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America and the Symptoms of a Dying Society

Updated on September 21, 2016

The United States of America is an empire. The government will deny it, but facts and history support the claim. Through language, financial structure, the presence of over 750 military installations and consulates across the globe, the aspiration of globalized free markets, the rule of law and a government that is representative, the United States is one of the largest empires in history.

But like all empires – Babylon, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Byzantine, and Persian – America is destined to fall. Unfortunately, this end is closer than many would like to believe. All one has to do is view current events and it’s easy to see things are in a bit of a mess.

But this is actually normal.

According to William Ophuls, there are six major factors that lead to a collapse of a society; Ecological Exhaustion, Exponential Growth, Expedited Entropy, Excessive Complexity, Moral Decay and Practical Failure.

He points out that,

Biological evolution is driven by the tendency of all organisms to expand their habitat and exploit the available resources – just as bacteria in a Petri dish grow until they have consumed all the nutrients and then die in a toxic soup of their own waste.

Americans take growth for granted. We see the natural world a buffet that we can eat at endlessly without consequences. America grows exponentially which leads to a society that is too big and complex to manage.

The problem for any society is that it finds itself trapped in a thermodynamic cycle that cannot be broken. As a society becomes greater it produces more citizens, which consume more which increases entropy. Ophuls points out that “At some point, just as in the ecological realm, a civilization exhausts its thermodynamic ‘credit’ and begins to implode.” The complexity of the society becomes akin a person running on a treadmill – they are using resources, but getting nowhere. This eventually leads to separate problems merging to create more problems out of aggravation of each other.

The Roman Empire is the perfect example. The empires initial investment brought many gains, but ultimately, these benefits became more burdensome, to the point that the weight of them caused the collapse of the entire society.

Ultimately, the society begins to rot. The move from the dutiful soldier/citizen to the effete poet, or, “vigor and virtue to decadence and decay” are parts of the decline and fall of every civilization."

Roman Emperor Constantine
Roman Emperor Constantine | Source

At this point, we find seven symptoms that define the dying society:

1. Increased defensiveness. No longer interested in glory or duty, and even finding the prospect of "dying for one’s country" is no longer honorable, but odious and absurd. Military readiness is denounced as primitive and immoral.

2. Increasing focus on welfare, social insurance medical care, and the like. This fosters an attitude of entitlement, loss of personable responsibility and independence.

3. The ideas that the human brain can solve the problems of the world by mere cleverness, without effort, dedication or sacrifice on the part of the individuals.

4. Growth in civil dissention. People are interminably different and intellectual arguments rarely lead to agreement, but instead lead to polarization so that internal rivalries become more acute.

5. Influx of foreigners drawn to wealth and glory of a nation. This results in a polyglot population that no longer shares the same values.

6. An age of decadence sets in at this point. Frivolity, aestheticism, hedonism, cynicism, pessimism, narcissism, materialism and other negative attitudes suffuse the population. Politics is increasingly corrupt, life increasingly unjust. A cabal of insiders accrues wealth and power at the expense of the citizenry, fostering a fatal opposition of interests between have and have-nots.

7. The majority lives for bread and circuses; worships celebrities instead of divinities; throws off social and moral constraints, especially on sexuality, and shirks duties but insists on entitlements.

Rotten to the core, the society awaits collapse, with only the date remaining to be determined.

The civilizations elites may understand that the system is dysfunctional, but fundamental reform would require major sacrifice on their part, so they fight to preserve their privilege and power instead.

This sounds all too familiar with the state of current events in America. The American flag is desecrated, the anthem not respected, soldiers returning from war are labeled potential terrorists, and instead of fighting against an enemy the government simply attempts to pay them off. Glory, honor and duty have disappeared. Welfare is no longer a temporary means of support, but has become a lifestyle. People no longer look to themselves for accountability, but to the government. Civil dissention is higher than it was even during the Civil Rights movement. People are being killed simply by their race, employment, religious beliefs and are being supported by so-called civil liberty organizations that hold people back rather than empower them.

Immigration issues are more problematic than they have ever been in this country. And even from the beginning of immigration, the concept of adopting the language and customs of America has been secondary. There is no national identity, only multitudes of people sharing different values, many vastly different, than those of a unified nation.

Morals have become subjective. Decadence prevalent in all of society to the point it would make Sodom and Gomorrah blush, and a political system that has become so corrupted that anything short of a complete replacement is an act of futility.

Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah

Brooke Adams points out that,

…when a highly centralized society disintegrates… it is because the energy of that race has been exhausted. Consequently, the survivors of such a community lack the power necessary for renewed concentration, and must probably remain inert until supplied with fresh, energetic material by the infusion of barbarian blood.

America is clearly in the final stage of downfall and like all civilizations that went before, and most likely to come after, will meet its demise, sooner than later, and the shock, just as with past societal falls, will reverberate across the globe.

Do you believe the United States will fall within the next 100 years?

See results


Adams, Brooks. The Law of Civilization and Decay: An Essay on History. New York, 1897.

Ferguson, Niall. Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.

Ophuls, William. Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail. North Charleston, SC.: CreateSpace, 2012.

Price, John. The End of America - The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America. Christian House Publishers, Inc., 2013.


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