This is very very interesting and depressing stuff.
The tl;dr. We trash the joint. Then invent new technologies to trash new joints. See also Marvin Harris’ “Cannibals and Kings“. And Charles Tilly’s “Coercion, Capital and European States 990 to 1992”
Oh, and “Overshoot” is indeed a wrist-slasher of a book. Written in 1980.
Hat-tip to Antonio Dias