Collapse begins when real reform becomes impossible.
For America to come home and untangle itself from the Imperial Project, it will have to do more than not meddle in everyone else's affairs; it will have to learn to live within its means--what it earns from producing goods and services, not what it skims from global financialization.
The system is a machine in which each gear serves the whole. So go ahead and try to "reform" the system by extracting whatever gear you don't approve of: the Deep State components, the Security State organs, the Federal Reserve, cartels/monopolies enforced by the State, the suppression of democracy, crony capitalism, whatever. The system is interdependent. Each subsystem needs the others to function.
When do we finally accept the hopelessness of reforming a self-serving machine bent on destruction?
The idea that our large-scale problems could be fixed with systemic reforms is enticing: replace the thousands of pages of tax code with a simple flat tax without deductions, for example, or the replacement of too big to jail/fail banks with community-owned banks that served the public, not shareholders. But the attraction of reforms is a siren song, because our system is run by vested interests for vested interests, period. Any real reform is Dead On Arrival (DOA) because any real reform threatens the swag and security of vested interests.
Cheap, easy credit has created moral hazard and nurtured magical thinking throughout the global economy.
Regardless of what the Greek people choose, at least the choice will be theirs, along with the consequences.
Somewhere along the line, we lost the ability to distinguish between earning a profit and maximizing private gain by any means, i.e. Infinite Greed. All those angered by the mere question of the viability of this predatory pillaging in the name of capitalism are incapable of even admitting this cultural crisis exists.
The conventional class structure is divided along the lines of income, i.e. the wealthy, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class and the poor. But this 3.5-class structure did not capture the changing nature of employment, income and wealth/political power; which more appropriately subdivides into America's socio-economic spectrum into nine classes. This is neofeudal, a term we use to describe a society and economy dominated by financialization and the apex of wealth and political power that wealth buys. The classes below this apex are either tax donkeys, Upper Caste technocrats serving the apex, or the lower classes that are bought off with social welfare and various modern iterations of bread and circuses.
Just as everyone supports "solutions" until the solutions crush their share of the swag, everybody supports innovation and transparency until it disrupts their share of the swag. Then they scramble to hide the ugly truths and suppress the spread of threatening innovation. This parallel rejection of swag-crushing solutions and innovation/transparency by vested interests is not coincidental: innovation and transparency are the heart of real solutions.
When the illusion that the Status Quo can fulfill all its promises to everybody dies, the Status Quo starts the terminal slide to effective collapse.