Symptoms of a Dying Culture

Just finished reading R.A.H.’s Friday published in 1981. Friday is the heroine of the piece and at a latter stage of her journey, her mentor asks her to research the signs of a dying country/culture. Her answer and his come in several installments:

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

“Dominance of males over females seems to be a symptom.”

“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 on 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.”

“Any law that is not enforced and can’t be enforced weakens all other laws.”

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of genteel manners, is more significant than a riot.”

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