Nations rose typically because their leaders were both technically smart and morally virtuous. These leaders formulated fair laws and established wise social systems to ensure fairness. People around the world trusted these leaders and wanted to do business with them. As a consequence, such nations rose higher and their leaders gain a tremendous amount of power.
But "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
The original leaders, who were technically smart and morally virtuous, were gradually replaced by leaders who were technically smart but without virtue. These leaders were collectively labelled as Hegemony which wanted to have more power, more money, more privilege, and more control of the world.
But people around the world began to grow suspicious, and their trust in the Hegemony shrunk over time. They wanted shake off the shackle of control to declare independence.
The Hegemony had sensed this dangerous movement of the people around the world, and meted out punishment to those who dared to take a move to free their people. However, the Hegemony had a tendency to overestimate its controlling power, and eventually found it difficult to control the world all by itself. So the Hegemony set out to form an alliance, with a simple promise to its allies: "We go to rob the weak and poor together. I get 70% of the loot, and you get 30%.".
So military alliance was formed, and it typically would last for decades of years.
Then the Hegemony said to its allies: "Let's replace 70% and 30% by 80% and 20%, respectively. This is only fair."
The allies, although not as happy, found this acceptable. They would rob the weak more savagely to compensate for the loss they had conceded to the Hegemony.
Then the Hegemony said to its allies: "Let's replace 80% and 20% by 90% and 10%, respectively. The alternative is to place you among the robbed. You are either with me or against me."
The allies, although not as happy, found this acceptable. They would rob the weak more savagely to compensate for the loss they had conceded to the Hegemony. They did this to such an extent that some of their own people found it morally unacceptable. They felt that they had sold their souls too cheaply. There were two more reasons for these allies to worry. First, they had a rebellious young generation who were more righteous. Second, some of the people in these allied nations thought that they were just as capable as those in the Hegemony and desired to have a fair share of the loot.
So the leaders of the allies argued with the Hegemony, saying that we had been faithful allies. We had contributed to making you great again. However, we have robbed so savagely that we looked evil in the eyes of our children. This is too much a cost to balance the benefit of unfair share of the loot. Our life has become insufferable because of this.
But the Hegemony wouldn't listen. Instead, it fumed: "You ungrateful pigs. You could have been the third-class citizens, but I granted you the second-class status. How dare you ask for more?"
The allies were terrified and dashed out of the door as if being chased by mad dogs. In the wildness outside, they had struck an idea of forming their own alliance so that they would not be slaughtered individually by the Hegemony.
So these allies formed their own alliance, which would be known as Hedgemony because they had jointly hedged a bet.
The Hegemony got even angrier upon learning of the establishment of the Hedgemony. "It is like someone who is snoring by my bedside! Total disaster!", he shouted.
But the leaders of the Hedgemony were pretty cunning. They had clearly seen the division of the world into three castes, the Hegemony, the Hedgemony and the Rest, and they went to lobby the leaders of the Rest: "You used have a leader who recognized the world in three castes, and thought that the Rest could stand on its own feet. He failed miserably because he, although having succeeded in uniting the Rest, did not make an effort to seek leadership from the Hedgemony. The joint force of the Hegemony and the Hedgemony is far greater than the Rest. However, the joint force of the Rest and the Hedgemony might be greater than the Hegemony. If you come with us, we surely will not rob you as savagely as the Hegemony.
The Rest was all very glad to hear this proposal, and put it to action right away.
This had driven the Hegemony crazy, and it had come up with a smart strategy to break up the Rest+Hedgemony alliance. It first approached the leader of its neighboring country which Voltaire once described to be no more than a few acres of snow: "Listen, kiddo. I am going to slapping you hard, and slapping you hard in front of all people to make you cry like a baby. However, if you condemn the leaders of the Rest, I will not only refrain from hitting you, but will kindly change your diaper."
The poor "kiddo" never realized that he was a leader in a vast land that is far more than just a few acres of snow, and he immediately caved in and hurled loads of curses upon the leaders of the Rest. As a reward, he did have his diaper changed so that he now looked smart in front of young girls.
Now the Hegemony went to the leaders of the Hedgemony and said, "See the example of that kiddo? If you follow his example and curse the leaders of the Rest, I will treat you the same as I treated him", and he pulled out a few more diapers from his suitcase.
The cunning leaders of the Hedgemony saw this as a valuable leverage, and they went to whisper into the ears of the leaders of the Rest: "The Hegemony is plotting against you. However, if you give us a very good deal......"
The leaders of the Rest was immensely touched by the faithfulness of the Hedgemony, and promised to give it all. They also innocently spread out a large poster starting with the words "Our alliance with the Hedgemony for the global economy......"
The Hegemony saw the poster, went across the Atlantic and stared into the eyes of the leaders of the Hedgemony: "You! Do you intend to betray our alliance?!"
The leaders of Hedgemony were all trembling, and all said in unison, "Absolutely not! It is the Rest that has tried in vain to seek alliance with us. We have steadfastly refused. Anyone who has ever thought of an alliance with the Rest is our enemy #1!"
The Hegemony was pleased, and said, "I am going to punish the Rest for their attempt to divide us. I expect you to know where you stand." Each of the leaders of the Hedgemony said "Yes" seven times, each time louder than the previous one.
So this brought us to the present. The rise of the nation had occurred hundreds of years ago. The fall has occurred spiritually but not materially, and may not occur in the near future. This is because the fall is relative to the rise which demands technically smart and morally righteous leaders. At present, such leaders are missing.