Civilization and Beyond eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about Civilization and Beyond.
1. Competitive survival struggle results in social improvement. Survival struggle has certainly played a role in stimulating discovery, invention and the diffusion of culture traits.  Its end results have always included civil and inter-group war with its unavoidable costs in destruction, dissolution and death.
2. The effort to grab and keep, with its accompanying competition, is a chief source of social progress. The game of grab and keep is play for children.  Mature human beings should strive to create, produce, share.
3. The accumulation of goods and services brings happiness. At the out-set of life this may be true.  But accumulation for its own sake produces the miser.  Misers are not happy people.  Riches yield happiness only as they are distributed.  Accumulation brings many headaches, and few abiding satisfactions.
4. Successful accumulators “have fun." Perhaps they do, for a time, at the expense of others on whose backs they ride and whose life blood they suck.  But mature men and women do not “have fun”; they shoulder and carry their share of social responsibility.
5. Progress can be measured by the multitude of personal possessions. Not so.  True progress for humanity consists in movement from having to doing; from the possessive to the creative; from the material toward the spiritual.

Ideologies have played a role in determining the structure and function of every civilization.  As civilization grows up, matures, and declines, ideologies change with the changing times.  In its early history each civilization seeks acceptance for its picture of reality and its techniques for reaching individual and social goals.  As each civilization declines and disintegrates, a multitude of counselors clamors for attention to a particular formula that will prove acceptable and workable in the existing emergent circumstances.

Part III

Civilization Is Becoming Obsolete



Every organism, mechanism or social construct reaches a point in its life cycle at which its existing apparatus must be repaired, renovated and updated or scrapped, redesigned and replaced.  Today western civilization in its totality faces that dilemma.

The culture pattern variously known as European, western or modern civilization, dating from the Crusades, has existed for about a thousand years, and spread across the planet.  During that millennium western civilization has passed through a life cycle similar to that of its predecessors.  According to Oswald Spengler’s historical perspective, a civilization passes through its life cycle in about a thousand years.  If the Spenglerian assumption is in line with the course of history, western civilization should be in an advanced stage of decline and should eventually disappear as a decisive factor in world affairs.

Project Gutenberg
Civilization and Beyond from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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