Civilization Quotes

Sex appeal is the keynote of our civilization.

Henri Bergson

I think God's going to come down and pull civilization over for speeding.

Steven Wright

Vanity as an impulse has without doubt been of far more benefit to civilization than modesty has ever been.

William E. Woodward

Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.

Werner Herzog

The sum of the whole matter is this, that our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually

Woodrow T. Wilson

The thin and precarious crust of decency is all that separates any civilization, however impressive, from the hell of anarchy or systematic tyranny which lie in wait beneath the surface

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, "Lighthouses" as the poet said "erected in the sea of time." They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Simplicity is the peak of civilization.

Jessie Sampter

Recalling some of the most spectacular horrors of history -- the burning of heretics and witches at the stake, the wholesale massacre of "heathens," and other no less repulsive manifestations of Christian civilization in Europe and elsewhere -- modern man is filled with pride in the "progress" accomplished, in one line at least, since the end of the dark ages of religious fanaticism.

Savitri Devi

There is a cheap literature that speaks to us of the need of escape. It is true that when we travel we are in search of distance. But distance is not to be found. It melts away. And escape has never led anywhere. The moment a man finds that he must play the races, go the Arctic, or make war in order to feel himself alive, that man has begin to spin the strands that bind him to other men and to the world. But what wretched strands! A civilization that is really strong fills man to the brim, though he never stir. What are we worth when motionless, is the question.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.

Ayn Rand

Civilization is a progress from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity toward a definite, coherent heterogeneity.

Herbert Spencer

I do not believe that the values which the Western democracies consider essential to civilization can survive in a world rent by the international anarchy of nationalism and the economic anarchy of competitive enterprise.

Arthur Henderson

A disquieting era of genetic manipulation is coming, one that may revolutionize human capacities, and notions of health. If we treat moral scruples impatiently, as inherently retrograde in a scientifically advancing civilization, we will not be in moral trim when, soon, our very humanity depends on our being in trim.

George F. Will

Wine to me is passion. It is family and friends. It is warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It is culture. It is the essence of civilization and the art of living.

Robert Mondavi

All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream

T.K. Whipple

"Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization." "Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow... the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible." "For unnumbered centuries of human history the wilderness has given way. The priority of industry has become dogma. Are we as yet sufficiently enlightened to realize that we must now challenge that dogma, or do without our wilderness? Do we realize that industry, which has been our good servant, might make a poor master?" "The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio, but rather the complexity of the land organism. Only those who know the most about it can appreciate how little we know about it. The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: "What good is it?" If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering."

Aldo Leopold

The goal of every culture is to decay through over-civilization; the factors of decadence, -- LUXURY, scepticism, weariness and superstition, -- are constant. The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next.

Cyril Connolly

Equality, in a social sense, may be divided into that of condition and that of rights. Equality of condition is incompatible with civilization, and is found only to exist in those communities that are but slightly removed from the savage state. In practice, it can only mean a common misery.

James Fenimore Cooper

Finally, there are those whose chief purpose in visiting the forests is simply an escape from civilization. These people want to rest from the endless chain of mechanization and artificiality which bounds their lives. In the forest they temporarily abandon a routine to which they cannot become wholly reconciled, and return to that nature in which hundreds of generations of their ancestors were reared.

Bob Marshall

America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

Georges Clemenceau

All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution

Havelock Ellis

The historian, with a vast chronological account of a people, parallels it with a skip trail which stops only at the salient items, and can follow at any time contemporary trails which lead him all over civilization at a particular epoch. There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world's record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected.

Vannevar Bush

Yet somehow our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members.

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck
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