Five attributes marked the Roman Empire at its end:
1) a mounting love of show and luxury (affluence)
2) a widening gap between the very rich and the very poor
3) an obsession with sex
4) freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality, and enthusiasms pretending to be
5) an increased desire to live off the state
This was said by Robert Gibbon in 1788
Now from 30,000 feet things look pretty normal. Perhaps, there is a little less barge traffic on the Mississippi, but otherwise it looks like the country I grew up in. Less obvious however is the slow loss of momentum from the economy that was the flywheel of the world. This is going to rattle a society where personal peace and prosperity are the most important things in life. It's a perfect prelude to socialism. It's a perfect substitute for reality. Is America ready for socialism? Sure. At its core socialism is just another "Christian Heresy".