Civilization and Beyond eBook

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

   1.  Make money, honestly if possible, but make money.

   2.  Every businessman for himself and the devil take the laggards.

   3.  We defend and promote our national interests.

   4.  Our national interests come first.

   5.  Our country, right or wrong.

These five propositions were the outcome of a millennium of experience with the Crusades and extending to the present century.  They are the outcome of preoccupation with material incentives that can be stated in two words, profit and power.

Such propositions, applied to everyday affairs, produced an economy and a statecraft which favored the interests of a part before those of the entire community.  Where the whole is favored before any part there is a possibility of co-existence and even of cooperation.  Placing a part before the whole involves competition all the way from the marketplace to the chancelleries where the fate of nations is discussed and decided.

The above five propositions or axioms result from preoccupation with material incentives:  profit and power for managers, disciplined co-ordination for subordinates, affluence, comfort and recognition for the favored few.  They provide the ideological background for twentieth century western civilization.

CHAPTER FOUR

THE LIFE CYCLE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

Like its predecessors, western civilization from its inception was essentially competitive.  As it developed, the commercially, technically and politically supreme Spanish, Dutch, French and British Empires battled individually, or in rival alliances, for plunder, colonies, markets and raw materials.

From the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, to the Victorian Jubilee in 1897, Great Britain became and remained top dog economically, politically and to a large extent culturally.  Britain was the workshop.  British shipping was omnipresent.  The pound sterling was the chief medium of foreign exchange.  The British Navy patrolled the seas.  English was replacing French as the language of commerce and diplomacy.

During this British Century, from 1815 to 1897, Great Britain was dominant among the European great powers, but it was never supreme.  Always there were countervailing forces.  For centuries France had been a major factor in the control and direction of European affairs.  Defeat at Waterloo reduced but did not destroy French influence.  After 1870 Bismark’s Germany began playing a major role.  Russia, Austria, Holland, Italy and Spain were also European powers.  Overseas, the United States of America and Japan were spreading their imperial wings.

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Civilization and Beyond from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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