Empire, at its heart, is a toxic idea that cannot persist by itself in the real world--in the natural world--and it seeks to protect itself from the force that Nature uses to destroy Empire whenever exposed. Empire cannot survive in the natural environment; it dies, and it dies in a most pathetic manner. To prevent this, Empire seeks to shape itself a barrier wherein it can not only survive, but thrive. This is one of the roots for the long-running animosity between urban and rural populations; the urban environment, being artificial and--since the beginning--long associated with Empire and its many forms of cosmic con-job over Mankind via its Thralls, is a perfect place for Empire to shape an environment that shields it from Nature and its supreme law.
The city, being artificial, is a virtual world with systems meant to dissociate those that dwell within it from reality and brainwash them into thinking that the city is the real world- and, by extension, that Empire is reality. This delusion results in disaster whenever Nature overcomes the barriers that Empire's Thralls erect and Nature's law once more destroys Empire's frauds. This hostility to Nature and to the natural world is one of the oldest, and surest, signs of Empire's presence within a nation. This hostility, if not put down, spreads beyond the urban centers and starts ruining the rural base upon which all nations rely upon to not only survive, but thrive; part of it is the attitude that Man must conquer and dominate Nature (a folly in and of itself) instead of being Nature's partner and protector, and just as destructive is the system wherein Man must pay to stay alive.
This is not an appeal for primitivism. The way out of the Matrix is not to abandon knowledge or technology; it is the opposite, and we will need to not only master what knowledge and technology currently exist--to stop being "end users" that barely know how to use what we've got--but to discover entirely new things and create new tools to transition from this parasitic and destructive paradigm that Empire created, destroy said paradigm, and move towards a return to the harmonious partnership between Nature and Mankind. We can, and we should, use our science and technology help Nature to help itself; not only can we co-exist, we can thrive together. This is the alternative to Empire, and it is superior to what Empire offers. Empire knows this, so now we have a reason for its Thralls' constant fear-mongering and demonization; it's trying to stop Mankind from breaking the barriers keeping Nature from destroying it forever. This is why Empire must fall.