadent civilization, risk is the accomplishment.
The decadent civilization obsessively manages risk. Its layers of government are mainly dedicated to that task. Accomplishment in a decadent civilization becomes a difficult task because of the many lawyers of corporate and government risk management standing in the way of getting anything done.
Fear is the true currency of the decadent civilization. A corrupted fear that is used to expand a vast bureaucracy that claims to manage risk, but in reality manages who is allowed to circumvent it. Groups are stampeded into accepting new tiers of fear government and fear authority based on the risk that something might happen. And yet the source of the fear is never dealt with.
A vigorous civilization rushes out to deal with threats. A decadent civilization imprisons itself out of fear.