Just finished reading Alas Babylon by Pat Frank, a 1959 apocalyptic novel about a post-nuclear-holocaust Florida. Besides the opportunity to think fondly about nuclear missiles taking out Florida, it's got virtues like this insightful little nugget about what went wrong:
"Nations are like people. When they grow old and rich and fat they get conservative. They exhaust their energy trying to keep things the way they are - and that's against nature."