Civilisation Quotes

Quotes tagged as "civilisation" Showing 1-30 of 138
Frank Herbert
“Most civilisation is based on cowardice. It's so easy to civilize by teaching cowardice. You water down the standards which would lead to bravery. You restrain the will. You regulate the appetites. You fence in the horizons. You make a law for every movement. You deny the existence of chaos. You teach even the children to breathe slowly. You tame.”
Frank Herbert, God Emperor of Dune

Noam Chomsky
“The two main criminals are France and the United States. They owe Haiti enormous reparations because of actions going back hundreds of years. If we could ever get to the stage where somebody could say, 'We're sorry we did it,' that would be nice. But if that just assuages guilt, it's just another crime. To become minimally civilized, we would have to say, 'We carried out and benefited from vicious crimes. A large part of the wealth of France comes from the crimes we committed against Haiti, and the United States gained as well. Therefore we are going to pay reparations to the Haitian people.' Then you will see the beginnings of civilization.”
Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

Benjamin Disraeli
“The European talks of progress because by the aid of a few scientific discoveries he has established a society which has mistaken comfort for civilisation.”
Benjamin Disraeli

Brian W. Aldiss
“Civilisation is the distance that man has placed between himself and his own excreta.”
Brian Aldiss, The Dark Light Years

Sigmund Freud
“Civilized society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another.”
Sigmund Freud

“All we know about the new economic world tells us that nations which train engineers will prevail over those which train lawyers. No nation has ever sued its way to greatness. ”
Richard Lamm

Christopher Hitchens
“And I'll close by saying this. Because anti-Semitism is the godfather of racism and the gateway to tyranny and fascism and war, it is to be regarded not as the enemy of the Jewish people, I learned, but as the common enemy of humanity and of civilisation, and has to be fought against very tenaciously for that reason, most especially in its current, most virulent form of Islamic Jihad. Daniel Pearl's revolting murderer was educated at the London School of Economics. Our Christmas bomber over Detroit was from a neighboring London college, the chair of the Islamic Students' Society. Many pogroms against Jewish people are being reported from all over Europe today as I'm talking, and we can only expect this to get worse, and we must make sure our own defenses are not neglected. Our task is to call this filthy thing, this plague, this—this pest, by its right name; to make unceasing resistance to it, knowing all the time that it's probably ultimately ineradicable, and bearing in mind that its hatred towards us is a compliment, and resolving (some of the time, at any rate) to do a bit more to deserve it. Thank you.”
Christopher Hitchens

Mohsin Hamid
“Four thousand years ago, we, the people of the Indus River basin, had cities that were laid out on grids and boasted underground sewers, while the ancestors of those who would invade and colonize America were illiterate barbarians.”
Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist

E.M. Forster
“Few travelled in these days, for, thanks to the advance of science, the earth was exactly alike all over. Rapid intercourse, from which the previous civilization had hoped so much, had ended by defeating itself. What was the good of going to Peking when it was just like Shrewsbury? Why return to Shrewsbury when it would all be like Peking? Men seldom moved their bodies; all unrest was concentrated in the soul.”
E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops

James S.A. Corey
“And ... and what is civilisation if it isn’t people talking to each other over a goddamned beer?”
James S.A. Corey, Cibola Burn

Mark Gevisser
“This week, Zuma was quoted as saying, 'When the British came to our country, they said everything we are doing was barbaric, was wrong, inferior in whatever way.' But the serious critique of Zuma is not about who is a barbarian and who is civilised. It is about good governance, and this is a universal value, as relevant to an African village as it is to Westminster. If you are unable to keep your appetites in check, you are inevitably going to live beyond your means. And this means you are going to become vulnerable to patronage and even corruption. That is why Jacob Zuma's 'polygamy' is his achilles heel.”
Mark Gevisser

Adam Smith
“There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”
Adam Smith, Correspondence of Adam Smith

Mervyn Peake
“Civilized people don't feel.”
Mervyn Peake, Complete Nonsense

Christopher Hitchens
“There's a certain amount of ambiguity in my background, what with intermarriages and conversions, but under various readings of three codes which I don’t much respect (Mosaic Law, the Nuremberg Laws, and the Israeli Law of Return) I do qualify as a member of the tribe, and any denial of that in my family has ceased with me. But I would not remove myself to Israel if it meant the continuing expropriation of another people, and if anti-Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world—or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world—I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction. Leo Strauss was right. The Jews will not be 'saved' or 'redeemed.' (Cheer up: neither will anyone else.) They/we will always be in exile whether they are in the greater Jerusalem area or not, and this in some ways is as it should be. They are, or we are, as a friend of Victor Klemperer's once put it to him in a very dark time, condemned and privileged to be 'a seismic people.' A critical register of the general health of civilization is the status of 'the Jewish question.' No insurance policy has ever been devised that can or will cover this risk.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

“I thought I was getting away from politics for a while. But I now realise that the vuvuzela is to these World Cup blogs what Julius Malema is to my politics columns: a noisy, but sadly unavoidable irritant. With both Malema and the vuvuzela, their importance is far overstated. Malema: South Africa's Robert Mugabe? I think not. The vuvuzela: an archetypal symbol of 'African culture?' For African civilisation's sake, I seriously hope not.

Both are getting far too much airtime than they deserve. Both have thrust themselves on to the world stage through a combination of hot air and raucous bluster. Both amuse and enervate in roughly equal measure. And both are equally harmless in and of themselves — though in Malema's case, it is the political tendency that he represents, and the right-wing interests that lie behind his diatribes that is dangerous. With the vuvu I doubt if there are such nefarious interests behind the scenes; it may upset the delicate ears of the middle classes, both here and at the BBC, but I suspect that South Africa's democracy will not be imperilled by a mass-produced plastic horn.”
Richard Calland

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
“Although we live in a civilised society, the business world remains a jungle.”
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Mehmet Murat ildan
“Old people have wisdom but not energy; young people have energy but not wisdom; energy and wisdom must be in the same body to create a much better civilisation! To do this, we will either give energy to the old or we will give wisdom to the young and for now the latter seems a more plausible action!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

Christopher Hitchens
“As he grew older, which was mostly in my absence, my firstborn son, Alexander, became ever more humorous and courageous. There came a time, as the confrontation with the enemies of our civilization became more acute, when he sent off various applications to enlist in the armed forces. I didn't want to be involved in this decision either way, especially since I was being regularly taunted for not having 'sent' any of my children to fight in the wars of resistance that I supported. (As if I could 'send' anybody, let alone a grown-up and tough and smart young man: what moral imbeciles the 'anti-war' people have become.)”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Alfred Rosenberg
“The forests were crippled, the wheat fields vanished; in place of the grass there reappeared stone and drifting sand. Men perished and moved on, the cities sank back into the sand, the dust settled over them. Thousands of years later Nordic dreamers dug up the petrified culture from the rubble and ashes. Today, the entire picture of the former paradise stands before our eyes as a spent dream which had once produced life, beauty and strength as long as a superior race ruled. It will live again and it will dream again. But as soon as races of a dreamless kind took over and attempted to realize the dream, reality vanished with the dream.”
Alfred Rosenberg, The Myth of the Twentieth Century

Силвия Томова
“...и най-внушителните съоражения в основата си израстват от пясък. Именно той е канавата, от която се появява един от най-внушителните символи на цивилизацията - пътят. Така както в един дворец не може да има само мрамор, така и пътят започва от прашинката. А не е ли така и с живота ни? Колко пясък трябва да изгребе търсачът на съкровища, за да достигне до една трошица злато?”
Силвия Томова, Тит от Никомедия

Pierre Desproges
“Une civilisation sans la Science, ce serait aussi absurde qu'un poisson sans bicyclette.”
Pierre Desproges

“Les civilisations de l´Antiquité se sont donné des dieux et des codes, les civilisations modernes des lois et des méthodes.”
Cyrille Javary

Julius Evola
“When a cycle of civilisation is reaching its end, it is difficult to achieve anything by resisting it and by directly opposing the forces in motion. The current is too strong; one would be overwhelmed. The essential thing is to not let oneself be impressed by the omnipotence and apparent triumph of the forces of the epoch. These forces, devoid of connection with any higher principle, are in fact, on a short chain. One should not become fixated on the present, and on things at hand, but keep in view the conditions that may come about in the future. Thus the principle to follow could be that of letting the forces and processes of this epoch take their own course, while keeping oneself firm and ready to intervene when "the tiger, which cannot leap of the person riding it, is tired of running".”
Julius Evola, Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul

“Biggest fallacy of legal system in civilised societies is that ‘truth” has to be proved, so by default ‘untruth’ prevails.”
Sandeep Sahajpal, The Twelfth Preamble: To all the authors to be!

Julius Evola
“When a cycle of civilisation is reaching its end, it is difficult to achieve anything by resisting it and by directly opposing the forces in motion. The current is too strong; one would be overwhelmed. The essential thing is to not let oneself be impressed by the omnipotence and apparent triumph of the forces of the epoch. These forces, devoid of connection with any higher principle, are in fact, on a short chain. One should not become fixated on the present, and on things at hand, but keep in view the conditions that may come about in the future. Thus the principle to follow could be that of letting the forces and processes of this epoch take their own course, while keeping oneself firm and ready to intervene when 'the tiger, which cannot leap on the person riding it, is tired of running'.”
Julius Evola, Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul

Abhijit Naskar
“Mänsklig välfärd är mänsklig plikt.”
Abhijit Naskar, Ain't Enough to Look Human

Abhijit Naskar
“Utan ansvarsskyldighet finns det ingen civilisation.”
Abhijit Naskar, Martyr Meets World: To Solve The Hard Problem of Inhumanity

Virginia Woolf
“One of the triumphs of civilisation, Peter Walsh thought. It is one of the triumphs of civilisation, as the light high bell of the ambulance sounded. Swiftly, cleanly, the ambulance sped to the hospital, having picked up instantly, humanely, some poor devil; some one hit on the head, struck down by disease, knocked over perhaps a minute or so ago at one of these crossings, as might happen to oneself. That was civilisation. It struck him coming back from the East - the efficiency, the organisation, the communal spirit of London. Every cart or carriage of its own accord drew aside to let the ambulance pass. Perhaps it was morbid; or was it not touching rather, the respect which they showed this ambulance with its victim inside- busy men hurrying home, yet instantly bethinking them as it passed of some wife; or presumably how easily it might have been them there, stretched on a shelf with a doctor and a nurse.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Haruki Murakami
“In Murasaki Shikibu's time living spirits were both a grotesque phenomenon and a natural condition of the human heart that was right there with them. People of that period probably couldn't conceive of these two types of darkness as separate from each other. But today things are different. The darkness in the outside world has vanished, but the darkness in our hearts remains, virtually unchanged. Just like an iceberg, what we label the ego or consciousness is, for the most part, sunk in darkness. And that estrangement sometimes creates a deep contradiction or confusion within us.”
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Virginia Woolf
“Pomimo wszystko zdołała sprawić, że jej szkic o postaci dziekana Swifta stawał się coraz bardziej widoczny, a trzy gwiazdki znów rozbłysły całkiem wyraźnie, choć już nie jasnym blaskiem, lecz znękaniem i krwią, jakby ten człowiek, ten wielki pan Brinsley, przez to tylko, że mówiąc (o swoim szkicu, o sobie oraz, ze śmiechem, o pewnej dziewczynie), wyrywał musze skrzydełka, osnuł jej jasne życie chmurą i na zawsze ją zdezorientował, zniszczył jej skrzydełka na grzbiecie, więc kiedy się od niej odwrócił, pomyślała o wieżach i cywilizacji z przerażeniem, a jarzmo, które wprost z niebios opadło na jej barki, zgniotło ją i poczuła się jak naga nieszczęśnica, która poszukiwała schronienia w cienistym ogrodzie, ale wygnano ją, mówiąc: nie, tu nie ma kryjówek ani motyli, w tym świecie, w tej cywilizacji, w kościołach, parlamentach i mieszkaniach. Ta cywilizacja, powiedziała Lily Everit do siebie, przyjmując od pani Bromley miły komplement na temat swojego wyglądu, zależy ode mnie, a pani Bromley powiedziała później, że Lily Everit wyglądała, "jakby na jej barkach spoczywał ciężar całego świata".”
Virginia Woolf

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