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:
- Mounting love of show and luxury. Affluence.
- Widening gap between the very rich and the very poor.
- Obsession with sex.
- Freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality.
- Increased desire to live off the state.
It does not take a genius to see the parallels with our modern western society.