In the old days, the men at the local depo would jump on a hand pumped railcar with some tools, ride out to the problem site and fix it themselves in between scheduled trains. Somebody would get fired if the problem was not addressed within a day of being identified. Two men with sufficient skill can repair a hell of a lot of things by themselves. This is all it took on most days.
Nowadays an appropriations committee takes 20 years to allocate funds that are immediately siphoned off by corruption into untraceable accounts. The train tracks sit crumbling and rusting away until that line has to be closed down because trains can no longer traverse them without derailing.
A nation cannot survive the disaster of the commons. Without patriotism, pride in your work, engagement and willing sacrifice, all nations become staging areas for civil war between factions that do care enough to fight over that territory. There is no country so doomed as the one where its inhabitants call themselves "citizens of the world." It is pre-apocalyptic sentiment.
In declining societies the people lose the ability to understand how little neglects can add up to result in very big consequences indeed. At the start of a civilisation, a leader tells his men how for want of a nail, a battle and even a war can be lost. The horse throws his shoe without the nail, the horse throws his rider, the battle that is lost means an entire war campaign can fail and then a nation is lost. In declining societies everything is atomised in men's minds and they do not see the relationships between anything they do and their results. A sort of learned helplessness like that which accompanies death and extinction grips their character and they can't shake it off.