What Holds Things Together?

18 signs the society is collapsing is a depressing compilation of recent news events that point to the conclusion that things are coming apart.

Civilization is a agreement that we all trust one another to behave in ways that are not dangerous. So that even if I don’t know you I don’t automatically assume you are a threat when I pass you on a sidewalk. If we lose that, it’s chaos.

The Constitution of the United States is an agreement that was entered into to protect us from our government. It was meant to constrain the federal government, protecting the powers of the states and the rights of individuals. If we lose that, we are either slaves or anarchists.

Money is just green paper that we all agree has value. There’s nothing backing it up. If those dollars are no longer trusted, we fall all the way back to a barter economy. What happens when you present money and the other person refuses it, wanting to trade goods and services directly? How does it affect things when we can no longer agree what money is worth? When a wheelbarrow of money won’t buy a wheelbarrow of corn?

What holds things together are all the underlying agreements that make up a society. If the large majority of people stop believing, stop trusting, and stop participating, what remains?

The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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