„America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.“

Oscar Wilde photo
Oscar Wilde625
1854 - 1900
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Georges Clemenceau photo

„America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.“

—  Georges Clemenceau French politician 1841 - 1929
Attributed to Clemenceau by Hans Bendix, in "Merry Christmas, America!" The Saturday Review of Literature (1 December 1945), p. 9; this appears to be the earliest reference to such a remark as one by Clemenceau, though earlier, in Frank Lloyd Wright : An Autobiography (1943) there is mention that "A witty Frenchman has said of us: 'The United States of America is the only nation to plunge from barbarism to degeneracy with no culture in between.'" Similar remarks are sometimes attributed without a source to Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. Variants: America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to decadence without the usual interval of civilization. America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilisation in between.

Robert G. Ingersoll photo

„Liberty is the condition of progress. Without Liberty, there remains only barbarism. Without Liberty, there can be no civilization.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
Context: Liberty is the condition of progress. Without Liberty, there remains only barbarism. Without Liberty, there can be no civilization. If another man has not the right to think, you have not even the right to think that he thinks wrong. If every man has not the right to think, the people of New Jersey had no right to make a statute, or to adopt a constitution — no jury has the right to render a verdict, and no court to pass its sentence. In other words, without liberty of thought, no human being has the right to form a judgment. It is impossible that there should be such a thing as real religion without liberty. Without liberty there can be no such thing as conscience, no such word as justice. All human actions — all good, all bad — have for a foundation the idea of human liberty, and without Liberty there can be no vice, and there can be no virtue. Without Liberty there can be no worship, no blasphemy — no love, no hatred, no justice, no progress. Take the word Liberty from human speech and all the other words become poor, withered, meaningless sounds — but with that word realized — with that word understood, the world becomes a paradise.

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Theodore Winthrop photo

„Civilization without its appliances is weaker than barbarism.“

—  Theodore Winthrop Union Army officer 1828 - 1861
The Canoe and the Saddle: Adventures Among the Northwestern Rivers and Forests (1863), ch. ix: Via Mala.

Paul Gauguin photo

„Your Nordic blue eyes looked attentively at the paintings hanging on the walls. I felt stirrings of rebellion: a whole clash between your civilization and my barbarism. Civilization from which you suffer. Barbarism which for me is a rejuvenation.“

—  Paul Gauguin French Post-Impressionist artist 1848 - 1903
Original: Votre œil bleu du nord regardait attentivement les tableaux pendus aux murs. J’eus comme le pressentiment d’une révolte : tout un choc entre votre civilisation et ma barbarie. Civilisation dont vous souffrez. Barbarie qui est pour moi un rajeunissement. p. 105: quote from his letter to August Strindberg (5 May 1895)

„The ultimate tendency of civilization is toward barbarism.“

—  David Hare British writer 1947
Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare Guesses at Truth (London: Macmillan, ([1827-48] 1867) p. 459.

Walter Benjamin photo
Denis Diderot photo

„From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.“

—  Denis Diderot, Essai sur le mérite et la vertu
Essai sur le Mérite de la Vertu (1745); a translation and adaptation of Inquiry concerning Virtue or Merit (1699) by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

Robert E. Howard photo
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Dinesh D'Souza photo
Thomas Wolfe photo
Mercedes Lackey photo
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Craig Ferguson photo

„I think in our desire to create a better America, we have to have civilized debate in this country and not just yelling.“

—  Craig Ferguson Scottish-born American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, author, producer and voice artist 1962

George Santayana photo

„Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.“

—  George Santayana 20th-century Spanish-American philosopher associated with Pragmatism 1863 - 1952
Ch. VII

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