Rushdoony, commenting on the Fifth Commandment, states,
"The problem of authority is basic to the nature of any and every society. If its doctirine of authority is shattered, a society collapses, or else it is held together only by total terror."
He goes on to note that we have forgotten that all authority is a matter of religion: the god or ultimate power of any system is also the authority and lawgiver of that system. And to the extent that we don't acknowledge the absolute law-giver of whatever system we are under, even if it is not Christian, that society will veer towards anarchy or totalitarianism. Might will make right.
America refuses to overtly acknowledge a particular absolute source, although she plays with demos as her god, the voice of the people. But that is not actually codified and so all kinds of rulers and lawmakers quickly learn how to get around that god.
In the end of course, we must acknowledge the absolute sovereignty of Jesus Christ as King of kings. We must kiss the Son, lest He become angry and we perish in the way.
The other thing to note is that the "total terror" that comes IS that judgment from the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a sign that He is judging. The gospel of the Prince of Peace must be preached and obeyed. Nations must call upon the LORD and be saved.