I'm going to go all Ayn Rand on you.
What people need to realize is that in the long run, the greedy/selfish thing to do is to help people directly rather than let the gov't do it... because governments are horrible at doing anything.
Societies do collapse, when they're pushed hard enough.
It's happened over and over in history, even fairly recently.
Some fall apart fairly peacefully, with the people just deciding to ride it out and hope things get better - example, Zimbabwe or (to a degree) the USSR.
Some fall apart and go completely gonzo nuts - Rwanda, Yugoslavia.
Generally the difference has to do with the level of class warfare pushed into the psyche of the populace.
Every day, I hear members of one political party demonizing the other.
I hear Republicans say the D's are either leeches who want more this that and the other, or manipulative SOBs who are feeding the leeches to stay in power to enjoy their perversions.
I hear Democrats say the R's only want Obama out due to race... or that the R's are so incredibly stoneheaded stupid as to not understand the truth that the D's are preaching.
I've heard people from both sides make threats, growl, and even seen some (one both sides) arming up and getting ready to get bloody.
All this is an effect of the continued use of political rhetoric that is intended to split the demographic to influence the election. The problem with that is that every election, you gotta add more fire & brimstone to the speech because you have to make it louder and hotter than last time. At first, this destroys people's faith in any candidate - "they're all crooks" . Sooner or later, you end up destroying the people's faith in the system itself.
Once they lose faith in the system, the 'safety valve' on the pressure cooker is broken. Add more heat in each election, and eventually the thing boils over. Either the lid pops and there's a hiss of steam.... or the pressure cooker cracks and explodes.
We've had a spate of left-wing shooters in the last couple years - the gent that went after Congresswoman Giffords, for example. I am very thankful we've not yet had an outbreak of violence from the conservative side of the fence. The last one was Oklahoma City. Compare and contrast the effects, and you'll see why I'm glad the conservatives have been peaceful.
I really do not want to see a civil war in this country.... but the continued demonization, rhetoric and general stupidity seem to keep pushing for one.