Does liberty lead to decadence?

As I may have to do some of the judging on this year’s Ross Parish Essay Prize question ‘does liberty lead to decadence?’ I am not going to volunteer a view, but the options seem to be:

1. No
2. Yes
3. I hope so.

I wasn’t sure that this was the right question for an under-30 essay competition. In the contemporary lexicon ‘decadence’ tends to mean a minor self-indulgence like chocolate rather than the moral decline that the question is getting at.

First prize is $1,500, enough to finance a bit of decadence meaning one.

It will go to the best essay, regardless of whether the judges agree with it. Judging is so impartial that the joint winners one year were members of the Greens and Opus Dei respectively.