I reread Issac Asimov’s Foundation series a year ago. He prophesizes that democracy has a shelf life of two to three centuries; it falls in on itself; some kind of oligarchy takes over. During these transitions, life goes on for most people. The former movers and shakers have to adapt to be movers and shakers in the new order.
I read “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” For most of the common people, the change was quite slow. They too made adjustments. When the roads could no longer be policed, people just took fewer trips.