Again — we live in an adversarial system, imagined as a marketplace of ideas. That it works despite itself is neither a selling point or a recommendation to keeping our eyes shut tight. The market can be arranged, streets can blocked, and systems gamed — to idealize an adversarial system as fair or good is to deny the truth of human beings.
The rules are adversarial and are made by the winners, and the winners are decided the force of arms, justified by the force of intellect. We are right because we have the intellect to say we are right in convincing terms, "We have property rights and the rule of law and these things make us right”, even if these rights are applied based on color or dick size. To the veneer of intellect, we add the ability to punch you in the face repeatedly if you doubt the truth or sincerity of our paperwork.
The next empire will have its own rules and reality, which will be true and unquestioned for their bit of time at the top the hill.
Because at core, everything is based on fear — the fear that we will lose the things we have, or the fear that we will not get the things we want. This fear underlies the civility of altruism and society as much as the reptilian forebrain exercises veto power over the rationality of decency.