How to recognize when your society is suffering a dramatic decline

When historians and analysts look at the factors surrounding the collapse of a society, they often focus on the larger events and indicators — the moments of infamy. However, I think it’s important to consider the fact that large scale societal decline is built upon a mixture of factors, prominent as well as small. Collapse is a process, not a singular event. It happens over time, not overnight. It is a spectrum of moments and terrible choices, set in motion in most cases by people in positions of power, but helped along by useful idiots among the masses. The decline of a nation or civilization requires the complicity of a host of saboteurs.

So, instead of focusing on the top down approach, which is rather common, let’s start from the foundations of our culture to better understand why there is clear and definable destabilization.

Declining moral compass

There is always a conflict between personal gain and personal conscience — this is the nature of being human. But in a stable society, these two things tend to balance out. Not so during societal decline, as personal gain (and even personal comfort and gratification) tends to greatly outweigh the checks and balances of moral principles.

People often mistake the term “morality” to be a religious creation, but this is not what I am necessarily referring to. The concepts of “good” and “evil” are archetypal — that is to say they are psychologically inherent in most human beings from the moment of birth. This is not a matter of faith, but a matter of fact, observed by those in the field of psychology and anthropology over the course of a century of study.  How we relate to these concepts can be affected by our environment and upbringing, but for the most part, our moral compass is psychologically ingrained. It is up to us to either follow it or not follow it.

Watching how people handle this choice is a bit of hobby of mine, and I do take notes. You can learn a lot about the state of your environment by observing what people around you tend to do when faced with the conflict of personal gain versus personal conscience. It is saddening to admit that even though I live in rural America, where you are more likely to find self-reliance and cultural stability, I can still see a faltering nation bleeding through.

I have seen supposedly good people act dishonestly in business agreements. I have seen local institutions scam hardworking citizens. I have seen a court system rife with bias and a “good old boy” attitude of favoritism. I have seen local companies pretend to be benevolent contributors to the community while at the same time running constant frauds and rackets. I have even seen a few people within the liberty movement itself put the movement at risk with their own avarice, gluttony, narcissism and sociopathy.

Again, it is important to make a note of such people and institutions, for as the system continues it’s downward spiral it is these people that will present the greatest threat to the innocent.

As Carl Jung notes in his book The Undiscovered Self, there is always a contingent of latent sociopaths and psychopaths within any culture; usually about 10 percent of the population. In normal times, they, at least most of them, are forced into moral acclimation by the rest of the populace. But in times of decline, they seem to leak out of the woodwork like a slimy fungus. During heightened collapse, they no longer have to pretend to be upstanding, and they show their true colors.

Most dangerous is when latent sociopaths or full blown sociopaths assume roles of leadership or power during the worst of times. With everyone distracted by their own plight, these people can become a cancer, infecting everything with their narcissistic pursuits and causing destruction in their wake.

Disinterest in rewarding conscience

During wider cultural collapse, it can become “fashionable” to see acts of principle as something to be scoffed at or ridiculed or to even see them as threats to the status quo. The concept of “going along to get along” takes precedence over doing what is right, even when it is hard; this attitude is not relegated to the less honest people within society.

As a system collapses, a fog of apathy can result. Good people can become passive, scrambling to their individual corner of the world and hoping evil times will simply pass them by. The phrase “I just want to put all this behind me” is spoken regularly; but as we ignore the trespasses of terrible men and women, we also enable them. How? Because by doing nothing we allow them to continue their criminality, and we subject future persons and generations to victimization.

When doing the right thing is treated as laughable, or “crazy” in the midst of widespread corruption, you are truly in the middle of a great decline.

In Christian circles, the idea of “the remnant” is sometimes spoken of. In Christian terms, this usually represents a minority of true believers surviving a tumultuous and immoral era. I see “the remnant” not so much as a contingent of Christians alone, but as a contingent of people that continue to maintain their principles and conscience when faced with unprecedented adversity. In the worst of times, these people remain stalwart, even if they are ridiculed for it.

Disinterest in independent effort

It is said that in this world there are two kinds of people — leaders and followers.  I’m not so sure about that, but I can see why this philosophy is promoted; it helps evil people in power stay in power by encouraging passive acceptance.

I would say that there are in fact two kinds of people in this world — people who want to control others and the people that just want to be left alone. In life sometimes we are both leaders and followers; we just have to be sure that when we lead we lead by example and not by force, and when we follow, we follow someone worth a damn.

In any case, passivity is not a solution to determining our roles in society. In most cases, independent action is required by every person to make the world a better place. Yet, in an era of systemic crisis, it is usually independent effort that is the first thing to go out the window. Millions upon millions of people wait around for someone, anyone, to tell them what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. In this way, society find itself in stasis, frozen in a position of inaction.

In fact, when individualists do take action they are admonished for it, even if their actions do have the potential to solve a problem. The idea that one man or woman (or a small group of people) could do anything about anything is sneered at as “fantasy” or “delusion.”  But mass movements of citizens working towards a practical goal are rare, and even more rare is when these movements are not controlled or manipulated to benefit the established order. It is not mass movements that change the world for the better, but individual people and small organizations of the dedicated, acting without permission and without administration.

It is these individuals and small groups that, over time and through stubborn effort, inspire a majority to do what is necessary and right. It is these people that inspire others to finally take leadership in their own lives.

Individual self-isolation

I write often on the plight of the individual and individual rights within society, and I continue to see the factor of the individual as the most important element in any culture. A culture based on protecting and nurturing individualism and voluntarism is the only culture, in my view, that will ever be successful at avoiding full spectrum collapse. That said, the downside to overt individualism is the danger of self isolation. That is to say, when true individuals only concern themselves with their personal circumstances and ignore the circumstances of the rest of the world, they eventually set themselves up to be crushed by that world.

Organization on a voluntary basis is not only healthy, but vital in the longevity of a society. The more people turn in on themselves and only care about their own general conditions, the easier it is for evil people to do evil things unnoticed. Also, self isolation in the wake of collapse sets individuals up for failure, as no one is capable of surviving without at least some help from a wider pool of knowledge and talents.

In a system based on corruption, the establishment will encourage self isolation as a means to control the populace. Or, they will offer a false choice, between self isolation and mindless collectivism. The truth is there is always a middle ground. Voluntary organization and individualism are not mutually exclusive. I call this the “difference between community and collectivism.” A community does not supplant the individual, while a collective requires the complete erasure of individual pursuits and thought.

If you find yourself surrounded by people who refuse any organization, even practical and voluntary organization in the face of instability, then your society may be in the latter stages of a collapse.

Disaster denial

Even as a crisis or collapse unfolds, if a society actually reels or reacts to it and takes note of the problem, there is hope for that society. If, however, that society willfully ignores the danger and denies it exists when presented with overwhelming evidence, then that society will likely suffer complete disintegration and will probably have to start all over from scratch — hopefully with a set of principles and ideals based on conscience and honor.

The strength of a culture can be measured by its willingness to self reflect. Its survival can be determined by its willingness to accept its flaws when they arise and its willingness to repair the damage done. Self-aware societies are difficult to corrupt or control. Only in denial can people be easily manipulated and enslaved.

If you cannot accept the reality of the abyss, you cannot move to avoid it or prepare yourself to survive the fall. I see this issue is perhaps the single most important element in the fight to save the portions of our society worth saving. Educating people on the blatant facts behind our own national decline can dissolve the wall of denial, and perhaps we will find when disaster strikes that there are far more awake and aware individuals ready to act than we originally thought.

— Brandon Smith

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YOU WORRY ME…….

An American Airlines Pilot’s response to a Muslim doctor’s complaint!
Very well said and worth reading!
Read to the bottom, there also are a Canadian, British and Australian response.
It makes a lot of sense, and would provide for a better understanding between the different faiths.
Please share with your Muslim friends!
There is no hatred, no political agenda.  This pilot hit the nail right on the head in his open letter.  A newspaper printed that a Muslim doctor is saying we are profiling him because he has been checked three times while getting on airplanes.  The following is a response letter from a pilot.
This well-spoken man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says beautifully what is in his heart. —–YOU WORRY ME!
By Captain John Maniscalco, American Airlines Pilot 

I’ve been trying to say this since 911 – you worry me, and I wish you didn’t.  I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country.  But you don’t blend in anymore.  I notice you, and it worries me.  I notice you because I can’t help it anymore.  People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now.  I don’t fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.On September 11, ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country.  They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others, hacking their necks, over and over, with box cutters.  They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings, killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants and children’s mothers.  The Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed, as was most of the Arab world.

So, I notice you now.  I don’t want to be worried.  I don’t want to be consumed by the same rage, hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists.  But I need your help.  As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.  How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Americans and the Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter MORE of the same good neighbors and children?

The events of September 11 changed the answer.  It is not MY responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults.  It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me.  I want to know, I DEMAND to know and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America…..  Do you pledge allegiance to its flag?  Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car?  Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation – that He will protect it and let it prosper?  Or do you pray that Allah will destroy it in one of your Jihads?  Are you thankful for the freedom that this nation affords?  A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who have, throughout our history, given their lives for this country?  Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice?  Do you love America?

If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it. Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions YOU are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the United States of America.  Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent, because I worry about who you regard as innocent.  No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks, because I worry about what is unprovoked to you.  I am not interested in any more sympathy – I am interested only in action.

What will you do for America – our great country – at this time of continuing crisis, at this time of war?  I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets.  I want to hear you chanting ‘Allah Bless America’.  I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military.  I want to see a commitment of money, time and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to our returning wounded and to this nation as a whole.

The FBI has had a long list of people they’ve wanted to interact with regarding the threats that they believe to be ongoing.  Many of these people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities.  You know them.  You know where they are.  Give the FBI a heads up as to where they may be.  Better yet, hand them over to us – NOW!

But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action.  Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter.  You have disappeared from the streets.  You have posted armed security guards at your facilities.  You have threatened lawsuits.  You have screamed for protection from reprisals.  The very few Arab/Muslim representatives, like CARE, that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating.  They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States apologize and take responsibility for actions defending our own people.  They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing ‘leaders’; like the late Khadafi, the late Hussein, Farrakhan, and the late Arafat.

If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace, and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up.  What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, pure, and true, when your ‘leaders’; ARE teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism and intolerance?  It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world’s Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion.  A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again.  A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death and suicide.  A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world.  A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air.  A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth.  A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.

We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter, to take away that which is so precious to us – our rights under the greatest Constitution in the world.  I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to DEMAND it.  A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very Constitution that is protecting you and your family.  I am pleading with you to let me know.

I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American…… But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance – and it is up to YOU to show ME where YOU stand.  Until then, “YOU WORRY ME!” 

CANADIAN COMMENT – I totally agree with this sentiment.  I hope you will forget all about the ‘political correctness’; mandate we’ve had rammed down our throats by so many on the left, and see if this doesn’t ring true in your heart and mind.  For Canada, with all the multiculturalism we’ve been told is so important…. why should we not, as Canadians, expect that the millions of new people immigrating to our country show their love for our country, their allegiance to our country, their willingness to obey the laws of our country, and acceptance that we are a Christian country?  Just because they are able to enjoy exercising their own religion, they should NOT expect us to be ashamed of ours.  They knew Canada was a Christian country when they came here.  Why are we erasing Christianity because immigrants who are unwilling to adopt our way of life expect us to?  There is just too much insanity in the world, and we have to start taking a stand.  I hope you will forward this, so that others will feel they are not alone if they are starting to feel the same.

 BRITISH COMMENTAt last, a clear non-racist example of the concerns that the vast majority of our Nations’ populations probably share.  The pilot’s letter encapsulates all that is fair and just about national pride and protection of one’s national culture.  I fear it may be too late here in UK, BUT we too want our country back in the form that attracted all these different cultures to come here in the first place!!  In all our conversations, with a wide range of friends and acquaintances, we have not met one that disagrees with our own views.  If only we all had the courage of our convictions to pass this on, it is a statement that should be accepted as the heart-felt feelings of someone with honest, commendable national pride.  Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists to date have been Muslims.  Stand up and be counted!

AUSTRALIAN COMMENT – Best email I have had in years – it needs to be in every paper every day until we get some answers.  We all need to be very concerned.  Note: The pattern in Australia is the same as for the other countries above.  Where are the believers of Islam in our beloved country standing up and being counted on all these issues?  I have not seen one!

THIS IS TOO GOOD TO JUST READ AND FORGET!
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America is Losing what Made Us Special – Which Means Collapse Won’t be Far Behind

This article was so well written I knew it had to be saved to my blog for future reference – very well done……

By

Pack Mentality

Every nation in history that collapsed from anything other than direct and immediate invasion, was a victim of its own internal failures. Rome fell, the Chinese dynasties collapsed, and even the great tsardom of Russia eventually deteriorated from the interior out. Intellect fell by the wayside, and power was usurped by individuals who were strong but not necessarily intellectual – powerful, but not intuitive. Greed and intimidation became the new gods. Intellect, compassion, and logic were driven out by the wolves in the pack, and only domination and deceit remained.

What made America unique for so long, was that we refused to allow the wolves to rule. We set standards of morality for the nation, and created failsafe devices in our Constitution so that this couldn’t happen to us. But that was before political correctness – a deceptive, manipulative organism that allows certain groups of people to develop control while shouting down the concept of certain groups being in control.

Almost every coup requires the elements of a perfect storm – timing and unrest, either real or created, and most importantly, a conceptual change in what we see as valuable and important. When we distil this down to the lowest common denominator, we find violence and power equals control. Pack mentality is really all about the contradicting forces of intimidation and admiration. We admire the strongest amongst us, because paradoxically, we fear them the most. This extends back to the very beginning of man, actually well before man came onto the scene. The strongest wolf ran the pack – the most intimidating lion ruled the pride.

image: http://cdn1.eaglerising.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/american-decline-300×277.jpg

american declineHowever, the disturbing part is, a distorted form of pack mentality is on the rise again in our country. For all the fortunes we have thrown at it, we have failed at bringing education, character, and social balance to a large portion of the ethnic venues in this nation. But in some sort of strange social alchemy we have lowered the standards of the nation to meet the stratums we were unable to rise up. We adopted their jargon and music, and we were gradually suffused with their social temperament, rather than the other way around.But most significantly we reversed the nation’s climb towards sophistication and accomplishment, and we began, slowly at first, then with a more cascading effect, to return to pack mentality – where education, social graces, honor, and integrity take a back seat to collusion and raw power. I suppose one of the greatest examples I can offer is our worship of sports figures and our incredible connection to violent sports.   We’re a nation that holds little or no admiration for doctors, pilots, scientists, astronauts, researchers, or inventors. Their accomplishments get a four-inch section in the daily newspaper, or two minutes on the local news. But football players, Neanderthal boxers, and basketball players who can barely sign their own names on their astronomical checks, are worshiped like gods.

For so long, we struggled to instill quality in all Americans, and in our adamant attempt to show equality existed in this country we focused almost entirely on raising ethnic groups to power. What we couldn’t have foreseen, is the phenomenon of pack mentality – that a whole new generation would be more enamored by, or perhaps intimidated by, particular stratums of our society to such a degree that social survival in our schools and workplaces would ultimately forge an entirely new hierarchy. Pack mentality – the loudest and the strongest rules.

When something like this takes place – the most vocal and the most violent are given the majority of the attention, society morphs into a group mentality coerced by power, and unrest becomes the order of the day. If we had read our history, (if our children had cared about reading their history), we would have realized that for an individual segment of society to rise above all the rest, they don’t have to be the most brilliant or compassionate, they simply have to be the most vocal and feared.

Paradoxically, what we have failed to take into consideration in this huge social experiment, is that strength is not the only thing that provides security in a modern day society like ours. There must be equal amounts of intelligence, knowledge, and compassion. Otherwise, we have done nothing more but come full circle – back to our ancestors.