Alonng with reading a lot of books, I tend to subscribe to somewhat esoteric periodicals ... to wit, the "New Criterion". One of my many woeful lacks is broader culture ... art, music, poetry, syphon, poetry, etc
I have no illusions of "catching up" at this late date, however, some exposure is at least humbling, and civilization/culture are certainly related. I find the linked article to be a worthwhile summary of our plight is more of an intellectual vs polemic tone. Some excerpts:
We don’t often hear about the plight of the overclass, but our progressive elites have a problem. They have become too successful, and their success is starting to show poorly. Over the last decades, these elites have experienced the traumas of contemporary life very much in reverse to most Americans. Our difficulties have been their triumphs. Our restrictions have become their liberation. With ever greater efficiency, they have become the creditors to our debts, the marketers of our drugs, the title-holders of our homes, and the sellers of the fruits of our industry. They have risen as many others have fallen. They are good at what they do, and for this they have been handsomely rewarded. No one would deny a payment for a job well done. Yet these victories have demanded ever greater tribute from the vanquished. Progressive elites have taken their successes out on the rest of us.
From later in the article":
“There has always been a privileged class,” said Lasch, “even in America, but it has never been so dangerously isolated from its surroundings.” Contempt now replaces elite obligation and noblesse oblige. “Simultaneously arrogant and insecure,” Lasch wrote, “the new elites regard the masses with mingled scorn and apprehension.” They now despise their countrymen, especially those who do not pay tribute to their superiority. Meanwhile, “ ‘Middle America’—a term that has both geographical and social implications—has come to symbolize everything that stands in the way of progress: ‘family values,’ mindless patriotism, religious fundamentalism, racism, homophobia, retrograde views of women.”
While "wealth" isn't all it is cracked up to be since it is short, often painful (meaningless, guilty, ageing, physical ailments, loss of loved ones, etc), it does however tend to isolate and give a view of "power" that can lead to finding out that the elites heads can be removed too.
Twenty-five years ago, at the time of Lasch’s writing, America’s richest 20 percent controlled half of the country’s wealth. As of 2021, the top 10 percent control 70 percent of the country’s wealth. The top 1 percent alone controls nearly a third of the country’s wealth. The top 50 percent hold 98 percent of the wealth. That leaves the bottom 50 percent with but 2 percent, a division that has only grown more stark through the pandemic as inflation, crime, and learning loss now add to the disruption.Way back in 2017, I wrote on 8 billionaires that owned half of the world wealth. At that point, they all met yearly in Davos Switzerland, and I'm quite certain that they and the new class of same continue to meet virtually, What could say "10" men that own by now well over half of the total wealth of the world. In this age where power is "ethics", what might they do? We are relying on their godless "morality" to not take severe actions to remove any threat from the "deplorables",