DECLINE OF AMERICAN CULTURE:
commentators saw a darker picture for America as the twentieth-first
century finally arrived. America was losing its psychological
resiliency as its educational and cultural foundations began
to deteriorate more and more. The culture was now dominated
by short-spans of commercialized words and images. The English
language itself was thinning out as consumer slogans and hype
began determining America's core values. These core values were
now based on profit motives merging with a basically adolescent
form of mentality.
Americans were anxious, disoriented, and depressed. Many Americans
also were losing the ability to think critically about their
environment. American culture was becoming dumber and poorer
as the rich continued to become richer and the rest of American
society was left behind with lower-paying and increasingly insecure
jobs. And with an education system that was collapsing and losing
birth of McWorld was now announcing itself. America was now
a " fast-food " nation in all kinds of ways. Production,
consumption, and public opinion were now completely rationalized
and sold to the highest bidder at the lowest cultural value.
A few Americans were dropping out of the system completely and
calling themselves " new monastic individuals. " Many
saw the end of the Cold War and the start of the internet culture
as further signs of victory for the Multinational Corporations
who had no loyalty to any nation.
commentators saw America as an environment where no real ethics
existed Where no real kinds of serious identities could thrive,
and where no real cultural continuity could now be seen. All
was consumption and entertainment in a sinister and fragmented
digital environment where all information was increasingly seen
as equal and weightless. With faster and faster boom and bust
cycles in both production and consumption which were leading
to fatal kinds of spiritual and psychological exhaustion.
America in terminal decline like the Roman empire? Many commentators
thought so. Yet as societies decline, they also transform and
restructure. Was America now in danger of becoming a huge arcade
game with child-like consumers living in a strange dream world?
Would America self-correct in time? Did America still have enough
cultural flexibility to do so? America's psychic ecology was
becoming increasingly polluted and this made it hard for America
to see how its physical ecology was being destroyed as well.
and more, America and the rest of the world could no longer
be really separated. The entire planet was possibly becoming
this wilderness of regional states and suburban islands linked
to a huge and speedy global shopping center. The Third Wave
was also possibly a faster and more abstract phase of the receding
Second Wave as the modern era was replaced by a cyber-consumer
culture that benefited only a few.
Soviet system was now gone. It had disappeared quickly. How
much longer would the American capitalist system last in its
present form? Would a systems crash occur in thirty or forty
years? What kind of re-structuring would America have then?