Even very large countries rest their might on a few brilliant minds. Wielders of muscles who do not think – imitators and the parasites are many, but the prime movers and the competent are a few. Fortunately, a great deal of competence is demonized by the voice of the people because they do not understand it. Among these are roles that bear responsibility, and the people who are most often the scapegoats for every failed human endeavor.
While there is something attractive about bearing responsibility as a group, where none has to worry about their efficacy and feasibility of their actions, such an arrangement is unrealistic. Try assigning responsibility to a group, none will bear the possibility of blame, no one will make the first move.
But on the other hand in every country we have people who desire dividing power into the hands of many. This desire is at odds with the need for responsibility.
When no one is willing to take responsibility, the irresponsible and the diabolical come to power. And they get progressively more authoritarian with time.
So the first step in the destroying any large country is to demonize the competent and the responsible. Make it harder for them to express their competence by implementing artificial hurdles in the name of protection against victim-less crimes. If you make it semi-immoral to be competent and productive, the brilliant minds will soon leave the country. The rest is a sinking ship. The rest of the population will cannibal over each other and the might of this country will disappear.
Imploding a country by turning it into a victim of itself, is the best strategy. It is cheap but slow. It takes about 100 years to complete. But that is its greatest strength. It is like boiling frogs to death. You can do it over and over again, and these poor people will keep on falling into the same trap.