Morals in the West
By: Ayatullah Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari
Life is for Westerners "machine-made". It has lost spirit and warmth. True, many material discomforts, deficiencies and difficulties have been overcome and banished by "civilized" devices. But the social life that results shows no evidence of the glory of the spirit of man.
The glaring divisions and dissatisfactions of modern civilization must be patent to the merest dunce. The inventions and discoveries made to ease life and advance civilization fail to ease man's disillusion and disquiet of mind. Social difficulties and dangerous crises may have been averted, but this has not sufficed to confer happiness and joy on the generality of mankind.
Over and above his varied physical needs, man has a moral urge and a spiritual yearning. The attraction of physical delights is no greater than the pull of ethical impulses and intellectual quests. To confine men's minds within the four walls of materialism is an unforgivable sin.
"The pursuit of happiness" is rightly included with "life and liberty" among "man's inalienable rights". The first step towards happiness involves preoccupation with the perfecting of personality, and not of the material environment alone.
Parallel with his astounding advances in industrial and scientific technology, man must equally advance his inner resources, his spiritual powers and his force of soul. These have been allowed to fall behind. There can be no true human perfection without equilibrium in life's inner and outer aspects—both. If they are in imbalance, "civilization" offers no base for hundred per cent happiness.
Modern ethical and social shortcomings demonstrate that the factors which produce human perfection have not been allowed the attention they warrant. Humanity has erred in failing to recognize and study the factors of happiness and well-being.
History contains no nation so impregnated with total corruption in every department of its life that no single sound section remained. So it is with the West today. Alongside moral corruption, good qualities still exist. There are many who faithfully follow the precepts of honesty, decency and right. But these virtues do not make up for the sins and wickednesses that abound.
Such virtues may be approached from different angles and practiced on different grounds. The West's moral capital has been removed from the Bank of Faith where it belongs. Divorced from its source in religion, it depreciates both in intrinsic value and in interest returns. Where the prevailing motive is profit, righteousness and goodness are judged by their material profitability. Small wonder that they decline in the West!
Sex in the West
In sexual conduct the West has stepped outside all moral bounds. In life's beginnings everyone knew in his heart that purity and continence in sex matters have a moral value of their own, and that transgression leads to moral degradation. But this truth has either been gradually forgotten, or else deliberately obliterated from men's consciences by subversives.
Purity has lost its esteem, and been discarded by society, while all sanctions for control of morals have been abandoned.
A friend told me that he heard a girl ask for advice on one of Germany's regional radio stations. saying: "For some years I've gone steady with a boy, but in the course of time tired of him and decided to take up with another boy. Can I keep them both? Or should I give up the second relationship and stick to the first?"
The Radio Counselor replied with the guidance (sic
: "Until the age of 28 you are at perfect liberty to enjoy the company of, and have intercourse with, one friend or several, without any ties or conditions, so have no scruples or worries in doing what you like!"
Where are we when the media, and other authorities, whose duty it is to protect public morals and ban pollution, themselves recommend fornication, and under the pseudonym of "a special relationship before marriage" promote promiscuity ; or posing as "champions of freedom" cast off morality and preach revolt against decency and self-esteem and proper pride?
Will Durant, the sociologist, wrote in his "Pleasures of Philosophy"
: "City life prevents men from observing the seasons, while sexual passions increase and conditions make indulgence easier. A civilization which makes marriage economically impossible before the age of 30 drives a man to sexual deviation, weakens continence, and reduces purity from its original esteem as a virtue to distant lip-service as an impractical dream. Art enhances human beauties. Men cease to count their sins. Women, claiming equality with men, fall prey to passions. Love affairs unlimited and premarital cohabitation become the rule rather than the exception. The streets may be free of prostitutes—but not through fear of the police! It is because women have bankrupted prostitutes by taking over their business for free!"
Human nature is made to desire control of its powers, so that they are employed justifiably. To trespass on ground abhorrent to humanity's essence cannot fail to raise a crop of undesirable growths. To trample the laws of his own being underfoot in the name of freedom can never yield the peace of heart and joy of mind men seek.
Western permissiveness has made licence public. Has this unbridled riot of wantonness subsided? Crime, rape, neurasthenia, riots, strikes— what generates all these but this same sexual "liberty" and licence?
Sweden has given total sexual freedom for a quarter of a century. Such savagery now prevails amongst its youth that professors and responsible authorities suffer from it. A Parliamentary commission was set up to study this outbreak of savagery and its insurrectionary perils. The Swedish Prime Minister frankly said
: "We shall need at least a generation to redress the disasters caused by an error lasting twenty years."
Freud examined man's animal nature and traced all human actions to font-family
: "Bookman Old the sex urge. He thus divorced sex from ethics. Chastity went by the board. No one could think up a frontier to stop its downward rush. In its train it dragged many human values. Thus, "The Reader's Digest" reports : "West German statistics show that occupying troops of the victor nations have fathered 200,000 bastards, 5,000 of them black, on German women, all now in care at the German government's charges. And this is 10% of the total number of illegitimate children now a charge on the government, not to speak of the unknown number unborn through contraceptives or abortions. Of East Germany we have no facts, but it is more than probable that the problem there, if not worse, is no better. Nor do other Western nations lag far behind Germany. Most painful is a report from Northampton, in Mid-England, that illegitimate births are of all living births, and that this started when Northampton went over from agricultural to industrial employment." 6
The psychologist, Dale Carnegie, writes in his "Mirror of Success"
: "Statistics published by an American foundation show that husbands who were known to be unfaithful to their wives were of all classes and all ages. Some 50% of all husbands are unfaithful, some regularly. Most of those who remain faithful do so perforce, through fear of disease or lack of opportunity. Telephone-tapping in New York over a short period revealed that New York wives are equally promiscuous."
"The Encyclopedia Britannica" says
: "Of all U.S. hospitals, 650 specialize in V.D. and half as many more sufferers from V.D. apply for help to their G.P. or local specialist."7
Kinsey's book on "Habits of Sexual Behavior" (p.304), shows that 3,000-4,000 infants annually are born in the U.S.A. with venereal disorders. And the proportion of deaths in the U.S. from these diseases is greater than the total mortality rate of all other illnesses added together—except for T.B.
The Tehran Daily "Ettela'at" (Tehran Journal) No. 10414 reports from "Psychology" of December 1960
: "The number of illegitimate 95%; births in the U.S. has increased so rapidly that it is a headache for the 95%; American government. The statistics for 1957 show more than 200,000. 95%; illegitimate births in the U.S.A. — an increase of 5% over twenty years."
"Black, White" (No. 380), reports
: "The annual abortions in the U.S.A. exceed 1,000,000. 65% are due to free relationships outside wedlock, and 50% are of unmarried teenage girls."
Dr. Molenz of South London said, according to the Tehran Daily "Kayhan" (No. 535)
: "Of every five girls attending church in England, one is pregnant. Criminal abortions in London reach 5,000 per annum. One living birth in twenty is illegitimate. Despite the annual improvement in the standard of living, this number increases year by year. Illegitimacy is most prevalent in well-to-do families; and girls in rich families are more prone to become unmarried mothers."
These facts suffice to demonstrate modern civilized man's enslavement to his sexual instincts. Sexual indulgence has reached such a pitch that many moral and human values best learnt in family life have been forgotten, so that people no longer acknowledge any bounds or limits governing conduct.
Some years ago Tehran newspapers reported that in Idaho men exchanged wives for three-week periods, and gave each other presents to "seal their friendship". An outcry arose and the group was indicted in court in order to safeguard future generations and punish fornication.
So -much for misconceptions in one area of human life, the sexual.
In every nation it is the thoughts of their learned men and the way of life of their leaders which shape the convictions of the public and the thinking of the individual by direct influence. "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Corruptio optimi pessima."
If the ruling class who are trustees and guides of society promulgate filth, what can be expected of the lower orders? If the salt has lost its savor, what will salt the mass? Lustful desires are natural in man. The example set by the leaders who give such desires free rein overrides all moral precepts. A person raised in the school of unbridled self-indulgence conceives of total personal freedom as unrestrained permissiveness. In this the ideas of chastity and purity have no place; only the impulses of the feeling of any moment decides action.
Those who throw moral standards overboard raise a hedonist insurrectionary posterity, helpless and hopeless in the face of elemental carnal urges, turning a deaf ear to the calls of duty sounded by reason and conscience.
Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, declared in 1962 in the U.S.A.: "A painful future awaits America, since youth there is sunk in sensuality, unwilling to perform their duties. Of seven young men called up for the draft, six fail their medical because of capacity deficiencies and weakened spirit caused by dissipation."
Khrushchev likewise in 1962 forecast: "The U.S.S.R. faces dangers ahead because of the grip that sexual passions have fastened on our youth."
Strange that this age of scientific and industrial progress is being driven to its knees by youth's preoccupation with the sexual problem, at the core of a technological society depersonalized by the heartless monotony of a machine-made environment.
The Beatles are one phenomenon the age has thrown up — undisciplined, inelegant, imbecile, they draw youth in crowds. Next the hippies, like tares in a cornfield of culture, revolt against the dry materialism of the established environment. Rejecting ethical values and spiritual sanctities as ungrounded superstition, they deride rational living, drop out of society, and run riot; until, when they need a moral standard and spiritual refuge, they find themselves destitute and forlorn.
Such social phenomena, results of youth's emotional derailment, reflected in pollution and corruption, show that modern civilization, which treats people as cogs in a machine, can never satisfy the innate longings of human hearts, with their spiritual sensitivity and humane sentiments. The rise in the suicide rate is further evidence that material comfort and ease do not suffice.
Germany's annual "Police Report" (p.1974), lists 10,000 suicides in West Germany, while over 6,000 men and 7,000 women made unsuccessful suicide attempts.
In France, prime home of intellect, 35,000 suicide attempts are recorded annually.
The consumption of hard drugs amongst American youth is so terrifyingly high that recently New York police found the corpses of 38 youths, aged from 16-35, dead through drug-taking. Some of the victims were drive to such desperation by inability to get drugs that they slashed their wrists. Heroin addicts are the most numerous-- 100,000 in New York alone -- one addict in every 70 inhabitants! Among the rich of the U.S.A., addicts rank high. A New York doctor said that one of America's most famous actors injects himself with ten doses per 24 hours at $60 the dose! "Many deaths of high ranking personalities, officially attributed to heart failure," he adds, "are, in fact, fatalities due to drug addiction." (Ettela'at No. 13015.)
"The Spirit of Man" (p.32), says: "In the U.S.A. a major crime is committed every 25 minutes; and every 24 hours 3 murders, 5 indecent assaults, 30 major thefts and 3,000 petty larcenies. Four billion dollars is spent on combating crime and upholding law, and of this $100,000,000 is disbursed in New York alone."
Such is the life-style, self-emasculated, yet boasting its brains and culture and elevation, which people seek to emulate, and choose as their life-model!
For all their propaganda machines and temporal power, the Western churches' intervention in cultural and social matters, and their religious preaching to refine morality and make men's hearts pure, has had little effect. It has not redeemed the bankruptcy of spirit, nor reined in the untrammelled self-indulgence that besets Westerners. How can a religion which permits its adherents unlimited freedom to commit shameful deeds hope to wrench their collar out of the talons of the subversives' grip on the polluted, or uproot the noxious growths of immorality?
Worship and godliness and true humanity must be approached with the sole aim of drawing near to God in purity of intent. But these practitioners have left the track and been perverted.
Religious leaders, who should constitute a staunch dam to hold back the floods of corruption, have themselves fallen victims to the prevailing fashion of permissiveness. How then can Christianity possibly produce renascence and moral revolution in the West? How can such institutions recall mankind to that purity of heart without which no man can know the Lord? Yet the world can only emerge from its crisis of morals by that road of purity via revolution and renascence.
The "Tehran Weekly Journal" (No. 1089) reported: "Church Fathers entice the errant into the church with dancing and music. The Revd. Francis Mieux of Montreal, Canada, 35 years ordained, is a skilled musician, both as composer and player, author of 1,500 popular melodies, a priest who combines the two callings of religion and art."
Surely to perform such works in a place of worship is to make a mockery of religion? Amongst the most solemn pronouncements made by all the prophets of God have been the asseverations that no man can serve both God and Mammon; and that there is no escape from the pollutions of the world, the flesh and the devil except by a resolute concentration of the attention on God. Inordinate attachment to materialist considerations must be set aside in favor of the quest for a personal knowledge of God's being, if human life is to be soundly equilibrated. This is the rock on which to build the house of life. All else is shifting sand.
True worship frees a man from the bondage of fleshly lusts, and draws him into God's presence and to spiritual joys. Observe how this truth of priceless inestimable worth has been squeezed out by the permissive' preaching primacy of carnal desire.
Islamic worship has many aims. One of them is to rip away the curtains of negligence and ignorance and so to usher in a mighty moral and spiritual re-armament and revolution.
Stanwood Cobb, Christian savant, in his book "Lord of the Two Ka'abas" p.227, compares Muslim and Christian worship thus: "I was," he writes, "allowed to be present in Hagia Sofia Mosque in Istanbul to witness a service of prayer and worship there. In such services repeated genuflections (Rukoo') and prostrations (Sujood) play a large part as the accompaniment to fixed forms of prayer and adoration. I was deeply impressed by the solemnity, humility and reverence of the worshippers. It far surpassed anything I have ever met in any Christian church in its sincerity of veneration, depth of self-surrender, and dedicated devotion to the Divine Essence.
I shared with other foreigners the privilege of watching the ceremonies of the Night of Power (Leilat-ul-Qadr) on which the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. From a balcony in one of the squinches we looked down on the 5,000 worshippers who crowded Hagia Sofia, performing their rukoo's and sujoods in perfect unison, rhythm and order. The rustle of their bending to genuflect or prostrate themselves, the sound of their hands being placed on the floor before them, their united uprising, made deep quiet waves of reverence fill the vast dome, and ascend heavenward.
The sight was splendid, matchless; dignified, numinous, humble, reverent, expressive of a sense of individual freedom, democracy, equality, which allowed no discrimination of persons or classes. I saw an itinerant carpet-vendor cheek by jowl with a Pasha in gorgeous robes, in concord, without fear or favor, standing, kneeling, prostrating themselves in common worship, while big-bellied dark-faced Negroes busied themselves with their religious observances alongside the most chic of the Turks of Istanbul. For Islam from its inception has pursued a creed of brotherhood which it preserves today."
Western religion's biggest error has lain in treating faith as an individual private affair, unrelated to daily life. This mistaken doctrine casts its shadow over all aspects of Western society. Pollution, national crises, permissiveness, corruption, are all ills directly due to this divorce of religion from practical affairs.
Hence, too, the tug-of-war between inner spiritual values and the outward struggle for a livelihood. A sound creed dictates a man's code of conduct and draws guidelines for him which apply to every practical eventuality of living.
Belief shapes thought and action. Living cannot evade the formative effect of creed. Hence the downright sinfulness of separating religion from practical life. Such a separation runs directly in the face of the law of nature. As Dampierre writes in his book "The Conflict between Science and Religion": "Constantine decreed that Christianity was an official religion of the Roman Empire ; and, to please his pagan subjects, permitted many customs of the earlier paganism to be taken up into Christianity. Thus arose the idea, which prevailed in medieval religious days, and still prevails in modern irreligious days, that `religion is a private matter' concerned solely with the individual soul and its relations with God."
A frenetic consumption of alcoholic beverages augments our social ills, daily producing sinister perversions in manners and morals, and in religious, psychological and medical health.
No sane thinking person can fail to remark these bitter facts. Hospitals are filled with D.T. patients and with mentally deranged alcoholics, while outside them thousands, under the influence of drink, take to murder, suicide, theft, blackmail and character assassination.
Alcohol offers an escape from problems and worries: but always ends by multiplying them. Instead of diminishing life's sufferings, it adds material and moral bankruptcy to them, and crushes rather than relieves the sufferer. It makes the bells of doom and disaster toll even louder in his ears. He flees from their clamour back to his alcoholic solace. He seeks to drown his sorrows, in the hope of enjoying an imaginary paradise where his burdens will roll away, in the brief span of his drunken stupor.
"Be not drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit" is the motto of a wise man who realizes that to resort to means which dull reason may lead to insanity, and to the loss of all those intellectual powers which raise man above the level of the beasts. For alcohol is indeed "the poison that men put into their mouths to take away their brains."
In Hamburg I was able to gain admission to view the inside of a synagogue to which I had been drawn by its splendid exterior. A guide showed us its various parts. To our surprise, these included a special room for wine and cheese parties. In consternation I asked: "Is wine drunk even on these sacred premises?" He replied with serious mien: "Only by a select group who have the right to drink wine in this room!"
So widespread has alcohol consumption become that universities and health authorities have set up organizations to check it. But they have not yet penetrated to the root of the problem — the cancer at the heart of Western creeds which leaves individual free-will too much rein in matters which should be of social concern, and so allows people to imbibe a poison that breaks up sound family life and ruins nations. The fear is growing that the working classes and the youth of tomorrow will be turned into an alcoholic mob, to the tragic disaster of the sufferers and of the peoples of the world.
Doctors attending the 24th International Congress for the Combating of Alcoholism in France issued the following statement concerning the effects of alcohol on mind and spirit: "20% of women and 60% of men entering hospital are alcohol addicts: 70% of mental patients and 40% of venereal patients were so afflicted as a consequence of misuse of alcohol. In England, experts affirm, 95% of mental cases are due to mental disease induced by alcoholic drinks." ('Health Magazine').
And the same magazine (No. 12, p.5) states: "French newspapers headline as 'shaking' the report of the French Minister of Health on the number of deaths due to alcohol, for it said that in one year 20,000 deaths in France were due to excessive alcohol-consumption, and cited the Secretary- General of the Committee for Combating Alcoholism as authority for the statistic that 25% of industrial accidents and 57% of automobile accidents in France were due to alcohol."
The former French President Poincaré was also head of the anti- alcohol society, and stated in a book on the World War: "French youth! Your biggest enemy is drink! Do more than skirmish with Germany! Take up arms against drink! Drink caused more spiritual and material damage in 1870 than the war with Germany then cost France. The drink which pleases your palate is a deadly poison. It ages you prematurely and robs you of half your lifetime, rendering your body far more vulnerable to the attacks of disease and infirmity of all kinds."
"The Reader's Digest" Persian edition reported that in Germany "in one year some 150,000 cases are tried in the criminal courts on charges arising from misuse of alcoholic drinks." A United States Cabinet Secretary said, according to "Health Magazine" (No. 12, Year 5): "We must keep an eye on the effect of alcoholism on our finances. Experts tell us that their research fixes the cost to the state (apart from private costs) at $15,000,000,000 in one year. Of this one billion dollars goes to hospitalization, five billion to public assistance and charity, two billion to police and similar costs, seven billion to courts and prison charges. Over and above this must be set the fact that the tax on alcohol only brings in $8 billion to the Treasury."
Nor is the Soviet Union immune. The Tehran Daily "Ettela'at" (No. 13108) reports the institution of severe measures to diminish the dangerous levels of alcohol consumption there, since, the Premier of the U.S.S.R. declared: "Alcohol has caused an increase in the crime level, a rise in absenteeism from factories, and a fall in production such that the state must perforce undertake a far more severe campaign against this."
The same addiction must be blamed for many air-accidents. The industrial psychology specialist Dr. Clement Korn Gould, in an article in the Persian edition of "The Reader's Digest" (No. 37, Year 26), lays the majority of accidents of U.S.A. airlines to this account, both amongst hired pilots and private owners of planes and helicopters. He adds: "Research has established that the majority of air crashes are due to inattention, often due to alcoholic after-effects on the minds of pilots and co-pilots, and this more among Americans than any other nationality.
"Further, investigation has demonstrated that a majority of pilots involved in crashes had imbibed during the flight. The increase in air crashes has made responsible authorities determined to get to the root of the causes; and their researches have shown that a large number of accidents during the last few years have been due to drunkenness in the pilots or to their sexual indulgence before the flight."
Shortages and Uncharitableness
Daily increasing affluence and the technological revolution have produced deep divisions in human living. One group of human beings rakes in huge dividends from investments in trusts or cartels or companies, and seems able to have anything it wants, to such an incredible extent that some even provide luxury accommodation for their dogs and cats. Another group scrapes up a miserable livelihood at subsistence level, hardly able to lay hold of the barest essentials of life.
All thinking people feel pangs of conscience at the desperate sufferings allowed in all parts of the world by modern social conditions. Many misfortunes, which in the past would in a very short time have been alleviated, now fester on as uncured tragedies. No wonder a violent hate against those who enjoy excess riches invades the hearts of the underprivileged!
The developed countries make a global effort to improve their economic conditions: but with no advantage to the masses—indeed, even to the disadvantage and decline of poorer lands. So the class difference gapes wider. Many lands groan under poverty and famine.
"The Ferdosi Magazine" of July 28th, 1948, in an article on "Nutrition", makes the following points:
1. Underdeveloped lands number 2,500 million inhabitants, of whom 500,000,000 suffer from undernourishment;
2. 1,500 million suffer from malnutrition;
3. As a direct or indirect consequence, 8,000,000 die of hunger annually.
In Brazil alone a quarter of a million infants die annually from under nourishment. In India infant mortality balances the natural increase of population. The food an average American family throws away as waste daily, equals the food of the average Indian family for four days.
Worse, some unscrupulous and frivolous persons cause artificial shortages of foodstuffs in order to raise prices and line their own pockets, hard-heartedly ignoring the fact that these foodstuffs might lengthen the lives of untold millions. Legislation to suppress such inhuman prodigal self-indulgence could end hunger in the world very quickly. So says the periodical "Enlightened Thought" (719): "In 1960 125 million tons of grain for bread disappeared from the warehouses of America. It would have sufficed to fill the bellies of India's more than 500 million inhabitants for a year. America destroys a great deal of her harvest annually simply to keep prices up. Capitalist institutions in the West have deliberately caused starvation to increase throughout the world. America fills silos and warehouses with foodstuffs. They then compel poor nations to purchase at high prices to the detriment of their economy. Thus a few selfish power-hungry persons pile up fortunes while being, in fact, guilty of the murder —no less—of millions of innocent fellow-humans."
Philosopher Bertrand Russell writes: "During the last 14 years America has spent 4,000 million dollars on purchasing its farmers' surplus wheat crops. Millions of tons of wheat, barley, maize, cheese, butter have piled up in American storehouses and rotted, simply to keep up prices on the world market : and now they are marking mountains of butter and cheese 'unfit' with a color-code, to prevent the price of dairy products falling."
Sociologist and philosopher Stanwood Cobb writes in his "Lord of Two Ka'abas" (p.145/6): "Expansion in technology, industry and scientific instruments has produced a deeper sense of our moral poverty. Developed lands cannot boast of ethical superiority over backward nations. Modern materialist civilization is full of inner contradictions and incongruities, between words and actions, between thought and speech, between reason and feeling. Materialist culture in its various manifestations proclaims the theoretical equality of all human beings; but in practice produces inequities and injustices in the ethical, intellectual, social, spiritual and family spheres, and fanatically vindicates these wrongs.
"Democracy claims to be 'Government of the people by the people for the people'. But at its best it is oligarchy, and soon turns to dictatorship of an individual.
"It claims to aim at 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number'. In fact, it gives rise to frustration, failure, anxiety, misery.
"It encourages altruism and a social conscience in its rhetoric, but its policies are selfishness run riot, with. no regard for the fate of others. Individuals and groups that get in the way are trampled ruthlessly underfoot. This age surpasses all others known to history in exploitation, profiteering and power-hunger."
In "Sociology" (p.157), Samuel Konig writes: "The developed lands comprise 25% of the world's population and own 85% of its capital assets; leaving 15% for the remaining 75% of humanity. The lapse of time only widens this gap. In affluent lands themselves, wealth is the property of a minority only. A U.S. Senate Committee in 1946 affirmed that 5% of America's great industrial concerns owned 80% of American industrial capital, controlling 60% of the total work force and drawing 80% of the total industrial profits."
The world president of the United Nations' "Farming and Agricultural Organization" says in an article entitled "Hungry Man" (by Jose de Castro, No. 8, p.24): "Today two thirds of the inhabitants of the earth live in constant hunger ; and about 1,500 million people live on the subsistence level, suffering constantly from this most horrible of social ills."
Savagery in a Civilized Age
Some sociologists held that war is inseparable from human life, which "was from its inception cruel, brutal and nasty." Other sociologists and psychologists deny this, holding that war can be removed from human life, since bloodshed is caused by ethical derailments, social disorders and economic disruptions; and is not an ineradicable ingredient in human nature. Instruction and education in basic truths, and an equitable ordering of social conditions, can remove the causes of war. The terrible and irreparable damage which war brings down on the devoted heads of innocent millions can thus be averted, they say.
The matchless triumphs of science and technology have made the 20th century a bloody holocaust. It is stamped as the age of greed, ambition, insurrection, violence, and of history's most inhuman wars. A glance over the first 75 years of the 20th century is enough to make manifest that in that short time our advanced and civilized peoples have perpetrated more crimes than in the whole previous course of human history.
The West possesses industrial techniques and atom bombs. Its knowledge drives man through mud and blood. It turns once fertile lands to deserts. The cry of the oppressed rises to high heaven, bewailing the West's weakness of thought and decline in morals.
The aftermath of two world wars between imperialist powers pursuing conflicting material interests has been dire for all mankind. No excuse can wash the grime of wickedness, heartlessness and cruelty from this century's warmongers' garments.
World War I lasted 1'565 days. Nine million died. Twenty-two million were maimed and left unemployable for life. Such are the statistics of casualties on the actual battlefield. The number of deaths and injuries caused in crowded cities as a side-effect of the fighting is incalculable. The cost of that war is reckoned as more than $400,000,000,000.
The Carnegie Peace Trust, in its report "The Twentieth-Century World", claims that that same sum could have built, at prices of that date, a decent house for every family in England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Russia, the United States, Canada, and Australia. The survivors weep, like Rachel for her children, "for they are not", and will not be comforted. Its ravages were not repaired before World War II broke out.
Statistics say that in World War million were killed; 20 million lost a limb; 17 million liters of blood were spilt; 12 million children were born deformed; 13,000 primary and secondary schools, 6,000 universities and 8,000 science laboratories were destroyed; 319 thousand million bullets were fired.
In 1945 America dropped two small atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Hiroshima 70,000 people were vaporized and 70,000 others crippled. In Nagasaki 40,000 died and 40,000 were maimed. Buildings were laid flat. Nor were innocent babes or animals spared. Within five days Japan surrendered unconditionally.
World press reports said that after the war Russian artificial-limb factories placed an order with their American counterparts for 4 million feet, to fit out those who had lost a foot in the war, since such levels of production were beyond the means of their own industrial installations. If so many feet were needed in Russia, how many irreparable injuries must have occurred amongst her people, and how many in other lands, for which no statistics can ever be affirmed?
The August 1945 bombs held 235 units of uranium, and 239 of plutonium, the equivalent of 335,000 units of T.N.T. An average atom bomb of today is 5,000 times more powerful, and a hydrogen bomb 5 million times more destructive than an atom bomb. Yet one atom bomb would suffice to flatten a city like New York, Paris, London or Moscow. They no longer need manned planes. Guided missiles can deliver them right on target 2,000 miles away.
The seismographic echoes of one such explosion can be recorded 7,000 miles from its center. The Nobel Prize-winning U.S. chemist, Dr. Linus Pauling, says that in the first hour of a new war 10,000 megaton bombs would wipe out 175 million inhabitants of densely populated lands. The U.S.A. had a stockpile of 24,000; the U.S.S.R. 80,000; England 15,000, at the moment he was writing.
A future war, U.S. Army General Neumann writes, will claim as its victims not so much soldiers as civilians. Entire communities, women and children included, will perish. Our physicists have taken war out of human hands and transferred it to fighting machines, which make no distinctions of age or sex, belligerent or non-belligerent. The new theatre of conflict will not be a field of battle or a fortress, but those cities and villages in which manufacturing and commercial centers exist. On these would hail down flying missiles filled with explosives, incendiary devices, poison gas, and disease-bearing bacteria.
These two wars have cast all humanity into the vortex of self-destruction. But their horrors have not had the slightest effect on the moral attitudes of the West, nor changed its intoxication with affluence and alcohol —witness the many regional wars today which might at any moment coalesce into one total war of world annihilation. Civilized nations use their mental, physical and financial powers, not for the proper ends of peace and prosperity for all, but to prepare and stockpile the instruments for everyone's destruction.
Bertrand Russell writes: "Governments competing in sending astronauts to the moon and beyond will between them destroy this world. In past ages sheer want drove tribes to attack their neighbors for the scanty supplies available. Today affluent societies commit suicide in competitive insanity."
The "Economic Record" reckons that 400 billion dollars were spent on armaments in the first half of the 20th century —enough to feed every human stomach for the same period and simultaneously provide housing for one-third of humanity—all this in a world where two-thirds of the population live barely at subsistence level in illiteracy and indigence.
The W.F.T.U. estimates that 70% of the world's working personnel are on jobs which have some connection with armament manufacture.
So terrible are modern weapons that a Third World War would leave neither victor nor vanquished, but only a funeral for all humanity.
Sociologist Petrim A. Sorokin writes: "The key question of our day is not the superiority of capitalism or communism, nationalism or internationalism, but the replacement of a materialist culture by a superior philosophy of life. In World Wars I and II, each side claimed that peace would ensue if its rival group were wiped out.
In World War I the Allies blamed Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany ; while he held that the suppression of England was necessary for world peace. In World War II differing views held that peace could only come by Hitler's resignation or death; by Churchill's removal ; by Mussolini's never having been born ; by Hirohito ceasing to be the deified ruler of Japan; by Trotsky replacing Stalin in Russia. Yet now that all these persons are departed, the fever of crisis and war still inflames the world ; and men's hearts fail them for fear. For it was not the individual Kaiser Wilhelm, or Hitler, or Mussolini, or Churchill, or Stalin who caused the 20th century's troubles.
They merely headed up the multitude of human passions which would have produced similar leaders with other names in any case. A boiling pot produces scum. The scum can be removed. But fresh scum soon covers the brew unless a purifying element is introduced that eliminates the cause."
True, our age has produced the "Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals" and prolonged human lives by heart-transplants. But its deadlier products like atom bombs weigh heavy in the balance. The United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, vindicate the 20th century's claim to be champion of the oppressed and enemy of the oppressor. Yet millions starve to death or are killed off in wars between hostile political groups, despite these idealist institutions.
Are the multifarious agencies that condemn war themselves wholly blameless? Are not those who shout that "all differences should be settled by diplomacy", themselves guilty of pressing their views on others by unjust and forceful measures? Are not Christian leaders, who preach "peace on earth and goodwill towards men" and "war shall be no more", merely adding to the cynical disillusionment of the younger generation, who see that violence and bloodshed are still countenanced as instruments of policy, and do not forget how the Roman Church turned a blind eye on the crimes of Nazism and Fascism?
The theory of apartheid, based on the utterances of some innovating thinker ("philosopher") denies racial equality. Its promoters want "the superior race" to run the world while "weaker inferior races" serve them.
Such a notion is, of course, totally incompatible with any philosophy of man that professes principles of "freedom", individual and/or social, as basic. Further, it prevents any growth in the weak. Most modern investigators regard the doctrine of the superiority of one race of humans over another as unfounded and artificial superstition, when viewed in the light of history and of scientific research.
"No pure race exists. No scientific evidence proves the race theory definitely. An "Aryan" race is a myth. History does not relate the actuality of a race which called itself "Aryan". The "Aryan" family of languages is a fact. But there are many instances of different racial stocks employing the same language for communication." ("History of Religion", p.219.)
National Socialism's rise was part cause of World War II. Hitler's Germany's ideology was "One race shall rule" — of course the "German Nordics"—who were to found a strong center of government in mid-Europe. Its brief brutal regime, by means of Congresses at Nuremberg and elsewhere, and fanatic racial propaganda, drew the loyalty of German nationals who made great, if illusory, profit from their dominance of the neighboring lands.
Dr. Gustaf le Bon in his "Bases of the Spirit of Dictatorship" (p.194) writes: "Racism played a major social role, regarded as pivotal by politicians, so that after much bloody conflict it settled to an armed peace which burst out again in devastating violence. Behind all this was the idea that the strongest nation, and that most secure from danger, is that with the largest territories and most numerous population, whereas it is just these nations that live nearest the verge of overthrow."
Today the most advanced nations consider "white" superior to "cultured" and cherish racial superstitions. In the cradle of civilization "sin" is called "black": and cultured people are bereft of many human rights and liberties. In some states of the U.S.A. no black man may marry a white ; and schools, colleges, hospitals segregate black and white. So do many associations, hotels, restaurants, public transport lines, and—most shameful of all—even some churches.
"In 1954 the Supreme Court made integration of schools obligatory. But white schools only accepted 4 blacks per 100 students, and the entry of some even of them into their schools was only achieved by force and the use of troops." ("Tehran Illustrated News", No. 1174.)
The whites resorted to brutal atrocity in their struggle to hold back the blacks, reminiscent of the worst barbarities of the Middle Ages.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has not had the power to enforce its principles of racial equality. In the space-age earth is torn by racial conflict based on the color of men's skins. Stahwood Cobb ("Lord of the two Ka'abas" p.198) writes: "I am against Kipling's sentiment; `East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet'. Why not? What human difference exists between one man and another? Christ taught us two millennia ago that virtue and humanity are linked with good intents, good works and love. But 20th century people know better, and say that superiority depends on skin color! Hitler is called bad for exalting one race: but today's scene is peopled by little Hitlers. Take S. Africa. Take our own America. Apartheid and discrimination everywhere! Take Viet Nam. Was there not a racist element in our pressure there, on the basis that 'the Western white race is superior to the Asian yellow'?"
South Africa, where blacks outnumber whites by 7 to 1, has made racial discrimination its law—apartheid makes whites, blacks, Indian immigrants, cultured, live in separate communities. The identity cards state which group they belong to. The separation applies in buses, trains, churches, restaurants, telephone-kiosks, hospitals and cemeteries. Interracial marriages are prohibited. A black may not work in a white area nor take up a job of high intellectual or scientific level. Menial tasks are reserved for blacks. Small wonder that sometimes half a million are in prison! White judges preside over cases involving blacks. "Keyhan" (the Tehran Daily) (No. 7013) reported that a black girl, born in the house of a white S. African family, was only allowed to remain in her father's home as a maid, according to the S. African law, or else go and live in the black section of Johannesburg. The father preferred to move house and home to a land where his daughter could live with her parents, as she should, rather than bow to the inhuman law enforced by the highest instance in S. African law.
"March 12, 1960, Sharpville was one of several S. African cities where demonstrations protested against the law that all blacks must carry identity cards and show them whenever ordered. Sharpville police fired on a peaceful demonstration walking past the police H.Q., killing 69, and wounding 180." ("Ettela'at" (Tehran Daily) No. 13149.) What is such repression but the enforcement of slavery?
Harry Harwood, in his book on "Freedom", writes: "True, slavery in the old form is abolished; but it lingers on in the form of class enslavement in our society, with the endeavor to keep the blacks on the lowest rung of the social ladder."
Landslide in Family Life
The family is the community in microcosm. It is the root from which nations grow. It is the basic unit of society. Its climate must be love and its soil character. In it human life begins—and ends! It must be happy, a citadel of heart-warming peace and quiet, where affection reigns, which runs on oiled wheels of confidence and trust, security and sincerity. The more firm its spiritual and moral edifice, the more sure its joy and happiness in today's troubled, explosive, insurrectionary atmosphere. Every human being has a greater need than ever for a home and family which will provide a haven of quiet and a refuge for thought and reflection.
The West pursued a simple agricultural life before the industrial revolution. In those days the family was a center of consideration, caring and constancy. Men went out to the fields to work for a living. Women set the care and upbringing of their little ones above all else. The family circle bounded the lives of all its members.
But industry needed hands. One of the first effects of its need was the dispersal of men, women and children to industrial centers, government offices, commercial houses and other large institutions. Conurbations grew in which the sole object of existence was to increase the outward comforts and luxuries of life.
This break-up of family life weakened the marriage bond. Gentleness and affection grievously diminished. Women felt lost without the single-minded devotion to their family and the upbringing of their children which had been their sole preoccupation in previous epochs. They spent their energy in exhausting factory work. The dual role of factory worker and mother proved too much. The necessary time, the adequate opportunity, for leisure of heart, for ordering family life, was missing. She must clock in at the fixed time at work; and housework lost its charm in the weary hours of exhaustion which were all she had left to give to it.
Further, the new "freedom" was so limitless that it uprooted family life, casting chastity and decency to the winds, leaving disaster and division to replace the morality of family and social unity, which had relied on religion and conscience for their sanctions.
The mounting tide of divorces is sweeping the civilized world on a dangerous course, yet it is helplessly unable to stem the flood.
A petty difference in taste between husband and wife is found sufficient ground for ending a marriage-contract. Minor conflicts and incompatibilities are all treated as evidence that a marriage has irretrievably broken down and that a family unit should be split. The storm-clouds of passion and prurience, with hurricane force, blast the tender growths of family oneness; and the most sacred inheritance of the centuries falls victim to the violence of the most unstable and ephemeral desires. Yet a modicum of common sense could solve the tiff and quench the fire, while tolerance and unselfishness would stabilize the relationship on a sure foundation of principle, justice and love.
An Iranian living in Germany told me that in the last few years all his neighbors, without exception, had ended their marriages in the divorce courts!
The Iranian national daily "Keyhan" (No. 6926), reported that marriage guidance councils had been set up all over East Germany to check the flood of divorces and broken families. Doctors and lawyers, too, had joined the campaign. Newspapers were devoting column after column to the matter. The rising curve of divorce statistics was blamed primarily on the wives' employment in industrial jobs which kept them outside the home.
Sheer economic need drove 70% of married women to take a job simply to gain an adequate family income. Of these 60% had children. The toll of the double call on her energies by job and family house holding on a woman's nerves naturally is so severe that she and her husband quarrel constantly, until their morale cracks and divorce seems the only solution for an intolerably strained situation.
Tolstoj wrote: "One main cause of the upsurge in the divorce rate is women's excessive freedom of choice, which the capricious and touchy feminine nature cannot carry. Of course it is also true that the machine-age does produce nervous strain, and throws men and women into relationships of intimacy and familiarity which easily cross the bounds of legitimate companionship, and may arouse jealousy within the family ; while women's employment outside the house rouses a host of further problems."
Statistics in New York and Washington show that divorce amongst intellectuals (sic
outnumbers those amongst all other classes; while those in Hollywood were so shocking that the authorities refused to publish them.
"Keyhan" on 28 Farvardin 1339 reported that divorces in the past year in England were a record total-50% due to unfaithfulness, 50% to other causes.
America's "Wake Magazine" reported that the divorce rate had increased 1,000% in the last ten years.
French courts heard 9,785 suits for divorce, 8,000 on the wives' initiative.
World War I, and World War II still more, increased youth's rejection as an expression of "freedom", of traditional moral standards, and divorces increased in consequence. G. de Pels in his book "Matrimony and Modernity" says
: "The excess of divorces over first marriages is due to the effects of World Wars I and II."
"The Reader's Digest", Persian Edition (No. 103, Year 25), reports a request to the French government by the French Family Federation that divorce be prohibited in the first three years of wedlock. England has enacted the same law with two exceptions only: extraordinary brutality by the husband, or extraordinary corruption in the wife.
In the U.S.A., 3,000,000 children's parents are separated (Tehran Weekly Journal "Ettela'at" (No. 1206)). Lawson writes
: "Anyone with a grain of philanthropic sense must feel the pain of these terrifying figures and seek to cure them. Since most separations are due to the women's initiative, both cause and cure must be found in them."
Alas, Iran's own Westernized classes are afflicted with the same divorce-disease. In the last decade in Tehran alone over 1,000 divorces have occurred because of quarrels over money, and been reported in the papers. Many more went unreported. Of 15,335 weddings in Tehran in 1339, 4,839 ended in divorce — almost one in three. 86% of these divorces were demanded by the wives—all Westernized materialist intellectuals (save the mark
. It is a warning of a menacing peril which must be averted. The type of "civilization" which destroys the family cannot be left as it is if we are not to see division cleave our people asunder and unbridled passions annihilate our culture. It must be replaced by the practice of Islam's stabilizing and constructive social lore.
Love of Animals
Certain Western nations are dog-lovers to the point of madness. An Iranian scientist who took his medical degree in Germany wrote: "My landlord loved his dog, kissed it and cuddled it. I tried to warn him of the danger of infection with hydatid cysts. He dismissed my remarks as unfounded, so I fetched him a medical book, which he studied with dismay, and then asked me: 'If contact with a dog is so dangerous, why do physicians and university professors keep dogs in their homes?' I replied that there are many habits professionally recognized as harmful to health which medical men indulge in because they like them, making a mockery of commonsense, science and reason, preferring to risk their welfare!"
Iran's National Society for the Protection of Animals, in its journal, quotes an American magazine, which sent a questionnaire to all its dog-loving clients (mostly women), asking:
1. Do you like your dog or your spouse best?
2. If you and your dog were both hungry, with insufficient food even for one, would you give that little to your dog, or eat it yourself?
3. Does your dog sleep in your bedroom?
4. If your dog died would you shed tears?
5. Do you credit your dog with a personality above animal level?
6. If your dog bit your child and your child hit the dog with a stone and both were howling, which would you rush to comfort?
7. If your dog and your husband both fell sick simultaneously, which would you call the doctor to first?
8. Does your mind frequently wander to thoughts of your dog while you are working at your office?
Of 75,000 replies, the answers worked out as follows:
1. Close on two-thirds loved their husbands when the husband loved the dog. A number roundly stated that their dog was everything for them!
2. 60,000 said they'd give the dog the food, since it mattered less if they starved to death themselves than if the dog should fail to survive.
3. 49,000 had their dog sleeping in the bedroom. "He's better than anyone else," wrote the women.
4. Two-thirds would shed tears if the dog died, and give it a funeral ceremony.
5. Practically all replies regarded their dog as more than an animal, with a spiritual personality.
6. We'd try to quiet both."
7. "First the vet, then the doctor."
8. "Of course our thoughts frequently turn to our dogs while we're away at work—or anywhere else, for that matter. The dog plays too important a part in life for anyone not to keep on thinking of it."
Fancy crediting a dog with a spiritual personality and mourning its death! These are idealists, who espouse the cause of freedom and independence. Yet they condone the ruthless bombing with incendiaries and atomic warheads of entire nations without a qualm. They let the dog sleep in their bedroom yet they refuse entry into society to millions of fellow-humans, just for the crime of having a black skin.
They call the vet as soon as the dog is ill and fix its cure yet they let humans die, in groups, of famine, poverty and disease, without compunction. In America the special shops for dogs stock ten kinds of eau de cologne and even sell toothpaste, cosmetics, combs and all beauty-specialties for dogs!
"Time Magazine" is quoted in "Ettela'at" (No. 13241), thus: "Some of our great cities are literally 'the dog house' — e.g. London, Tokyo, Mexico City. In these, dogs are so numerous that they cause discomfort and dirt everywhere. They bite children in growing numbers and make confusion more confounded. Tokyo has 280,000; Los Angeles 300,000; New York 500,000; London 700,000; Mexico City over a million. Dogs are making a mess of the world."
The French periodical "Animal" reported that American dog-owners spend $300,000,000 annually on beauty goods and garments for their pets. In New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, beauty-shops for dogs do a roaring trade. Their attendants have to take a six or twelve-month course for a "Diploma of Dog-Beautician" to get the job! Most cities have at least one dog cemetery with funeral-rites for dogs.
Meantime, five million unemployed suffer neglect and indigence.
Of course, Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are maintained by humane and tenderhearted people. Should they not extend their humane care to their own kind? Dr. Alexis Carrel rightly voiced the protest of all sane people against the contradictions tolerated in this world. "This should ye have done; and also not have left the other undone." Meaning "Do the lesser humane work (i.e. for animals) without neglecting the greater humane work for people."
The physical and biological equipment of a woman fit her for certain creative functions in life, peculiar to her sex, which she is called to fulfill. Her capacity for motherhood carries with it certain emotional, mental and nervous conformations of spirit. She is formed to care for and to bring up children with supreme art and heart. The meeting of an infant's many wants, and the careful nurture of its delicate instincts in the secure climate of a loving home, is, amidst the raging passions and deadly violence prevailing in our modern world, the most vital and basic task offered to any human being. No nursery school, no infants' crèche, however well-equipped or psychologically planned, can supply a mother's place. A child deprived of mother-love suffers psychological injuries.
Western women, busied with jobs outside the home, have abandoned nature's destiny; and diverted the wonderful talents innate in the feminine personality into unnatural and disastrous sidetracks. The materialisms of East and West are alike incapable of changing the ingredients of human nature. Both have removed woman from the role for which she was designed. Untold malformations result —in personalities, in communities, in moral conduct. Juveniles brought up without the proper home-environment suffer incurable traumas. Nurseries run by people whose only motive is to make a living and who lack the passion to bring children up, treat their charges from the start as potential rebels, and thereby rob them of patience and of self-respect.
Dr. Alexis Carrel writes: "Modern society has committed a serious mistake by entirely substituting the school for familial training. The mothers abandon their children to the kindergarten in order to attend to their careers, their social ambitions, their sexual pleasures, their literary or artistic fancies, or simply to play bridge, go to the cinema, and waste their time in busy idleness. They are, thus, responsible for the disappearance of the familial group, where the child was kept in contact with adults and learned a great deal from them. Children brought up in schools with a crowd of other children of their own age [Carrel writes `young dogs brought up in kennels with others of the same age do not develop as well as puppies free to run about with their parents'. Translator] do not develop as well as those living in the company of intelligent adults. The child easily molds his physiological, affective, and mental activities upon those of his surroundings. He learns little from children of his own age. When he is only a unit in a school he remains incomplete. To reach full strength the individual requires the relative isolation and the attention of the restricted social group consisting of the family." 8
Tehran weekly "Ettela'at" (No. 1206) quotes a foreign report that in America 25% of women in divorce suits suffer from mental ailments, while 150,000 children per annum fall victims to the ills consequent upon a divided home. Women, after a day's work, go home tired out; while home-life itself is so painful for many that they take tranquillizers or other pills, and frequent psychiatric clinics, in search of relief from nervous debility. Youth psychiatrist Dr. George Mally says: "Many psychological ailments in young people are due to memories of babyhood for which their mothers bear the blame. Lying, torturing dumb animals, delinquency, appear in young people who have lacked a mother's care."
Where affection and love between father and mother is weak, children feel less sense of duty to parents. In some families the members never see each other for years, and children by the age of 17 turn surly and rebellious. Some parents turn the children out of the home to fend for themselves at the earliest age allowed by law. Others allow the children to continue to live at home, if they contribute the expenses of their board and lodging, and replace any crockery they break at once out of their own pocket. Such treatment is worse for girls, who tend to seek solace for the loneliness caused by lack of parental care in undesirable friendships with boys.
Conurbations where machines do so much of the work have banished the ancient warmth and joy of heartfelt affection in family and neighborly relations. Townspeople forget what tenderness, unselfishness, fellow-feeling and sympathy are; and come to count those they call "friend" on the fingers of one hand. Civilized living has dried out the wellsprings of humanity with its "new order". On the assembly-line, cooperation is enforced by legal and financial sanctions. But the team-work of heart, by which one person voluntarily helps another who is in difficulties, vanishes amongst the depersonalized crowds of un-neighbourly neighbors. "Bear ye one another's burdens", which for our tribal forefathers was normal living, has nowadays become something which few people will do unless they are paid for it.
While I was a patient in that German hospital, my visitors, though few, were more numerous than those who visited native German patients, much to the hospital staffs surprise.
Let me add a true story from my own experience. Some years ago a German university professor accepted Islam under the tutelage of the Hamburg Islamic community. Later the new Muslim fell ill and was hospitalized. When the Islamic leader heard of this, he straightaway went to visit the professor in hospital. He found him unexpectedly dejected and downcast. After a long silence the professor broke out with a sad tale: "Today my wife and son visited me. They had learned that I had an incurable cancer, and said they had come to say 'goodbye' for the last time as they understood I have only a few days more to live. It's not the fact that I am dying that gets me down, but my wife and my son's heartlessness."
"Never mind!" said the Imam, "Islam's your family now. And we believers will come and sit around you here and see to your every need until the end and after. To do this is for us a winning of merit in heaven, a sacred duty, a divine command and sincere expression of our brotherly love." This news made the patient's face light up. Thereafter he gradually weakened and died.
The Muslim community undertook his funeral and escorted his body to their cemetery. Whilst the cortege was proceeding with due solemnity, a youth rushed up and angrily demanded the professor's corpse. They asked "Why?" He said: "That's my father you are burying—illegally, for I sold the hospital his body for 30 marks some days before he died!"
The scandalized Muslims stood firm. After some heated altercation the young man had to withdraw his demand. Asked later what his job was, he replied: "I work days in a factory and evenings in a dog-beauty-parlor." To such depths can family love, human feeling and a sense of proportionate values sink in a society that is "civilized"!
Mankind's downhill rush from moral levels plunges into a materialist flood of social unrest and sedition. The greatest thinkers realize that some way must be found to end the avalanche if the world is not to collapse from its own depravity. Thinkers, as one man, declare that only in a revival of faith and morality can there be found a safe ground on which to build the new society, A change of heart in countless individuals must precede, and lay the foundation for, family, community, financial, national and international renewal. It is a hopeful sign that the masses of ordinary people submerged in the sea of troubles caused by materialist, heartless, machine-made living are beginning to realize the inhumanity and hopelessness of such a way of life and type of society.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, as U.S. President, voiced this realization in powerful words: "Our affluent society rests on shaky moral grounds. We reach the moon and pollute the earth. We long for peace and go to war. An age that has split the atom must heal the splits in humanity. Empty hands must be filled with work, empty stomachs with food, and empty hearts with satisfaction. To cure the moral crisis that blights our world, each of us need only look to ourselves. If we each listen to the still small voice of conscience we shall soon perceive that simple basic things, like goodness, purity, unselfishness, love, integrity, are our greatest and most priceless treasure. Seek affluence in these, and the tragedies of misused material affluence will end in happiness for all."
Dr. Alexis Carrel in his "Way and Rule of Life" (pp.15 and 34): "We need a world in which every person can develop their innate talents to the full, with no separation between material and spiritual. We have learnt that life cannot be lived right without a guide and a compass. But too few are alert to the grave perils which await human life if we do not follow that guide's directions. Too many are guided by their fleeting passions, intoxicated by the materialist ease which technology provides, unwilling to renounce even a small portion of those comforts, pursuing pleasure, bobbing like corks on the flood of lust for gain and fun which will soon drop us all over the falls.
Instead of letting the assumptions of an orderly universe, on which science bases its work, shape our human institutions, and bear us upward towards supreme truth, we have poured them into the molds of ideologies which can never satisfy our real need. Putting the material first, modern man sacrifices spiritual to economic affluence, and abandons peace of heart for hedonism. We think 'freedom' includes independence of nature's laws. Liberalism and Marxism preach doctrines which neglect the fact that man was not made only for 'production and consumption'.
He was designed for pure love, religious feeling, intellectual treasures, creative imagination, self-sacrifice and heroic living. To live solely for economics is to amputate a vital part of his personality, and this is why both liberalism and Marxism not merely neglect but actually destroy and cast away the basic elements which nature itself included in man's composition."
To eradicate the causes of these tragedies and miseries, the modern world's sole hope is a return to Divine Truth as revealed by God's inspiration through His Prophets. The next sphere for exploration must be that interior space which is within the mind of man. For this we must first disperse the storm-clouds of passion which darken it: we must lose the fetters of lust which bind the human spirit : we must expel the corruption and filth which confine him in the valley of the shadow by means of a cleansing revolution which refines both thinking and living. Only so can man regain true humanity and enter into his rightful heritage of those spiritual values which should be his distinguishing characteristic, by means of which alone the deep inward happiness Man was made for can grow and expand to all his fellow humans everywhere.