Parable of the Sower
by Octavia Butler
Parable of the Sower reads like a post-apocalyptic novel, but its world has no apocalypse. Rather than a cataclysmic event plunging the world into darkness, society erodes. The poor become poorer, cannot get jobs, and cannot buy anything - even basic services from the fire and police. Corporations become stronger while the government loses effectiveness. Drugs and crime run rampant. People become more and more afraid.
When apparent stability disintegrates, as it must - God is Change - People tend to give in to fear and depression, to need and greed. When no influence is strong enough to unify people they divide. They struggle, one against one, group against group, for survival, position, power. They remember old hates and generate new ones, they create chaos and nurture it. They kill and kill and kill, until they are exhausted and destroyed, until they are conquered by outside forces, or until one of them becomes a leader most will follow, or a tyrant most fear.