All successful empires and nations throughout history all had a system of justice which enabled these entities to survive and thrive for an extended period of time. These societies all had a core set of morals that all citizens agreed with and that made sure that even the poorest amongst them could seek legal recourse when wronged even by the most powerful. Religion was important not a tool of control as many would have you believe but as a moral guideline an assistant to the moral compass that we should all possess. Laws were then created around this religion as it was known and accepted by the masses.
These laws were mostly followed because the citizens feared the judgment of not only their fellow citizens but of The God or gods that they worshipped. The waters became muddied by conquests and the servitude of other peoples with other beliefs. These people eventually became citizens of these empires and countries. So what was once an agreed upon moral code was infiltrated by values of outsiders that failed to assimilate into the host nation. Certainly throughout history lawbreakers were punished brutally but that punishment was seen as just because after all the vast majorities of peoples believed as one. With the infiltration of new customs and values, this punishment was no longer seen as just and people broke laws out of ignorance or because they didn’t recognize the validity of said laws.
This caused the rulers of these nations to crack down even more harshly until even its own citizens were shocked, and this led to rampant corruption by those with means to pay off those in power to avoid such a fate. This corruption became commonplace and was no longer even viewed with any particular disgust. Those with the means flourished while the poor man driven to desperation by an absence of justice for his station was driven to even greater depravities to try to make his way in the world. The poor man suffered all the punishment for the old laws. He witnessed those with coin do as they wish while he must risk his life to feed his family.
Corruption led to the downfall of even the most successful empires throughout history. They routinely violated their own laws and laws of their god, until the only value left was the value they were capable of paying. It was every man for himself, and every man only thought of himself, and lest we believe this was any different amongst the poor we would be mistaken. Remember, the poor man lost his only recourse his only viable option to seek justice when money became its instrument. So he became just as those already corrupted like a wild beast living on a self-serving instinct alone. This is how empires crumble when identity is lost and common values are forsaken.
We live in such a place today. Though we aren’t as far into the death spiral as those ancient empires we are on that path. You cannot view our current situation through open eyes and fail to see the corruption that is rampant. Our rulers legalize taking property from others, even without charges. They know this is thievery, but they don’t care because they also know that even though they are subjects of another we are subject to the laws. When a nation can steal from its own citizens and call that legal even though we all know deep down it is no different from the crackhead down at the seven-eleven mugging folks as they walk from the store. The crackhead gets punished and rightfully so, but those that operate for a government that more closely resembles the mafia there can be no punishment.
We have lost our common values. We don’t seem to possess any unifying beliefs in this country. Corruption is rampant, crimes are becoming more exaggerated. That is all a symptom of the underlying problem. We were once a nation of American citizens. We are now a nation of Americans, gender neutrals, people that identify as attack helicopters, people that believe they were once a frog a generation or two ago, people that believe we were souls trapped in a volcano after having been put there by aliens and blown up by atom bombs and finally just confused people that don’t have an identity. I cant conceive of a way in which all of that could coalesce into an integrated community without tearing itself apart in the process.