Love is rarely a hypocrite; but hate - how detect and how guard against it! It lurks where you least expect it; it is created by causes that you can the least foresee; and civilization multiplies its varieties, whilst it favors its disguise.
If men can ever learn to accept their truths as not final, and if they an ever learn to build on something better than dogma, they may not be found saying, discouragedly, every once in so often, that every civilization carries in it the seeds of decay.
The ultimate tendency of civilization is towards barbarism.
The contradiction between what is requested of man and what can be offered to him has become so striking, the ideology so thin, the discontents in civilization so great that they must be compensated through annihilation of those who do not conform, political enemies, Jews, asocial persons, the insane. The new order of fascism is reason revealing itself as unreason.
Cynics build no bridges; they make no discoveries; no gaps are spanned by them. Cynics may pride themselves in being realistic in their approach, but progress and the onward march of Christian civilization demand an inspiration and motivation that cynicism never affords. If we want progress we must take the forward look.
Intelligence is kindness. Kindness is intelligence. The fundamental, which the two terms suggest in different ways... is the same quality on which all human civilization is built.
The metaphysical comfort - with which, I am suggesting even now, every true tragedy leaves us - that life is at the bottom of things, despite all the changes of appearances, indestructibly powerful and pleasurable - this comfort appears in the incarnate clarity in the chorus of satyrs, a chorus of natural being who live ineradicably, as it were behind all civilization and remain eternally the same, despite the changes of generations and of the history of nations.
Wherever there is lost the consciousness that every man is an object of concern for us just because he is a man, civilization and morals are shaken, and the advance to fully developed inhumanity is only a question of time.
Gross utility kills beauty. We now have all over the world huge production of things, huge organizations, huge administrations of empire - all obstructing the path of life. Civilization is waiting for a great consummation, for an expression of its soul in beauty. This must be your contribution to the world.
Man has a fund of emotional energy which is not all occupied with his self-preservation. This surplus seeks its outlet in the creation of art, for man’s civilization is built upon his surplus.
The best of us still have our aspirations for the supreme goals of life, which is so often mocked by prosperous people who now control the world. We still believe that the world has a deeper meaning than what is apparent, and that therein the human soul finds its ultimate harmony and peace. We still know that only in spiritual wealth does civilization attain its end, not in a prolific production of materials, and not in the competition of intemperate power with power.
The tendency in modern civilization is to make the world uniform... Let the mind be universal. The individual should not be sacrificed.
Every civilization rests on a set of promises... If the promises are broken too often, the civilization dies, no matter how rich it may be, or how mechanically clever. Hope and faith depend on promises; if hope and faith go, everything goes.
Unless there is a recovery of the true dualism or, what amounts to the same thing, a reaffirmation of the truths of the inner life in some form - traditional or critical, religious or humanistic - civilization in any sense that has been attached to that term hitherto is threatened at its base.
The origin of civilization is man's determination to do nothing for himself which he can get done for him.
If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.
If civilization has profoundly modified man, it is by accumulating in his social surroundings, as in a reservoir, the habits and knowledge which society pours into the individual at each new generation. Scratch the surface, abolish everything we owe to an education which is perpetual and unceasing, and you find in the depth of our nature primitive humanity, or something very near it.
Upon the sacredness of property civilization depends - the right of the laborer. There is very little success where there is little laughter.
We shall find in the experience of the past, in the observation of the progress that the sciences and civilization have already made, in the analysis of the progress of the human mind and of the development of its faculties, the strongest reasons for believing that nature has set no limit to the realization of our hopes.
The best test of the quality of a civilization is the quality of its leisure. Not what the citizens... do when they are obliged to do... but what they do when they can do anything by choice, is the criterion of a people's life.