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Defining 'Civilization'.

Defining 'Civilization'.
November 07, 2013, 12:19:20 AM
Here's your big chance to define what the term 'civilization' really means.
To you. Personally.
Set us all straight. Let us know how wrong we've been about it, all these years.
Here's mine...

Civilization: something that happens to groups of people, once they have an assured food-supply. A state of declining awareness, productivity, and vitality, finally resulting in extinction.
Comparable to a once-productive chicken, prone to laying the odd golden egg, but even more prone to having its head cut off, leaving it unable to decide when to stop twitching.


Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 07, 2013, 12:26:44 AM
I agree with that.

Interestingly, civilization as a construct seeks to preserve itself even when it is blatantly obvious it is detrimental to its inhabitants. Perhaps a lower impulse of the crowd?

What does it mean in relation to our little death metal civilization?

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 07, 2013, 12:51:24 AM
I suppose the deathmetal civilization has its own inherent self-regulating system built into it.
It is, after all, very small, as in tribe. Its population forever limited by the sheer scale of the sodomy that is an integral part of it (apparently).
And it can never become complacent, prone as it is, to infighting and warring factions.

No, I think deathmetal has a lot going for it, civilization-wise. Maybe its time is coming.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 07, 2013, 01:07:11 AM
Nothing truly ends until you take two separate points of existence for comparison, then they are too different to be called the same thing. I think civilization is characterized by this continual internal flux rather than some inherent inevitability of extinction. Not that I'll be around to know any better but I hope I'm right.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 07, 2013, 02:47:22 AM
Some thoughts:

Civilization is the assimilation of perennial truths and values in all areas of life. Civilization is comprised of those who are allied first and foremost to reality and continual self-improvement, arete as the Greeks put it, or kaizen as the Japanese put it.

Alliances are rooted in enlightened or mutual self-interest, not morality or world peace or progress fantasies. Relationships are based on balance of power, not good versus evil.

Culturally, there is a shared identity and a shared language.

Commercially, there is enough competition to ensure high standards and high quality, but not so much to be mercenary and mafioso, and enough cooperation to ensure efficiency and to prevent spending inordinate amount of time acquiring basic necessities of existence, but not so much that a Kumbayah crowd forms.

Peasants feel no desire for "equality" and "freedom" because they are actually given adequate material needs, not genocided or liquidated.

Kings seek out might and glory by taking actions to ensure the continued survival of their civilization and by doing deeds to immortalize the character of their civilization.

Everything is substance- or result-oriented, not process- or method-oriented. There is zero tolerance for relativism and irrationality. Rule of law, not men, and that law is based in nature, not delusion.

Civilization is simple, but not easy. Most are not fit for civilized life. It requires discipline and courage. Most are lazy, flaky, cowardly, and corrupt. It requires suffering for ideals. Most simply want comfort (status, women, money, machines, toys).

"But what more oft, in nations grown corrupt,
And by their vices brought to servitude,
Than to love bondage more than liberty --
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty."
- John Milton

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 07, 2013, 03:01:03 AM
That's an A1 in-depth response. True Amerika stuff.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 09, 2013, 12:47:27 PM
Thoughts on civilization.

Civilization means order. Specifically: Man-made order, as opposed to the order of nature.

Some defining traits: Religion or some other grand system of thought, tools/technology, culture. Different degrees of socialization as a 'thing in itself'. Humans defining and understanding themselves through others.

Humans being human with other humans, acting exclusively for humans (or idealized humanity: Gods).

Civilization is mankind building a separate, self-referential world for itself, with the implicit risk of humans forgetting that the world, or reality itself, isn't something that can be reduced to- or explained by the civilizational concepts.

We are like intelligent ants. We've build our anthill civilization by means of intelligence. The anthill is an extension of us. But we often make the mistake of looking at the world as if it was one giant anthill. We forget that the world/reality isn't based on our community, but the other way around.

That's at least where civilization is today.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 09, 2013, 07:24:46 PM
Civilization means order. Specifically: Man-made order, as opposed to the order of nature. Civilization is mankind building a separate, self-referential world for itself, with the implicit risk of humans forgetting that the world, or reality itself, isn't something that can be reduced to- or explained by the civilization's concepts.

Good luck with that "order" and "civilization". Sounds more like one part barbarism mixed with two parts relativism and ten parts anthropocentrism to me.

But you are correct in your diagnosis/analysis of this being where today's "order" and "civilization" is.

Take a look at this, from an article by Ron Suskind in the New York Times:

"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush [later acknowledged to have been Karl Rove]. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

"The aide [Karl Rove] said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 09, 2013, 11:49:46 PM
Further confirmation that neo-conservatism shares the mentality of Marxism.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 11, 2013, 11:18:11 PM
Civilization is a place where every action or thought must go through a PC-sensor which detects is this the kind of think your friends want to hear. Keep your racists thoughts to yourself you full-fledged KKK member, we just want to grow our asses on the sofa while the world is burning outside.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 11, 2013, 11:21:31 PM
That's not civilization. It is what remains of our civilization.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 11, 2013, 11:26:09 PM
That's true.

I don't know, maybe it is the process on the way to the extinction of human race.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 12, 2013, 12:41:30 AM
You know, many of you fellas are too young to have even experienced civilization, other than in the form of its final dissolution. Soon enough there will be nobody left who has ever experienced it at all.
Maybe that's not such a bad thing.
A man's time can get very sidetracked by trying to apply the brakes to save it.

Re: Defining 'Civilization'.
November 12, 2013, 01:26:46 AM
Here's your big chance to define what the term 'civilization' really means.
To you. Personally.
Set us all straight. Let us know how wrong we've been about it, all these years.

Humans beings become able to store a surplus of food. They no longer need to roam, and stay fixed to a point on the earth. Surplus gives rise to division of labour, where some people do not contribute to the accumulation of surplus, but can instead do new and interesting work, because there is a surplus. Art and complex crafts are born. The philosophers ponder the heavens, and those that ponder the earth become the scientists. The lyre, the bards, the poets all join the chorus.

Little bits of nature, already sentient, harness their sentience, via the surplus, and reflect back on nature. For the first time, in 13 billion years, Being contemplates Being.

Let's not ruin it.