Based on their meticulous studies of ancient garbage, archaeologists are accustomed to the idea that all great cultures move unrelentingly through a set series of stages: their Florescent (flowering) Period, when they begin a dramatic rise; their Classic Period, when they reach a pinnacle; and the Postclassic Period, often referred to as the Decadent Period, when they decline and finally collapse. All of the great cultures encountered so far have followed this simple trajectory.
So where are we? We hear all the time, that North American culture is "decadent." Is that really true, anthropologically speaking? "Are we 'Decadent.'?" My response, "No, we are too wasteful." I'll explain . . .