We live in a time of spite and discord.
I'm reminded of a few words from The Fate of Empires, by Sir John Glubb:
"Britain has been governed by an elected parliament for many centuries. In former years, however, the rival parties observed many unwritten laws. Neither party wished to eliminate the other. All the members referred to one another as honourable gentlemen.
But such courtesies have now lapsed.
Booing, shouting, and loud noises are undermined the dignity of the House, and angry exchanges are more frequent. We are fortunate if these rivalries are fought out in Parliament, but sometimes such hatreds are carried into the streets, or into industry in the form of strikes, demonstrations, boycotts and similar activities.
True to the normal course followed by nations in decline, internal differences are not reconciled in an attempt to save the nation. On the contrary, internal rivalries become more acute, as the nation becomes weaker."We become weaker.
In the old days, we trusted those above us. They had a position, with that position came responsibilities. Responsibilities towards all, for the good of all (them too, of course).
Now, everything is abused and abusive. Spite reigns. Discord is everywhere.
Those who think themselves above, disdainfully abuse those they think are below.
The knives come out and slice into the backs of anyone handy. Generally just for fun.
We have forgotten. With power comes responsibility. The greater the power, the greater the corresponding responsibility.
Power corrupts, yes. Yet still, the responsibility was known and acknowledged and generally followed. "Use it. Abuse it even. Just let me see you doing something with it."
These days it is honored more in the breach.
These days it is abuse which is rampant - responsibility is nowhere to be seen - and everyone is waking up to the lies they've been told all their lives.
The trust in those with power to be responsible with it -
As the belief and obedience to the structures which created Western society are eroded away by the greedy and uncaring, abusing their power for fun and avoiding their responsibilities. At the same time, telling others that they need to step up and do their bit, while studiously avoiding doing their part.
Until the general consensus becomes: "Pull the other one, it's got bells on." As it all falls down.