What’s sad about a dying civilization is that the only people who see it are those who have these traits:
Everyone else is oblivious to consequences beyond the next paycheck, and cannot predict the outcomes of more than a single factor over more than a few days anyway. Thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect, they have no idea they’re incompetent, so they pick theories that make them sound smart (to them) but in fact disregard whole ranges of vital data. They are quintessential sophomores.
They like to use one-sentence, glib answers where thought is required; in that alone they reveal they are not sincere, intelligent or moral. But they think their cleverness hides the truth. It’s no wonder these things run in cycles: society gets wealthy, this enables people who are at the moral level of monkeys to become parasites, and then the parasites band together and make it illegal to point out truth, reality or other things that make unstable individuals experience self-doubt. They make monkeytime, or an age of irresponsible lack of accountability, the law of the land, even though it’s contrary to the laws of mathematics, information and nature.
As a result, the society plunges into dark ages for a while until a strongman comes along who legalizes reality and boosts people out of denial. Then the process of civilization can restart.