You are right that moral decay causes the disruption of society through the weakening of social institutions. And you should take comfort that, while one day Washington D.C. will be in ruins and the United States will be a distant memory, the Catholic Church will remain as a light in the darkness.
However I think Panarin confuses cause and effect. He looks to moral decay as symptomatic of a general decay in society, rather than the cause of the decay of social institutions. Yes, there is a feedback effect (especially if you study Institutionalist Economics or Sociology), but if moral decay is solely the symptom, what is the cause? In Panarin’s view, it’s the Marxist argument of the crisis of capitalism, which is both measurable and poorly supported by prevailing evidence.
I should note that Panarin’s longer assay reflects more Soviet ideology than anything else. The guy is an old Leninist, replete with the trappings of racial predestination, a belief in ideological destiny, and a failure to include logic.
Among his other assertions:
- The U.S. will split into six nation-states based on racial lines rather than economics or politics. This means that the Southwest will become primarily a new Hispanic homeland (despite the millions of whites, blacks and asians living there), California will become a new Asian homeland (despite the Hispanics there, and California’s dependence upon the Southwest for energy and commodities), and the Midwest will revert to Native American control (despite the near-obliteration of Native American institutions in the area).
- The collapse is inevitable, which discounts any sort of actions taken against it.
- The symptoms of collapse are vague - he says there will be higher prices and greater shortages, but our markets work so well that shortages are generally short-lived. Even the high gas prices last year were a six-month phenomenon. This makes sense to a Soviet whose ideology distrusts the market mechanism and hence intervenes to the point that it isn’t allowed to function, but it doesn’t apply here.
- That moral decay is unidirectional, rather than a force against which a counterforce may be applied. This is just irrational here - even a Hegelian understanding of history (which Marx ascribed to but Panarin apparantly does not) would hold that the thesis of amorality and antithesis of moral reform would result in a synthesis of a new moral balance, one that works out features of both. Now, we look from a systemic perspective (again, Institutionalist Economics) and we see that the two would remain as distinct systems because they require internal cohesion, and so would be in constant conflict, but we have to reject unidirectionality.
- That Russia and China will be the rulers of a New World Order. This is pure propaganda. I’d believe China to be a key player on the basis of demography alone. I’d also put India, Indonesia, Turkey, Germany, Egypt and Iran on the world stage before I’d think of putting Russia up there. This is the same Russia where epidemiologists estimate that 1 in 4 Russians has an alcohol-induced psychosis, and where the population is shrinking so rapidly that the xenophobic nationalist elements promote pregnancy among unmarried teens rather than allow immigration.
Sorry, where theology and economics meet, I’ve got throw down.