Ross Douthat constructs a myth of decadence,with Japan at it’s center by Political Observer

The Ultramontane Catholic opinionator and Republican Conservative Ross Douthat , in his latest essay in the New York Times titled Incredible Shrinking Country, directs his attention to that once great engine of forward thinking and innovative Capital,Japan. An introduction is provided to the idea and literary practice of the dystopian novel, P.D. James' Children of Men: very descriptive of the key notion of decadence, that is the armature on which all else is built. The main protagonist in his fable is a Japan that was once represented, in America, as the ultimate in the possibilities of what Capital might become, within a neo-feudal context of the company man, at least in the stories that originated from the once fearsome, unquestionable propaganda machines of the Free Marketeers. Now that Japan is in decline, as Mr.Douthat constructs the tale, of an aging population and a declining birthrate, raises the question is it representative of decadence? Mr. Douthat finds a kindred spirit in the person of  demographer Nick Eberstadt to further his argument with apposite, and needless to say alarming, statistical data. Could it be that the Japanese have taken seriously the notion of a sustainable planet, as necessitating population control ? Mr. Douthat is addicted to the notion of growth as the sine qua non of Capitalism, and is incapable of a simple but necessary shift in intellectual perspective, from the model of growth to a model of development that might be the first step in the direction of thinking about the possibilities of the a new paradigm. Mr. Douthat is hobbled by his fealty to two ideologies that don't model creative path-breaking thought, but demand an uncritical conformity to authority.The possibility of the realization of a new paradigm remain for others to speculate and cogitate about: challenging his thinking about the need to continue an unsustainable birth rate, as indicative of Christian virtue wedded to a Capitalist imperative of an endless supply of new young workers. Is an aging population indicative of a loss of dynamism? Yes, if one is mired in the idee fixe of growth as the only measure worthy of serious consideration. Without appearing to be dogmatic, sustainable development appears to be the only rational choice at this moment.
Political Observer
              

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
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