„A civilization which is dominated by this matter-of-fact insight must prevail against any cultural scheme that lacks this element. This characteristic of western civilization comes to a head in modern science, and finds its highest material expression in the technology of the machine industry.“

—  Frank Knight, p. 355
Frank Knight
1885 - 1972
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„Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy“

—  Noam Chomsky american linguist, philosopher and activist 1928
Context: Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits, in the classic formulation. Now, it has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails, as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage of history either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must—namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena. The question in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.

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„Modern industrial design is based on the principle of conspicuous economy [but] the bourgeois culture which dominates the Western World is founded... on the principle of conspicuous waste.“

—  Lewis Mumford American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic 1895 - 1990
Lewis Mumford (1930) Modern American design. R.L. Leonard, & ‎C.A. Glassgold (eds.), ‎American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen. p. 9; As cited in: V.T. Clayton et al. Drawing on America's Past, p. 28

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„The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are.“

—  Ayn Rand Russian-American novelist and philosopher 1905 - 1982
Ayn Rand Ford Hall Forum lecture, 1974, text published on the website of The Ayn Rand Institute http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=media_america_at_war_israeli_arab_conflict

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„By progressive and powerful I do not mean the most dreaded. A dreaded society is not a civilized society. The most progressive and powerful society in the civilized sense, is a society which has recognized its ethos, and come to terms with the past and the present, with religion and science, with modernism and mysticism, with materialism and spirituality; a society free of tension, a society rich in culture. Such a society cannot come with hocus-pocus formulas and with fraud. It has to flow from the depth of a divine search.“

—  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Fourth President and ninth Prime Minister of Pakistan 1928 - 1979
Context: What gift can I give you from this cell out of which my hand cannot pass? I give you the hand of the people. What celebration can I hold for you? I give you the celebration of a celebrated memory and a celebrated name. You are the heir to and inheritor of the most ancient civilization. Please make your full contribution to making this ancient civilization the most progressive and the most powerful. By progressive and powerful I do not mean the most dreaded. A dreaded society is not a civilized society. The most progressive and powerful society in the civilized sense, is a society which has recognized its ethos, and come to terms with the past and the present, with religion and science, with modernism and mysticism, with materialism and spirituality; a society free of tension, a society rich in culture. Such a society cannot come with hocus-pocus formulas and with fraud. It has to flow from the depth of a divine search. In other words, a classless society has to emerge but not necessarily a Marxist society. The Marxist society has created its own class structure. p. 15.

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„All civilizations go though similar processes of emergence, rise, and decline. The West differs from other civilizations not in the way it has developed but in the distinctive character of its values and institutions. These include most notably its Christianity, pluralism, individualism, and rule of law, which made it possible for the West to invent modernity, expand throughout the world, and become the envy of other societies. In their ensemble these characteristics are peculiar to the West. Europe, as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., has said, is “the source — the unique source” of the “ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and cultural freedom. . . . These are European ideas, not Asian, nor African, nor Middle Eastern ideas, except by adoption.” They make Western civilization unique, and Western civilization is valuable not because it is universal but because it is unique. The principal responsibility of Western leaders, consequently, is not to attempt to reshape other civilizations in the image of the West, which is beyond their declining power, but to preserve, protect, and renew the unique qualities of Western civilization. Because it is the most powerful Western country, that responsibility falls overwhelmingly on the United States of America.
To preserve Western civilization in the face of declining Western power, it is in the interest of the United States and European countries … to recognize that Western intervention in the affairs of other civilizations is probably the single most dangerous source of instability and potential global conflict in a multicivilizational world.“

—  Samuel P. Huntington American political scientist 1927 - 2008
Ch. 12 : The West, Civilizations, and Civilization, § 2 : The West In The World, p. 311

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„Everything great in western civilization has come from struggling against our origins.“

—  Camille Paglia American writer 1947
Context: The book of Genesis is a male declaration of independence from the ancient mother-cults. Its challenge to nature, so sexist to modern ears, marks one of the crucial moments in western history. Mind can never be free of matter. Only by mind imagining itself free can culture advance. The mother-cults, by reconciling man to nature, entrapped him in matter. Everything great in western civilization has come from struggling against our origins. Genesis is rigid and unjust, but it gave man hope as a man. It remade the world by male dynasty, canceling the power of mothers. p. 40

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„The three great elements of modern civilization, gunpowder, printing, and the Protestant religion.“

—  Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher 1795 - 1881
The State of German Literature (1827).

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