Societal decline is best imagined as a drunk man falling down a long flight of stairs, maybe a long spiral staircase. He begins at the top, the peak of the society, then carelessly makes the wrong steps and begins to tumble down the stairs. It is not a rapid or steady fall to the bottom. Instead, he hits a landing, rights himself for a bit, but regaining his confidence he makes another wrong step and takes another tumble.
Some of the landings are long and he is able to function at that level for a while, thinking he is still at the place he started. Maybe he takes a few tentative steps back to the old position higher up the stairs, but eventually it is another misstep, and he falls back down past that landing to another landing farther down. This is societal decline. It is periods of decline punctuated by periods in which it feels like the decline has been arrested.
This is useful to keep in mind as we watch the new regime come to grips with the new reality they face….link