Like Plato when writing the Repbulic, that old coot of a science fiction author H. Beam Piper had to dress up things that needed to be said. One of his novels is Space Viking. It was originally published in 1963. What follows is a conversation between King Mikhyl of Marduk and Crown Prince Trask of Tanith. I have omitted the descriptions.
M -"That's catastrophic decivilization. There is also decivilization by erosion, and while its going on, nobody notices it. Everybody is proud of their civilization, their wealth and culture. But trade is falling off; fewer ships come in each year. So there is boastful talk about planetary self-sufficiency; who needs off-planet trade anyhow? Everybody seems to make money, but the government is always broke. Deficit spending - and always more vital social services for which the government has to spend money. The most vital one, of course, is buying votes to keep the government in power. And it gets harder for the government to get anything done.
The soldiers are sloppier at drill, and their uniforms and weapons aren't taken care of. The non-coms are insolent. And more and more parts of the city are dangerous at night, and then even in daytime. And its been years since a new building went up, and the old ones aren't being repaired anymore."
T - "And finally, nobody bothers fixing anything up. And the power-reactors stop, and nobody seems to be able to get them started again. It hasn't gotten that far on the Sword-Worlds yet."
M - " It hasn't here either. Yet."