America is “going backward at light speed”?
And “are American intellectuals thinking at all anymore?”
More generalizations from the peanut gallery.
If you were to comment on the state of the American public, it could be argued that a majority do not think deeply. Bread and circuses satisfy. Auden used the ratio of 85% to 15% comparing the masses and the intellectual class. Seems like that was the ratio Orwell offered in 1984. The herd has always been the majority.
What might be broken is that the two main political parties seem to pander to subsets within this herd. How to fix what democracy has become is going to be a challenge.
In the educated classes, there may be noisy people who spout off a bunch of nonsense without thinking, but there a very large number of serious thinkers who do more observing and make a quiet impact outside the gaze of the superficial public spotlight.
It’s hard to put my mind around your expression “going backward at light speed.” What does this mean? Statements like that will not move the conversation forward much. So I am curious what your aims are here.
Wishing you the best as you attempt to clarify your own thinking.