Having read much about societal collapse including Jared Diamond’s fine book “Collapse”, I wonder if all civilizations are brought down by what I call the Conservative Paradox. The very movement or school of thought that attempts to preserve society, that movement brings it down.
How might this work?
Jonathan Haidt’s work “The Righteous Mind” suggests that conservatives value hierarchy, in group loyalty and the sacredness they apply to these constructs. But unfortunately I suspect that makes them fearful of threats to these constructs, things that threaten their sacred, hierarchical in group status quo. And they fear these threats more than they fear the destruction of civilization itself.
So they fail to grasp the Conservative novelist Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s in fine his novel the Leopard:
“Things have to change so they can remain the same.”
Society’s hierarchy, it’s tribal nature and what it holds sacred has to change for civilization to survive. In our case what is needed is a more egalitarian society, a therefore more stable society, that transcends tribalism and creates global alliances to save the planet and punishes free riders. A society that makes the Planet the focus of the sacred, not hierarchy or one tribe.
So for our civilization to survive, for conservatism to survive and contribute to it, it has to change as Lampedusa suggests.