How do healthy countries become so pozzed-out that they collapse? This happens one step at a time.
The rise of great nations
What characterizes countries at peak health? In historical times, they often became expanding empires. The right of conquest was simply how things rolled. Robust superpowers today likely will focus on building infrastructure, economic development, and scientific achievements. An impoverished country can become strong if conditions are steadily improving and its society is healthy.
Since the 1920s, imperialism and even recapturing occupied provinces became unfashionable for countries with bad press. Since the 1950s, territorial aggrandizement stopped being chic even for those with good press. Alliance-building happens, spit-in-your-eye wars occur too, but actual expansionism is rare. However, healthy countries are potentially capable of it.
Further, they also resist invasion by armies and opportunistic migrants. A country that can’t defend its borders—or doesn’t—inevitably falls.
Frivolous materialism, inertia, and inattention will bring increasing decadence. It’s usually a slow process. A country might even coast along a few centuries before all hell breaks loose.
How do you boil a lobster alive without it jumping out of the pot? Turn up the heat very slowly.
Decadence generally begins in urban areas. This usually includes the capital itself, where a normal nation is expectedly the strongest. If most of the country is urbanized, without a strong rural population, the results are obvious. However, the decay eventually pozzes things everywhere.
Much of the public might remain pretty normal even in badly pozzed societies. Some will give warning about the way things are headed. However, they’re neither in charge, nor holding the Big Megaphone. ...
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