Word / simile for a city in decay or in lawlessness

My friend told me that Kobe is the only city in Japan in which he saw hobos and where there are no rules for walking on the sidewalk. I flippantly asked him whether it was the Sodom or Gomorrah of Japan. (Hyperbole, of course!) But this usage feels wrong.

The MacMillian dictionary connotes these cities with sexual decay, primarily:

Sodom and Gomorrah

/ˌsɑdəm ən ɡəˈmɔrə/
two cities in the Bible that were destroyed by God as punishment for the sexual behavior of the people who lived there. People sometimes say that a place is like Sodom and Gomorrah as a way of saying that they are very shocked by people’s sexual behavior in that place.


Sodom and Gomorrah have been used as metaphors for vice and homosexuality viewed as a deviation.

Which makes sense.

But how do we convey a sense of non-sexual decay or lawlessness?



the state or process of being or becoming degenerate; decline or


Degeneration is a process of decline. Anything that’s getting worse is going through degeneration.

(n) the state of being degenerate in mental or moral qualities.

Source : Link , Question Author : Maarten , Answer Author : Misti

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