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The basis of drama is... the struggle of the hero towards a specific goal at the end of which he realises that what kept him from it was, in the lesser drama, civilisation and, in the great drama, the discovery of something that he did not set out to discover but which can be seen retrospectively as inevitable.
We are a pluralist civilisation because we allow mosques to be built in our countries, and we are not going to stop simply because Christian missionaries are thrown into prison in Kabul. If we did so, we, too, would become Taliban.
No civilisation can claim to have a monopoly on universal values and no one can claim to be always faithful to his own values.
It gave me a moment of exquisite satisfaction to find myself moving away from civilisation in this rude canvas canoe of a model that has served primitive races since men first went to sea.
John Millington Synge
If the truth be told, we are a society that is dripping in racism. This is not in the least surprising. For the best part of two centuries, we British ruled the waves, controlled two-fifths of the planet, and believed it was our responsibility to bring civilisation to those who allegedly lacked it.
The world is not going into concentric blocs of power. It is actually going into a diffusion of power with more centres of decision-making than ever in human civilisation. That requires you to place yourself in far more hubs of power than ever before.
Civilisation, the orderly world in which we live, is frail. We are skating on thin ice. There is a fear of a collective disaster. Terrorism, genocide, flu, tsunamis.
The penetration of society by the Internet and the penetration of the Internet by society is the best thing that has ever happened to global human civilisation.
It is impossible to remain indifferent to Japanese culture. It is a different civilisation where all you have learnt must be forgotten. It is a great intellectual challenge and a gorgeous sensual experience.
The forces that are in play on climate change essentially revolve around the generation of power, the transportation of goods and services and people, and the sorts of materials that we use to fuel the whole of our civilisation.
The slow rhythm of the body, the insistent rhythm of the wit, were they becoming irreconcilable in modern civilisation? The sedentary life, frustration and irritability; work with the body, fatigue - and peace of mind.
Paris is certainly one of the most boastful of cities, and you could argue that it has had a lot to boast about: at various times the European centre of power, of civilisation, of the arts, and (self-advertisingly, at least) of love.
Scientific men can hardly escape the charge of ignorance with regard to the precise effect of the impact of modern science upon the mode of living of the people and upon their civilisation.
We were a Western civilisation, an English speaking civilisation, both NZ and Australia, and we had all these influences coming from both Great Britain and America to us; sending us their culture in the shape and form of movies and television.
Despite all the achievements of civilisation, the human being is still one of the most vulnerable creatures on earth.
Men are at every stage of evolution, from the most barbarous to the most developed; men are found of lofty intelligence, but also of the most unevolved mentality; in one place there is a highly developed and complex civilisation, in another a crude and simple polity.
If we're going to have any chance of sending stuff to other star systems, we need to be laser-focused on becoming a multi-planet civilisation.
It seems like every year Hollywood makes an attempt to retell the Manson story, and I just couldn't be less interested in it. It's not really our crowning achievement as a civilisation. I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, but it just bores me.
Men and women do not easily submit to a power that does not weave itself into the texture of their daily existence - one reason why culture remains so politically vital. Civilisation cannot get on with culture, and it cannot get on without it.
Myths are part of our DNA. We're a civilisation with a continuous culture. The effort to modernize it keeps it alive. Readers connect with it.
Civilisation has ever accompanied emigration and conquest - the conflict of opinion, of religion, or of race.
Alfred Russel Wallace
The cult of the individual is killing us. I think Twitter signals the death of western civilisation, but people have been saying that since Demosthenes.
Imagine a civilisation that's way in advance of us wants to communicate with us, and assist us in our development. The information we provide to them must reflect our highest aspirations and ideals, and not just be some crazy person's bizarre politics or religion.
Saddam Hussein was fascinated by ancient Babylon and Assyria. He made money available to protect and develop the great archaeological sites. The great achievements of Mesopotamian civilisation were pressed into the service of the Ba'athist regime.
Civilisation is partly about restraining the male of the species from engaging in the violence of the hunter-gatherer period. But it doesn't take an awful lot to unleash it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
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