People often confuse “decadence” with drinking and screwing a lot. Those, however, are often present in young and vital societies as well. But political decadence means a loss of any sense of tradition, or duty, or political shame: It’s the destruction of the unwritten rules that hold the polity together, even if the forms are obeyed.
I guess WMCB’s pessimism is rubbing off on me. I’m finding myself thinking less about solutions and more about bomb shelters.