From the preponderance of talent, we may always infer the soundness and vigour of the commonwealth; but from the preponderance of riches, its dotage and degeneration.
As for the Jews, their explanation of anti-Semitism is more characteristic yet. In addition to the usual cliche, "with hatred and savagery" - naturally with no motive, they do not care to discuss motives - according to them, anti-Semitism is a madness, an intellectual degeneration, an affliction of the spirit.a.c. cuza
In marriage, a man becomes slack and selfish, and undergoes a fatty degeneration of his moral being.Robert Louis Stevenson
America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.Georges Clemenceau
There have been only two great peoples: the Greeks and the Jews. Perhaps the Greeks were even greater than the Jews, but now I can see no sign of that old greatness in the modern Greeks. Maybe, when the present process is finished we too will degenerate, but I see no sign of degeneration at present.
In the case of European towns, the passing of centuries provides an enhancement; in the case of American towns, the passing of years brings degeneration. It is not simply that they have been newly built; they were built so as to be renewable as quickly as they were put up, that is, badly.claude lévi-strauss