The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: The Ends of the World as We Know Them
Two other related books are Jane Jacobs' Dark Age Ahead and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.
Jacobs identifies five pillars of culture that if destabilized make a culture unsalveagable. They are:
1. Household strength, i.e., community and family;
2. Higher education;
3. Science and science-based technology
4. Taxes and governmental power that are directly in touch with the needs of the ruled;
5. Self-policing by the learned professions.
Jacobs suggests we are failing on all counts.
Diamond focuses on what makes a culture strong and viable. These are important books worth reading.