Decadence

Decadence

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Encyclopedia
Decadence can refer to a personal trait, or to the state of a society (or segment of it). Used to describe a person's lifestyle. Concise Oxford Dictionary: "a luxurious self-indulgence". Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

 gave a curious definition: "Classicism
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

 is the subordination of the parts to the whole; decadence is the subordination of the whole to the parts."

In social context, the word 'decadent' is often used to describe corrosive decline
Decline
Decline is a change over time from previously efficient to inefficient organizational functioning, from previously rational to non-rational organizational and individual decision-making, from previously law-abiding to law violating organizational and individual behavior, from previously virtuous to...

 due to an erosion of moral
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

, ethical, and sexual tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

s.

In literature, the Decadent movement
Decadent movement
The Decadent movement was a late 19th century artistic and literary movement of Western Europe. It flourished in France, but also had devotees in England and throughout Europe, as well as in the United States.-Overview:...

—late nineteenth century fin de siècle
Fin de siècle
Fin de siècle is French for "end of the century". The term sometimes encompasses both the closing and onset of an era, as it was felt to be a period of degeneration, but at the same time a period of hope for a new beginning...

writers who were associated with Symbolism
Symbolism (arts)
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the style had its beginnings with the publication Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire...

 or the Aesthetic movement—was first given its name by hostile critics, and then the name was triumphantly adopted by some writers themselves. These "decadents" relished artifice over the earlier Romantics' naïve view of nature (see Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

). Some of these writers were influenced by the tradition of the Gothic novel and by the poetry and fiction of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

.

Dandies



A dandy (also known as a beau, or gallant) is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of Self.

The model dandy in British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 society was George Bryan "Beau" Brummell
Beau Brummell
Beau Brummell, born as George Bryan Brummell , was the arbiter of men's fashion in Regency England and a friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV...

 (1778–1840), an undergraduate student at Oriel College, Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, and an associate of the Prince Regent
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

, who was not from an aristocratic background and whose greatness was "based on nothing at all," as J.A. Barbey d'Aurevilly
Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly
Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly was a French novelist and short story writer. He specialised in mystery tales that explored hidden motivation and hinted at evil without being explicitly concerned with anything supernatural...

 observed in 1845. He was ever unpowdered, unperfumed, immaculately bathed and shaved, and dressed in a plain, dark blue coat, perfectly brushed, perfectly fitted, showing much perfectly starched linen, all freshly laundered, and composed with an elaborately knotted cravat
Cravat
The cravat is a neckband, the forerunner of the modern tailored necktie and bow tie, originating from 17th-century Croatia.From the end of the 16th century, the term band applied to any long-strip neckcloth that was not a ruff...

. From the mid-1790s, Beau Brummell was an early incarnation of the celebrity
Celebrity
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...

.

During his heyday, Brummell's dictat on both fashion and etiquette reigned supreme. His habits of dress and fashion were much imitated, especially in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, where, in a curious development, they became the rage, especially in bohemian
Bohemianism
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits...

 quarters. There, dandies sometimes were celebrated in revolutionary terms: self-created men of consciously designed personality, radically breaking with past traditions. With elaborate dress and idle, decadent styles of life, French bohemian dandies sought to convey contempt
Contempt
Contempt is an intensely negative emotion regarding a person or group of people as inferior, base, or worthless—it is similar to scorn. It is also used when people are being sarcastic. Contempt is also defined as the state of being despised or dishonored; disgrace, and an open disrespect or willful...

 for and superiority to bourgeois society. In the latter 19th century, this fancy-dress bohemianism was a major influence on the Symbolist movement
Symbolism (arts)
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the style had its beginnings with the publication Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire...

 in French literature.

Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

 was deeply interested in dandyism, and memorably wrote that a dandy aspirant must have "no profession other than elegance ... no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons ... The dandy must aspire to be sublime without interruption; he must live and sleep before a mirror." Other French intellectuals also were interested in the dandies strolling the streets and boulevard
Boulevard
A Boulevard is type of road, usually a wide, multi-lane arterial thoroughfare, divided with a median down the centre, and roadways along each side designed as slow travel and parking lanes and for bicycle and pedestrian usage, often with an above-average quality of landscaping and scenery...

s of Paris. Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly
Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly
Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly was a French novelist and short story writer. He specialised in mystery tales that explored hidden motivation and hinted at evil without being explicitly concerned with anything supernatural...

 wrote The Anatomy of Dandyism, an essay devoted, in great measure, to examining the career of Beau Brummell.

George Walden
George Walden
George Gordon Harvey Walden is a British journalist and a former Conservative Party Member of Parliament who served as the Minister for Higher Education from 1985-87....

, in the essay Who's a Dandy?, identifies Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

, Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

, and Quentin Crisp
Quentin Crisp
Quentin Crisp , was an English writer and raconteur. He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant.- Early life :...

 as modern dandies.

Decadent movement




Decadence was the name given, originally by hostile critics, to a number of late nineteenth-century writers who valued artifice over the earlier Romantics' naïve view of nature. Some of them triumphantly adopted the name, referring to themselves as Decadents. For the most part, they were influenced by the tradition of the Gothic novel and by the poetry and fiction of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

, and were associated with Symbolism
Symbolism (arts)
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the style had its beginnings with the publication Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire...

 and/or Aestheticism
Aestheticism
Aestheticism was a 19th century European art movement that emphasized aesthetic values more than socio-political themes for literature, fine art, the decorative arts, and interior design...

.

This concept of decadence dates from the eighteenth century, especially from Montesquieu
Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu
Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu , generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Enlightenment...

, and was taken up by critics as a term of abuse after Désiré Nisard
Désiré Nisard
Jean Marie Napoléon Désiré Nisard was a French author and critic. He was born at Châtillon-sur-Seine.In 1826 he joined the staff of the Journal des Débats, but subsequently transferred his pen to the National...

 used it against Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

 and Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 in general. A later generation of Romantics, such as Théophile Gautier
Théophile Gautier
Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, art critic and literary critic....

 and Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

 took the word as a badge of pride, as a sign of their rejection of what they saw as banal "progress." In the 1880s a group of French writers
French literature
French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak traditional languages of France other than French. Literature written in French language, by citizens...

 referred to themselves as Decadents. The classic novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 from this group is Joris-Karl Huysmans
Joris-Karl Huysmans
Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans was a French novelist who published his works as Joris-Karl Huysmans . He is most famous for the novel À rebours...

' Against Nature
À rebours
À rebours is a novel by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans...

, often seen as the first great decadent work, though others attribute this honor to Baudelaire's works.

In Britain the leading figure associated with the Decadent movement was Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

.

The Symbolist movement has frequently been confused with the Decadent movement. Several young writers were derisively referred to in the press as "decadent" in the mid 1880s. Jean Moréas
Jean Moréas
Jean Moréas , was a Greek poet, essayist, and art critic, who wrote mostly in the French language but also in Greek during his youth.-Background:...

' manifesto was largely a response to this polemic
Polemic
A polemic is a variety of arguments or controversies made against one opinion, doctrine, or person. Other variations of argument are debate and discussion...

. A few of these writers embraced the term while most avoided it. Although the aesthetics of Symbolism and Decadence can be seen as overlapping in some areas, the two remain distinct.

1920s Berlin


This fertile culture of Berlin extended onwards until Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 rose to power in early 1933 and stamped out any and all resistance to the Nazi Party. Likewise, the Nazis decried Berlin as a haven of vice. A new culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 developed in and around Berlin, including architecture and design (Bauhaus
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

, 1919–33), a variety of literature (Döblin
Alfred Döblin
Alfred Döblin was a German expressionist novelist, best known for the novel Berlin Alexanderplatz .- 1878–1918:...

, Berlin Alexanderplatz
Berlin Alexanderplatz
Berlin Alexanderplatz is a novel by Alfred Döblin, published in 1929. The story concerns a small-time criminal, Franz Biberkopf, fresh from prison, who is drawn into the underworld. When his criminal mentor murders the prostitute whom Biberkopf has been relying on as an anchor, he realizes that...

, 1929), film (Lang
Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute...

, Metropolis
Metropolis (film)
Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist film in the science-fiction genre directed by Fritz Lang. Produced in Germany during a stable period of the Weimar Republic, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and makes use of this context to explore the social crisis between workers and...

, 1927, Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer.Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films...

, Der blaue Engel
Der blaue Engel
The Blue Angel is a film directed by Josef von Sternberg in 1930, based on Heinrich Mann's novel Professor Unrat. The film is considered to be the first major German sound film and it brought world fame to actress Marlene Dietrich...

, 1930), painting (Grosz
Grosz
Grosz may refer to:* Grosz, a coin used in Poland as a hundredth part of 1 złoty. Złoty is Polish currency* Kraków grosz, 14th century coins of Kraków* Groschen, a coin used in various statesGrosz or Grósz is the surname of:...

), and music (Brecht
Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the...

 and Weill
Kurt Weill
Kurt Julian Weill was a German-Jewish composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht...

, The Threepenny Opera
The Threepenny Opera
The Threepenny Opera is a musical by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, in collaboration with translator Elisabeth Hauptmann and set designer Caspar Neher. It was adapted from an 18th-century English ballad opera, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, and offers a Marxist critique...

, 1928), criticism (Benjamin), philosophy/psychology (Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

), and fashion. This culture was often considered to be decadent, and socially, morally, destructive.

Film
Cinema of Germany
Cinema in Germany can be traced back to the late 19th century. German cinema has made major technical and artistic contributions to film.Unlike any other national cinemas, which developed in the context of relatively continuous and stable political systems, Germany witnesses major changes to its...

 was making huge technical and artistic strides during this period of time in Berlin, and gave rise to the influential movement called German Expressionism
German Expressionism
German Expressionism refers to a number of related creative movements beginning in Germany before the First World War that reached a peak in Berlin, during the 1920s...

. "Talkies", the Sound films, were also becoming more popular with the general public across Europe, and Berlin was producing very many of them.

The so-called mystical arts also experienced a revival during this time-period in Berlin, with astrology
Astrology
Astrology consists of a number of belief systems which hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world...

, the occult
Occult
The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus , referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g...

, and esoteric religions and off-beat religious practices becoming more mainstream and acceptable to the masses
General Public
General Public were a band formed by The Beat vocalists, Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, and which included former members of Dexy's Midnight Runners, The Specials and The Clash...

 as they entered popular culture.

Berlin in the 20s also proved to be a haven for English writers such as W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender
Stephen Spender
Sir Stephen Harold Spender CBE was an English poet, novelist and essayist who concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle in his work...

 and Christopher Isherwood
Christopher Isherwood
Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood was an English-American novelist.-Early life and work:Born at Wyberslegh Hall, High Lane, Cheshire in North West England, Isherwood spent his childhood in various towns where his father, a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army, was stationed...

, who wrote a series of 'Berlin novels', inspiring the play I Am a Camera
I Am a Camera
I Am a Camera is a 1951 Broadway play inspired by Christopher Isherwood's novel Goodbye to Berlin which is part of The Berlin Stories...

, which was later adapted into a musical, Cabaret
Cabaret (musical)
Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1966 Broadway production became a hit and spawned a 1972 film as well as numerous subsequent productions....

, and an Academy Award winning film of the same name
Cabaret (film)
Cabaret is a 1972 musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous presence of the growing National Socialist Party....

. Spender's semi-autobiographical novel The Temple
The Temple (Stephen Spender)
The Temple is a novel written by Stephen Spender.This novel was written after Spender spent his summer vacation in Germany in 1929 and recounts his experiences there. It was not completed until the early 1930s...

evokes the attitude and atmosphere of the place at the time.

Leninism


Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 continued and extended the use of the word "decadence" in his theory of imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 to refer to economic matters underlying political manifestations. According to Lenin, capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 had reached its highest stage and could no longer provide for the general development of society. He expected reduced vigor in economic activity and a growth in unhealthy economic phenomena, reflecting capitalism's gradually decreasing capacity to provide for social needs and preparing the ground for socialist revolution in the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

. Politically, World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 proved the decadent nature of the advanced capitalist countries to Lenin, that capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 had reached the stage where it would destroy its own prior achievements more than it would advance.

One who directly opposed the idea of decadence as expressed by Lenin was José Ortega y Gasset
José Ortega y Gasset
José Ortega y Gasset was a Spanish liberal philosopher and essayist working during the first half of the 20th century while Spain oscillated between monarchy, republicanism and dictatorship. He was, along with Nietzsche, a proponent of the idea of perspectivism.-Biography:José Ortega y Gasset was...

 in The Revolt of the Masses
The Revolt of the Masses
The Revolt of the Masses is the English translation of José Ortega y Gasset's La rebelión de las masas. The original was first published as a book in 1930; the English translation, first published two years later, was authorized by the author...

(1930). He argued that the "mass man" had the notion of material progress and scientific advance deeply inculcated to the extent that it was an expectation. He also argued that contemporary progress was opposite the true decadence of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

.

Left communism


Decadence is an important aspect of contemporary left communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 theory. Today more or less all left communists hold that a theory of decadence is necessary in order to be a Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

. Similar to Lenin's use of it, left communists, coming from the Communist International themselves started in fact with a theory of decadence in the first place, yet the communist left sees the theory of decadence at the heart of Marx's
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 method as well, expressed in famous works such as The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party is a short 1848 publication written by the German Marxist political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It has since been recognized as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the...

, Grundrisse
Grundrisse
The Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie is a lengthy manuscript by the German philosopher Karl Marx, completed in 1858. However, as it existed primarily as a collection of unedited notes, the work remained unpublished until 1939...

, Das Kapital
Das Kapital
Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie , by Karl Marx, is a critical analysis of capitalism as political economy, meant to reveal the economic laws of the capitalist mode of production, and how it was the precursor of the socialist mode of production.- Themes :In Capital: Critique of...

but most significantly in Preface to the Critique of Political Economy
A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy is a book by Karl Marx, first published in 1859. The book is mainly an analysis of capitalism, achieved by critiquing the writings of the leading theoretical exponents of capitalism at that time: these were the political economists, nowadays often...

.

Contemporary left communist theory defends that Lenin was mistaken on his definition of imperialism (although how grave his mistake was and how much of his work on imperialism is valid varies from groups to groups) and Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and activist of Polish Jewish descent who became a naturalized German citizen...

 to be basically correct on this question, thus accepting capitalism as a world epoch similarly to Lenin, but a world epoch from which no capitalist state can oppose or avoid being a part of. On the other hand, the theoretical framework of capitalism's decadence varies between different groups while left communist organizations like the International Communist Current
International Communist Current
The International Communist Current is an international centralised left communist organisation which was formed in 1975 and which has sections in France, Great Britain, Mexico, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, Sweden, India, Italy, USA, Switzerland, Philippines and...

 hold a basically Luxemburgist analysis that makes an emphasis on the world market and its expansion, others hold views more in line with those of Lenin, Bukharin and most importantly Henryk Grossman
Henryk Grossman
Henryk Grossmanalternative spelling: Henryk Grossmann , was a Polish-German economist and historian of Jewish descent....

 and Paul Mattick
Paul Mattick
Paul Mattick Sr. was a Marxist political writer and social revolutionary, whose thought can be placed within the council communist and left communist traditions...

 with an emphasis on monopolies and the falling rate of profit.

Further reading

  • Richard Gilman, Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet. ISBN 0-374-13567-3
  • Matei Calinescu, Five Faces of Modernity. ISBN 0-8223-0767-7
  • Mario Praz
    Mario Praz
    Mario Praz KBE was an Italian-born critic of art and literature, and a scholar of English literature. His best-known book, The Romantic Agony , was a comprehensive survey of the erotic and morbid themes that characterized European authors of the late 18th and 19th centuries...

    , The Romantic Agony (1930). ISBN 0-19-281061-8
  • Jacques Barzun
    Jacques Barzun
    Jacques Martin Barzun is a French-born American historian of ideas and culture. He has written on a wide range of topics, but is perhaps best known as a philosopher of education, his Teacher in America being a strong influence on post-WWII training of schoolteachers in the United...

    , From Dawn to Decadence, (2000). ISBN 0-06-017586-9
  • A. E. Carter, The Idea of Decadence in French Literature (1978). ISBN 0-8020-7078-7

External links