When We Look at the World, What Do We See.
The institutional diminution that you speak of is because of leadership failure specifically the failure to define what the future looks like. Each area is slightly different but there is a unifying theme.
Universities — Both Modernist (Positivists) and postmodernist mind sets ignored metaphysic resulting literally in much ado about nothing, as metaphysics describes the world and is important to us as intellectuals. See Yonatan Zunger recent response to The Memo. When he references “female traits” needed in management and engineering, he is not talking about gendered skills, he’s describing a metaphysically rich educationa and background. Like the ability to use numbers AND to understand what they mean.
Politics — Government is about politics but elections are about the future. You can justify policy results through political actions, but if you have no vision of the future, no metaphysical description of where we are going; you have no moral authority. Yes elections are about developing a shared moral vision about the future.
Business — It’s always easier to extract value rather than create value. The enlightenment project continues today and the future is coming. Again we come down to a metaphysical question. Will you build the future; or will you collect etherial stuff like money?
PS In response to Charlottesville I would begin with the response of Orin Hatch who tweeted:
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH