John Steward of Jesus
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The decadent outlook

September 12, 1980

A front page article in the Wall Street Journal today points out that young people are postponing home purchases, marriage, and children in order to cope with inflation and maintain their high standard of living.

This has helped me to understand the relationship between lack of planning for the future, lack of faith in the future, emphasizing short term gratification at the expense of future benefits, the decline of capital investments in a nation, and also the decline of interest in marriage and family living. As the planning of a society becomes shorter term and the need for short term gratification more important (the process of decadence), not only is longer term capital (money) investment sacrificed, but social investment is also sacrificed. It is through marriage and families that people invest in the future. The forward look emphasizes the children’s welfare. The decadent outlook emphasizes self-realization, self-actualization, self-fulfillment, etc., in the here and now. We are sacrificing the future for our present pleasure. Thus our birth rate declines as did that of the Romans. With no future generation (or with a weakened one) to maintain the future, the “barbarians” will meet little opposition when they ask for our land so they can have the future of which they have been dreaming and for which they have been sacrificing for so long. Or, has our international aid killed this spirit even in the “barbarians?”