Jane Jacobs: The Twilight Of Civilization

Jane Jacobs sounded the alarm about cities 40 years ago - now her worries are bigger.
May 18, 2004, 11am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"A culture," Jacobs writes, "is unsalvageable if stabilizing forces themselves become ruined and irrelevant." She is especially troubled by the breakdown of the normative order and the loss of interdependence, and she indicates that if we don't act boldly to stem the tide, we will be heading pell-mell into a new Dark Age matching the reversals of fortune that occurred after the fall of Mesopotamia, Rome, dynastic rule in China, and many Western empires as well... Despite her effort to raise the alarm in order to rouse us to reform, there's a dark sense here that our present leaders and many of our people are too arrogant, too proud, too absolutist, and too blind to the acceleration of anomie and its attendant alienation to slow the erosion of our institutions, let alone prevent the collapse of North American culture as we know it."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 in The Christian Science Monitor
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