We live in unprecedented times for this generation.
Tough times create tough people, tough people create good times, good times create soft people, soft people create tough times..
It’s echoed in the “wooden slipper, pink slipper” historical theory and can be seen in the Roman, Mongol, etc empires.
It generally also coincides with a loss of the cultural values that brought the society to greatness. Again, echoed through different times. When a man was bigger than an institution in Rome, when the empire went to the sons of Khan and they began fighting over it.
The hoaxed documentary I recommended to you guys actually touches on this a bit in relation to the US.
The US was founded on solid ground and as the nation legally and politically has moved away from its origins as a Constitutional Republic;
A constitutional republic is a state where the chief executive and representatives are democratically elected by the people, and the rules are set down in a written constitution.
The head of state and other representatives are elected but they do not have uncontrolled power. What they may do is written in the constitution. If there is dispute about what the constitution means, this is decided by a court which is independent from the politicians.The constitution describes how the state may be run. The constitution limits the power of each officeholder. Constitutional republics usually have a separation of powers. The separation of powers means that no single officeholder gets unlimited power. John Adams said that a constitutional republic was “a government of laws, and not of men”. Constitutional governance argue is meant to be a safeguard against tyranny. No office holder can get to a position of absolute power. However, some have argued that a constitution can be written in such a way that it lets tyranny arise, and that a constitution is therefore not a fail proof safeguard against tyranny.  Aristotle was the first to write about the idea in his works on politics.
The founding values of nation building, manifest destiny etc served the people, while also based on shared Judeo-Christian values.
The departure towards a democracy saw the begging of the erosion of the political and legal values. Coupled with competing ideologies of the 20th century and the champion of liberalism, the erosion of cultural values was inevitable.
Without a collective ethic there is disintegration in a society. “Our country works if we all can at least agree on these same things and what they mean and act accordingly” The less of that you have;
1) Agreement on basic principles
2) The definition and universal understanding of those basic principles
3) The knowledge that the majority of people will act in good faith to uphold those principles
The further society will fractionate and become less functional.
Throw in globalization, unprecedented technological revolution, the emperor’s new clothes of liberalism as the dominant western ideology and now a pandemic.
“emperor’s new clothes of liberalism”
Everyone can see the current failings of the idealistic liberalism model, one that was a necessary ideology for a period of time, but failed to evolve and like all ideologies that fail to evolve they become outdated and no longer serve the people and their utility decreases.
So everyone sees the naked failings of liberalism exposed in their daily life.
They see it in the decay of modern society; increasing wealth gap, shrinking middle class, increased debt, increased government reliance, increased globalism at the detriment of local economies, failed social welfare, failed justice systems, failed immigration systems, failed health care systems, failed democracies, poorly regulated capitalism, antagonistic views of individualism, pro materialism and a lack of spiritual/transcendent/higher values etc…
That’s not to say it doesn’t have its strong points as well but the point of ideology is to promote a set of values, then shed the values that fail, not desperately try to prop them up.
So “we all” espouse the ideals of liberalism but yet in our daily life most of us find that the model doesn’t necessarily serve us.
The emperor is the idea of liberalism as an ideology (our grand narrative / collective mythology) and the new clothes is the transparency of seeing through it to the naked reality of what it actually is, while lying to ourselves that we don’t see it.