"From 1850 to 1950, per capita accomplishment tended to decline, which is especially striking considering the huge spread of education. Diminishing returns in the sciences seem inevitable because the low-hanging fruit was picked first. In the arts, though, Murray believes that loss of faith in both the purpose of life and the efficacy of the individual retarded greatness, especially in the post-Freudian age.
Murray expects that almost no art from the second half of the 20th century will be remembered in 200 years. Indeed, Europe, homeland of geniuses, has collapsed into a comfortable cultural stasis reminiscent of Rome in the 2nd century A.D. In addition to Murray’s philosophical explanations, I’d also point to causes such as the genocide of Europe’s highest-achieving ethnic group ...,the rise of anti-elitist ideologies; and the decline of nationalism. From Vergil to Verdi, great men engendered great works to celebrate their nations. Nobody, however, seems likely to create an epic glorifying the European Union. "