It's a conversation I have with clients and friends often. That there are several words/realities that are vitally necessary to hold a community together in a healthy manner. When real love, freedom, friendship, and individuality get hijacked and replaced with false notions of what they are, there is nothing to hold community together anymore. When it happens, anything can be said or done, and the beautiful reality available to us all gets replaced by something that is rather ghostly and destructive. The culture that distorts these things seems to also shape into the self absorbed individual this idea that it is imperative that they fight to defend the distortion at all cost.
I read an article awhile back from an author/war correspondent who I have grown to really appreciate his perspective. The name of the article was Welcome To The Asylum. He makes the case that all throughout history, with all the world's Empires, that when one begins to go into decline, it goes insane. You don't have to look too hard at the government, the economic sector, and the religious and social systems of our day to find behavior that looks like insanity. All the things people have grown accustomed to hanging onto for security seem to be shaking.