"The new reality is first sensed by those few people in the system who interface with the outside world, but is essentially invisible to the people on the inside. The difficulty here is that the new reality threatens the order of the whole edifice - there is no sustainable adaptation that doesn't involve giving up key fundamental assumptions of the culture. Because reality does not negotiate, the system faces a transformative challenge.
What happens then? In a perfect world, everyone would immediately change their minds and reorganize to face the challenge. In actuality, most of the members enter a stage of reality denial where their mind filters out inconvenient truths. To a lucid observer, it's only a matter of time before the system collapses - it’s a walking dead. But to insiders, everything's peachy, thank you. Thus no significant rearrangement can be made."