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The Fall of Civilization - Page 2  

post #16 of 93
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(bryce330 @ April 24 2005,15:04)
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Originally Posted by jmswentworth,April 24 2005,08:57
I think it is a little opportunistic to call America a civilisation, the Romans, The Greeks, The Byzantines, The Aztecs, and The Bedouin were/are, not America yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the English and French have not reached that yet; I cannot see how America can have.
I hope this post was a joke.
Perhaps if we are looking at your pride. But no, it was not a joke, America is not a civilisation, nor is the UK, nor is any of Europe at this stage, the closest thing to a civilisation in this region are, by definition of the word civilisation, todays Scandinavians.
What definition is that, Avnish?
post #17 of 93
You're never going to get out of that one, because you'll never agree on what constitutes "a high stage of social and cultural development". And there are many acceptations of what a civilization is, beyond the one I think everyone is using as a reference point.
post #18 of 93
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You're never going to get out of that one, because you'll never agree on what constitutes "a high stage of social and cultural development". And there are many acceptations of what a civilization is, beyond the one I think everyone is using as a reference point.
Agreed. This discussion is moot.
post #19 of 93
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Well if it's not a joke, then it's probably one of the stupidest things I've ever seen posted on this board.
I have referred this comment to the board admin. Your first comment angered, and insulted me, your second crossed the line. I will not comment further on the topic until you show some decorum.
post #20 of 93
ok, jm, on the assumption that maybe you aren't an arab schoolboy in london pretending to be an international businessman - what makes you define what the bythentines and the beduin had as a civillization, and not what america has?
post #21 of 93
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I think it is a little opportunistic to call America a civilisation, the Romans, The Greeks, The Byzantines, The Aztecs, and The Bedouin were/are, not America yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the English and French have not reached that yet; I cannot see how America can have.
Then you don't know the meaning of the word. You mean it in some pejorative sense I take it  -- for how else could you when you cite the Aztecs.  As for Bedouin -- pretty much the opposite of a civilization if by civilization we mean by it in Latin. Edit:  I am completely perplexed too, in the way you are using the word "opportunistic" here.   My apologies if a western language isn't your first. Edit2: sorry didn't see the other responses to your message. They state the case much better than I. Though I really wish you would define your terms. I think I see what you are trying to get at (and could even be in some sympathy -- though probably very little) but still, definitions please.
post #22 of 93
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(bryce330 @ April 24 2005,15:04)
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Originally Posted by jmswentworth,April 24 2005,08:57
I think it is a little opportunistic to call America a civilisation, the Romans, The Greeks, The Byzantines, The Aztecs, and The Bedouin were/are, not America yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the English and French have not reached that yet; I cannot see how America can have.
I hope this post was a joke.
Perhaps if we are looking at your pride. But no, it was not a joke, America is not a civilisation, nor is the UK, nor is any of Europe at this stage, the closest thing to a civilisation in this region are, by definition of the word civilisation, todays Scandinavians.
Europe isn't a civilization? OK. Now, I'm not going to argue. Because your mixing modernist thinking (nation-states, i.e., America, UK, etc.) with something that has been defined by tradition like the Greeks and Romans. And that just won't do.
post #23 of 93
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(jmswentworth @ April 24 2005,08:57) I think it is a little opportunistic to call America a civilisation, the Romans, The Greeks, The Byzantines, The Aztecs, and The Bedouin were/are, not America yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the English and French have not reached that yet; I cannot see how America can have.
I hope this post was a joke.
Quote:
Perhaps if we are looking at your pride. But no, it was not a joke, America is not a civilisation, nor is the UK, nor is any of Europe at this stage, the closest thing to a civilisation in this region are, by definition of the word civilisation, todays Scandinavians.
Well if it's not a joke, then it's probably one of the stupidest things I've ever seen posted on this board. I'd be curious to know what your definition of a civilization is.  The generally accepted definition is a society in an advanced state of development, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, written language, and complex legal and political systems. Let's look at some of the "civilisations" which you consider superior to the US and the UK: The Aztecs: a culture built around human sacrifice. The Romans: a bellicose and bloodthirsty people whose primary achievements in the arts were stolen or copied from the Greeks. The Bedouins: a bunch of primitive desert nomads. The Byzantine Empire:  a period of 1200 years dominated by religious conflict and with almost no advances in the arts or sciences. The Greeks are the only civilization you mentioned who are comparable to the US or modern Europe, and their glory years only lasted about 150 years (500-350 BC).  The Romans were certainly a civilization, and the Aztecs probably fit the basic criteria, but to claim any of these cultures are more of a civilization than the US is just silly.
Minor quibble: there are some original contributions (not that contributions must be "original" -- itself a modern idea) by Rome's literary culture. Satire for one. (though there are antecedents in the Greek).
post #24 of 93
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ok, jm, on the assumption that maybe you aren't an arab schoolboy in london pretending to be an international businessman - what makes you define what the bythentines and the beduin had as a civillization, and not what america has?
Interesting that you bring up the tag "arab school boy". For whether or not it be true (and it's perhaps irrelevant),  there are at least two points in his argument that I would say give away the fact that his argument is predicated on a non-western notion of civilization.  This isn't a value judgement (though I certainly do value judgements), merely an observation.
post #25 of 93
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(globetrotter @ April 25 2005,16:00) ok, jm, on the assumption that maybe you aren't an arab schoolboy in london pretending to be an international businessman - what makes you define what the bythentines and the beduin had as a civillization, and not what america has?
Interesting that you bring up the tag "arab school boy". For whether or not it be true (and it's perhaps irrelevant),  there are at least two points in his argument that I would say give away the fact that his argument is predicated on a non-western notion of civilization.  This isn't a value judgement (though I certainly do value judgements), merely an observation.
H, sorry, I am not throwing this around as a tag line - it has been my assumption all along that this was the same individual who seems to be a teenager from the gulf living and attending a bording school in the UK. and from the gist of his message, he seems to have a perspective taken from the third world - anybody who would consider the beduins as having a civillization and america as not having a civillization has an "different" view of civilization.
post #26 of 93
Thread Starter 
Being an American, I cannot be totally objective about whether or not we are a civilization. However, since I started the thread, I can establish the following guideline. Anyone who doesn't believe England/UK/Great Britain is a civilization shall not be considered of sound mind for the purposes of this thread. England's contribution to maritime navigation and exploration alone is a civilization in and of itself, not to mention their advances in literature and law. The Greeks and Romans were puddle hoppers in comparison.
post #27 of 93
I will respond to you Horace, as you show decorum in your reply. However, Bryce330, please refrain from further discussion with me until you learn some manners. I think what you do not understand is that there is a difference between a civilisation and a culture, a culture contributes to literature, civilisation creates a society. Society was already in practice in Europe prior to the early nations, such as Wessex, Brittany, and Prussia. The UK, France and Germany (or the second Reich to be precise) simply adopted that society; hence, once again by definition of the word civilisation, they are not civilisations. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am quite sure that the US does not have gentry.
post #28 of 93
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I will respond to you Horace, as you show decorum in your reply. However, Bryce330, please refrain from further discussion with me until you learn some manners. I think what you do not understand is that there is a difference between a civilisation and a culture, a culture contributes to literature, civilisation creates a society. Society was already in practice in Europe prior to the early nations, such as Wessex, Brittany, and Prussia. The UK, France and Germany (or the second Reich to be precise) simply adopted that society; hence, once again by definition of the word civilisation, they are not civilisations. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am quite sure that the US does not have gentry.
First of all, I do not appreciate your unwarranted personal attacks on me. Second, as LA Guy and Fabienne have pointed out, there are many ways to define "civilization": however, I'm not aware of any definition under which a civilization has to "create a new society" rather than "adopt an existing society." All of the civilizations you listed in your earlier message were based on existing cultures to various extents: i.e. the Aztecs were based on the foundations established by the Olmecs, Teotihuacanos, Toltecs, and others, while Roman civilization was based almost entirely on the accomplishments of Greek and Hellenistic culture. Also, according to this definition, the US and the UK can never be "civilizations" since they supposedly adopted existing societies. However, in your original post you claim that the English and French "have not reached" civilization yet, suggesting that they can still somehow reach a state of civilization. Please explain how the US and the English are supposed to become civilized if civilization requires the creation of an entirely new society.
post #29 of 93
Why do I bother to reply to someone who thinks I am stupid? Unwarranted? You are the one who questioned my intellect. I am willing to discuss the matter, but why should I be insulted. You were rude to me, plain and simple. The UK, France, and US are all very close to achieving it. Especially with the vast number of new immigrants to the UK in particular. As the gentry becomes ever stronger, and the Conservative Party ideology becomes more and more of a truth, day by day.(On as side note, the UK may only achieve civilization with the election of The Conservatives, a win for Labor will take us back several rungs on the ladder.). The US is also close to archiving civilisation as a society of upper, middle, and lower class becomes established. However, it is impossible to say that this is the US's own civilisation, today's west could be said to be a Civilisation, no single country, at this stage.
post #30 of 93
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Why do I bother to reply to someone who thinks I am stupid? Unwarranted? You are the one who questioned my intellect. I am willing to discuss the matter, but why should I be insulted. You were rude to me, plain and simple. The UK, France, and US are all very close to achieving it. Especially with the vast number of new immigrants to the UK in particular. As the gentry becomes ever stronger, and the Conservative Party ideology becomes more and more of a truth, day by day.(On as side note, the UK may only achieve civilization with the election of The Conservatives, a win for Labor will take us back several rungs on the ladder.). The US is also close to archiving civilisation as a society of upper, middle, and lower class becomes established. However, it is impossible to say that this is the US's own civilisation, today's west could be said to be a Civilisation, no single country, at this stage.
jm, struggling to follow you logic 1. if more new immigrants come to the UK, it may become a "civillization"? please explain logic 2. if conservatives win in UK, it may become "civilization"? please explain 3. whole concept of "gentry" in civillization - please explain
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