I recently realized that since I started blogging back in late 2003, I've spent a lot of time trying to explain to people how everything interrelates and why destroying the legitimacy and effectiveness of our major societal institutions is cumulatively a bad thing. The usual answer is that "it works." Then people get surprised when suddenly things go to Hell really, really fast.
So here is my latest analogy: society is like a game of Jenga. it is a complicated array of lots of little pieces being constantly shifted and rearranged all building on top of itself. When it is stable, it is easy to remove things or add things in a very careless way. Over time, however, the structure becomes less and less atable. But it can still look stable to the outside observer. But quite unexpectedly, a move identical to one done countless times before brings the whole structure down.