Absolutely. I have to say that I had been a bit "stunned" by the reaction of almost all of my contemporaries (i.e., folks born in the late 40s or 50s) when I try to engage them in any conversations of substance on topics such as these (including the state of the economy, political realities, or history). I have given much thought to the "why" aspect of it, considering the apparent level of "intellect" and/or education and the overall "successful" stations in life that these people have reached. It is clear to me that the overall level of comfort and affluence that our country has enjoyed for decades has created a very self-absorbed and utterly complacent populace.
The TRUTH is too distasteful, difficult, and "upsetting" to comprehend. It is also too "large," in that we aren't talking about a few policies that may need to adjusted, or a few laws that need review and modification. It also seems "so un-American" to many because a great deal of our population (especially anyone 50 and upward) just can't accept the fact that this can ever happen in America. We have been falsely indoctrinated to believe that the government could never be "that bad" and will always "be there to protect us" in the end. These are the people that should have enough knowledge and understanding to know better. People in their 40s and upward should have been exposed to a bit more of the "truth" of our history and should have been less indoctrinated than those that are younger. But our culture and overall comfort have softened these abilities that should be present.
Younger people have a different sort of problem in coming to grips with this. As a whole, people in their 30s and younger that have been fully indoctrinated in government schools have less of the actual facts available (unless they actively seek it out now) and far less comprehension and processing skills (by design). Also working against them is the fact of their youth, i.e., what person just starting out in their adult life (still hoping at some point to marry, have a family of their own, and "prosper" to some degree, at least at some point) wants to face the dark reality of this TRUTH? It is very easy to understand why the LIE is so appealing, for it falsely offers them "everything" at no cost.
Because of the above, amongst other factors not mentioned, it is a struggle of immense proportions to gain an open mind from our populace as a whole. I certainly don't intend to be overly pessimistic or "gloomy" here, just attempting to speak truthfully. If we are to be effective to any useful degree, these are the facts that we must accept. And above all, fully embrace your closing comment:
Never give up.
Now, Quigley's best characterized as an authoritarian paternalist, but his reading of history and cultures is breathtaking. He is mostly correct, aside from his over-the-top hatred for this country's 'right wing'. And that doesn't really emerge until he gets to the end of his historical journey. Combine what you now know with his observations and, well... You won't look at things the same way.
As for the youth of today. A lot of them won't even understand what's happening to them - even while it's hapepning. They'll die stupid and afraid. You mentioned, what person just starting out in their adult life (still hoping at some point to marry, have a family of their own, and "prosper" to some degree, at least at some point)... The problem is for many young people, even these aspirations are lost to them. Marriage? Family? Again, sneering punch lines to filthy liberal party jokes. Or an episode of Family Guy if you can stand to watch one. It's an education, believe me. With what does one fill a shrieking moral void? I think we know.
But we should all take hope from the fact that homeschooling and concerned parents are turning out alive, alert and aware young people. They are the hope of the restored Republic.