...moral disorder accompanied the growth of luxury and the enlightenment of the mind...as the state religion lost its hold upon the educated classes, the individual freed himself more and more from the old moral restraints — the son from parental authority, the male from marriage, the woman from motherhood, the citizen from political responsibility. Sexual and political morality continued to decline. Bachelors and courtesans increased in fashionable co-operation, and free unions gained ground on legal marriage. The voluntary limitation of the family was the order of the day, whether by contraception, by abortion, or by infanticide. The old families were dying out. The lower classes were multiplying, but the ... supply of citizens for military service suffered a corresponding decrease [and] the life of comfort and domesticity, of business and scholarship, had replaced the Periclean life of exercise, martial discipline, and public office. Athletics were professionalized; the citizens [became] content to exert themselves vicariously by witnessing professional exhibitions. Young men received some grounding, as ephoboi, in the art of war; but adults found a hundred ways of escaping military service. War itself had become professionalized by technical complications, and required the full time of specially trained men; citizen soldiers had to be replaced with mercenaries...Lessee how this lines up:
- The elite classes have all but abandoned Christianity and have instead become enamored of a nihilistic, materialistic, secular power-worshipping religion. Check.
- The old moral restraints now fail to persuade in an age of anything-goes relativism. Check.
- Liberation of the sexes from their traditional roles of family leadership and motherhood. Check.
- Traditional marriage eschewed for more flexible domestic arrangements. Check.
- Recruiting for the military becomes a challenge, so much so that standards are relaxed, women become a significant and growing fraction of the service, and the military service fails to capture the sons of the elite classes, who prefer instead to make money for themselves. Check.
- Comfort and laxity replace discipline and hard work. Check.
- Athletics professionalized, and boys and men distract themselves with sports and games. Check.
- Universal service replaced by an all-volunteer "mercenary" military. Check.
There really is nothing new under the sun.