Civilization Quotes

Most popular civilization quotes

Art is the signature of civilizations.

art

Civilization is a perishable commodity.
Civilization and profit go hand in hand.
Civilization is a disease which is almost invariably fatal.
Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of man.

leisure

A sufficient measure of civilization is the influence of good women.

women society

Civilization: if it is not in man's heart—well, then, it is nowhere.
It is possible to build a new civilization centered on love and life.
The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.
Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty and dies with chaos.
Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.

change

Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life-blood of real civilization.

curiosity

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization.

leisure

Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men.
You can't say civilization don't advance... in every war they kill you in a new way.

war

If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.

women

It is not possible for civilization to flow backward while there is youth in the world.

youth

Civilization is nothing else than the attempt to reduce force to being the last resort.
All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.

revolution

In essence the Renaissance was simply the green end of one of civilization's longest winters.
The three great elements of modern civilization: Gunpowder, Printing, and the Protestant Religion.
Civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.
We think our civilization near its meridian, but we are yet only at the cock-crowing and the morning star.
The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.
After all, the true civilization is where every man gives to every other, every right that he claims for himself.
For at least 2,000,000 years men have been reproducing and multiplying on a little automated spaceship called earth.
It is so stupid of modern civilisation to have given up believing in the devil when he is the only explanation of it.
Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both.

war

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.

education

The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first and deadly afterwards.
You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism.  I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass.
The true test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops – no, but the kind of man the country turns out.

character

Civilization is hideously fragile, you know that; there's not much between us and the horrors underneath.  Just about a coat of varnish, wouldn't you say.
We must plant the sea and herd its animals ... using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about — farming replacing hunting.

farming

Animals have these advantages over man: they have no theologians to instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

mankind

A country is considered the more civilized the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak or a powerful one too powerful.

government

Civilization, as we know it, is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.  No known civilization has ever reached the goal of civilization itself.
Our shouting is louder than our actions,
Our swords are taller than us,
This is our tragedy.
In short 
We wear the cape of civilization
But our souls live in the stone age.

tragedy

Civilization is a process whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, and then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind.
— The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud

unity brotherhood of man

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
To correct the evils, great and small, which spring from want of sympathy and from positive enmity among strangers, as nations or as individuals, is one of the highest functions of civilization.

sympathy

We must realize that man's nature will remain the same so long as he remains man; that civilization is but a slight coverlet beneath which the dominant beast sleeps lightly and ever ready to awake.
Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.
Now civilizations, I believe, come to birth and proceed to grow by successfully responding to successive challenges.  They break down and go to pieces if and when a challenge confronts them which they fail to meet.

challenges

An Englishman who was wrecked on a strange shore and wandering along the coast came to a gallows with a victim hanging on it, and fell down on his knees and thanked God that he at last beheld a sign of civilization.

optimistic

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun.
Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.

reality

Civilization, a much abused word, stands for a high matter quite apart from telephones and electric lights.  It is a matter of imponderables, of delight in the things of the mind, of love of beauty, of honor, grace, courtesy, delicate feeling.
A civilization which develops only on its material side, and not in corresponding measure on its mental and spiritual side, is like a vessel with a defective steering gear, which gets out of control at a constantly accelerating pace, and drifts toward catastrophe.
There is nothing so good for the human soul as the discovery that there are ancient and flourishing civilized societies which have somehow managed to exist for many centuries and are still in being though they have had no help from the traveler in solving their problems.

Travel

Civilization is a stream with banks.  The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues.  The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks.
Cultures live in one of three states. The first state is barbarism. Barbarians believe that the customs of their village are the laws of nature and that anyone who doesn't live the way they live is beneath contempt and requiring redemption or destruction. The third state is decadence. Decadents cynically believe that nothing is better than anything else. If they hold anyone in contempt, it is those who believe in anything. Nothing is worth fighting for. Civilization is the second and most rare state.