A sinister force had fallen upon the once great nation - huge black scaly wings darkened the sky. Unchecked government sponsored corruption turned the Treasury into the personal checking account of those business & political elites who raided it in fits of unbridled greed.
Meanwhile, poorly clothed, sodden men, women, and children wondered aimlessly from store to store searching for any undiscovered morsel of food. To say that things had deteriorated from what they were would have been a monumental understatement. There was no functioning economy. Black markets were endemic from coast-to-coast catering to those who had items of intrinsic worth they could trade to the lower level ultra-capitalist dealers who ran the stalls. Anything could be had for a price, even human beings.
Those in power both in business and government in the now "pigmy" eastern nation-state called the Eastern United States recognized that propaganda induced placation of the majority of a citizenry couldn't be used indefinitely without the introduction of the more potent tyrannical ingredient called fear. A new all-powerful gang call "The Rulers" pulled their knife out and used it liberally on the remaining sheep - they were going to consume like locust the wealth of this new regime. In time they'd become the undisputed royalty morphing into a new vile breed from their lobbyist, business elite, and political ancestors.
The newly minted children of the labor slaves were now exposed to the wonders of constant brainwashing so that not a single idea, or thought fragment they'd experience over their lifetime would diverge from the ultra-capitalist faith preached by the police state. Any of the original members of the population of labor slaves that had any recollection of the past were quickly shipped away in the night by black SUV's to some far away island in the Pacific.
Also during this transition phase from discrete manipulation to direct totalitarian rule many sacred aspects of the former pseudo democratic government like habeas corpus were thrown out. Martial law was instituted in an attempt to rein in those angry citizens not yet pacified by the now numerous nighttime roundup programs. Hundreds of thousands of protestors were now regularly gunned down in the streets.
Small infants even became a threat to the regime. In fact, all uncontrolled aspects of life were deemed a threat to the government and business police state consortium. Infants were now subjected to physiological torture in order to instill docility, compliance, and dependence - no exceptions were provided to those within the working class of slaves, all were to have their children become indoctrinated in this subversion of spirit. Only those within the privileged elite classes comprised of the political and business castes had their infants exempted from this painful mind conversion process.
Eventually, the government brought the population back under their thumb.
Gradually these more diabolical methods were eliminated and replaced with traditional forms of propaganda typical of closed societies. The threat had abated to the point where the government leaches felt somewhat secure in their lairs.
Night had fallen upon a good portion of the world with many people simply subsisting under partially repressive or completely totalitarian governments. The shadow of the ultra-capitalist beast had descended and would not release those who for no fault of their own were trapped beneath its collapsing wings.