When you can’t do something truly useful, you tend to vent the pent up energy in something useless but available, like snappy dressing.
Civilization, to be worthy of the name, must afford other methods of settling human differences than those of blood letting.
Ancient and oriental civilizations were more sensitive than we are to the cycles of things; to the succession of generations, both divine and human; and to change within stasis. Western man is virtually alone in wanting to make his God into a fortress and personal immortality into a bulwark against time.
Few can contemplate without a sense of exhilaration the splendid achievements of practical energy and technical skill, which, from the latter part of the seventeenth century, were transforming the face of material civilization, and of which England was the daring, if not too scrupulous, pioneer.
The best test of the quality of a civilization is the quality of its leisure.
They have an amazing proliferation of TV channels now: The all-cartoon channel, the 24-hour-science fiction channel. Of course, to make room for these they got rid of the Literacy Channel and the What’s Left of Civilization Channel.
War is a biological necessity of the first importance, a regulative element in the life of mankind which cannot be dispensed with. … But it is not only a biological law but a moral obligation and, as such, an indispensable factor in civilization.
The concept of conservation is a far truer sign of civilization than that spoilation of a continent which we once confused with progress.
When work goes out of style we may expect to see civilization totter and fall.
Style is about the choices you make to create the aspects of civilization that you wish to uphold. I will buy a chair for my house. What style of chair are you gonna buy? Everything we look at and choose is some way of expressing how we want to be perceived. I mean, why bother choosing a chair because it looks a certain way? Because there’s gonna be something about that chair that says something about you.
Style is about the choices you make to create the aspects of civilization that you wish to uphold.
There’s something about the style of living in the country that they feel, "This is what represents me." So style is about the philosophy of how we create our civilization.
When you look on one of your contemporary ‘good copies’ of historical remains, ask yourself the question: Not what style, but in what civilization is this building? And the absurdity, vulgarity, anachronism and solecism of the modern structure will be revealed to you in a most startling fashion.
The attraction of horror is a mental, or even an intellectual, excitement, but the fascination of the repulsive, so noticeable incontemporary writing, can spring openly from some rotted substance within our civilization.
When this immediate evil power has been defeated, we shall not yet have won the long battle with the elemental barbarities. Another Hitler, it may be an invisible adversary, will attempt, again, and yet again, to destroy our frail civilization. Is it true, I wonder, that the only way to escape a war is to be in it? When one is a part of an actuality does the imagination find a release?