(Universities in Canada have largely lost their former humanities-based vision, respectful civility and tolerance for others’ beliefs and opinions, and free-ranging, intense intellectual activity without regard to myriad personal agendas.)
The old Romantic idea of immersion in Nature is largely gone thanks to the world of screens and phones. As Wordsworth said A lot of people see little in Nature they identify or connect with anymore.
With the ongoing deconstruction of Western civilization amidst nonstop change and a hostility toward any kind of authority and history, I think you’d have to look at the warring mentality and nuclear threats going on, as well as the world-wide violence within cities and communities, and conclude that we are decidedly living in an age of chaos, constant upheaval, and violence; in effect, a new age of barbarism.
Fear, angst, and paranoia are the main widespread emotions in the world today and confidence and permanence are both at a low ebb.
There certainly is a widespread loss of moral sense, respect for any kind of authority, and a loss of the good manners that once characterized Western civilization.
This is the great age of Dumbing Down. Intense intellectual activity and serious critical thinking are in huge decline.
Whatever grandness of the past will not be duplicated again; truly great projects would simply cost too much money today and money is the main obsession of our society, the masses, and leaders.
Western civilization was once based on image up to the time of the printing press’s invention, when word took over. Since the 1990s though, we have seen a revival of obsession with image and the belief that image is more important and superior to word. Language, books, and literature are no longer valued by the masses. The more screens and less thinking and challenge, the better.
Light was once viewed as the symbol of spiritual life in civilization. Now we live in an age when darkness rules and large numbers show a marked preference for perpetual change, chaos, ignorance, violence, evil, manipulation, agendas, power, and control.