Re-Reading "Slouching Towards Gomorrah"

Published in 1996, with a subtitle “Modern Liberalism and American Decline”, intense emotion literally exudes from the pages and engulfs me. I almost vibrate harmonically as I read, so compelling are Bork’s descriptions of the exquisitely-clear roots of today’s slow motion suicide of the West. The title is a rejoinder to Joan Didion’s “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” (both reference the Yeats poem, “The Second Coming”, which heads my list of powerful poems). Though I read …“Bethlehem” a few years ago (I wanted to know more of what inclined Bork to use ‘slouch’ as his verb), I have mostly forgotten my impressions. Its reference to Bethlehem and its popularity among the “right-thinking” herd of individualist cheerleaders and poseurs, suggest its message is optimism as to the likely result of the incoherent counterculture Didion describes.

This really is an essential book for those who want to understand what is happening here, today. It is also an intelligent look at how this came about. Bork posits the roots of “modern liberalism”, which he distinguishes from its predecessor, go back to the basic tenets of classical Western liberalism. These incipient components of the present chaos came to fruition in the 1960’s with the advent of “radical individualism” and “radical egalitarianism”.

We have all witnessed the many corrosive aspects of radical egalitarianism, which demands equality of outcome - rather than equality of opportunity - as it has become a central requirement of our governance. The removal of merit and substitution of some superficial appearance/characteristic (or being a member of a designated “victim identity group”) as the only means of advancement in any organization in this society, is proceeding full steam ahead; it is doing so regardless of the negative results - with the inevitable mounting death toll duly hidden by the MSM - i.e. the propaganda arm of the democrat party. Identity group can hardly be a moral or practical means of advancement in society. Nonetheless… Examples abound. The FAA, for example, brags about its “inclusivity” in hiring for the most high-impact positions like pilots and air traffic controllers, even as the number of near misses mounts steadily. The next collision will cost hundreds of lives (but will somehow, magically, become Trump’s or the Russians’ fault). The CIA’s TV ads feature the gender-confused and purport to want to hire the mentally ill, including those suffering with schizophrenia. The results will undoubtedly make the agency even less effective than it has been traditionally, but even deeper secrecy will obscure reality (Recall what is likely the most expensive agency in the entire fedgov panoply, failed to foresee the collapse of the Soviet Union; more recently, it stated with certainty - 20 minutes after- that the recent Moscow terrorist massacre was not carried out by Ukraine, but it still doesn’t know who blew up the NordStream Pipeline).

Radical individualism, another central outgrowth of the '60’s, is the pernicious substitution of license for actual political liberty. The cultural, moral and religious forces which formerly mediated our baser impulses to act in raw pursuit of pleasure, were ridiculed and abandoned. These brakes which used to moderate human impulses to pursue pleasure - in drugs, sex & rock 'n roll - ceased to exist. “If it feel good, do it”! The cost to society in virtually every measurable dimension, has been disaster. The combination of these two radical departures has brought us to the brink. No doubt.

Re-reading this opus is emotionally difficult. I was a willing, nay enthusiastic, participant in tearing the thing down in the '60’s. I look back in sadness at what I helped in my own tiny way, bring about. Though the picture Bork paints is, indeed “bleak” (a recurrent word in the book), somehow the level of understanding and context he provides is at least affirming of my own profound pessimistic impressions. In that, there is a modicum of brief emotional comfort. The conclusion that things have gone much too far to possibly be remedied, is inescapable.

‘Youth-in-Asia’ may be the only escape.


Second Coming is the first time I said this poem is amazing ,
I was a high school senior

Regarding Bork and Gomorrah, our worst fears about the Equal Rights Amendment in 1979 have been realized and confirmed without changing a single word of the Constitution


I’m not sure when I first encountered it.The more time passes, the more prescient it is. It more concisely and accurately captures our times than anything else I know of.