A Very Short History Lesson
In many of the science fiction stories I have encountered, the social response to a post-Apocalyptic event is a resort to medieval feudalism.
Indeed, the history would seem to demonstrate that in the aftermath of collapse, humans tend to sort themselves into castes of Nobility, Clerics, Warriors, and Peasants as a survival mechanism, which later becomes entrenched (think India’s caste system).
After the succeeding waves of destruction have passed, when urban concentrations (towns) begin to thrive, and a merchant class evolves out of peddlers, do we begin to arrive at concentrations of power (monarchy), and the need for Charters and Constitutions which eventually extend the decrees of common decency to the peasants and the new urban craftsmen and artisans.
Eventually, we arrive at the anonymous state, where there is nothing between the individual person (we discovered ‘individualism’ sometime back in the beginnings of the ‘town’ era) and the Total State but scraps of paper mentioning ‘rights’ which the new class of bureaucrats do not feel obligated to honor if it interferes with efficiency.
And, so, in the age of ‘Mass Man’, the necessary tendons that hold society upright begin to dissolve, and that world collapses.
And, we start all over again with some band of cutthroats taking a secure fortress on a hill, who become “nobility” in three or four generations.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 New International Version
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.