All societies suffer periods of collapse and renewal.
A power will rise to prominence, -family, king, or egalitarian society- and order the people and things under its control. This government is composed of the wisest, most powerful, and most caring people, for these are the kind that set about creating nations. And so, though the people may yet suffer from wrongs that cannot be so easily forgotten, the entire nation goes about working towards a better future, for themselves, and for their children.
People become sure of themselves, and sure of their nation. These men are removed a generation from those before, and forget life before the time of great upheaval, and live entire lives pleasantly and freely. As such, they assume that no wrong can be wrought from their hands, but are still fearful for what their fathers sang to them as embers ascended the dying fire. Law is still proper and just, and the wise men stand in offive. People enjoy the future their fathers earned, and work for a brighter future still. The people are content, and give daily thanks to their deities and masters.
Now, the newest generation is far removed from the time of excitement, and the ruling families especially forget that their fathers, and their fathers fathers toiled and died upon the good Earth. Those in power become sure of themselves, and create or are taught the innate worth of their blood. They tell unto those who ask, “I am blessed because the lord, he blessed me. And I am just in his eyes.” They then turn and say “But you, who are of lesser status are unloved by our lord and master. You are lazy, or unfaithful, and for this you are punished.” And yet, nothing could be further still from the truth, for all rewards are given only beyond our mortal skins.
Men are turned to slavery and indebtedness, simply for convenience of their masters. But, soon enough, all merchants and masters are made to pay little and demand much from those in their employ. So, the product of labor becomes cheap and worthless, allowing those with greater freedom to enjoy these lesser prices, quickly forgetting their wine is distilled from the bone and marrow of men.
These people in power, they become fearful and paranoid. They strive to save for their sons titles of nobility and worth. They band together, and see to those peasants who earn the mantle of King, and lead them instead to the title of Baron. These men become obsessed, all too often, on preserving and increasing their power, and allow the pleas of the populace to reach only the lord ethereal.
The impoverished, also, see injustice in their eyes, but their pains are real, and their justice is thwarted. And so they rally against those above them, and their cries are heard but ignored. They riot in the streets, and, all too often, in their efforts to seek equality, find that they only hurt themselves, and those around them. They are oppressed.
The land is dark, and the people fear for their fate. The best that can be hoped, is that those ruling are quietly replaced, or a prince is born who leads his people to warmer horizons. The worst that can be hoped is that there may be peace yet, for today only, and the sons will inherit this misfortune, or this turbulence.
And then, the cycle begins anew, for a new dynasty rises up, and claims the power of the old for itself, and is made to lead the people to a better future.
And, though they thought otherwise, the men and women of the last era of Earth were not above the law that rules our blood. They felt and wore forced by the same forces which have ruled all mankind since its creation. That is not to say they were not great, -they are the greatest generation to ever exist- but simply that they were human, and succumbed to the same pleasures and hollow victories that their ancestors did. However, no man who lived in houses of stone and wood ever did bear thermonuclear weapons.