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, a language, anything as long as it isn't the whole population.
Particularism. Before a revolution can take place the population must lose 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 of the public payroll. 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 away by legislation.
There are also little signs or symptoms of decay of a culture, a civilization, in its laws, at all levels, federal, provincial, civic etc. Since laws once passed are most likely never repealed, but remain on the books, to be called on at the whim of those apparently in control of enforcing or influencing those who enforce the laws either directly or indirectly. Any such law or laws that is (are) not enforced and can't be enforced yet remain in the books of laws from which a nation is governed tend to weaken all other laws. Notwithstanding, the sheer volume and complexity of the laws existing in our country today makes it impossible for any citizen to live by the laws of the land.
Other signs, obvious signs, of a nation or a civilization in decay (and history shows clearly a nation is in ruins) include violence, muggings, sniping, arson, bombings, terrorism of any and all sorts, riots, all these symptoms eat away at the population each day, increasing the distance between those they look to for guidance and leadership. All this leads to apathy, the most dangerous symptom of the death of democracy, and freedom.
The most alarming symptoms of all, which are so evident in our country and our important neighbor to the south, are the behavior of its leadership. "As above, so below".
Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms as mentioned above, but a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness especially when the very leadership of the country exhibits such behaviours as Bad manners, a lack of consideration for others in minor matters like basic communication. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners. These symptoms are more significant than any riot. Real leaders invoke a basic behaviour predicated on the greatest quality of human consciousness, that of reverence.
What is even more serious is that individuals displaying these behaviors never think of it (the behavior) as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength. Is it too late to save our culture? If it is then we must resign to carry the limited wisdom we've gleaned to retreats or sanctuaries where we may begin again to diarize in manuscript form, with papyri and inks resistant to decay for those who come out of the next Dark Age to find and glean the fundamentals of a balanced society. One predicated on service, with compassion, gentleness and reverence as the only criterion for choosing or acting as leadership, since real leadership has little to do with the counting of votes as motivation for action when considering the good of the one, as synonymous with the good of the lot.
1 "Worlds Without End," written and presented by James Burke, The Day the Universe Changed, series prod. Richard Reisz, BBC-TV/PBS, 1986.
2 Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, Personal and Social Transformation in Our Time (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1987), p. 28.
3 Robert M. Pursig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, (Toronto, Bantam New Age Books, 1988), p. 69.
4 "Making Waves", The Day the Universe Changed.
5 "Making Waves", The Day the Universe Changed.
6 Marilyn Ferguson, p.28.
7 "Man" includes both male and female As Scripture says. So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27, The Amplified Bible