Decadence is the decline or beginning of ruin. It is a process of deterioration and impairment through which the conditions or the state of something or someone begin to worsen. For example: “The decline of the singer began after the trial for alleged drug trafficking”, “We have to do something to stop the decline of this house”, “Child slaves are a reflection of the decline of society”.
The notion of decadence can be applied to people or objects. The concept, in turn, can refer to a physical (material) characteristic or an abstract matter (symbolic, spiritual).
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The usual thing is to associate the decadence of a human being with his physical deterioration or loss of success : “He was always a strong man, until a badly cured pneumonia gave way to decadence”, “This is a team in decline, with figures over thirty years old who are already in the last stage of their careers”.
Regarding things, decadence usually refers to carelessness or material damage due to the passage of time. The lack of paint on the facade of a house, a window with cracked glass or a car with problems in its sheet metal are typical symptoms of material decline.
Sociology speaks of decadence to refer to a societal collapse. This is the phase in which a civilization or a culture experiences a decline that leads to the extinction of certain characteristics: “The decline of the Rapanui was caused by tribal conflicts”.
The decline of art
Broadly speaking, many say that, as a species, we are going through a cultural decline, which can be seen in different areas. This is especially evident in the world of art, which has undergone numerous radical changes in recent decades that have put its essence at risk, contaminating it more and more with market models and sales expectations. Both literature and cinema and music have been affected by a phenomenon that tends to package and schematize works of art.
The term product is usually used to refer to an artist or one of his works in a derogatory tone, pointing out their lack of spontaneity; To say that a song is a product is the same as describing it as a carefully conceived plan with the aim of making money and achieving fame, without making use of any artistic skills and without resorting to inspiration, but relying merely on technical tools, both musicals as commercials.
Is this decline real or a misunderstanding of the inevitable evolution of art in general? To answer this question, it is necessary to take into account that currently there are means of dissemination and publication that have been available to artists for a few years and that have revolutionized the way in which they can make their work known; perhaps in the relationship that veterans of the art world have established with these new platforms, less effective than that of many young Internet users, is one of the causes of change.
Similarly, with many of the traditional paths to fame no longer valid, the world today may not know who was meant to succeed the great artists of the previous generation.
How many of the icons of the literature of the last century dealt with all the issues concerning the publication of their books? How many musicians organized every detail of their tours and the distribution of their albums? Not many, since those tasks fell to a variety of people who were actively working to keep their careers afloat. What would happen if the latter took advantage of their ability to deal with the market and tried their luck with their own creations? We probably already know the answer, see it in bookstores, on movie theater billboards, and hear it on the radio every morning.