Malcolm in the Muddle. Pt. II

This is a long string of quotes from Malcolm Muggeridge's book 'Christ and the Media'. It is longer than I like to post, but I believe it is worthy of being read, and I hope that it will generate some discussion:

Let us imagine that, somehow or other, a whole lot of contemporary pabulum – video tape and film of television programmes with accompanying news footage and advertisements, copies of newspapers and magazines, tapes of pop groups and other cacophonies, best-selling novels, a selection of successful films, recordings of political speeches, exhortations, comedies and talk shows, and other recording of the diversions, interests and entertainments of our time – gets preserved, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, in some remote salt cave. Then centuries, or maybe millennia, later, when our civilization will long since have joined the others that once were, and now can only be patiently reconstructed out of dusty ruins, incomprehensible hieroglyphics and other residuary relics, archaeologist discover the cave and set about sorting out its contents, trying to deduce from them the sort of people we were and how we lived. What, we may wonder, would the archaeologists make of us?... (pg. 53)

[They would find] on the one hand, a neurotic passion to increase consumption, promoted by every sort of fatuous persuasion among the technologically advanced people of the Western world; on the other, ever-increasing hunger and want among the rest of mankind. Never, the archaeologist will surely conclude, was any generation of men, ostensibly intent upon the pursuit of happiness and plenty, more advantageously placed to attain it, who yet, with apparent deliberation, took the opposite course, towards chaos, not order, towards breakdown, not stability, towards death, destruction and darkness, not life, creativity and light. An ascent that ran downhill… (pg. 54)

Contrasting with this apparently flourishing cult, the archaeologists would detect the vestigial traces of an earlier faith called Christianity, which had become, it seemed, largely associated with social and political causes. Thus, the prevailing Christian concept that human beings were victims of their circumstances; in the nomenclature used by some moralists, ‘situational’… (pg. 55)

Our archaeologists will have no difficulty in discovering… Liberations that enslaved, revolutions that created worse tyrannies than those they replaced, divorce reform that undermined the institution of marriage, and abortion reform that resulted in ever more abortions being performed… (pg. 56-57)

As for some mystical content in the cult of consumption, there would be no difficulty in finding that. Sex is the mysticism of materialism, a proposition that would have been born in on the archaeologists when they found themselves confronted with a superabundance of erotica of every sort and description… And then with the coming of the birth pill, the crowning glory, the achievement of unprocreative procreation, of coitus noninterruptus that is also nonfecundus, sex at last sanctified with sterility. (pg. 56)

Surveying and weighing up the whole scene, then, will not their final conclusion be that Western man decided to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and, having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labouring with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer, until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over, a weary battered old Brontosaurus, and became extinct? (pg. 58)