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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Disorganisation of "Civilised" Society

Disorganisation of "Civilised" Society.

Between moral beings all the intercourse of life ought to tend towards moral union, by which the lowest dealings are elevated. It is the specific duty of the Ruler to promote moral unions, and with a view to them, to sanction permanent relations in various ways.

Of these, that with which all civilisation begins is marriage. page 49 To be without this is to be lower than the lowest savages now known; yet, marvellous to say, this (with the kinsman-ship rising out of it) is fast becoming the only permanent relation in cultivated England—so grievously disorganised are we—so deplorably has the temporal power forgot its moral mission.

All know that the sanctity of marriage depends upon its permanence; and the same is true of all other relations. But nearly all these are apt to be dissolved by change of place; hence a flitting population loses internal coherence, The masses which meet externally in large towns have lost all organisation; they have no fixed moral unions with any part of the community except the narrowest ties of famify life.

Nearly the same is true of all ranks in large towns; hence a selfishness which barely extends beyond the family circle is a prevalent type of character: and this is a precursor of dissolution in society, which is relapsing into a disorganisation similar to that of primitive barbarism.

(Prof. Newman.)