Here is a GREAT essay by Charles Hugh Smith:
Identifying the tell-tale signs of Imperial decay and decline is a bit of a parlor game. The hubris of an increasingly incestuous and out-of-touch leadership, dismaying extremes of wealth inequality, self-serving, avaricious Elites, rising dependency of the lower classes on free Bread and Circuses provided by a government careening toward insolvency due to stagnating tax revenues and vast over-reach–these are par for the course of self-reinforcing Imperial decay.
Sir John Glubb listed a few others in his seminal essay on the end of empires The Fate of Empires, what might be called the dynamics of decadence:
(a) A growing love of money as an end in itself.
(b) A lengthy period of wealth and ease, which makes people complacent. They lose their edge; they forget the traits (confidence, energy, hard work) that built their civilization.
(c) Selfishness and self-absorption.
(d) Loss of any sense of duty to the common good.
Glubb included the following in his list of the characteristics of decadence:
— an increase in frivolity, hedonism, materialism and the worship of unproductive celebrity (paging any Kardashians in the venue…)
— a loss of social cohesion
— willingness of an increasing number to live at the expense of a bloated bureaucratic state
Historian Peter Turchin, whom I have often excerpted here, listed three disintegrative forces that gnaw away the fibers of an Imperial economy and social order:
1. Stagnating real wages due to oversupply of labor
2. overproduction of parasitic Elites
3. Deterioration of central state finances
You can read the rest @
We're there, people. All of this applies to us.
And the war of Trump against everyone else is not going to help.