Professor Toynbee's claim
Gordon Rattray Taylor was not the only author to realise society existed in one of two modes, Professor Arnold Toynbee made a similar claim in "A Study Of History" where he explains all civilisations grow then breakdown. And in Chapter 27 of his work he refers to a witness of the actual time when our civilisation changed modes:
The social mechanisms which are operative in the transition from growth to breakdown were acutely diagnosed by Saint-Simon, working from his own experience of the shattering social strife which culminated in the French Revolution. Saint-Simon suggested that the histories of societies could be divided into two alternating periods, the 'organic' and the 'critical'. In the socially coherent and harmonious 'organic' periods, the members of a society are united by a common agreement on social organization and social goals; individuals and political relationships are stable and accepted, and the disposal of power reflects diverse abilities to contribute to the welfare of society. The 'critical' periods, by contrast, are marked by the collapse of the consensus and by the disintegration of society into dissenting and mutually hostile fragments; status is questioned, relationships become fluid, and in the ensuing struggle for power the relative capabilities of the contending classes and individuals are forgotten.
Describing them as 'growth' and 'breakdown', 'organic' and 'critical', or 'patrist' and 'matrist', does not convey their true nature, the human race has better, more exact words: 'good' and 'evil'. Terms selected not to invoke some supernatural agency, but to emphasis their essential character and impact upon humanity.
The Good Mode
The good mode is where citizens have been taught to be unselfish and to subordinate their animal natures to the demands of the society. This process is the traditional rearing of children to create dutiful citizens, which is essential for the survival of the society.
The law reflects citizens' private beliefs
Citizens are obedient to the law, and its officers because they believe it is for the best, whatever it costs them personally. And this code of behaviour is not just that upheld by the courts, but is dictated by tradition. These rules set out acceptable behaviour for all social intercourse, and impose stability and reason upon the society. Everyone knows what is expected, and what is unacceptable; what is good and what is bad. This allows the notion of justice — the penalising of those who breach codes of conduct — and the concept of duty — fulfilling the demands of law, written and unwritten.
The family the building block of the society
Western Civilisation has been given its character and vitality by the choice that male and female mate for life, and together raise their offspring. We chose to make the monogamous family the basis of our society, with the father the head of the household. From this small organisation everything else followed, with society being the co-ordination and co-operation of quantities of such groups. Tradition, through manners, customs and laws, establishes individual roles and obligations, making it clear just what the society expects from a person, depending on their sex and age and role.
Life meaningful and rewarding
In the vital phase of our existence this ordered society allowed development and adoption of ideas, which gave us not just leisure and wealth through technology, but purpose. Our basic needs of shelter and food were met with the minimum of effort, while our emotions were channeled and directed so that life became meaningful and rewarding.
Maximise Strengths, Minimise Weaknesses
Our evolved culture created our social organisation to maximise the benefits allowed by our animal natures, while minimising their weaknesses. Being a male meant striving to be a gentleman, with all the demands and rewards that entailed. With the masculine traits of strength, intelligence and sexual impulse being channeled into worthwhile social achievements by the requirement to cherish his wife and family. In the same way striving to be a lady directed the female traits of conservatism, attention to detail, and concern for the young, into stabilising the society. At the same time, it diluted the impact of the feminine traits of parochialism and indulging offspring, by subservience to the male.
Obedience and Trust
The good of the society was identified with obedience and trust in authority, which was placed ahead of all private interests. Regardless of their role in the society, guided by shared public morality, and inspired by faith, citizens attempt to carry out their duty. Such devotion and self-sacrifice provide the essential impetus for the society to thrive.
Right and wrong clearly defined
Naturally people did not always live up to the expectations of the society, but there was no doubt what these were. The demands associated with role, age and sex were made abundantly clear by tradition. Authority was respected and obeyed without question, regardless of its injustice, even at risk of life and limb. To reject authority was to reject society, for they were seen as one and the same; any hesitancy was viewed as personal weakness, a clear failure of duty, marking the offender as a social pariah; to be avoided and reviled. Like the men who did not rush to volunteer their services during the Great War; they received white feathers in the mail, along with public stigma.
Strive to be a gentleman or lady
The code of gentlemanly behaviour was no secret, and certainly subject to few shades of grey. To be accused of failing to meet these standards was once so important as to be sufficient reason to risk death by fighting a duel. Similarly, those governing the proper behaviour of a lady were known to all and are disregarded at great risk. Anyone discovered flouting society standards, behaving in an ungentlemanly or unladylike manner, became subject to public odium. Offenders were ostracised, snubbed and publicly insulted. They not only risk their standing in the society, but their wealth, happiness, and sometimes their lives.
Crime was shameful
While order was ostensibly maintained by the constabulary, the real work was done by the conscience of citizens. The sense of justice, which guided individuals through their life, was reflected by the law; so the police were only upholding what most citizens privately believed. These common values were taught by church, school and parents, as the way to live with deviance being not just punishable, but a reason for shame.
All citizens had important responsibilities
The necessary mechanism of the society was maintained by workers who accepted the importance of doing their job well. From street sweeping to lord mayor, every citizen had essential jobs that had to be carried out. For if these tasks, however mundane, were not completed, the society would soon stall. It was implicit that if the garbage was not removed, or the traffic not flowing, or the mail not delivered, the system would fail; and all would suffer. This meant, regardless of the difference in public reward, the bus driver had to be as dedicated as the general. The gold watch after 50 years' service was not meant to compensate for a life devoted to a modest job, but recognise the significance of the achievement. The anonymous train driver was just as important as the famous surgeon. Great strides in science and the arts were only made by a joint communal effort.
A feeling of belonging
While financial rewards were less for the modest hard worker, their dedication won other more important compensations. Not only did citizens enjoy the wealth released by a clever society, but also their spiritual life was enriched. A sense of duty gave purpose to existence, injecting meaning into everything. Meeting its demands became the reason for living, a vital ingredient for happiness. A simple clear understanding of virtue did not just ease the strain of constant decisions made by life's challenges, but channelled energy into improving the society while building self-respect. Temptations did not enervate through uncertainty; they were either seized as fair reward or ignored as immoral. This made individuals and the society vital and confident. The shared values bound the people into a united society, creating a strong public confluence, a feeling of being part of a powerful creature.
At a price
Naturally accepting a moral code that suppresses biological instinct for the benefit of the society has a price. It is one thing to understand the need to control our base cravings, it is another to accept a lifetime of continually resisting our hearts desire. Rage and lust are part of every human and each individual had to evolve private methods of letting off steam to reconcile themselves to an otherwise disciplined life.
We are all human
Prostitution, alcoholism, drug-taking, wife-beating, child abuse were just some of the ever-present side-effects that beset our ordered society. These symptoms are merely our irrepressible instincts finding an outlet for anti-social expressions, which, if denied, would explode the society into chaos.
Not ideal but worthwhile
Our previous Patrist form of society was an attempt by humanity to build heaven on earth. It may never have obtained such a status but it was the closest that the human condition allows; its effect was to enhance the value of individual existence as well as increase the intelligence and power of the species.
The Evil Mode—selfishness takes over
Whereas the nightmare created by the take-over by selfish citizens is approaching the opposite. The death of order, the denial of natural justice, and the collapse of public intelligence are the hallmarks of our dying society. All made excruciatingly worse by the murder of truth, and betrayal by authority.
Without dedication to duty, authority becomes a charade, intent only upon avoiding blame and increasing its official budget. Should failure become clear, much like unemployment now racks the society, they react by ducking responsibility. They maintain a facade of meeting THEIR responsibilities, but show no real interest or enterprise in resolving problems. Like cowardly bystanders at a crime, they spend their time blaming each other for failure to intercede.
The perfect crime
Now that cremation hides murder by poison, non-detection of the crime is no-one's responsibility. The police would act if a post-mortem found evidence of a crime. The coroner's court would hold an inquest if the body was more than ashes. But if suspicion is only revealed by a will after the funeral, then the crime has become perfect. If statistics reveal poisoning is no longer detected, then officially it no longer occurs.
Nobody to blame
In 1992 every state police minister was made aware of this appalling failure; none showed any interest. Allowing this abominable act to escape penalty is not the fault of any institution, or so they claim. The truth is they are all aiding and abetting murder, despite their denials (see the nature of poisoners).
Justice not cost effective
Without the internal motive to pursue truth and justice, the institutions of government become an impotent liability. They are the body charged with responsibility, if they choose to place cost saving ahead of justice, then that is what happens. The hapless unlucky motorist becomes a known criminal, while the insidious killer by toxic substances remains a respectable citizen. In this way our selfish institutions become a hindrance to understanding, a protector of scoundrels, and a promoter of lies.
It is one thing to be openly attacked by a brigand, it is another to suffer the same carried out by the state claiming right of law. When the government changes from protector to tormentor, citizens enter a nightmare. They become like battered children, uncertain of right or wrong, only knowing what brings penalty and what brings peace; justice and morality become irrelevant luxuries.
Government a protection racket
The selfish government is neither interested nor able to resolve difficulties. They are a protection racket, thieves unified by greed, concerned only with the flow of public wealth into state coffers. National debt and growing unemployment are merely subjects for rhetoric, ostensible justifications for their existence. The real business of the peoples' representatives is taxation, and how to extend it.
Every Man For Himself
Only a populace with similar characteristics could support such an administration. These citizens accept the parasitical attitude of bureaucracy because it reflects their own. In the late twentieth century each individual views the world as something to exploit, job, friends, lovers, relations are merely opportunities for indulgence. They believe it is every man for himself. Regardless of the cost to everyone, these evil people destroy justice, truth and order to sate their private desires.
Promote public delusion
A smooth tongue married to a huge conceit can win a position of authority, but lack of talent must ruin their responsibilities. The sly politician who manages to keep getting elected despite growing unemployment and increasing national debt just doesn't care they are bankrupting their own society, or that they only keep their jobs by promoting public delusion.
The ambitious charlatan ignores that the firm suffers when he gets promoted, and the resulting higher prices for poorer quality goods must eventually impact upon him; or that the businesses he relies upon, are being undermined by people just like him, thus condemning all providers of goods and services to suffer from the same disease of decreasing quality for increasing prices.
The corrupt police officer who turns a blind eye for a price is a willing conspirator in the destruction of fairness. He is also aiding and abetting the demise of his own purpose in life, while wrecking justice and order in the society of which he is part.
Marriage an excuse to party
Married couples who shrug off their responsibilities to each other, their relatives, off-spring, and society, by separating for no good reason, are clearly unreliable. By their own actions they devalue personal integrity, demonstrating the temporary nature of any relationship or agreement, as well as the lack of concern they have for everyone else. The marriage ceremony has become more important than the institution it used to represent. It is not unusual for it to occur in the presence of one or more children of the couple indulging in the ritual. This makes the ceremony little more than an excuse to dress up and party: a charade.
Rules are for others
No one is now safe from attack by pests who believe loud music is all right as long as they play it. To such people official restraints are to be ignored unless it promotes a private preference, then it is pursued with fanaticism. Thus smoking may be seen as dreadful, but "No Standing" signs are merely for other people. Cyclists will rant at car drivers failing to follow the Highway Code, but will blithely drive through a red light.
Lack of regard for others has become endemic to society because it is part of being self-centred. Neither age nor rank means anything, as the selfish consider themselves and their opinions at least equal if not superior to all. Brash loud children, inspired by ignorance and secure in the knowledge that they are safe from effective punishment, show complete disrespect for all adults. Adolescents blatantly break the law, untroubled by the hamstrung police. Adults feel qualified to question every official or expert opinion, accepting only those they like. As this denial of authority contradicts a fundamental necessity for social co-operation, the society can only degenerate into the law of the jungle.
No morality: no sense
The collapse of morality slowly destroys rules guiding all behaviour. No one in the society can define how courtship should be transacted, or even what land title means. The hysterical immature voices screaming out against tradition, cannot supply a practical alternative. How could they, the evolved process to which they object is the result of centuries of communal experience, while their protests are based upon a short private existence dominated by inexperience, immaturity, vanity and misconceptions. These people do not even understand themselves, never mind a society with set protocols.
Disorder replaces order
Confusion permeates every form of behaviour and appearance. What to do, say or wear is now uncertain in nearly every venue. Gone is the uniformity of manners, deportment and dress that permitted all social intercourse. Mature adults have been replaced by immature demanding children of the same age. The order of Civilisation is slowly reverting back into the disorder of barbarism. People dress and behave as they feel, barely restrained by decaying vestiges of tradition.
Reason replaced by superstition and paranoia
Ideas, the heart of any civilisation, have now degenerated into irrational anxiety, wishful thinking or trivial self-serving concerns. The latter dominates private conversations, with the two former points invading venues for serious discussion; paranoia and illusion dominate the media and official decisions. Reason has become subordinate to emotion, demanding that whoever, or whatever, wins sympathy is in the right. A ludicrous irrational argument only accepted by the foolish, who now make up the overwhelming majority of citizens.
The Nature Of Suicide: Self-Murder
Suicide has become styled as 'a cry for help' (circa 2000), which is a denial of its real nature. When Captain Oats walked out into the polar desert during Scott's expedition, he was ending his life so others could live. Suicide in the line of duty is an honourable act, otherwise it is contemptible. Its practitioners whether black, white, brindle, male or female, are to be despised and condemned.
A Fatal Tantrum
Those who argue that susceptibility to suicide should win other than contempt, are suggesting the society succumb to blackmail. That we should adopt the attitude of a parent dominated by a child throwing tantrums, give the little monster whatever it desires in case it holds its breath and turns blue. Have no doubt that those who threaten to kill themselves are merely throwing a tantrum and expecting to achieve the same effect won in the nursery.
To surrender to infantile tyrants is to fail as a parent. To surrender to grown up tyrants is to fail as a society. Individuals wishing to throw their life away are revealing a fatal character flaw; life is a precious gift, those who spurn it do not deserve it. The threatened action is only a problem if it is not successful, then expense and effort may have to be expended to rescue the incompetent; but this is a small price to pay compared with the alternative of continually being held to ransom by threats of suicide.
Ivory towers now essential
Expression of such sober opinion now wins attack by the deluded. Clear thinkers can only survive by exiling themselves from society, avoiding listening to the radio, watching TV, reading newspapers, or entering serious discussions with all but a select few. Jobs must just be regarded as a sinecure if sanity is to be kept in the face of the continual minor outrages revealed in meeting the demands of employment. Constructing such ivory towers is the only way of avoiding alternating despair and rage created by witnessing social lunacy.
Cunning not clever
Widespread public insanity is an inevitable result of reasoning powers controlled by emotion, though such individuals readily recognise immediate private gain, or threat, this is cunning not intelligence. The long-term implications of their behaviour are neither considered nor understood. In intelligence such people are penny-wise but pound-foolish.
Success is worthless
Unrestrained by integrity, for their only moral guide is don't get caught, they can quickly exploit any opportunity, but once taken incompetence and delusion invariably wastes the rewards. They are like Elvis Presley, who discovered how to become rich quickly, but not how to utilise his wealth. He soon became the victim of money and leisure. A pathetic lonely individual surrounded by sycophants and fortune hunters, without purpose and dogged by anxiety about losing his fame.
Nice smile, nasty character
In a world overtaken by delusion a charming pleasant exterior often masks an entirely selfish interior. Believing others are there for exploitation makes being likeable a valuable asset. Spending a lifetime persuading others to choose in their favour, and unhindered by sincerity, the worst become emotional chameleons. Able to turn on whatever display will win the day. They know how to fool people and get jobs, but not how to do their jobs. They know how to lie, but not the ramifications of lying. They understand how to accumulate wealth, but not how to utilise it.
Running in ever decreasing circles
Such citizens can only demean and impoverish. Driven by emotions, unrestrained by virtue, determined only to exploit, these creatures spread confusion and impotence. A society of such individuals must become increasingly bewildered, as it pours its efforts into acts of futility. Like a demented animal running in ever decreasing circles, as increasing communal delusion converts absurdity into obscenity, and error into evil.
Most citizens are now without virtue
Most citizens have become odious creatures blind to the folly of their own actions, inane parasites drifting through life just searching for an opportunity to exploit, blown by the whims of their emotions, constantly searching for distractions, novelty and reward. In effect they have become slaves to the very things tradition taught us to avoid: lust, gluttony, rage, sloth, pride, envy, jealousy and hypocrisy.
The Wages Of Sin
The impact of these influences is exactly that predicted by Christianity. Evil presides over the land, or rather injustice triumphs over justice, chaos over order, futility over purpose, superstition over reason, and lies over truth. The result is hell on earth as individual existence becomes meaningless and the human species falters.