How is it that nations with limited natural resources like Japan, England, Sweden, and Germany can have progressive active cultures for more then 2, 000 years, while such mighty nations as Rome, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, and India amongst others produce active vibrant civilizations for a few centuries, and then fall never to rise again. Historians blame the rise and fall of significant civilizations of the past on politics, economics, morals, lawlessness, debt, environment and a host of other superficial reasons. I see their factors and raise them civil and foreign wars, weak rulers, famine, plagues, and poor harvests. If a civilization has a weak ruler or a tyrannical leader, it would have a hard time sustaining itself. The leader represents a civilization, and if he is portrayed as a dictator it would come with certain repercussions.
I believe that if your ruler was a dictator and punished its society that would eventually lead to a civil uprising and a war to deal with on the home front. As you know dictators aren't happy with what they have and always thirst for more so they would be using up all of their natural resources engaging in battle to obtain it. Although if he was a weak ruler the nation would always have to deal with constant invasion from the mightier nations, meaning poor harvests from the land and widespread famine throughout the nation. But a mighty ruler, one who can balance his lust for more and his God given right to serve and protect his people will make a nation rise and stay up on top for a long time to come.
So in my opinion I believe that the rise and fall of significant civilizations rests on the shoulders of those we put in charge. So we should be prepared to make the right choices.