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The world’s going to hell in a handbasket. We hear this all the time from social and religious conservatives, but the message resonates differently when it comes from a voice from the left. D.C.-based author Morris Berman, in his new book, The Twilight of American Culture, outlines the four factors present when a civilization collapses: accelerating social and economic inequality; declining marginal returns with regard to investment in organizational solutions to socioeconomic problems; rapidly dropping levels of literacy, critical understanding, and general intellectual awareness; and spiritual death (which he defines as the repackaging of old cultural content). Sound familiar? Stop fiddling around and catch Berman tonight. In addition to signing copies of his book, he’ll explain how we canpossiblysave our dumbed-down world from banality and avoid the fate of ancient Rome. At 6:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW. Free. (202) 727-1186. (ND)