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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline » User review

What Robert Bork worried about 15 years ago has largely come to pass.

  • Dec 1, 2009

"They just didn't go into universities. The radicals were not likely to go into business or the conventional practice of the professions.  They were part of the chattering class, talkers interested in policy, politics and culture.  They went into politics, print and electronic journalism, church bureaucracies, foundation staffs, Hollywood careers, public interest organizations, anywhere attitudes and opinions could be influenced".  

Robert H. Bork saw it coming.  This quotation from his brilliant 1996 book "Slouching Towards Gomorrah:  Modern Liberalism and American Decline" depicts the tactics employed  by the 1960's radicals to assert themselves and gain influence in virtually every aspect of American life.   Evidently it has worked like a charm because the decline of American values, culture and standards that Bork foresaw 15 years ago has largely come to pass.  Recently, I decided to re-read "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" in an effort to get some kind of handle on just what is going on in this country.  As it turns out Mr. Bork's book is quite prophetic and a real eye opener.

According to Mr. Bork the root of our decline is the rise of modern liberalism, which stresses the dual forces of radical egalitarianism (the equality of outcomes rather than opportunites) and radical individualism (the drastic reduction of limits to personal gratification).  These were ideas that were embraced by the student radicals of the 1960's and these folks have been working tirelessly  to advance them in any way they could ever since.  These days there is no need for violence or confrontation because these very same radicals now control they very institutions that they formerly attacked.  In the pages of "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" Robert Bork points to dozens of examples of how these values are now being foisted on the American people and how liberals will use their friends in the courts to forward their radical agenda when they are unable to succeed legislatively.   As Mr. Bork astutely points out our Founders may have erred by not putting any checks and balances on the judiciary.  
Take some time to survey the political landscape of America today and you will see the evidence of what Robert Bork is talking about in his book.  Crime, illegitimacy and welfare are all on the rise.  The culture of death has made abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia much more acceptable to a large segment of the American public.  Our educational institutions at all levels are a mess and the "dumbing down of America" continues.  Meanwhile, Hollywood and their counterparts at the television networks continue to 'push the envelope" with evermore lewd and tasteless offerings.  Morale in our military is at an all-time low and there are genuine concerns about the security of our nation.  This simply does not seem to be much of a priority with the folks in charge these days.  And despite the fact that the United States elected its first black President in 2008 the racial divide in this country continues to widen.  From where I sit the decline of our nation is accelorating and this is precisely what Robert Bork  predicted in his book. 

I find that every so often it is useful to re-read a book to gain insight and perspective on
what is going on in the world.  Such was the case with "Slouching Towards Gomorrah:  Modern Liberalism and American Decline".  I was quite impressed the first time I read it back in 1996 and even more impressed this time around.     Very highly recommended!

What Robert Bork worried about 15 years ago has largely come to pass.

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May 13, 2010
Great review Paul! I will admit that though I side more with the conservatives on economic, defense, and crime related issues I am much more a liberal on social issues and probably believe in a lot of the things that Bork was pointing out as dangerous. It is interesting to think that some of the things I may agree with may actually be damaging to our society. Makes one think doesn't it?
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Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
More hot air from the neo-conservative fear-mongers. Largely a case of "the Devil can quote scripture to his purpose," without the everyday experience to back it up. When Bork tries to raise a child on Welfare, with no food stamps, no health care, and no opportunities whatsoever, I'm sure we'll have an interesting discussion.
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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In this New York Times bestselling book, Robert H. Bork, our country's most distinguished conservative scholar, offers a prophetic and unprecedented view of a culture in decline, a nation in such serious moral trouble that its very foundation is crumbling: a nation that slouches not towards the Bethlehem envisioned by the poet Yeats in 1919, but towards Gomorrah.

Slouching Towards Gomorrah is a penetrating, devastatingly insightful exposé of a country in crisis at the end of the millennium, where the rise of modern liberalism, which stresses the dual forces of radical egalitarianism (the equality of outcomes rather than opportunities) and radical individualism (the drastic reduction of limits to personal gratification), has undermined our culture, our intellect, and our morality.

In a new Afterword, the author highlights recent disturbing trends in our laws and society, with special attention to matters of sex and censorship, race relations, and the relentless erosion of American moral values. The alarm he sounds is more sobering than ever: we can accept our fate and try to insulate ourselves from the effects of a degenerating culture, or we can choose to halt the beast, to oppose modern liberalism in every arena. The will to resist, he warns, remains our only hope.

Robert H. Bork has served as Solicitor General and Acting Attorney General of the United States, and as a United States Court of Appeals judge. A former professor of law at Yale Law School, he is currently...

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