There is as yet no civilized society, but only a society in the process of becoming civilized. There is as yet no civilized nation, but only nations in the process of becoming civilized. From this standpoint, we can now speak of a collective task of humankind. The task of humanity is to build a genuine civilization.
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You have a lot to learn, young man. Philosophy. Theology. Literature. Poetry. Drama. History. Archeology. Anthropology. Mythology. Music. These are your tools as much as brush and pigment. You cannot be an artist until you are civilized. You cannot be civilized until you learn. To be civilized is to know where you belong in the continuum of our art and your world. To surmount the past, you must know the past.
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I could tell Hugo was convinced that he would get to walk back up these stairs: after all, he was a civilized person. These were all civilized people. Hugo really couldn't imagine that anything irreparable could happen to him, because he was a middle-class white American with a college education, as were all the people on the stairs with us. I had no such conviction. I was not a wholly civilized person.
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It seems to me impossible for a civilized man to love or worship, or respect the God of the Old Testament. A really civilized man, a really civilized woman, must hold such a God in abhorrence and contempt... In the New Testament, death is not the end, but the beginning of punishment that has no end. In the New Testament the malice of God is infinite and the hunger of his revenge eternal... This frightful dogma, this infinite lie, made me the implacable enemy of Christianity. The truth is that this belief in eternal pain has been the real persecutor.
Robert Green Ingersoll
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Compared with this simple, fibrous life, our civilized history appears the chronicle of debility, of fashion, and the arts of luxury. But the civilized man misses no real refinement in the poetry of the rudest era. It reminds him that civilization does but dress men. It makes shoes, but it does not toughen the soles of the feet. It makes cloth of finer texture, but it does not touch the skin. Inside the civilized man stands the savage still in the place of honor. We are those blue-eyed, yellow-haired Saxons, those slender, dark-haired Normans.
Henry David Thoreau
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In Europe the rich are refined enough to act as if they're not wealthy. That is how civilized people behave. If you ask me, being cultured and civilized is not about everyone being free and equal; it's about everyone being refined enough to act as if they were. Then no one has to feel guilty.
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The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their 'vital interests' are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the 'sanctity' of human life, or the 'conscience' of the civilized world.
James A. Baldwin
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Savage peoples are ruled by passion, civilized peoples by the mind. The difference lies not in the respective natures of savagery and civilization, but in their attendant circumstances, institutions, and so forth. The difference, therefore, does not operate in every sense, but it does in most of them. Even the most civilized peoples, in short, can be fired with passionate hatred for each other.
Carl von Clausewitz
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It's not unreal to me yet, though it might get that way soon. It still feels very real. And not even horrible - the dead are just the dead. I am convinced that the living people they once were would have been proud of their protective bodies hoodwinking their murderers to save someone else. [..] But it's not civilized. There is something indecent about it - really foully indecent. The civilized Rose-person in me, who still seems to exist beneath the layers of filth, knows this. [..] I have become so indifferent about the dead.
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A dreaded society is not a civilized society. The most progressive and powerful society in the civilized sense, is a society which has recognized its ethos, and come to terms with the past and the present, with religion and science. With modernism and mysticism, with materialism and spirituality; a society free of tension, a society rich in culture. Such a society cannot come with hocus-pocus formulas and with fraud. It has to flow from the depth of a divine search.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
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Civilization on Earth planet was equated with selfishness and greed; those people who lived in a civilized state exploited those who did not. There were shortages of vital commodities on Earth planet, and the people in the civilized nations were able to monopolize those commodities by reason of their greater economic strength. This imbalance appeared to be at the root of the disputes.
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With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
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Someone, somewhere, needs to take courage to break the cycle of violence. Forgiveness is superior to justice. Being kind and compassionate to those who are good to you is easy. True forgiveness and compassion come only when one is able to forgive even those who have committed barbaric acts. If Angulimala is capable of renouncing violence, then tell me, your Majesty: is your civilized society also capable of being truly civilized and renouncing violence?
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Mine was, as it were, the connecting link between wild and cultivated fields; as some states are civilized, and others half-civilized, and others savage or barbarous, so my field was, though not in a bad sense, a half-cultivated field. They were beans cheerfully returning to their wild and primitive state that I cultivated, and my hoe played the Ranz des Vaches for them.
Henry David Thoreau
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It would be well for those interested to reflect whether there now exists, or ever has existed, a wealthy and civilized community in which one portion did not live on the labor of another; and whether the form in which slavery exists in the South is not but one modification of this universal condition... Let those who are interested remember that labor is the only source of wealth, and how small a portion of it, in all old and civilized countries, even the best governed, is left to those by whose labor wealth is created.
John C. Calhoun
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This propaganda of dis-associating Western Negroes from Africa is not a new one. For many years white propagandists have been printing tons of literature to impress scattered Ethiopia, especially that portion within their civilization, with the idea that Africa is a despised place, inhabited by savages, and cannibals, where no civilized human being should go, especially black civilized human beings. This propaganda is promulgated for the cause that is being realized today. That cause is COLONIAL EXPANSION for the white nations of the world.
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We sleep soundly in our beds, because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on those who would harm us" Orwell cited Kipling's phrase "making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep" (Kipling, Tommy), and further noted that Kipling's "grasp of function, of who protects whom, is very sound. He sees clearly that men can be highly civilized only while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them." (1942)
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Rebellion against technology and civilization is real rebellion, a real attack on the values of the existing system. But the green anarchists, anarcho-primitivists, and so forth (The "GA Movement") have fallen under such heavy influence from the left that their rebellion against civilization has to great extent been neutralized. Instead of rebelling against the values of civilization, they have adopted many civilized values themselves and have constructed an imaginary picture of primitive societies that embodies these civilized values.
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Odd, don't you think? I have seen war, and invasions and riots. I have heard of massacres and brutalities beyond imagining, and I have kept my faith in the power of civilization to bring men back from the brink. And yet one women writes a letter, and my whole world falls to pieces. You see, she is an ordinary woman. A good one, even. That's the point... Nothing [a recognizably bad person does] can surprise or shock me, or worry me. But she denounced Julia and sent her to her death because she resented her, and because Julia is a Jew. I thought in this simple contrast between the civilized and the barbaric, but I was wrong. It is the civilized who are the truly barbaric, and the [Nazi] Germans are merely the supreme expression of it.
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None of us are sane; none of us know sanity. We only have the audacity, to think that we are sane. Real beasts are sane. They have chosen to see the World for what it really is; a World filled with predators and hypocrites; hypocrites posing as civilized prey. Wolves in sheep's clothing, if you ask me. Wolves in sheep's clothing; only posing as civilized prey.
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Dickens has not seen it all. The wretched of the earth do not decide to become extinct, they resolve, on the contrary, to multiply: life is their only weapon against life, life is all that they have. This is why the dispossessed and starving will never be convinced (though some may be coerced) by the population-control programs of the civilized. I have watched the dispossessed and starving laboring in the fields which others own, with their transistor radios at their ear, all day long: so they learn, for example, along with equally weighty matters, that the pope, one of the heads of the civilized world, forbids to the civilized that abortion which is being, literally, forced on them, the wretched. The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their 'vital interests' are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the 'sanctity' of human life, or the 'conscience' of the civilized world. There is a 'sanctity' involved with bringing a child into this world: it is better than bombing one out of it. Dreadful indeed it is to see a starving child, but the answer to that is not to prevent the child's arrival but to restructure the world so that the child can live in it: so that the 'vital interest' of the world becomes nothing less than the life of the child. However-I could not have said any of this then, nor is so absurd a notion about to engulf the world now. But we were all starving children, after all, and none of our fathers, even at their most embittered and enraged, had ever suggested that we 'die out.' It was not we who were supposed to die out: this was, of all notions, the most forbidden, and we learned this from the cradle. Every trial, every beating, every drop of blood, every tear, were meant to be used by us for a day that was coming-for a day that was certainly coming, absolutely certainly, certainly coming: not for us, perhaps, but for our children. The children of the despised and rejected are menaced from the moment they stir in the womb, and are therefore sacred in a way that the children of the saved are not. And the children know it, which is how they manage to raise their children, and why they will not be persuaded-by their children's murderers, after all-to cease having children.
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Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didin't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we didn't have any delinquents. Without a prison, there can't be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white man arrived and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.
John (Fire) Lame Deer
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It would be well to realize that the talk of 'humane methods of warfare', of the 'rules of civilized warfare', and all such homage to the finer sentiments of the race are hypocritical and unreal, and only intended for the consumption of stay-at-homes. There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress... What lover of humanity can view with anything but horror the prospect of this ruthless destruction of human life. Yet this is war: war for which all the jingoes are howling, war to which all the hopes of the world are being sacrificed, war to which a mad ruling class would plunge a mad world.
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