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date: 10 December 2023


see also Culture
  1. You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass.
    John Buchan 1875–1940 Scottish novelist: The Power House (1916)
  2. The three great elements of modern civilization, Gunpowder, Printing, and the Protestant Religion.
    Thomas Carlyle 1795–1881 Scottish historian and political philosopher: Critical and Miscellaneous Essays (1838) ‘The State of German Literature’; see Bacon
  3. The world's civilization started from the day on which everyone received reward for labour.
    Andrew Carnegie 1835–1919 American industrialist and philanthropist: Autobiography (1920)
  4. Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of man.
    Benjamin Disraeli 1804–81 British Tory statesman and novelist; Prime Minister 1868, 1874–80: speech at Manchester, 3 April 1872, in Times 4 April 1872
  5. All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.
    Havelock Ellis (Henry Havelock Ellis) 1859–1939 English sexologist: Little Essays of Love and Virtue (1922)
  6. journalist: Mr Gandhi, what do you think of modern civilization?
    gandhi: That would be a good idea.
    on arriving in England in 1930
    Mahatma Gandhi 1869–1948 Indian statesman: E. F. Schumacher Good Work (1979)
  7. 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 1743–1826 American Democratic Republican statesman, 3rd President 1801–9: letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, 6 January 1816, in P. L. Ford (ed.) Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1899) vol. 10
  8. If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.
    Camille Paglia 1947–  American writer and critic: Sexual Personae (1990)
  9. Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy.
    Ayn Rand 1905–82 American writer: The Fountainhead (1947)
  10. Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbour.
    Arnold Toynbee 1889–1975 English historian: in Readers Digest October 1958
  11. Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life-blood of real civilization.
    G. M. Trevelyan 1876–1962 English historian: English Social History (1942) introduction
  12. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.
    Alfred North Whitehead 1861–1947 English philosopher and mathematician: Introduction to Mathematics (1911) ch. 5