The Decline of the West
Time: Spring 2014
Place: Foster Quad 012A
Instructor: Matthew Slaboch
*Note: This course carries S&H credit.
In his 2012 State of the Union address, Barack Obama proclaimed that “anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn’t know what they’re talking about.” In spite of the president’s proclamations that their country remains as vibrant as ever, Americans are skeptical: Gallup’s “right track, wrong track” question revealed that only 18% of the public were satisfied with the state of their union at the time of the president’s address. Halfway across the globe, Europeans express dissatisfaction with the state of their own union by protesting high unemployment and economic uncertainty. Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, has staggering levels of debt with which it cannot cope. Meanwhile, there’s talk about the “rise of China.” Given what’s going on worldwide, we might ask “Is the West in Decline?” This course investigates, looking at economic, military, moral, artistic, and other types of decline.