Of the twenty or so civilizations known to modern Western historians, all except our own appear to be dead or moribund, and, when we diagnose each case, in extremis or post mortem, we invariably find that the cause of death has been either War or Class or some combination of the two. To date, these two plagues have been deadly enough, in partnership, to kill off nineteen out of twenty representatives of this recently evolved species of human society; but, up to now, the deadliness of these scourges has had a saving limit.
While [European] national cultures were concocted to distinguish one economic unit of capital from another, civilizational thinking was invented to unify these cultures against their colonial consequences. Islamic, Indian, or African civilizations were invented contrapuntally by Orientalism …in order to match, balance and thus authenticate ‘Western Civilization’.hamid dabashi
Freedom is neither a legal invention nor a philosophical conquest, the cherished possession of civilizations more valid than others because they alone have been able to create or preserve it. It is the outcome of an objective relationship between the individual and the space he occupies, between the consumer and the resources at his disposal.claude lévi-strauss
Ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have all disappeared from this world, but the elements of our civilization still continue. Although world-events have been inimical to us for centuries, there is something in our civilization which has withstood these onslaughts.
The white race is the cancer of human history, it is the white race, and it aloneits ideologies and inventionswhich eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself.Susan Sontag
"What is the meaning of life?" This question has no answer except in the history of how it came to be asked. There is no answer because words have meaning, not life or persons or the universe itself. Our search for certainty rests in our attempts at understanding the history of all individual selves and all civilizations. Beyond that, there is only awe.julian jaynes
This breakdown in the bicameral mind in what is called the Intermediate Period is reminiscent at least of those periodic breakdowns of Mayan civilizations when all authority suddenly collapsed, and the population melted back into tribal living in the jungles.julian jaynes
I therefore believe that these and many other movements of our time are in the great long picture of our civilizations related to the loss of an earlier organization of human natures. They are attempts to return to what is no longer there, like poets to their inexistent Muses, and as such they are characteristic of these transitional millennia in which we are imbedded.julian jaynes
It has been the White Race who has been the world builder, the maker of cities and commerce and continents. It is the White Man who is the sole builder of civilizations. It was he who build the Egyptian civilization, the great unsurpassed Roman civilization, the Greek civilization of beauty and culture, and who, after having been dealt a serious blow by a new Semitic religion, wallowed through the Dark Ages, finally extricated himself, and then build the great European civilization.ben klassen
In 5 billion years, the expansion of the universe will have progressed to the point where all other galaxies will have receded beyond detection. Indeed, they will be receding faster than the speed of light, so detection will be impossible. Future civilizations will discover science and all its laws, and never know about other galaxies or the cosmic background radiation. They will inevitably come to the wrong conclusion about the universe......We live in a special time, the only time, where we can observationally verify that we live in a special time.lawrence m. krauss
The sentiments attributed to Christ are in the Old Testament. They were familiar in the Jewish schools and to all the Pharisees, long before the time of Christ, as they were familiar in all the civilizations of the earth — Egyptian, Babylonian, and Persian, Greek, and Hindu.joseph mccabe
A clash of civilizations driven by the failure of Islamic/Arab culture (though I would stress the problem of the Islamic commandment to jihad more than he does). I think he [Steven den Beste] is also right to say that our long-term objective must be to break, crush and eventually destroy this culture, because we can't live on the same planet with people who both carry those memes and have access to weapons of mass destruction. They will hate us and seek to destroy us not for what we've done but for what we are.eric s. raymond
Almost by definition, secularism cannot be a future: it’s a present-tense culture that over time disconnects a society from cross-generational purpose. Which is why there are no examples of sustained atheist civilizations. "Atheistic humanism" became inhumanism in the hands of the Fascists and Communists and, in its less malign form in today's European Union, a kind of dehumamism in which a present-tense culture amuses itself to extinction. Post-Christian European culture is already post-cultural and, with its surging Muslim populations, will soon be post-European.mark steyn
On this showing, the nature of the breakdowns of civilizations can be summed up in three points: a failure of creative power in the minority, an answering withdrawal of mimesis on the part of the majority, and a consequent loss of social unity in the society as a whole.Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The American dream that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as a man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.james truslow adams
There is in reality no such thing as modern art. Art is carried on up and down in immense cycles through centuries and civilizations.hans hofmann
There will be no room, here, for the smug myopia which views American civilization as the final solution to all world problems; which recommends our institutions for universal adoption and turns away with contempt from the serious study of the institutions of peoples whose civilizations may seem to us to be materially less advanced.george f. kennan
If we lose the virile, manly qualities, and sink into a nation of mere hucksters, putting gain over national honor, and subordinating everything to mere ease of life, then we shall indeed reach a condition worse than that of the ancient civilizations in the years of their decay.theodore roosevelt
In the long run, the aggressive civilizations destroy themselves, almost always. It’s their nature. They can’t help it.carl sagan
To view an object in the proper light we must stand away from it. The study of the classical literatures gives the aloofness which cultivates insight. In learning to live with peoples and civilizations that have long ceased to be alive, we gain a vantage point, acquire an enlargement and elevation of thought, which enable us to study with a more impartial and liberal mind the condition of the society around us.john lancaster spalding
There is one common condition for the lot of women in Western civilization and all other civilizations that we know about for certain, and that is, woman as a sex is disliked and persecuted, while as an individual she is liked, loved, and even, with reasonable luck, sometimes worshipped.rebecca west
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
All "if" statements about the past are as dubious as prophecies of the future are. It seems fairly plausible that if Alexander or Ghengis Khan had never been born, some other individual would have filled his place and executed the design of the Hellenic or Mongolic expansion; but the Alexanders of philosophy and religion, of science and art, seem less expendable; their impact seems less determined by economic challenges and social pressures; and they seem to have a much wider range of possibilities to influence the direction, shape and texture of civilizations.Arthur Koestler
In the vastness of the Cosmos there must be other civilizations far older and more advanced than ours.carl sagan
After a few months in my parents' basement, I took an apartment near the state university, where I discovered both crystal methamphetamine and conceptual art. Either one of these things are dangerous, but in combination they have the potential to destroy entire civilizations.