I am always reminded of its lessons whenever I hear how a social organization designed to make human life better ends up creating the opposite situation.
Consider this firedoglake post about the California fires.
To sum up:
People form communities so they can collectively achieve more than they could alone. These communities pool resources in order to effectively deal with disasters. Then some of the people in the community become so wealthy that they don't have to worry about disasters, because they can insure their property for more than its worth and they can always move to their summer home. So they form another organization of other wealthy people who pitch a fit that their taxes are too high.
They use their wealth to gain influence, and use their influence to buy politicians. The politicians cut taxes to please these shitheels. Children starve. People walk around sick and dying. Food is contaminated. Toys leak poison. Cities are swept off the map because the levees weren't maintained.
And in California, fires destroy lots of property and kill lots of people.
The signs of our collapse are pretty clear. They are in the headlines every day. Not just America, but we're already in the disintegration process. We can shamble on for a couple hundred years as a husk - the Roman Empire did.
But we're at the point where we are squandering our resources at such a fantastic rate and lack the political will to take care of anyone but the superrich.
Our President, phony huckster fuckstick that he is, demands billions for his imperial ambitions and then threatens to veto a bill that gives health care to children. He should've choked to death on that pretzel. Too bad the opposition party can't muster enough courage to pluck a lame duck.
California burns. The budgets were cut more and more every year. Unchecked global warming increased the fire risk year after year. The National Guard is busy being overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan. FEMA was gutted by the Department of Homeland Security, who are too busy selecting targets to be kidnapped and sent to Syria for CIA torture to do a goddamn thing to save people.
It's not that things haven't been this bad before.
It's that I've got to fucking live in it.