Over time, as the power of a State grows, the social disconnect between those in power and those controlled widens. Slowly over time, the State becomes a separate social entity from those ruled, and its primary interest is to further grow in power. In a sense, the State evolves into a predator. The citizens only exist to serve the State. The social groups that comprise the State slowly develop the attitude that the state is permanent. This is the time that the in power slowly move from rational and practical thinking to magical thinking. Over time, magical thinking always ends with the destruction of the state, and the lives of the unfortunates controlled by the state go down with them. The decline may take centuries or a few generations, but collapse always comes bringing misery to all.
The American State over the last 70 years has been lead by career politicians, bureaucrats, and judges who have entered the stage of magical thinking. The process began when Congress and President Lyndon Johnson convinced the American people that the United States could engage in endless war and pursue massive economic reforms successfully. Guns and Butter have been the policy of Washington DC and accepted by the American people as fact and not magical thinking. The reality is that their lives and the nation have slowly and inexorably declined economically. Moving production offshore and exporting services that have destroyed the industrial and productive capacity was driven by the need to maintain the allusion that America was prosperous as more and more Americans found themselves out of work or in low-paying jobs. At the same time, the gold standard was dropped to allow the State to print empty dollars, which has steadily devalued the dollar. Fantasy thinking has lead to the decline of great cities, the steady disintegration of infrastructure, and the steady decay of the middle class.