June 19th, 2023

Decline in practice

I recently did some vacationing in the Netherlands. Besides simply liking to travel, I am a big fan of beautiful architecture, scenery, and culture. Whereas Amsterdam is obviously a very impressive city in itself, perhaps even greater sights could be seen in the countryside. As we all know, a simple picture or a video from somewhere can never transmit the feelings of being there in person. The peace, beauty, nature, and harmony could actually be felt when biking around the roads next to the fields and meadows. The picture is from a small village called Durgerdam just north of Amsterdam.

On top of simply slowing down and relaxing I never seem to be able to completely get my mind off of work. Albeit not in the same way I am describing western society, the Netherlands is quite literally sinking. Could we say they are declining? Sure. In this case the phenomenon is different from the typical bleeding into a slow decline, though. Slowly but surely, Amsterdam is sinking and collapsing. In other words, without the right corrective measures, the beautiful scenery might not exist in the future. This is because of many reasons, but architecture, agriculture, and the climate change with the rising sea levels have all something to do with it. Thankfully, the Dutch are taking some corrective measures to prevent this from happening.

This is what decline in practice looks like. The decline as in economic turmoil and extreme polarization I like to focus on looks quite different from this, but it is just as deadly – if not even more so. Economic crises and extreme polarization rarely do their damage quickly. What is even worse is that they can be hard to identify, especially with so many topics nowadays being classified basically forbidden to talk about.

The Dutch have identified the problem of their capital sinking and are trying to fix it. I am afraid western society has not even properly identified the problems it is struggling with nowadays, let alone trying to fix them.

P.S. Only a week left until the publishing of the book!