The breakdown and breakup of "Civilization"

(Arthur Pink, "The Destruction of Dagon" 1943)

The "march of progress" from 1920 onwards, was, if measured by the standards of righteousness and decency, steadily downwards. Those with the least sense of decency were determined to drag the whole generation down into the gutter. An orgy of licentiousness was widely entered into. Night-clubs were multiplied, gambling spread like wild fire, and debauchery abounded on every side. The beaches lowered their bathing restrictions — and modesty became a thing of the past. Youth was allowed to have its fling, unrestrained.

The novels and magazines of the last decade have been filled with obscenities and blasphemies. A friend of ours in the publishing business recently wrote to us, "Today we have shops stacked with books which, had they been published when we were boys — the authors and publishers would have been put in jail!" Censorship has long since been reduced to a farce. The great majority of our children have had their ideas formed by the pictures they saw at the "movies" and the debasing productions of a degenerate press. As a recent writer has said, "The best-sellers of today, are often books whose morals are of the barnyard, whose language is of the sewer and whose ethics are of the pit!"

The breakdown and breakup of "Civilization" appears in such things as the decay of the sanctity of marriage — as evidenced by the multiplication of divorces, and the abandonment of large numbers of babies; juvenile delinquency and immorality among the young; the vandalism which is now so rife; such widespread pilfering — and the flimsy efforts of the authorities to deal with such evils! Thousands of culprits who ought to be sent to prison, are given nominal fines. Law and order is almost reduced to a farce!

No matter in which direction we turn, it is the ugly and the vulgar — which is preferred to the beautiful and refined. What a commentary on our so-called "progress."

Someone has said, "The popular taste is a good index to the health of society." Apply that dictum to our own times, and it will quickly appear how the moral health of society has declined.

We do what we do — because we are what we are. There is always a rigid consistency between character and conduct. The thin coating of "civilized" varnish has worn off — and twentieth-century character stands exposed.

Editor's note: One can only imagine what Mr. Pink would write if he were alive today!