Civilization and Beyond eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about Civilization and Beyond.

Socialists-communists around the earth have spent a wealth of time and energy during several generations predicting the present revolutionary upset and preparing for it.  They have been derided, denounced and persecuted for their efforts.  Despite bitter opposition they have prepared for change, they accept change, they welcome it, because in change they see the only path to improvement and betterment.

They are learning to live with change and even to welcome it because the time of troubles through which their society is passing is warning them of the dangers they face.  At the same time they are learning, bit by bit, of the spectacular achievements of the billion human beings in socialist-communist countries.

The majority of mankind has been unprepared for revolutionary change.  When change came they resented it, maybe resisted it at the outset.

Those who have a vested interest in capitalist imperialism—­the real backbone of the counter-revolution—­join and support counter-revolutionary organizations and take part in counter-revolutionary activities.

Planners and organizers of the counter-revolution have the bourgeois state generally on their side and enjoy the backing of the bourgeois establishment, its organizations and its facilities.  Since their object is defense, they have no constructive program.  Instead they stumble, fumble and bungle as their system flounders into one disastrous crisis after another.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

WESTERN CIVILIZATION ATTEMPTS SUICIDE (1914-1945)

Each bit of handiwork, each artifact, tool and machine is an expression of man’s wish and will.  Each transcends nature and is an affirmation that takes its place in the vast storehouse of human culture.

Cities, the building blocks of civilization, not only transcend nature; they replace her.  Up to a certain point man lived more or less consciously as a part of nature.  Bit by bit and step by step man shifted from the stream, the glade, the tree and the cave to the hut, the village, the city, the nation, the empire, the civilization.

Early in this study I wrote of civilization as an experiment:  an aspiration, a creative urge, a concept, a purpose, a unity of thought and act, a conscious sequence of related actions, a construct of multiplying complexity.

These terms, by and large, are constructive and, to a degree, creative.  I might have written a parallel series of words associated with destructiviness.  In every social situation construction and destruction are Siamese twins.  One does not appear without the other.  The same forces, the same implements, the same institutions and practices that construct can be used to destroy.

Through ages, men learned how to establish, maintain and perpetuate community and organize society.  At every stage of the building process it was necessary to check, to question, to evaluate, unlearn, tear down, make a new start.  Pushing up and tearing or wearing down is implicit in nature.  It is an essential aspect of human society.

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Civilization and Beyond from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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