by Bret L. McAtee
My offering here is a modified distillation of this,
Institutions and cultures crumble when they no longer share a set belief system. Denominations fold, and cultures go into civil unrest when a people's belief system is no longer widely embraced. When shared belief system's among a people are shattered one can look for significant balkanization.
However, when the balkanization is underway the Institutions or cultures will try to stave of the inevitable coming crumbling by,
This usually entails crying for unity and the attempt to change the subject whenever the conversation turns to the friction of belief systems.
The thinking by the elites figures the way to make sure the crack up doesn't happen is by drawing all societal or institutional roles to the center. The edifice is crumbling and only by the control of the elites can the edifice be kept safe.
This means, as it pertains to Institutions, that only company men are advanced in the bureaucratic structure. What this means is that the worst of men are put in leadership positions because the company men are the men who are the most timid and are those who refuse to deal with the problem because their interest is not in solving the belief system dissolution but their interest is in the Institution itself.
Naturally, what this reinforces in the failing Institution and culture is the merit of never saying anything that can be construed as controversial to the Institution. In our culture and for our Institutions what this means is the rise of the timid liberal who wants to avoid the Liberal "extremes" but who avoids even more any notion of Biblical Conservatism because he knows the wind is blowing in the direction of the Liberal extreme.
4.) Frenetic Activity
Failing Institutions and culture suddenly get a case of the "busies." New programs, new vision statements, new projects are introduced. This is all done in order to distract from the reality that the edifice is coming down. It is the Germans partying while the Soviet Tanks are getting to roll into Berlin. It is sound and fury meaning nothing.
5.) Social Ostracization
The final phase is to throw out the ones who are seen to be the threat to the Institution or culture that is failing. Such Institutions and cultures tell themselves that if they can just get rid of the ones who are stalling "progress" (the new name for the changed belief system) then everything will be alright.
And things may get better for a season but usually this Ostracization ends up hurting the Institution or culture in the long run because those who are the ones Ostracized are often the best and brightest.
Consider these as you consider the death of the West.
Subscript -- Also notice how dying Institutions and Cultures end up being incredibly strong mechanisms for conformity to bureaucratically prescribed norms.