[Book TV (CSPAN) also covered this recently.]
In Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline Morris Berman makes some great points, such as: “Education” and “communication” per se (exposure to facts, rational arguments, etc.) can not produce fundamental changes in US society.
The influence of biases in “human nature” (e.g. emotion, cognitive biases, etc.) on our national identity, cognition, and social behavior are too deeply rooted. No matter how hard we try to “communicate” and “educate”, the breakdown of society is largely an irreversible trend. The behavioral adaptations that are demanded of us if we are to survive the rapid changes in our population, environment, etc. are all but ruled out by the cognitive biases built into us by evolution.
C-SPAN video: Book Discussion on Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline
“Morris Berman talked about the third book in his trilogy on the decline of the American empire. In this talk, titled “The Way We Live Today,” he argued that self-interest trumping the common good has led the U.S. astray.”