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Civilization degrades the many to exalt the few.
- Amos Bronson Alcott
There is often no material difference between the enjoyment of the highest ranks and those of the rudest stages of society. If the life of many a young English nobleman, and an Iroquois in the forest, or an Arab in the desert are compared, it will be found that their real sources of happiness are nearly the same.
- Sir Archibald Alison
Mankind's struggle upwards, in which millions are trampled to death, that thousands may mount on their bodies.
- Mrs. Clara Lucas Balfour
The exact measure of the progress of civilization is the degree in which the intelligence of the common mind has prevailed over wealth and brute force.
- George Bancroft
Ever since there has been so great a demand for type, there has been much less lead to spare for cannonballs.
- Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
We are but too apt to consider things in the state in which we find them, without sufficiently adverting to the causes by which they have been produced, and possibly may be upheld. Nothing is more certain than that our manners, our civilization, and all the good things which are connected with civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles, and were indeed the result of both combined. I mean the spirit of a gentleman and the spirit of religion. The nobility and the clergy, the one by profession, the other by patronage, kept learning in existence even in the midst of arms and confusion. Learning paid back what it received to nobility and priesthood, and paid it back with usury by enlarging their ideas and furnishing their minds.
- Edmund Burke
A semi-civilized state of society, equally removed from the extremes of barbarity and of refinement, seems to be that particular meridian under which all the reciprocities and gratuities of hospitality do most readily flourish and abound. For it so happens that the ease, the luxury, and the abundance of the highest state of civilization, are as productive of selfishness, as the difficulties, the privations, and the sterilities of he lowest.
- Charles Caleb Colton
The civilized are those who get more out of life than the uncivilized, and for this the uncivilized have not forgiven them.
- Cyril Connolly
Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of men.
- Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason.
- Theodore Dreiser
A sufficient measure of civilization is the influence of good women.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The truest test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops; no, but the kind of man the country turns out.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think it would be a good idea.
- "Mahatma" Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,
when asked what he thought of Western civilization
Civilization is nothing more than the effort to reduce the use of force to the last resort.
[Sp., La civilizacion no es otra cosa que el ensayo de reducir la fuerza a ultima ratio.]
- Jose Ortega y Gasset,
La Rebelion de las Masas
The social molds civilization fits us into have no more relation to our actual shapes than the conventional shapes of the constellations have to real star patterns.
- Thomas Hardy
The ultimate tendency of civilization is towards barbarism.
- Augustus William Hare
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
- Thomas Jefferson
A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
- Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")
Barbarism recommences by the excess of civilization.
- Alphonse de Lamartine
What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?
- Ursula K. Le Guin
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.
- Abraham Lincoln
If a test of civilization be sought, none can be so sure as the condition of that half of society over which the other half has power.
- Harriet Martineau
Nations, like individuals, live and die; but civilization cannot die.
- Giuseppe Mazzini
Men become civilized not in proportion to their willingness to believe but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.
- Henry Louis Mencken
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