American Decline is Over Stated

This is societal collapse
The end of the world is so boring!
Another day in the apocalypse.

Reading my Twitter feed, I find that there is beginning to be a prevailing opinion that the world must be coming to an end. And this is amplified by Americans who think that we are suffering from societal collapse and that the signs are all around us. I’m happy to report that is not even close to being true.

On this, I would push back. This is not a societal collapse, not by far. Societal collapse is when the basic services of society grind to a halt. In most of this country, when you call 911, someone still answers and people still show up. The mail still comes. Water and power still operate. It’s not these systems always run perfectly. Ask anyone in Texas about that. But they still run. We don’t have to deal with planned and rolling brownouts. Even California, who once faced such a fate has managed to keep that to a minimum. Schools, albeit under great pressure, continue to take in pupils. In societies where government services have gone away, none of this happens. Even though things might seem dire, our society is far from collapse. In fact, by many measures, our lives today are better than ever before.

The proper criticism would be that our society does not have a system that helps the best it can. Many people fall through the cracks. That is not societal collapse; that’s bad design. I think one of the reasons that people view the world around them as “collapsing” is because we are facing problems that anyone under 40 hasn’t ever seen in their life before. Inflation, pandemics, land wars, and shortages, are not something most Americans are used to dealing with on a daily basis. It has been a tough two years, and the government has proven to be inept at dealing with any of these issues. Again, that’s not societal collapse: that’s a failure of democracy.

It is important to note that it has always been this way to some degree. Only now do we have social media where those personal tales of systemic failure are amplified? We are more aware of how our society fails us or our fellow citizens. This is not a societal failure like the fall of Rome: more like societal neglect. We have failed to invest in American society truly and instead let the wealthy grow richer and the poor shuffle off to Dollar General or Dollar Tree.

It is because of this, it can feel like society has not improved one bit. Polling data shows that while things are better, it doesn’t feel any better. I think that’s why people think society is falling apart. People look at their bills, paychecks, and the horrors presented to us daily on the news and think that the world is practically ready to collapse tomorrow. But that has more to do with social media feeds and algorithms than with the actual state of the world.

During the New Deal, FDR changed America by putting the government to work, creating opportunity and better living conditions for many citizens. This also corresponded to the successes of the labour movement, public health, public schools, and the first beginnings of social services. FDR created a new kind of modern society. This is the kind of investment in our society that we need. Instead of complaining about how American society is collapsing, let’s get busy creating the kind of modern society that we actually want to live in.

An unfinished coloring book (A Short Story Collection) by Cameron Cowan

an unfinished coloring book is a collection of short stories from Cameron Cowan. These short stories explore dramatic moments in the lives of everyday people. The collection also features the exclusive release of The RKO Killer: An I.G. Farben Mystery.

The collection includes:

The Diner

What happens to the employees of a diner that are being torn down to make way for a new interstate? This is their last night in The Diner.

The Swedish Connection

Two artists, one relationship failing, and a really bad bottle of alcohol. Two men talk about their lives, their hurts, and their problems over one really bad bottle of vodka that they can't stop drinking.

The Kingdom of Nordstrom

The world has ended and the air had gone sour. One drifter finds a colony of people surviving in a derelict mall in Tacoma. Will he stay in this new kingdom or will he continue to wander the highways?

America Discount World

Set in the near future, America's cultural heritage is on sale to the highest bidder. Dale has made a life selling off America's cultural heritage and when a soon-to-be-divorced reporter comes to interview him about it; a new relationship just may form.

The Classy Drug Dealer

Andrej leads a quiet life running his dry cleaning and laundrette. However, it is only a front for his real business. When the consequences of his actions walk through the door one night, Andrej is forced to sacrifice everything, even his own life.

Beverly Gardens

Set amid the California housing crisis, 4 tenants in an aging building try to figure out how to survive in a world that is trying to kill poor people and preventing them from surviving and living.

Windswept Wastes

The cold war is on and America is building its nuclear arsenal. Set in the years at the end of Vietnam, one man gets a job making nuclear triggers at a Colorado plant. This is his story.


What is a teenager is a bland suburb supposed to do on the weekends? In this story, two boys find a great place to party and we learn about the secret and seedy underworld of the American suburb.

The Ticket

Topher has just a few hours to get to the lottery office in Olympia, WA to turn in a lottery ticket that will change his life. There's only one problem: he has no way to get there. Will he make it? Can he get the money in time?

The RKO Killer

In this collection exclusive, Isaac Farben is hired by KYW radio in Chicago during the roaring 1920s to find a criminal who is making headlines for an exclusive radio interview. Farben travels with his trusty assistants Mr. and Mrs. Rustin and Anna Fowler to southern Illinois to find this man and bring him back to the radio station.

Purchase on Amazon
Share this post