The fact is, that civilization requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture, and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.

Oscar Wilde

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.

Martin Luther King Jr.

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

Will Durant

The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.

John Muir

The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.

Milton Friedman

Civilization degrades the many to exalt the few.

Amos Bronson Alcott

If there hadn't been women we'd still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.

Orson Welles

Civilization is hideously fragile and there's not much between us and the horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish.

Carrie P. Snow

If a test of civilization be sought, none can be so sure as the condition of that half of society over which the other half has power.

Harriet Martineau

Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life-blood of real civilization.

George Macaulay Trevelyan

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

John Perry Barlow

New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you.

David Letterman

It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it.

Henry Allen

Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization.

Florence Nightingale

The more rapidly a civilization progresses, the sooner it dies for another to rise in its place.

Havelock Ellis

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The true test of a civilization is not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops—no, but the kind of man the country turns out.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Civilization is the art of living in towns of such size the everyone does not know everyone else.

Julian Jaynes

The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself.

Robert Ingersoll

Of the twenty-two civilizations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now.

Arnold Toynbee

It is impossible to maintain civilization with 12-year-olds having babies, with 15-year-olds killing each other, with 17-year-olds dying of AIDS and with 18-year-olds getting diplomas they can't read.

Newt Gingrich

Civilization is built on a number of ultimate principles...respect for human life, the punishment of crimes against property and persons, the equality of all good citizens before the law...or, in a word justice.

Max Nordau

The test of civilization is the estimate of woman. Among savages she is a slave. In the dark ages of Christianity she is a toy and a sentimental goddess. With increasing moral light, and greater liberty, and more universal justice, she begins to deve.

George William Curtis

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

Jane Addams

Underlying the whole scheme of civilization is the confidence men have in each other, confidence in their integrity, confidence in their honesty, confidence in their future.

Bourke Cockran

When a civilization takes up the study of itself, it is always high noon.

Michael Mooney

The slum is the measure of civilization.

Jacob Riis

Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason.

Theodore Dreiser

Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.

Emile Zola

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

Oscar Wilde

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

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Education is the transmission of civilization.

Will Durant

The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next.

Cyril Connolly

Head of Christian civilization.

James Connolly

Simplicity is the peak of civilization.

Jessie Sampter

Christianity is the enemy of liberty and civilization.

August Bebel

You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.

Will Rogers

The perfect normal person is rare in our civilization.

Karen Horney

Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.

Charles Lindbergh

The quantity of civilization is measured by the quality of imagination.

Victor Hugo

I don't believe civilization can do a lot more than educate a person's senses.

Grace Paley

War: a wretched debasement of all the pretenses of civilization.

Omar Bradley

What a time! What a civilization!


Give me civilization. I don't want to be pampered.

Jennifer Esposito

The next war... may well bury Western civilization forever.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It has opened a window into the very origins of Maya civilization.

William Saturno

LOCK-AND-KEY, n. The distinguishing device of civilization and enlightenment.

Ambrose Bierce

Civilization is being poisoned by its own waste products.

William Ralph Inge

Quantum leap in the way civilization works.

Jeff Papows

Every civilization that has ever existed has ultimately collapsed.

Henry Kissinger

Progress in civilization has been accompanied by progress in cookery.

Fannie Farmer

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.

Mark Twain

Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization.

Lincoln Steffens

Struggling against civilization itself.

Timothy Treadwell

Civilization is the lamb's skin in which barbarism masquerades.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

The most enduring contributions made to civilization have not been made by brawn, they have been made by brain.

Benjamin L. Hooks

Superior values of European civilization.

Abdullah Ocalan

The ultimate tendency of civilization is towards barbarism.

David Hare

It's just a show. It's not the end of Western Civilization. It's chewing gum.

Jerry Springer

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

Arnold Toynbee

Our place is in European civilization.

Mikhail Saakashvili

There is precious little in civilization to appeal to a Yeti.

Edmund Hillary

A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed.

Emile M. Cioran