theory of civilizations discussed in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization. The Domination has been in its Dominate phase from the beginning. It has not gone wrong but started wrong.
However, is the Domination an allegory for any society in which a minority wields power and defends that power by whatever means are necessary? The Draka are an extreme, perhaps impossible, example but how many societies in our timeline and in our present era answer this description in a more general way?
A controversial question and one that I do not intend to pursue here! However, I cite it as an example of the kind of question that good sf, and also good literature, is meant to inspire, whether or not the author had it explicitly in mind while writing. James Blish said that sf had to be about something. Anderson's and Stirling's works are.