Civilization Quotes

Albert Camus

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.. Albert Camus
The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.

Robert Bringhurst

If language is lost, humanity is lost. If writing is lost, certain kinds of civilization and society are lost, but many other kinds remain - and there is no reason to think that those alternatives are inferior.

Peter Thiel

No one can predict the future exactly, but we know two things: It’s going to be different, and it must be rooted in today’s world.

Swami Dhyan Giten

Society destroys your individuality, your soul.

Sara Sheridan

I am torn between the freedom of this adventure and the benefits of civilization despite its constraints.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Civilization is the commercialization of survival.

Leo Tolstoy

Spiritual activity, education, civilization, culture, the idea are all vague, indefinite concepts, under the banner of which it is quite convenient to use words that have a still less clear meaning and therefore can easily be plugged into any theory.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

All civilized wo/men are prostitutes: Some sell what's between their legs; the rest sell what's between their ears.

Richard M. Rorty

My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

The employed are punished by having to do what they do not love. The self-employed are punished by the opposite.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

The more civilized people are, the more honorable working hard is to them. As a result, the more civilized we get, the less we live.

Floriano Martins

There is no way I can avoid thinking about the kind of world I belong to. The abuse of utopias disfigures everything.

Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower... I think that she has tamed me...

Patricia Briggs

Civilization is vastly overrated.

Erma Bombeck

When humor goes, there goes civilization.

Toba Beta

When people stargazing, they stare at stars, and many other things which they've already presumed commonly
When people stargazing, they stare at stars,
and many other things which they've already
presumed commonly and universally as stars.

Toba Beta

People usually feel funny, smile and laugh when I tell them
about my strong belief in the very existence of prehistoric
advanced technology and great civilizations of wilier races.
I just can't wait to see their faces at time the truth is revealed.

Toba Beta

Science is a trigger of changes of civilization.
Religion is the failsafe of science performance.

Daniel Quinn

You're captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live. … You are captives - and you have made a captive of the world itself. That's what's at stake, isn't it? - your captivity and the captivity of the world.

Daniel Quinn

The premise of the Taker story is 'the world belongs to man'. … The premise of the Leaver story is 'man belongs to the world'.

Theodor W. Adorno

What can oppose the decline of the west is not a resurrected culture but the utopia that is silently contained in the image of its decline.

Daniel Quinn

The mythology of your culture hums in your ears so constantly that no one pays the slightest bit of attention to it. Of course man is conquering space and the atom and the deserts and the oceans and the elements. According to your mythology, this is what he was BORN to do.

Daniel Quinn

If you alone found out what the lie was, then you're probably right - it would make no great difference. But if you ALL found out what the lie was, it might conceivably make a very great difference indeed.

Daniel Quinn

[T]he price you've paid is not the price of becoming human. It's not even the price of having the things you just mentioned. It's the price of enacting a story that casts mankind as the enemy of the world.


Love as a concrete foundation for an authentically functional civilization requires the around-the-clock labors of forgiveness. Without it, Love fails, Friendship fails, Intelligence fails, Humanity: fails.

Daniel Quinn

No one species shall make the life of the world its own.' … That's one expression of the law. Here's another: 'The world was not made for any one species.

Daniel Quinn

This law … defines the limits of competition in the community of life. You may compete to the full extent of your capabilities, but you may not hunt down your competitors or destroy their food or deny them access to food. In other words, you may compete but you may not wage war.

Daniel Quinn

If the world was made for us, then it BELONGS to us and we can do what we damn well please with it.

Daniel Quinn

[N]ow we have a clearer idea what this story is all about: The world was made for man, and man was made to rule it.

Daniel Quinn

This is precisely how someone speaks who imagines that he is the world's divinely appointed ruler: 'I will not LET them starve. I will not LET the drought come. I will not LET the river flood.

Kurt Vonnegut

I speak gibberish to the civilized world and it replies in kind.

Holly Estil Cunningham

Among peoples who possess a highly developed pugnacious instinct we find the greatest progress in the arts, sciences, social and political organization, commerce and industry. The instinct takes the milder form of rivalry which is the motive force of the great portion of the serious labors of mankind.

Alan W. Watts

We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.

Richard Francis Burton

Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Civilization, man feels once more happy.

Adam Smith

There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.

James A. Michener

Public libraries have been a mainstay of my life. They represent an individual's right to acquire knowledge; they are the sinews that bind civilized societies the world over. Without libraries, I would be a pauper, intellectually and spiritually.

Robert McKee

No civilization, including Plato's, has ever been destroyed because its citizens learned too much.

W.E.B. Du Bois

The function of the university is not simply to teach breadwinning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools, or to be a centre of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization.

Iain Pears

Caius was one of those who gloried in his ignorance, called his lack of letters purity, scorned any subtlety of thought or expression. A man for his time, indeed.

Toba Beta

Music and symbols, they're older than human race.
Prehuman beings used them to teach early mankind.

Émile Zola

Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.

Charles Stross

Any civilization where the main symbol of religious veneration is a tool of execution is a bad place to have children.

Anaïs Nin

Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.

Swami Dhyan Giten

A child comes from God, a child
is a gift from God, but a child is
not our possession.

Give the child unconditional love
and freedom. Respect the child, the child has its own soul. The child has its own way.

Will Durant

So the story of man runs in a dreary circle, because he is not yet master of the earth that holds him.

Thomas E. Woods Jr.

The exaltation of human reason and its capabilities, a commitment to rigorous and rational debate, a promotion of intellectual inquiry and scholarly exchange-all sponsored by the Church-provided the framework for the Scientific Revolution.

Martin J. Rees

The science done by the young Einstein will continue as long as our civilization, but for civilization to survive, we'll need the wisdom of the old Einstein - humane, global and farseeing. And whatever happens in this uniquely crucial century will resonate into the remote future and perhaps far beyond the Earth, far beyond the Earth

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.

Elizabeth Goudge

Nothing living should ever be treated with contempt. Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently, because the time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life...

John Derbyshire

Our political system is now run by the Big People for their own interests. If they ever deign to notice the Little People, it is with disdain and contempt.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

in order to do evil, must first believe that what they are doing is good, otherwise they can't do it.

Pierce Brown

They believe civilization weakens natural selection. They do nature’s work so that we do not become a soft race.

Swami Dhyan Giten

The hardest time in this world is for the sensitive and intelligent people.

John Mark Reynolds

while modernity is not Christianity, modernity is the product of a Christian civilization. Lately the defects of modernity have been made plain to us while its virtues have been taken for granted.

Gil A. Waters

Good sex is the basis of any truly civilized society.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Morals are nothing but a civilized society’s attempt to tame some beast called man.

Tom Robbins

The brown paper bag is the only thing civilized man has produced that does not seem out of place in nature.

Julian Barnes

The constant tug between nature and civilization is what keeps on our toes. Though of course, that did rather beg the question of how you defined nature and how you defined civilization.

Evelyn Waugh

It (modernization) is just another jungle closing in.

Henry David Thoreau

Thus the great civilizer sends out its emissaries, sooner or later, to every sandy cape and light-house of the New World which the census-taker visits, and summons the savage there to surrender.

Roger Zelazny

There's no such thing as civilization. The word just means the art of living in cities.

Albert Einstein

This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor... This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them!

Mark Skousen

The triumph of persuasion over force is the sign of a civilized society.

David Baldacci

All you have to do [to win a Pulitzer Prize] is spend your life running from one awful place to another, write about every horrible thing you see. The civilized world reads about it, then forgets it, but pats you on the head for doing it and gives you a reward as appreciation for changing nothing.

Herman Melville

The fiendlike skill we display in the invention of all manner of death-dealing engines, the vindictiveness with which we carry on our wars, and the misery and desolation that follow in their train, are enough of themselves to distinguish the white civilized man as the most ferocious animal on the face of the earth.

Keith Lowe

Los británicos, al igual que los estadounidenses, recuerdan la Segunda Guerra Mundial como una época en la que su mejor generación salvó al mundo de la maldad del nazismo.

Jack Cady

The mythic voice rising from literature and art allows us to be humane. We are not humane because of political power, or education, or even religion. We are humane because we recognize the humanity of others. The writer and the artist appeal to that humanity. For that reason, literature and art are the bones of civilization.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

An angry artist tells people what (he thinks) they need to hear. A hungry artist tells people what (he thinks) they want to hear.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Back then: to be regarded as well-known, one had to be great. Today: to be regarded as great, one has to be well-known.

W.A.R. Gibb

The Message of Mohammad is not a set of metaphysical phenomena. It is a complete civilization.

K. Hari Kumar

Not just charity, even corruption begins at home.

Amit Kalantri

A civilization must be judged by its standards not by its expenditure.

Jared Diamond

Not until the beginning of the 20th century did Europe's urban populations finally become self-sustaining: before then, constant immigration of healthy peasants from the countryside was necessary to make up for the constant deaths of city dwellers from crowd diseases.

William Barrett

The philosopher cannot seriously put to himself questions that his civilization has not lived.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

I came to see that man finds meaning in his existence only through the active demonstration of his human self, a cosmos comprising the entire constellation of life's factors: culture, civilization, tradition, history, ideals, facts, physical conditions, one's mental state, the ecology, and so on.

Christopher Hawke

The earth is an orbiting speck in incomprehensible vastness. The histories of our civilizations, our accomplishments and secrets, great good and evil - these are no more significant than the single twinkle of a star. Perhaps, this is why we try to outshine the heavens with our cities and make theatrical events of our simple lives.

Walter A. McDougall

America's civilization perturbs the trajectories of all other civilizations just by existing.

Jeanette Winterson

There is always a city. There is always a civilization. There is always a barbarian with a pickaxe. Sometimes you are the city, sometimes you are the civilization, but to become that city, that civilization, you once took a pickaxe and destroyed what you hated, and what you hated is what you did not understand.

Victor Davis Hanson

Victory may now require a level of force deemed objectionable by civilized peoples, meaning that some, for justifiable reasons, may be reluctant to pursue it. But victory has not become an ossified concept altogether.

Stephen Colbert

Throughout human history, countries rise and fall. But not America-we continue to rise and rise, like dough, until Jesus bakes us in the fiery Afterscape of the Rapture.

James A. Michener

Rampaging horsemen can conquer; only the city can civilize.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Thanks to arranged marriages: There are countless women who have never been their husband's girlfriend.

Matthew Woodring Stover

Suffering is the fuel in the engine of civilization."


Matthew Woodring Stover

Jedi do not fight for peace. That's only a slogan, and is as misleading as slogans always are. Jedi fight for civilization, because only civilization creates peace. We fight for justice because justice is the fundamental bedrock of civilization: an unjust civilization is built upon sand. It does not long survive a storm.

Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

Nations rise and fall, flourish and decay, by what they believe in and by what their culture stands for.

Alfred Nobel

The day when two army corps can annihilate each other in one second, all civilized nations, it is to be hoped, will recoil from war and discharge their troops.

Lauren Willig

Hard to believe that so nearby, just across the Channel, such atrocities could still occur in their supposedly civilized world, that one could wake up one morning and find oneself bereft of brothers, parents, friends, all with the slice of an ax.

Jack D. Forbes

The "norm" for humanity is love.
Brutality is an aberration.
We are not sinners by nature.
We learn to be bad.
We are taught to stray from our good paths.
We are made to be crazy by other people who are also crazy and who draw for us a map of the world which is ugly, negative, fearful, and crazy.

Elie Wiesel

We must choose between the violence of adults and the smiles of children, between the ugliness of hate and the will to oppose it. Between inflicting suffering and humiliation on our fellow man and offering him the solidarity and hope he deserves. Or not.

Derrick Jensen

We cannot hope to create a sustainable culture with any but sustainable souls.

Terry Pratchett

I would like you to teach [the orcs] civilised behaviour," said Ladyship coldly.

He appeared to consider this. "Yes of course, I think that would be quite possible," he said. "And who would you send to teach the humans?

Jimmy Carter

This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

I've often heard people say, “Your country is beautiful, a virtual paradise.” When will the people of Indonesia be as beautiful as their land, with a civilization and culture that contributes to the greater beauty of humankind and no longer smothers and strangles the mind?

Robert G. Ingersoll

Theology is a superstition - Humanity a religion.

Sigmund Freud

I may now add that civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind.

Yukichi Fukuzawa

In its broad sense, civilization means not only comfort in daily necessities but also the refining of knowledge and the cultivation of virtue so as to elevate human life to a higher plane.

Anthony Marra

We wear clothes, and speak, and create civilizations, and believe we are more than wolves. But inside us there is a word we cannot pronounce and that is who we are.

David Mitchell

I have always unswervingly held, that God, in our civilizing world, manifests Himself not in the miracles of biblical age, but in progress. It is progress that leads humanity up the ladder towards the God-head. No Jacob's ladder this, no, but rather Civilization's Ladder, if you will.

Emma Goldman

‎Civilization has been a continuous struggle of the individual or of groups of individuals against the State and even against "society," that is, against the majority subdued and hypnotized by the State and State worship.

Altiero Spinelli

Modern civilisation has based its specific foundation on the principle of liberty which states that man is not a mere instrument to be used by others but rather a main autonomous living being.

Mark Skousen

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success.

Haruki Murakami

The people who build high, strong fences are the ones who survive the best. You deny that reality only at the risk of being driven into the wilderness yourself.

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