Civilization Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old civilization quotes, civilization sayings, and civilization proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.     

Mark Twain

Civilization in its present form hasn't got long.     

James Lovelock

Every civilization depends on the quality of the individuals it produces. If you over-organize humans, over-legalize them, suppress their urge to greatness, they cannot work and their civilization collapses     

Frank Herbert

A civilization that only looks inward will stagnate. We have to keep looking outward; we have to keep finding new avenues for human endeavor and human expression.     

John L. Phillips

Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos.     

Will Durant

Primitiveness and civilization are degrees of the same thing. If civilization has an opposite, it is war.     

Ursula K. Le Guin

Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.     

Arnold J. Toynbee

Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.     

Ayn Rand

Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.     

Will Durant

Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work.     

Aldous Huxley

Civilization is nothing more than the effort to reduce the use of force to the last resort.     

Jose Ortega Y Gasset

Civilization sails prettily like a child's rubber balloon until it hits a sharp object; then it is likely to collapse like the balloon.     

Austin O'Malley

Civilization rests on a set of promises; if the promises are broken too often, the civilization dies, no matter how rich it may be, or how mechanically clever. Hope and faith depend on the promises; if hope and faith go, everything goes.     

Herbert

Civilization has developed executive powers far beyond its understanding.     

Maude Meagher

The test of civilization is the estimate of women.     

George William Curtis

Technical civilization has made a great error in not suppressing death, the only human reality still intact.     

Jacques Ellul

Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man.     

Ludwig Von Mises

Civilizations die from philosophical calm, irony, and a sense of fair play quite as surely as they die of debauchery.     

Joseph Wood Krutch

Civilization is the world with its leg asleep.     

Austin O'Malley

Civilization is the way one's own people live. Savagery is the way foreigners live.     

Octavia Butler

No civilization other than that which is Christian, is worth seeking or possessing.     

Otto von Bismarck

You know, our sense of individuality is just the number one target of civilization.     

Alan Rudolph

Civilization is the process in which one gradually increases the number of people included in the term 'we' or 'us' and at the same time decreases those labeled 'you' or 'them' until that category has no one left in it.     

Howie Winter

A civilization begins to decline the moment Life becomes its sole obsession.     

Emil Cioran

Civilization, to be worthy of the name, must afford other methods of settling human differences than those of blood letting.     

Ralph Chaplin

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.     

Ayn Rand

We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.     

Will Rogers

Civilization is a progress from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity toward a definite, coherent heterogeneity.     

Herbert Spencer

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.     

Will Durant

Civilization grew in the beginning from the minute that we had communication - particularly communication by sea that enabled people to get inspiration and ideas from each other and to exchange basic raw materials.     

Thor Heyerdahl

Civilizations can only be understood by those who are civilized.     

Alfred North Whitehead

A civilization in which there is not a continuous controversy about important issues is on the way to totalitarianism and death.     

Robert Maynard Hutchins

The luxuries of civilization satisfy only those wants which they themselves create.     

Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Civilization is not necessary before Christianity; do both together if you will, but you will find civilization follow Christianity more easily than Christianity follow civilization.     

Samuel Marsden

A modern civilization is only possible when it is accepted that singular beings exist and express themselves freely.     

Tahar Ben Jelloun

Civilization runs a greater risk if we maintain our present attitude to religion than if we give it up.     

Sigmund Freud

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.     

Alfred North Whitehead

Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men.     

Jane Addams

Civilization is a conspiracy. Modern life is the silent compact of comfortable folk to keep up pretences.     

John Buchan

Civilization is the process of reducing the infinite to the finite.     

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Our civilization has evolved through the continuous adjustment of society to the stimulus of new knowledge.     

John Boyd Orr

Human civilization has been no more than a strange luminescence growing more intense by the hour, of which no one can say when it will begin to wane and when it will fade away.     

W.G. Sebald

Every civilization sees itself as the center of the world and writes its history as the central drama of human history.     

Samuel P. Huntington

A general definition of civilization: a civilized society is exhibiting the fine qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art, peace.     

Alfred North Whitehead

Civilization is the order and freedom is promoting cultural activity.     

Will Durant

Civilization is unbearable, but it is less unbearable at the top.     

Timothy Leary

Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.     

Sigmund Freud

Civilization rests on the fact that most people do the right thing most of the time.     

Dean Koontz