'Perversion for Profit': A 1960s Attack on the Rise of Pornography

A campy propaganda film chronicles the evils that threaten our society.

Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, this 30-minute tirade against the smut industry is not just good for laughs. As Conor Friedersdorf explains in "Pornography 'Weakens our Resistance to the Communist Masters of Deceit,'" it's interesting to see how closely some of the rhetoric mirrors today's anti-porn crusaders: 

... watching the film today, there are several arguments that today's readers will find familiar. "You might ask yourself 'Why this sudden concern? Pornography and sex deviation have always been with mankind.' This is true," Putnam says. "But, now, consider another fact: never in the history of the world have the merchants of obscenity, the teachers of unnatural sex acts, had available to them the modern facilities for disseminating this filth. High-speed presses, rapid transportation, mass distribution: all have combined to put the vilest obscenity within reach of every man, woman, and child in the country."

Many today feel the same way about the Internet.

Read the full piece here

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://archive.org/details/prelinger.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Video

Just In