Quotations The Best Quotes About Civilization  

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List Rules Must be a famous or well-known quote. Vote for the Civilization sayings that strongly resonate with you, and downvote any you didn't like.

A list of the best civilization quotes and sayings, including the names of each speaker or author when available. This list is sorted by popularity, so only the most famous civilization quotes are at the top. The authors of these historic civilization quotes are displayed next to each quote, so if you see one you like be sure to check out other inspirational civilization quotes from that same writer.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best quotes about civilization?" and "What are inspirational civilization quotes?"

This list includes notable civilization quotes by various authors, writers, playwrights, speakers, politicians, athletes, poets, and more. Vote on your favorites so that the greatest civilization quotes rise to the top, as the order of the list changes dynamically based on votes. Don't let your favorite civilization sayings get to the bottom of the list.
list ordered by

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The human race has improved everything, but the human race. Adlai Stevenson I

2
12 3
The skylines lit up at dead of night, the air-conditioning systems cooling empty hotels in the desert and artificial light in the middle of the day all have something both demented and admirable about them. The mindless luxury of a rich civilization, and yet of a civilization perhaps as scared to see the lights go out as was the hunter in his primitive night. Jean Baudrillard

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10 2
Civilization depends on morality. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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9 5
Civilization...is a matter of imponderables, of delight in the thins of the mind, of love of beauty, of honor, grace, courtesy, delicate feeling. Where imponderables, are things of first importance, there is the height of civilization, and, if at the same time, the power of art exists unimpaired, human life has reached a level seldom attained and very seldom surpassed. Edith Hamilton

5
7 3
Civilization is an active deposit which is formed by the combustion of the present with the past. Neither in countries without a Present nor in those without a Past is it to be encountered. Proust in Venice, Matisse's birdcages overlooking the flower market at Nice, Gide on the seventeenth-century quais of Toulon, Lorca in Granada, Picasso by Saint-Germain-des-Pr?s: there lies civilization and for me it can exist only under those liberal regimes in which the Present is alive and therefore capable of assimilating the Past. Cyril Connolly

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7 3
Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of man. Benjamin Disraeli

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6 2
As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions. Our riches will leave us sick; there will be bitterness in our laughter; and our wine will burn our mouth. Only that good profits, which we can taste with all doors open, and which serves all men. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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4 1
The civilized are those who get more out of life than the uncivilized, and for this we are not likely to be forgiven. Cyril Connolly

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4 1
Is civilization only a higher form of idolatry, that man should bow down to a flesh-brush, to flannels, to baths, diet, exercise, and air? Mary Baker Eddy

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7 5
All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution. Havelock Ellis

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4 2
Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river. Will Durant

12
3 1
Civilization -- a heap of rubble scavenged by scrawny English Lit. vultures. Malcolm Muggeridge

13
3 1
The ultimate tendency of civilization is towards barbarism. David Hare

14
3 1
The path of civilization is paved with tin cans. Elbert Hubbard

15
2 0
Civilization is the making of civil persons. John Ruskin

16
2 0
To accept civilization as it is practically means accepting decay. George Orwell

17
6 5
The three great elements of modern civilization, Gun powder, Printing, and the Protestant religion. Thomas Carlyle

18
3 2
Sunday is the core of our civilization, dedicated to thought and reverence. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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1 0
Civilization is not by any means an easy thing to attain to. There are only two ways by which man can reach it. One is by being cultured, the other by being corrupt. Oscar Wilde

20
1 0
If Germany, thanks to Hitler and his successors, were to enslave the European nations and destroy most of the treasures of their past, future historians would certainly pronounce that she had civilized Europe. Simone Weil

21
1 0
Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. Mark Twain

22
4 4
Civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Why this has to happen, we do not know; the work of Eros is precisely this. Sigmund Freud

23
2 2
Every new stroke of civilization has cost the lives of countless brave men, who have fallen defeated by the dragon, in their efforts to win the apples of the Hesperides, or the fleece of gold. Fallen in their efforts to overcome the old, half sordid savagery of the lower stages of creation, and win the next stage. D. H. Lawrence

24
2 2
Civilization today reminds me of an ape with a blowtorch playing in a room full of dynamite. It looks like the monkeys are about to operate the zoo, and the inmates are taking over the asylum. Vance Havner

25
2 2
The word civilization to my mind is coupled with death. When I use the word, I see civilization as a crippling, thwarting thing, a stultifying thing. For me it was always so. I don't believe in the golden ages, you see... civilization is the arteriosclerosis of culture. Henry Miller