For many decades the Watchtower has hammered home the message of 2 Timothy 3.1 - 7
But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. 6 For from these arise those men who slyly work their way into households and lead as their captives weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, 7 always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.
We have been taught that the people of this generation are different to people in the past, that Satan has influenced them to be all the things described above, wheres people of the past were hard working, God fearing decent folk who deserved a resurrection in the New World. We joined in this of course and taught it to others. How many of us remember standing on countless doorsteps with Bible or WT literature in hand reading to the householder and eliciting their normal response that they "Do not know what the world is coming to, these days"
The point to consider though surely must be , "Is that true? "
In reality it is impossible to quantify some of the things because situations have changed so much. People's perception of morality has changed. The truth is IMHO that people behave according to the morality of their day. In times past it may have been expected that a girl would be a virgin on her wedding night , so most of them were (probably) Can you really blame people for behaving differently today - if their grandmothers had lived today they would have behaved differently too. It is not that people are intrinsically different , they just live in different times People are just people. I recall coming to that conclusion before leaving the dubs.
The important question is not whether the world is in the condition that we might want it to be. The relevant point is whether or not the world is significantly worse than it has been in the past.
Some will turn to the acceptance of sex and "alternative lifestyles" in entertainment as evidence of corruption - others see it as a liberation . You must decide for yourself .
Consider some of the social practices of the past . Slavery and slave trading , child labour . The treatment of women as second class citizens with no right to vote,. the poverty that was deliberately enforced by a system that kept everyone in their place . The subjugation of large parts of the world into the British Empire . Few people in the past saw anything wrong with these practises, although they were supposedly the "better people" who were not affected by "Satan having cast down to Earth" in 1918, or 1919 or whenever.
On the part of the WTS ,and the individual Witness, there is a total blanking out of the well known facts of history. It does not suit their purpose and so they ignore it . We used to watch TV and read about the horrors and social evils that have been perpetrated on mankind in the past - and somehow always think that the subject was an exception to the rule, whereas in fact it was the rule - the everyday life for our forebears who lived in less enlightened times.
Why did we apply such dissonance? I guess we did not want to harbour "doubts".. In reality this teaching of the WTS is a whingers charter. It panders to the moaners, the grumblers and revilers who see everything as negative , apart from themselves. "Yes.. they say, that is exactly how I see the world "- but it is not true.
Consider the great changes in social justice in the Western world, I contend that people of this generation have been helped to be more aware of others. The response to Charity Appeals is just one example, no doubt you can think of others .
There is plenty of real information on the net for those who really want to know what the past was like . No doubt a lot of people did manage peaceable honorable lives, but the links below show that the golden years before 1914 were not always so great and it was people that made the times what they were.