​The central aim of civilization

The central aim of civilization, it must be plain, is simply to defy and correct the obvious intent of God, e.g., that the issue of every love affair shall be a succession of little strangers, that cows shall devote themselves wholly to nursing their calves, that it shall take longer to convey a message from New York to Chicago than it takes to convey one from New York to Newark, that the wicked shall be miserable and the virtuous happy. Has civilization a motto? Then certainly it must be “Not Thy will, O Lord, but ours, be done!”

From PREJUDICES: SECOND SERIES, 1924, p. 204, by Henry Louis Mencken


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