According to Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), author of The Fall and Decline of the Roman Empire, five signs characterized Rome as she was deteriorating from within:

  1. Mounting love of show and luxury. Affluence.
  2. Widening gap between the very rich and the very poor.
  3. Obsession with sex.
  4. Freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality.
  5. Increased desire to live off the state.

It does not take a genius to see the parallels with our modern western society.