Special attention will be given in this part to the process of decline, which is to be seen as antipodal to development, and which nowadays is all too often neglected. By “decline” we mean here the decline of a whole society. But this definition is not yet sufficient to provide us with a very clear understanding. The statement that a whole society is in decline remains void of real meaning until we possess some concrete conception of what a “whole society” and the process of “decline” are. Since the meanings of both these terms are problematical, further explanation and closer precision are called for.
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