His analysis of the crisis is broken down into severalnsections, beginning with the fine arts, and going on tontruth, ethics and law, and the contractual family (each ofnwhich has a number of subdivisions). Here is a citation fromnhis chapter “The Crisis of the Fine Arts”:nTo sum up, contemporary art [in 1941] is primarilyna museum of social and cultural pathology. Itncenters in the police morgue, the criminal’snhide-out, and the sex organs, operating mainly onnthe level of the social sewers. If we are forced tonaccept it as a faithful representation of man and hisnsociety, then man and his cultures must certainlynforget our respect and admiration. In so far as it isnan art of man’s debasement and vilification, it isnpaving the way for our own downfall as a culturalnvalue.nIn Chapter IV, “The Crisis in Ethics and Law,” Sorokinnspeaks of “a progressive devaluation of our ethics and of thennorms of our law. This devaluation has already gone so farn[1941!] that, strange as it may seem, they have lost a greatndeal of their prestige as ethical and juridical values. . . .nLegal norms, likewise, are increasingly considered as andevice of the group in power for exploiting other, lessnpowerful, groups — a form of trickery employed by thendominant class for the subjugation and control of thensubordinate classes.” This is precisely the contention of then”critical legal studies” that are much in vogue in the mostnprestigious law schools of our day.nHaving lost their “savor” and efficacy, they openednthe way for rude force as the only controlling powernin human relationships. If neither religious nornethical nor juridical values control our conduct,nwhat then remains? Nothing but naked force andnfraud. Hence the contemporary “Might is right.”nThis is the central feature of the crisis in our ethicsnand law. . . .nAny sensory value, as soon as it is put on a planenof relativistic and utilitarian convention, is bound tonretrogress, becoming more and more relative, morenand more conventional, until it reaches a stage ofn”atomization” in its relativism and of utternarbitrariness in its ever thinner and less universalnconventionality. The final stage is bankruptcy.nSorokin anticipates modern fears concerning pluralism andnmulticulturalism in Chapter VI, “Criminality, War, Revolution,nSuicide, Mental Disease, and Impoverishment in thenCrisis Period”: “A society is orderly when its system ofnculture and social relationships is well integrated andncrystallized. It becomes disorderiy when this system disintegratesnand enters a period of transition.” He is aware of thenway in which intellectuals and social leaders have fawned onnthose who would destroy them — an analysis that applies tonthe attitude of the United States and Canada towardsnmulticulturalism in our own day:nEven when the explosion of the Bolshevistnrevolution occurred, killing and mutilating millions,nmany of the rich aristocracy, statesmen, politicians,nprofessors, ministers and journalists of Westernn28/CHRONICLESnnnsociety were entranced by what they regarded as an”wonderful social experiment.” Western societynbehaved in this respect exactly like a degeneratenaristocracy on the eve of a revolution which is tondeprive it of its preeminent position, its property,nand even its life. Such an aristocracy cherishes andnlionizes the Rousseaus and Voltaires, socialists andncommunists, Kad Marxes and Lassals, in the salonsnof aristocratic ladies, in its academies and colleges,nand in the financial quarters of the rich. Exactly thensame obtuseness has been manifested in regard tonall of the recent revolutions, from the socialist andncommunist uprisings to those of Mussolini, Hitler,nand Franco. . . .nThis means that Western society is becomingnmentally deranged and morally unbalanced.nAdditional novelties in the field of criminality arenthe calculated cold-bloodedness of crimesnperpetrated for pecuniary purposes, inncontradistinction to the passionate, impulsive, andnspontaneous criminality of the past; the efficiency ofnscientifically organized criminal machines;ntechnologically organized “racketeering” on a largenscale in collusion with political leaders andn”respected citizens”; and the prominence of thenrole of the lower age groups in criminal activities.nSorokin may even have had a prophetic word concerningnthe present economic situation in the West, which fluctuatesnbetween stagnation and decline: “It [society] failed to realizenthat periods of sharp transition are, without exception,nperiods of catastrophic economic decline, especially whennthe transition is from a sensate to an ideational system.nDemoralization, disintegration, wars, anarchy, revolutions,ncriminality, cruelty and other destructive forces are notnconducive to business prosperity. Under such circumstancesnsecurity of possessions disappears; the incentives for efficientnwork are undermined.”nThe three great analysts of all things past and presentnwere Spengler, Toynbee, and Sorokin. Spengler saw nothingngood in our future and predicted the collapse of ourncivilization in accordance with the biological model ofninfancy, youth, maturity, old age, decline, and death.nToynbee appeared, for a time, to be more hopeful and tonacknowledge a special role and distinction for Christianitynand Western civilization. Only Sorokin, the transplantednRussian condemned to death and pardoned by Lenin, hadnboth a hope for the future and a reason for that hope. Onenfactor, which he only partially took into account, mayndisturb his calculations: the new and all-pervasive influencenof the media. Nevertheless, the 50 years since The Crisis ofnOur Age have only reinforced the accuracy of his analysis.nHe is all but forgotten in the great university where he spentnthe last four decades of his life, no doubt because hisnemphasis on values and his contempt for corruption arenpolitically unfashionable and therefore not the least bitnviable there. Those readers who share Sorokin’s perceptivenvision may take some comfort in his confidence that it is notnthe end: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini — not thenend of the West, and certainly not the End of All Things.n<^n