… is from page 59 of by GMU Econ colleague Tyler Cowen’s superb 2002 book celebrating the creativeness of commercial culture and global trade, Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World’s Cultures:
The modern world may be cashing in cultures too quickly, or too many at once, but we should not measure failure by the number of declining cultures. Casual observers too quickly conclude that an observed decline suggests a problem. But the absence of observed cultural decline could be a sign of failure rather than success. The absence of decline might reflect a world that attained less diversity in the first place and reached lower and fewer peaks. Conversely, a large number of declining artistic genres might be a symptom of cultural wealth and vitality rather than a harbinger of complete and absolute decay for all time.