I think this means we need to be putting the new paradigm into being before the stages run their course. "Cultural collapse" might precede social collapse if it means a new organizing principle in culture driving the political and social vision. The collapse of democracy is alread well under way, so reasserting an idea of self-governance instead of despair is part of cultural change. Recovering the good in the narrative, I think the Pledge gets it pretty nicely, and detatching from the American Century exceptionalist, destined stuff is a way to help distressed Americans recover their souls and become part of the new solution. Think global, act local. I know, but it is realistic.