The Similarities Between Declining Rome and the Modern US by Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The abrupt transition from a society of rural homesteaders into metropolitan coastal hubs had created two Romes. One world was a sophisticated and cosmopolitan network of traders, schemers, investors, academics, and deep-state imperial cronies. Their seaside corridors were not so much Roman as Mediterranean. And they saw themselves more as “citizens of the world” than as mere Roman citizens. In the novel, vast, unprecedented wealth had produced license. On-the-make urbanites suck up and flatter the childless rich in hopes of being given estates rather than earning their own money. The rich in turn exploit the young sexually and emotionally by offering them false hopes of landing an inheritance.