Cultural Infirmity


Picking up where Alan left off earlier today, I offer this commentary on how to spot a sick culture:

It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn’t the whole population…

Before a revolution can take place, the population must loose faith in both the police and the courts.

High taxation is important and so is inflation of the currency and the ratio of the productive to those on the public payroll. But that’s old hat; everybody knows that a country is on the skids when its income and outgo get out of balance and stay that way – even though there are always endless attempts to wish it way by legislation. [Hmmm, where have we heard this before? –Stoutcat] But I started looking for little signs and what some call silly-season symptoms.

I want to mention one of the obvious symptoms: Violence. Muggings. Sniping. Arson. Bombing. Terrorism of any sort. Riots of course – but I suspect that little incidents of violence, pecking way at people day after day, damage a culture even more than riots that flare up and then die down.

Sounds like the state of the world today, doesn’t it? But it’s from the novel Friday, written by noted science fiction author Robert Heinlein back in 1982. The signs were apparent even then.

How much farther have we come, how much lower have we sunk in those two and a half decades? Even a glass-half-full type of person like me is noticing that the glass is looking a bit grimy around the edges. That’s how low. The question now becomes: what are we going to do about it?



One Response to Cultural Infirmity

  1. […] The other day, I wrote about cultural infirmity, and identified, with the able assistance of Robert Heinlein, some of the signs of a sick culture. […]

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