The classic Western is a dream West, where the Indians were mindless villains or insignicant noble savages (both conveniently doomed to extinction
there were no African-Americans; Confederate veterans could find a new life free from the Yankee abolitionists who destroyed their homes; a man could reinvent himself; a strong man could reinvent society. None of these were true in reality. Of course, many of the best Western are remembered precisely because in some respect or other they contested the moronic premises.
In popular culture it seems like nothing ever dies. Of course there will be the occasional "Western," even the occasional attempt at a classic Western. But, barring a rollback of civil rights (like rolling back Social Security, this may be on the agenda
) the classic Western will not achieve the widespread popularity it once had.
The term "Western" seems to be mutating by misuse. The recent Hatfields and McCoys miniseries has been labeled a Western, although it takes place east of the Ohio.
Ditto the Justified television series!
Given modern education this could just be ignorance. But I followed a link to a Variety article that slipped and called Westerns "hick flicks." I suspect the tendency is to revise "Western" to mean redneck (i.e., racist) and/or the violent strong man theme, which is notoriously close to some Fascist esthetics and philosophy. Which, incidentally, is why I suspect a strong overlap with the Christian DVD market.