The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield was famous for quipping, “I get no respect.” That line showed up in some way, shape, or form in most of the films he was famous for. Dangerfield typically played the role of bumbling but loveable idiot, who somehow managed to come out on top. But even though he came out on top, he still “got no respect.”

Jack Donovan in his book Becoming a Barbarian has a chapter titled “The Empire of Nothing.” In it he offers a compelling critique of our current political and cultural milieu. In fact, he argues that it isn’t so much a culture that is being forwarded but an anticulture where there is no “Emperor, no center and no people.” Instead, the Empire of Nothing is a collection of businesses and institutions that have aligned against identity in some vague hope of “progress.”