One of the important bits is knowing what the gods are that people are praying to.
Civilization itself (city-based society) is a cheat. I've said this a lot, but it bears repeating. Civilization is a process of isolating human animals from the risks and response abilities of their natural environment. Civilians don't fix civilizations. They use them up and die off. Barbarians who are tired of living like barbarians build civilizations to not be 'human'. We can call that "domestication".
Domesticated animals are stupid and loyal and controllable. That makes them vulnerable to bullies.
It sounds intractable, but the truth is we can simply break the loop by providing feedback at the human decision points: the checkouts.
Cheap food and cheap goods are doing nobody any good in the long run. Advertising is theft of time and attention coercing competitive fanatics to buy competing fetishes.
We are now told that we have an "attention economy": a meta-delusion based on the "service economy" which itself is a meta-delusion based on a manufacturing economy based on energy (supply-side bullshit).
All economies come down to human life surviving to produce offspring. If we don't apply human activities toward supporting future resources, then our concept of "economics" is backward.
Whether oil, wind or fusion-based, it won't matter in the long run what we use for energy if the energy is applied to a net consumptive belief system.
"Consumers All" is the title of the '50s era USDA yearbooks. A more accurate truth in title about America has never been printed.
Greatest Generation? Yeah, right.
More people isn't better unless their labor is contributing to their place.
More consumption by fewer people is what used to be called "waste".
Recycling waste is just a fancy way to deny people didn't need that thing in the first place.
You start to get into the consumptionism side, but it needs another chart of that side of the mountain. The money, the debt, the useless products, the advertising, the transportation, the air travel, the unemployed people, the massive consolidation and mechanization of farms: all of it represents activity that doesn't need to be done, let alone be done by fossil fuels.
'Need' has become "what people are accustomed to having", rather than the actual functionality of living, useful contributors to the future of their places.
UBI based on sales tax.
People need to know what they are worth as cannon fodder if nothing else, and what things actually cost.
Sorry this was so long. It just happens sometimes. It's not like anyone will read it all, anyway. I'm not paying them for their attention.