On the collapse of civilization...Noumenal Self has an essay commenting on Robert Tracinski's series "What Went Right". I agree with Noumenal's assessment, so far.
My own thoughts are that civilization is hanging by a thread. I will define civilization this way: a secular, technologically advancing culture with a solid "society-wide" philosophical respect for and proper knowledge of reason, logic and reality.
America today is a cesspool of nihilism and worship of the irrational. The Left's hatred of freedom, and the Right's hatred of human life on earth both dominate our society/culture in nearly every aspect.
Yet these ideas are reaching their zenith. The world-wide collapse of communism showed that altruist-based political structures have failed. Freedom isn't guaranteed to any society or culture. It's not a light-switch that can be turned on "just like that". Philosophy is the motor of history, and the engine of any truly human future we are to have. But more than that---it has to be the correct philosophy. Ayn Rand's philosophy, to be exact.
While it is great that "free-markets" are spreading, the cynic in me sees that these markets are being used and manipulated by thugs and dictator's to simply "loosen the noose" around their subject's necks, not to aid in the prosperity of the nation's citizen's.
Notice too, please that the "religion" of environmentalism is fusing both left and right together. Surely you've seen the increasing news items on how religionists are more and more quoting how men are to be the "stewards" of earth for future generations? So much for property rights.
Notice too, the incremental increase in chipping away our freedom of speech. Which is being attacked by both sides of the aisle. I can't recall at the moment but it was either Miss Rand or von Mises who said, " a Constitution without it's proper philosophic base is just a meaningless piece of paper".
The good news is, Objectivism is spreading. It has a toe-hold and the foot is gaining on solid ground. Ayn Rand's ideas are right, not because I say so, nor because a majority 'believes' them, but because they correspond to reality and offer man a blueprint to happiness. Life-long, life-sustaining happiness. This is indeed good news, but the struggle ahead is long and painful. However, the enemy is so small, really, that when we win, we'll wonder why it took so long.