Top Civilisation Quotes

Browse top 125 famous quotes and sayings about Civilisation by most favorite authors.

Favorite Civilisation Quotes

1. "How quickly all the advantages of technological civilisation are wiped out by a domestic squabble. At the beginning of human history, as we struggled to light fires and to chisel fallen trees into rudimentary canoes, who could have predicted that long after we had managed to send men to the moon and aeroplanes to Australasia, we would still have trouble knowing how to tolerate ourselves, forgive our loved ones and apologise for our tantrums?"
Author: Alain De Botton
2. "Civilisation has ever accompanied emigration and conquest - the conflict of opinion, of religion, or of race."
Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
3. "Environmental activism against the resource industry is widespread all over the world, but at the same time we have to realise that these are basic materials on which civilisation depends. We need to tap natural resources in a sustainable manner."
Author: Anil Agarwal
4. "What, after all, was the point of civilisation if not the well-being of citizens?"
Author: Ann Leckie
5. "Pourquoi nous haïr? Nous sommes solidaires, emportés par la même planête, équipage d'un même navire. Et s'il est bon que des civilisations s'opposent pour favoriser des synthèses nouvelles, il est monstrueux qu'elles s'entre-dévorent.Puisqu'il suffit, pour nous délivrer, de nous aider à prendre conscience d'un but qui nous relie les uns aux autres, autant le chercher là où il nous unit tous.(Terre des Hommes, ch. VIII)"
Author: Antoine De Saint Exupéry
6. "So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilisation and savagery, between the "massacre of innocent people" or, if you like, "a clash of civilisations" and "collateral damage". The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice."
Author: Arundhati Roy
7. "Man is not a 'fixed and limited animal whose nature is absolutely constant'. He changed drastically when he developed 'divided consciousness' to cope with complexities of civilisation, and has been changing steadily ever since. His greatest problem, the problem that has caused most of his agonies and miseries, has been his attempt to compensate for the narrowing of cinsciousness and the entrapment in the left-brain ego. His favorite method of compensation has been to seek out excitement. He feels most free in moments of conquest; so for the past three thousand years or so, most of the greatest man have led armies into their neighbours' territority, and turned order into chaos. This has plainly been a retrogressive step; the evolutionary urge has been defeating its own purpose."
Author: Colin Wilson
8. "Revenge is a human trait, one that has been the cause of the destruction of civilisations many times over. But the goblins live on in peace and harmony, taking little notice of us and our mistakes."
Author: Count Anton Dance Of The Goblins
9. "Malgré les fanatiques, il serait extrêmement dangereux d'importer en France la thèse d'un «choc de civilisations» entre le monde musulman et nous. Ne faisons pas de l'Islam le miroir où toutes nos difformités s'effacent. Ne renouvelons pas l'erreur de nous forger un ennemi pour éviter de nous interroger sur nous-mêmes.Or, quel modèle proposons-nous ? Un monde dominé par l'argent et le sexe. Des sociétés dépolitisées, sans défense contre la montée des communautarismes. Des sociétés délaïcisées, où sévit l'alliance explosive de la religion et de la techno-science. Il nous faut retrouver une parole libre. Désigner haut et fort la menace que font peser les communautés, les identités collectives, les religions — toutes les religions —, sur la paix civile et la liberté individuelle. Refuser le scandale d'une pensée asservie à des dogmes. Osons être en toutes choses des athées résolus, méthodiques et gais."
Author: Danièle Sallenave
10. "I love fashion, beauty, glamour. It's the mark of civilisation."
Author: David LaChapelle
11. "Massignon a combattu infatigablement en faveur de la civilisation musulmane et, comme en témoignent de nombreux essais et lettres écrits après 1948, pour soutenir les réfugiés palestiniens, pour défendre les droits des Arabes musulmans et chrétiens de Palestine contre le sionisme, contre ce qu'il appelé, de manière caustique, "le colonialisme bourgeois" des Israéliens" (...) Pourtant, Massignon place implicitement l'Orient islamique dans une période ancienne pour l'essentiel, et l'Occident dans la modernité. Comme Robertson Smith, il considère que l'Oriental n'est pas un homme moderne, mais un Sémite (...)"
Author: Edward W. Said
12. "Civilisation and the life of nations are governed by the same laws as prevail throughout nature and organic life."
Author: Ernst Haeckel
13. "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."
Author: Frank Herbert
14. "Scientific men can hardly escape the charge of ignorance with regard to the precise effect of the impact of modern science upon the mode of living of the people and upon their civilisation."
Author: Frederick Soddy
15. "Just carrying a ruler with you in your pocket should be forbidden, at least on a moral basis. The ruler is the symbol of the new illiteracy. The ruler is the symptom of the new disease, disintegration of our civilisation."
Author: Friedensreich Hundertwasser
16. "In any case civilisation has made mankind if not more bloodthirsty, at least more vilely, more loathsomely bloodthirsty."
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
17. "The only gain of civilisation for mankind is the greater capacity for cariety of sensations - and absolutely nothing more."
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
18. "The Doctor and Romana exchanged a worried glance. Earth might be a very nice place to while away the odd afternoon, and this one was already turning out to be a very odd afternoon, but it was, nonetheless, at this stage in its history a level five civilisation with all the savagery and stupidity that implied. If an Earth warlord got his hands on an alien book that might refer, even casually, to the secrets of trans-dimensional engineering or warp-matrix astrogation or remote stellar manipulation, the planet might end up a charred cinder on which it would be impossible to while away any kind of afternoon."
Author: Gareth Roberts
19. "The distinctive features of the world's civilisations are not simply and solely the giraffe and the city of Rome, as the children may perhaps have been led to imagine on the first evening, but also the elephant and the country of Denmark, beside many other things. Yes, everyday brought its new animal and its new country, its new kings and its new gods, its quota of those tough little figures which seem to have no significance, but are nevertheless endowed with a life and a value of their own, and may be added together or subtracted from one another at will. And finally poetry, which is grater than any country ; poetry with its bright palaces."
Author: Halldór Laxness
20. "When distinction of any kind, even intellectual distinction, is somehow resented as a betrayal of the American spirit of equal opportunity for all, the result must be just this terror of individualistic impulses setting us apart, either above or below our neighbours; just this determination to obey without questioning and to subscribe with passion to the conventions and traditions. The dilemma becomes a very real one: How can this sense of democratic equality be made compatible with respect for exceptional personalities or great minds? How can democracy, as we understand it today, with its iron repression of the free spirit, its monotonous standardisation of everything, learn to cherish an intellectual aristocracy without which any nation runs the risk of becoming a civilisation of the commonplace and the second-rate?"
Author: Harold Edmund Stearns
21. "We were the only humans - the only forms of life, in fact - for hundreds of miles in each direction, unreaching and unreachable as we rocketed back towards civilisation."
Author: Heather James
22. "When he adopted Western methods, it was in a purely utilitarian spirit. He gave no thought to the principles on which our civilisation is based. It was the finished product he was after and not the process."
Author: Homer B. Hulbert
23. "An Outside Context Problem was the sort of thing most civilisations encountered just once, and which they tended to encounter rather in the same way a sentence encountered a full stop."
Author: Iain Banks
24. "The Xinthia were regarded with something approaching affection by even the most ruthless and unsentimental of the galaxy's Involved, partly because they had done much great work in the past – they had been particularly active in the Swarm Wars of great antiquity, battling runaway nanotech outbreaks, Swarmata in general and other Monopathic Hegemonising Events – but mostly because they were no threat to anybody any more and a system of the galactic community's size and complexity just seemed to need one grouping that everybody was allowed to like. Utterly ancient, once near-invincibly powerful, now reduced to one paltry solar system and a few eccentric individuals hiding in the Cores of Shellworlds for no discernible reason, the Xinthia were seen as eccentric, bumbling, well-meaning, civilisationally exhausted – the joke was they hadn't the energy to Sublime – and generally as the honoured good-as-dead deserving of a comfortable retirement."
Author: Iain M. Banks
25. "Virtue is too passive, too narrow. Virtue can motivate individuals, but for groups, societies, a whole civilisation, it's a weak force. Nations are never virtuous, though they might sometimes think they are."
Author: Ian McEwan
26. "The view that the truth is one and undivided, and the same for all men everywhere at all times, whether one finds it in the pronouncements of sacred books, traditional wisdom, the authority of churches, democratic majorities, observation and experiment conducted by qualified experts, or the convictions of simple folks uncorrupted by civilisation---this view, in one form or another, is central to western thought, which stems from Plato and his disciples."
Author: Isaiah Berlin
27. "The world survived the fall of the Roman empire and will no doubt outlast our own so much more splendid civilisation."
Author: James Buchan
28. "But what is a book? And what will change if we read onscreen rather than by turning the pages of a physical object? What will we gain, and more importantly, what will we lose? Old-fashioned habits, perhaps. A certain sense of the sacred that has surrounded the book in a civilisation that has made it our holy of holies. A peculiar intimacy between the author and reader, which the context of hypertextuality is bound to damage. A sense of existing in a self-contained world that the book and, along with it, certain ways of reading used to represent."
Author: Jean Philippe De Tonnac
29. "In the early twelfth century century the Virgin had been the supreme protectress of civilisation. She had taught a race of tough and ruthless barbarians the virtues of tenderness and compassion. The great cathedrals of the Middle Ages were her dwelling places upon earth. In the Renaissance, while remaining the Queen of Heaven, she became also the human mother in whom everyone could recognise qualities of warmth and love and approachability...The stabilising, comprehensive religions of the world, the religions which penetrate to every part of a man's being--in Egypt, India or China--gave the female principle of creation at least as much importance as the male, and wouldn't have taken seriously a philosophy that failed to include them both...It's a curious fact that theall-male religions have produced no religious imagery--in most cases have positively forbidden it. The great religious art of the world is deeply involved with the female principle."
Author: Kenneth Clark
30. "I know you have not thought about it. Italians always act without thinking, it's the glory and the downfall of your civilisation. A German plans a month in advance what his bowel movements will be at Easter, and the British plan everything in retrospect, so it always looks as though everything occurred as they intended. The French plan everything whilst appearing to be having a party, and the Spanish...well, God knows. Anyway, Pelagia is Greek, that's my point."
Author: Louis De Bernières
31. "It is a luxury to do something that serves no practical purpose: the luxury of civilisation."
Author: M.L. Stedman
32. "Say what you want, do what you will with all those fine speeches on evolution, civilisation and a ton of other '-tion' words, mankind has not progressed very far from its origins: people still believe they're not here by chance, and that there are gods, kindly for the most part, who are watching over their fate."
Author: Muriel Barbery
33. "The opposite of war is not peace but civilisation, and civilisation is purchased with violence and cold-blooded murder. With war."
Author: Nadeem Aslam
34. "By the middle twentieth century, few European nation-states had not at one time or another figured themselves as 'the outpost of Western Christian civilisation': France, imperial Germany, the Habsburg Reich, Poland with its self-image as przedmurze (bastion), even tsarist Russia. Each of these nation-state myths identified "barbarism" as the condition or ethic of their immediate eastward neighbour: for the French, the Germans were barbarous, for the Germans it was the Slavs, for the Poles the Russians, for the Russians the Mongol and Turkic peoples of Central Asia and eventually the Chinese."
Author: Neal Ascherson
35. "The spread of civilisation may be likened to a fire; first, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power."
Author: Nikola Tesla
36. "Our shouting is louder than our actions,Our swords are taller than us,This is our tragedy.In shortWe wear the cape of civilisationBut our souls live in the stone age"
Author: Nizar Qabbani
37. "Drink wine and look at the moonand think of all the civilisationsthe moon has seen passing by."
Author: Omar Khayyam
38. "I am very excited to be supporting one of the world's most visionary efforts to seek basic answers to some of the fundamental question about our universe and what other civilisations may exist elsewhere."
Author: Paul Allen
39. "Une civilisation sans la Science, ce serait aussi absurde qu'un poisson sans bicyclette."
Author: Pierre Desproges
40. "Now let's take up the minorities in our civilisation, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that!"
Author: Ray Bradbury
41. "Western civilisation, the élitists all understood, is built upon discrimination: a culture that does not rest on discrimination, that penalises people who discriminate, or rewards the undiscriminating, is worth very little and has only callow, childish pleasures."
Author: Richard Davenport Hines
42. "The pagan gods are not dead, but can return to topple science with superstition and modern man with bestial pleasures that pre-date civilisation."
Author: Richard Luckhurst
43. "Aucun destin biologique, psychique, économique ne définit la figure que revêt au sein de la societé la femelle humain; c'est l'ensemble de la civilisation qui élabore ce produit intermédiaire entre le mâle et le castrat qu'on qualifie de féminin."
Author: Simone De Beauvoir
44. "The World's Fair was the precursor to theme parks like Disneyworld, and the really sort of cheap, superficial promotional architecture that you see everywhere in the U.S. I think there's a danger when you start creating a civilisation that isn't meant to last."
Author: Sufjan Stevens
45. "I have the not altogether unsatisfying impression that civilisation is collapsing around me.Is it my age, I wonder, or the age we live in? I am not sure. Civilisations do collapse, after all, but on the other hand people grow old with rather greater frequency."
Author: Theodore Dalrymple
46. "The French have made conversation their claim to civilisation."
Author: Theodore Zeldin
47. "Nothing can appear more contradictory than the principles on which the old governments began, and the condition to which society, civilisation and commerce are capable of carrying mankind. Government, one the old system, is an assumption of power, for the aggrandisement of itself; on the new, a delegation of power for the common benefit of society. The former supports itself by keeping up a system of war; the later promotes a system of peace, as the true means of enriching a nation. The one encourages national prejudices; the other promotes universal society, as the means of universal commerce. The one measures its prosperity, by the quantity of revenue it extorts; the other proves its excellence, by the small quantity of taxes it requires."
Author: Thomas Paine
48. "To pursue truth with such astonishing lack of consideration for other people's feelings, to rend the think veils of civilisation so wantonly, so brutally, was to her so horrible an outrage of human decency that, without replying, dazed and blinded, she bend her head as if to let her pelt f jagged hail, the drench of dirty water, bespatter her unrebuked."
Author: Virginia Woolf
49. "L'influence de cette religion paralyse le développement social de ses fidèles Il n'existe pas de plus puissante force rétrograde dans le monde.Si la Chrétienté n'était protégée par les bras puissants de la Science, la civilisation de l'Europe moderne pourrait tomber, comme tomba celle de la Rome antique."
Author: Winston Churchill
50. "Civilisation, the orderly world in which we live, is frail. We are skating on thin ice. There is a fear of a collective disaster. Terrorism, genocide, flu, tsunamis."
Author: Zygmunt Bauman

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Knowledge is not which is memorise, Knowledge is that which benefits."
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