Selasa, 11 September 2007


lalu apa?
tradisi ini menularkan efek yang luat biasa kepada tetangga dekat dan jauh.
MEredit Angsa, datang untuk melakukan penelitian kualitativ secara massal.
ia menyimpulkan mereka belum tentu masuk surga!
tentu kesimpulan yang disebarkan di dalam koran-koran menjadi ngilu buat penduduk naga.
akhrinya mereka mengutus anak muda jarod untuk mencari hikmah baru.

si jarod ini lain lagi,anak bengal yang cerdik api malas,
ia ingin masuk sruga tapi enak di dunia, maka bagaiaman caranya ia sduah belajar intri-intri dari oragnya tuanya, tentu saja ia sudah mulai banyak membayang-baynagkn kreaitifitsnay maklum pasolakj gizi dan informasi membanjiir kampunt itu berkat seorang lurah ekstrentik yang sedang merayu agar ia bisa mebeli sebidang tanah 1 meter di tengah-ntegan desa. lurah terbuset menemukam sumber yang tak ternilai emas dan minyak di daerah 1 meter tesebut sialnya daerah itu justeru ada dite ganh-negah masjid.

Jarod tidak pernah melalaikan kewajiab slaat yang lima
tapi ia punya pacar lima juga, ia menikah siri dengan gadis-gadis abg.

sementarta lurah ekstrenti adalahj raja koropto ri kotan jadal wanig tapi ia sellau mengelak disebut koruptor karena ia melakukan kebaikan-kebaikan dengan mendermakan dan banayk melakukan aktifitas yang memau meningkat kesejahternaan rakyatnya
judomya di sini islamya laen, kang euy?

papers, bab-1-,novel,t- irfani, kaskul-11-9-07

Critics of Huntington's ideas often extend their criticisms to traditional cultures and internal reformers who wish to modernize without adopting the values and attitudes of Western culture. These critics sometimes claim that to modernize is necessarily to become Westernized to a very large extent. In reply, those who consider the Clash of Civilizations thesis accurate often point to the example of Japan, claiming that it is not a Western state at its core. They argue that it adopted much Western technology (also inventing some technology of its own in recent times), parliamentary democracy, and free enterprise, but has remained culturally very distinct from the West. China is also cited by some as a rising non-Western economy. Many also point out the East Asian Tigers or neighboring states as having adapted western economics, while maintaining traditional or totalitarian social government.

Perhaps the ultimate example of non-Western modernization is Russia, the core state of the Orthodox civilization. The variant of this argument that uses Russia as an example relies on the acceptance of a unique non-Western civilization headed by an Orthodox state such as Russia or perhaps an Eastern European country. Huntington argues that Russia is primarily a non-Western state although he seems to agree that it shares a considerable amount of cultural ancestry with the modern West. Russia was one of the great powers during World War I. It also happened to be a non-Western power. According to Huntington, the West is distinguished from Orthodox Christian countries by the experience of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Enlightenment, overseas colonialism rather than contiguous expansion and colonialism, and a recent re-infusion of Classical culture through Rome rather than through the continuous trajectory of the Byzantine Empire. The differences among the modern Slavic states can still be seen today. This issue is also linked to the "universalizing factor" exhibited in some civilizations.

Huntington refers to countries that are seeking to affiliate with another civilization as "torn countries." Turkey, whose political leadership has systematically tried to Westernize the country since the 1920s, is his chief example. Turkey's history, culture, and traditions are derived from Islamic civilization, but Turkey's Western-oriented elite imposed western institutions and dress, embraced the Latin alphabet, joined NATO, and is seeking to join the European Union. Mexico and Russia are also considered to be torn by Huntington. He also gives the example of Australia as a country torn between its Western civilizational heritage and its growing economic engagement with Asia.

According to Huntington, a torn country must meet three requirements in order to redefine its civilizational identity. Its political and economic elite must support the move. Second, the public must be willing to accept the redefinition. Third, the elites of the civilization that the torn country is trying to join must accept the country.

As noted in the book, to date no torn country has successfully redefined its civilizational identity, this mostly due to the elites of the 'host' civilization refusing to accept the torn country.

Huntington's piece in Foreign Affairs created more responses than almost any other essay ever published in that journal. The thesis has received much criticism from wildly different paradigms, with implications, methodology, and even the basic concepts as frequent targets. In his book, Huntington relies mostly on anecdotal evidence. Despite his expectations, more rigorous empirical studies have not shown any particular increase in the frequency of intercivilizational conflicts in the post-Cold War period.[3]

Some have argued that his identified civilizations are fractured and show little internal unity.[4] The Muslim world is severely fractured along ethnic lines with Kurds, Arabs, Persians, Turks, Pakistanis, and Indonesians all having very different world views. Moreover, the criteria of the proposed delineation are not clear. One can argue, for instance, that cultural differences between China and Japan are not more important than between China and Vietnam.[5] However, Vietnam is put together with China under the label of the Sinic civilization while Japan is supposed to form a separate civilization. Whereas, Western civilization includes both Protestant and Catholic branches; and the Germanic and Romance cultural differences in Western Europe are also disregarded. The distinction between the Western and Orthodox civilizations excludes non-religious factors, such as the post-Communist legacy or the level of economic development. It also ignores differences within Muslim communities.

Amartya Sen wrote a book called "Identity and Violence: The illusion of destiny" in critique of Huntingtons main concept of an inevitable clash along civilizational lines. In this book he argues that a root cause of violence is when people see each other as having a singular affiliation ie: hindu or muslim, as opposed to multiple affiliations: hindu, woman, housewife, mother, artist, daughter, member of a particular socio-economic class...etc. all of which can be a source of a person's identity.

In his book Terror and Liberalism, Paul Berman proposes another criticism of the civilization clash hypothesis. According to Berman, distinct cultural boundaries do not exist in the present day. He argues there is no "Islamic civilization" nor a "Western civilization", and that the evidence for a civilization clash is not convincing, especially when considering relationships such as that between the United States and Saudi Arabia. In addition, he cites the fact that many Islamic extremists spent a significant amount of time living and/or studying in the western world. According to Berman conflict arises because of philosophical beliefs between groups, regardless of cultural or religious identity.[6]

In the case of Islamic societies, the "clash" may be with modernity rather than with other comparable, religiously based societies or groups. Conflict arises between the values of traditional religion and those of consumerism and the entertainment world.[citation needed]

It has been claimed that values are more easily transmitted and altered than Huntington proposes.[7] Nations such as India and Japan have become successful democracies, and the West itself was rife with despotism and fundamentalism for most of its history.[citation needed] Some also see Huntington's thesis as creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and reasserting differences between civilizations.[8] Edward Said issued a response to Huntington's thesis in his own essay entitled "The Clash of Ignorance."[9] Said argues that Huntington's categorization of the world's fixed "civilizations" omits the dynamic interdependency and interaction of culture. According to Said, it is an example of an imagined geography, where the presentation of the world in a certain way legitimates certain politics. East-West relations and the diversity in western history and culture are further explored in the article "Beyond the Clash of Ignorance."[10]

Another notable critic of Huntington's theory, however, has been Huntington himself: unnoticed by many of his readers, Huntington has modified his Clash of Civilizations theory by using youth bulge theory as its foundation:

"I don’t think Islam is any more violent than any other religions, and I suspect if you added it all up, more people have been slaughtered by Christians over the centuries than by Muslims. But the key factor is the demographic factor. Generally speaking, the people who go out and kill other people are males between the ages of 16 and 30".[11]

So in essence, Huntington has modified his clash of civilizations theory towards a greater consideration of demographics in his explanation of war, social unrest and violence (see war & demographic theories).

[edit] Related concepts

Also, in recent years the theory of Dialogue Among Civilizations, a response to Huntington's Clash of Civilizations, has become the center of some international attention. The concept, which was introduced by former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, was the basis for United Nation's resolution to name the year 2001 as the Year of Dialogue among Civilizations.[12][13].

The Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) initiative was proposed by the President of the Spanish Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 2005. It was co-sponsored by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The initiative is intended to galvanize collective action across diverse societies in order to combat extremism, overcome cultural and social barriers between mainly the Western and predominantly Muslim worlds, and to reduce the tensions and polarization between societies which differ in religious and cultural values.

The theme interfaith dialogue was significantly taken into action by a Turkish religious leader Fethullah Gulen and his followers in the late 1990s. In order to address the question of "How can citizens of the world live in peace and harmony?", Gulen's followers organize numerous events internationall

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Huntington is increasingly regarded as having been prescient as the United States invasion of Afghanistan, 2002 Bali Bombings, 2003 Invasion of Iraq, the 2005 cartoon crisis[citation needed], the 2005 London bombings, the ongoing Iranian nuclear crisis and the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict fueled the perception that Huntington's Clash is well underway.

Some maintained that the 1995 and 2004 enlargements of the European Union brought the EU's eastern border up to the boundary between Huntington's Western and Orthodox civilizations; most of Europe's historically Protestant and Roman Catholic countries (with the exception of Croatia and countries like Switzerland and Norway who voluntarily opted out of EU membership) were now EU members, while a number of Europe's historically Orthodox countries (with exceptions such as longtime EU member Greece and newly accepted Cyprus) were outside the EU. As others have noted, however, the NATO and EU membership of Romania and Bulgaria (since 2004 and 2007, correspondingly) present a challenge to some of Huntington's analysis and the line he drew throughout Romania failed to materialize. The recent tidal movements in Ukraine and Republic of Moldova show that there is no obvious limit between CSI and NATO either.

German geographers have pointed out that Huntington's regions of "civilizations" are affected by the concept of the "Kulturerdteile" (culture-continents) of the geographer Albert Kolb - a deprecated theory from 1962. In this theory, the effect of religious aspects was less important than historical and social aspects. Huntington notes in his book that German scholars hold a separate concept of civilization than presented in his analysis.

The Clash of Civilizations thesis may also be regarded as an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The ideas of Huntington and Bernard Lewis were already influential among American neoconservative figures such as Vice President Dick Cheney prior to September 11, 2001; Middle East scholar Gilles Kepel (2003) reports that many radical Islamists in the Middle East likewise viewed Huntington's thesis approvingly. Therefore, the fact that U.S. policymakers and radical Islamists have confronted each other in a certain way may be an indication that people on both sides were interpreting events according to the thesis, rather than that the thesis itself was especially prescient

karena itu sebabg isebab kata-kata yang menggerakan, mereka menjadi tidak lupa dan hapal di luag ingatan bahwa merekatidak boleh lupa dnegan kta-kata tersebut . handuk juga ditulisi kata-kata yang mencerahkan dan membuat selalu siaga. Jadi jangan heran kalau warga di kampung naga adalah warga yang paling rajin bangun pagi, puasa senin-kamis, suka berzakat, cepat dalam membayar hutang, nah kasus cepat membayar hutang ini cukup menyenangkan bagi debt collector, dan juga tukang kredit yang semakin hari semakin berjimbun menyambangi rumah-rumah, karena biasanya setiap pinjaman selaludibayardengan cepat lagi, mereka takut mati dalam keaddan berhutang, bukankah itu menurut hadis akan menahan amal-amal kebajikan mereka.

Civilization (British English also civilisation) is a kind of human society or culture; specifically, a civilization is usually understood to be a complex society characterized by the practice of agriculture and settlement in cities. Compared with less complex cultures, members of a civilization are organized into a diverse division of labour and an intricate social hierarchy. The term civilization is often used as a synonym for culture in both popular and academic circles. [1] Every human being participates in a culture, defined as "the arts, customs, habits... beliefs, values, behavior and material habits that constitute a people's way of life". [2] Civilizations can be distinguished from other cultures by their high level of social complexity and organization, and by their diverse economic and cultural activities.

The term civilization has been defined and understood in a number of ways different from the standard definition. Sometimes it is used synonymously with the broader term culture. Civilization can also refer to society as a whole. To nineteenth-century English anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor, for example, civilization was "the total social heredity of mankind;" [3] in other words, civilization was the totality of human knowledge and culture as represented by the most "advanced" society at a given time. [4] Civilization can be used in a normative sense as well: if complex and urban cultures are assumed to be superior to other "savage" or "barbarian" cultures, then "civilization" is used as a synonym for "superiority of certain groups." In a similar sense, civilization can mean "refinement of thought, manners, or taste". [5] However, in its most widely used definition, civilization is a descriptive term for a relatively complex agricultural and urban culture

The word civilization comes from the Latin word civilis, the adjective form of civis, meaning a "citizen" or "townsman" governed by the law of his city.

In the 6th century, the Roman Emperor Justinian oversaw the consolidation of Roman civil law. The resulting collection is called the Corpus Juris Civilis. In the 11th century, professors at the University of Bologna, Western Europe's first university, rediscovered Corpus Juris Civilis, and its influence began to be felt across Western Europe. In 1388, the word civil appeared in English meaning "of or related to citizens".[6] In 1704, civilisation began to mean "a law which makes a criminal process into a civil case." In 1722, deriving probably from the French language, civilisation came to mean "the opposite of barbarism."

Social scientists such as V. Gordon Childe have named a number of traits that distinguish a civilization from other kinds of society.[7] Civilizations have been distinguished by their means of subsistence, types of livelihood, settlement patterns, forms of government, social stratification, economic systems, literacy, and other cultural traits.

All human civilizations have depended on agriculture for subsistence. Growing food on farms results in a surplus of food, particularly when people use intensive agricultural techniques such as irrigation and crop rotation. Grain surpluses have been especially important because they can be stored for a long time. A surplus of food permits some people to do things besides produce food for a living: early civilizations included artisans,priests and priestesses, and other people with specialized careers. A surplus of food results in a division of labour and a more diverse range of human activity, a defining trait of civilizations.

Civilizations have distinctly different settlement patterns from other societies. The word civilization is sometimes defined as "a word that simply means 'living in cities'".[8] Non-farmers gather in cities to work and to trade.

Compared with other societies, civilizations have a more complex political structure, namely the state. State societies are more stratified than other societies; there is a greater difference among the social classes. The ruling class, normally concentrated in the cities, has control over much of the surplus and exercises its will through the actions of a government or bureaucracy. Morton Fried, a conflict theorist, and Elman Service, an integration theorist, have classified human cultures based on political systems and social inequality. This system of classification contains four categories:

  • Hunter-gatherer bands, which are generally egalitarian.
  • Horticultural/pastoral societies in which there are generally two inherited social classes;chief and commoner.
  • Highly stratified structures, or chiefdoms, with several inherited social classes: king, noble, freemen, serf and slave.
  • Civilizations, with complex social hierarchies and organized, institutional governments.[citation needed]

Economically, civilizations display more complex patterns of ownership and exchange than less organized societies. Living in one place allows people to accumulate more personal possessions than nomadic people. Some people also acquire landed property, or private ownership of the land. Because many people in civilizations do not grow their own food, they must trade their goods and services for food in a market system. Early civilizations developed money as a universal medium of exchange for these increasingly complex transactions.

Writing, developed first by people in Sumer, is considered a hallmark of civilization and "appears to accompany the rise of complex administrative bureaucracies or the conquest state."[9] Traders and bureaucrats relied on writing to keep accurate records. Aided by their division of labor and central government planning, civilizations have developed many other diverse cultural achievements. These include organized religion, development in the arts, and countless new advances in science and technology

"Civilization" can also describe the culture of a complex society, not just the society itself. Every society, civilization or not, has a specific set of ideas and customs, and a certain set of items and arts, that make it unique. Civilizations have even more intricate cultures, including literature, professional art, architecture, organized religion, and complex customs associated with the elite. Civilization is such in nature that it seeks to spread, to have more, to expand, and the means by which to do this.

Nevertheless, some tribes or peoples remained uncivilized even to this day (2007). These cultures are called by some "primitive," a term that is regarded by others as pejorative. "Primitive" implies in some way that a culture is "first" (Latin = primus), and as all cultures are contemporaries today's so called primitive cultures are in no way antecedent to those we consider civilized. Many anthropologists use the term "non-literate" to describe these peoples. In the USA and Canada, where people of such cultures were the original inhabitants before being displaced by European settlers, they use the term "First Nations." Generally, these people do not have hierarchical governments, organized religion, writing systems or money. The little hierarchy that exists, for example respect for the elderly, is mutual and not instituted by force, rather by a mutual reciprocal and customary agreement. A specialised monopolising government does not exist, or at least the civilized version of government which most of us are familiar with.

The civilized world has been spread by invasion, conversion and trade, and by introducing agriculture, writing and religion to non-literate tribes. Some tribes may willingly adapt to civilized behaviour. But civilization is also spread by force: if a tribe does not wish to use agriculture or accept a certain religion it is often forced to do so by the civilized people, and they usually succeed due to their more advanced technology, and higher population densities. Civilization often uses religion to justify its actions, claiming for example that the uncivilized are "primitive," savages, barbarians or the like, which should be subjugated by civilization.

It has been difficult for the uncivilized world to mount any counter-assault on civilization since that would mean complying to civilization's standards and concepts of advanced violence (war). Guerilla struggles have been waged, and American Indians fought a long and bitter struggle against Anglo-American invaders of their lands, who successively violated treaties signed with them, supposedly protecting their territories from European invaders. In other cases they have needed to become civilized in order to engage in any sort of war.

Thus, the intricate culture associated with civilization has a tendency to spread to and influence other cultures, sometimes assimilating them into the civilization (a classic example being Chinese civilization and its influence on Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and so forth), all of them sharing the fact that they belong to an East Asian civilization, sharing Confucianism, Mahayana Buddhism, a "Mandarin" class an educated understanding of Chinese ideograms and much else. Many civilizations are actually large cultural spheres containing many nations and regions. The civilization in which someone lives is that person's broadest cultural identity. A female of African descent living in the United States has many roles that she identifies with. However, she is above all a member of "Western civilization." In the same way, a male of Kurdish ancestry living in Iran is above all a member of "Islamic civilization."

Whereas the etiology of civilization is Latin or Roman, defined above as the application of justice by "civil" means, one must also examine and reflect upon Jewish or Hebrew civilization - the history of a people running separate but parallel to, Egyptian, Greek and Roman "civilizations." To the contrary, a Hebrew "civilization" is defined not as an expression or extension of the subjective trappings of culture and society, but rather as a human society and/or culture being an expression of objective moral and ethical moorings as they are known, understood and applied in accordance with the Mosaic Covenant. A "human" civilization, in Hebrew terms for instance, may contrast sharply with conventional notions about "civilization." A "human" civilization, therein, would be an expression and extension of the two most basic pillars of human "civilization." These two pillars are, honest standardised weights and measures and a moral and healthy constitution. Everything else, whether technology, science, art, music, etc., is by this definition considered as commentary. Indeed, to the degree the surface terrain of a human society, i.e., culture is "civilized," is to the degree the internal terrain (characteristics, personality or substance) of the people and leadership must also have been inoculated by, and inculcated with a moral foundation. The Biblically described Sodom, for instance, while being a society comprised of people with a culture, would by Jewish or Biblical standards of "civility" have been uncivilized. And while the Roman sentiment is largely focused upon how justice must "appear" to be done in a "civil" manner, the Hebrew or Biblical approach to justice, in principle, is never limited to subjective pretenses or appearance, but more importantly, justice must be predicated upon objective principles. Ultimately, there is no true or lasting "civility" for any man in the absence of moral composure.

Many historians have focused on these broad cultural spheres and have treated civilizations as single units. One example is early twentieth-century philosopher Oswald Spengler,[10] even though he uses the German word "Kultur," "culture," for what we here call a "civilization." He said that a civilization's coherence is based around a single primary cultural symbol. Civilizations experience cycles of birth, life, decline and death, often supplanted by a new civilization with a potent new culture, formed around a compelling new cultural symbol.

This "unified culture" concept of civilization also influenced the theories of historian Arnold J. Toynbee in the mid-twentieth century. Toynbee explored civilization processes in his multi-volume A Study of History, which traced the rise and, in most cases, the decline of 21 civilizations and five "arrested civilizations." Civilizations generally declined and fell, according to Toynbee, because of moral or religious decline, rather than economic or environmental causes.

Samuel P. Huntington similarly defines a civilization as "the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species." Besides giving a definition of a civilization, Huntington has also proposed several theories about civilizations, discussed below.

[edit] Civilizations as complex systems

Another group of theorists, making use of systems theory, look at civilizations as complex systems or networks of cities that emerge from pre-urban cultures, and are defined by the economic, political, military, diplomatic, and cultural interactions between them.

For example, urbanist Jane Jacobs defines cities as the economic engines that work to create large networks of people. The main process that creates these city networks, she says, is "import replacement". Import replacement is the process by which peripheral cities begin to replace goods and services that were formerly imported from more advanced cities. Successful import replacement creates economic growth in these peripheral cities, and allows these cities to then export their goods to less developed cities in their own hinterlands, creating new economic networks. So Jacobs explores economic development across wide networks instead of treating each society as an isolated cultural sphere.

Systems theorists look at many types of relations between cities, including economic relations, cultural exchanges, and political/diplomatic/military relations. These spheres often occur on different scales. For example, trade networks were, until the nineteenth century, much larger than either cultural spheres or political spheres. Extensive trade routes, including the Silk Road through Central Asia and Indian Ocean sea routes linking the Roman Empire, Persian Empire, India, and China, were well established 2000 years ago, when these civilizations scarcely shared any political, diplomatic, military, or cultural relations. The first evidence of such long distance trade is in the ancient world. During the Uruk phase Guillermo Algaze has argued that trade relations connected Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran and Afghanistan.[11] Resin found later in the Royal Tombs of Ur it is suggested was traded northwards from Mozambique.

Many theorists argue that the entire world has already become integrated into a single "world system", a process known as globalization. Different civilizations and societies all over the globe are economically, politically, and even culturally interdependent in many ways. There is debate over when this integration began, and what sort of integration – cultural, technological, economic, political, or military-diplomatic – is the key indicator in determining the extent of a civilization. David Wilkinson has proposed that economic and military-diplomatic integration of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations resulted in the creation of what he calls the "Central Civilization" around 1500 BC.[12] Central Civilization later expanded to include the entire Middle East and Europe, and then expanded to a global scale with European colonization, integrating the Americas, Australia, China and Japan by the nineteenth century. According to Wilkinson, civilizations can be culturally heterogeneous, like the Central Civilization, or relatively homogeneous, like the Japanese civilization. What Huntington calls the "clash of civilizations" might be characterized by Wilkinson as a clash of cultural spheres within a single global civilization. Others point to the Crusades as the first step in globalization. The more conventional viewpoint is that networks of societies have expanded and shrunk since ancient times, and that the current globalized economy and culture is a product of recent European colonialism.

Political scientist Samuel Huntington[13] has argued that the defining characteristic of the 21st century will be a clash of civilizations. According to Huntington, conflicts between civilizations will supplant the conflicts between nation-states and ideologies that characterized the 19th and 20th centuries.

Currently, world civilization is in a stage that has created what may be characterized as an industrial society, superseding the agrarian society that preceded it. Some futurists believe that civilization is undergoing another transformation, and that world society will become an informational society.

Some environmental scientists see the world entering a Planetary Phase of Civilization, characterized by a shift away from independent, disconnected nation-states to a world of increased global connectivity with worldwide institutions, environmental challenges, economic systems, and consciousness. [14][15] In an attempt to better understand what a Planetary Phase of Civilization might look like in the current context of declining natural resources and increasing consumption, the Global scenario group used scenario analysis to arrive at three archetypal futures: Barbarization, in which increasing conflicts result in either a fortress world or complete societal breakdown; Conventional Worlds, in which market forces or Policy reform slowly precipitate more sustainable practices; and a Great Transition, in which either the sum of fragmented Eco-Communalism movements add up to a sustainable world or globally coordinated efforts and initiatives result in a new sustainability paradigm. [16]

The Kardashev scale classifies civilizations based on their level of technological advancement, specifically measured by the amount of energy a civilization is able to harness. The Kardashev scale makes provisions for civilizations far more technologically advanced than any currently known to exist. (see also: Civilizations and the Future, Space civilization)

There have been many explanations put forward for the collapse of civilization.

Edward Gibbon's massive work "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" began an interest in the Fall of Civilizations, that had begun with the historical divisions of Petrarch[9] between the Classical period of Ancient Greece and Rome, the succeeding Medieval Ages, and the Renaissance. For Gibbon:-

"The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the cause of the destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight. The story of the ruin is simple and obvious; and instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it has subsisted for so long."[Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 2nd ed., vol. 4, ed. by J. B. Bury (London, 1909), pp. 173-174.] Gibbon suggested the final act of the collapse of Rome was the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD.

Theodor Mommsen in his "History of Rome", suggested Rome collapsed with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and he also tended towards a biological analogy of "genesis," "growth," "senescence," "collapse" and "decay."

Oswald Spengler, in his "Decline of the West" rejected Petrarch's chronological division, and suggested that there had been only eight "mature civilizations." Growing cultures, he argued, tend to develop into imperialistic civilizations which expand and ultimately collapse, with democratic forms of government ushering in plutocracy and ultimately imperialism.

Arnold J. Toynbee in his "A Study of History" suggested that there had been a much larger number of civilizations, including a small number of arrested civilizations, and that all civilizations tended to go through the cycle identified by Mommsen. The cause of the fall of a civilization occurred when a cultural elite became a parasitic elite, leading to the rise of internal and external proletariats.

Joseph Tainter in "The Collapse of Complex Societies" suggested that there were diminishing returns to complexity, due to which, as states achieved a maximum permissible complexity, they would decline when further increases actually produced a negative return. Tainter suggested that Rome achieved this figure in the 2nd Century AD.

Jared Diamond in his recent book "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" suggests five major reasons for the collapse of 41 studied cultures.

Peter Turchin in his Historical Dynamics and Andrey Korotayev et al. in their Introduction to Social Macrodynamics, Secular Cycles, and Millennial Trends suggest a number of mathematical models describing collapse of agrarian civilizations. For example, the basic logic of Turchin's "fiscal-demographic" model can be outlined as follows: during the initial phase of a sociodemographic cycle we observe relatively high levels of per capita production and consumption, which leads not only to relatively high population growth rates, but also to relatively high rates of surplus production. As a result, during this phase the population can afford to pay taxes without great problems, the taxes are quite easily collectible, and the population growth is accompanied by the growth of state revenues. During the intermediate phase, the increasing overpopulation leads to the decrease of per capita production and consumption levels, it becomes more and more difficult to collect taxes, and state revenues stop growing, whereas the state expenditures grow due to the growth of the population controlled by the state. As a result, during this phase the state starts experiencing considerable fiscal problems. During the final pre-collapse phases the overpopulation leads to further decrease of per capita production, the surplus production further decreases, state revenues shrink, but the state needs more and more resources to control the growing (though with lower and lower rates) population. Eventually this leads to famines, epidemics, state breakdown, and demographic and civilization collapse (Peter Turchin. Historical Dynamics. Princeton University Press, 2003:121–127).

Peter Heather argues in his book The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians[17] that this civilization did not end for moral or economic reasons, but due to the fact that centuries of contact with barbarians across the frontier generated its own nemesis by making them a much more sophisticated and dangerous adversary. The fact that Rome needed to generate ever greater revenues to equip and re-equip armies that were for the first time repeatedly defeated in the field, led to the dismemberment of the Empire. Although this argument is specific to Rome, it can also be applied to the Asiatic Empire of the Egyptians, to the Han and Tang dynasties of China, to the Muslim Abbasid Caliphate, and others.

Bryan Ward-Perkins, in his book The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization[18] shows the real horrors associated with the collapse of a civilization for the people who suffer its effects, unlike many revisionist historians who downplay this. The collapse of complex society meant that even basic plumbing disappeared from the continent for 1,000 years. Similar Dark Age collapses are seen with the Late Bronze Age collapse in the Eastern Mediterranean, the collapse of the Maya, on Easter Island and elsewhere.

Arthur Demarest argues in Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization[19], using a holistic perspective to the most recent evidence from archaeology, paleoecology, and epigraphy, that no one explanation is sufficient but that a series of erratic, complex events, including loss of soil fertility, drought and rising levels of internal and external violence led to the disintegration of the courts of Mayan kingdoms which began a spiral of decline and decay. He argues that the collapse of the Maya has lessons for civilization today.

Jeffrey A. McNeely has recently suggested that "A review of historical evidence shows that past civilizations have tended to over-exploit their forests, and that such abuse of important resources has been a significant factor in the decline of the over-exploiting society." [20]

[edit] Negative views of civilization

Civilization has been criticized from a variety of viewpoints and for a variety of reasons. Some critics have objected to all aspects of civilization; others have argued that civilization brings a mixture of good and bad effects.

The best known opponents of civilization are people who have voluntarily chosen to live outside it. These include hermits and religious ascetics who, in many different times and places, have attempted to eliminate the influence of civilization over their lives in order to concentrate on spiritual matters. Monasteries represent an effort by these ascetics to create a life somewhat apart from their mainstream civilizations. In the 19th century, Transcendentalists believed civilization was shallow and materialistic, so they wanted to build a completely agrarian society, free from the oppression of the city.

Civilizations have shown an inclination towards conquest and expansion. When civilizations were formed, more food was produced and the society's material possessions increased, but wealth also became concentrated in the hands of the powerful. Depletion of local resources also increased dependence upon more distant resources so compelling expansion, by either invasion or trade with neighbouring peoples. The communal way of life among tribal people gave way to aristocracy and hierarchy. As hierarchies are able to generate sufficient resources and food surpluses capable of supplying standing armies, civilizations were capable of conquering neighbouring cultures that made their livings in different ways. In this manner, civilizations began to spread outward from Eurasia across the world some 10,000 years ago - and are finishing the job today in the remote jungles of the Amazon and New Guinea.

Many environmentalists criticize civilizations for their exploitation of the environment. Through intensive agriculture and urban growth, civilizations tend to destroy natural settings and habitats. This is sometimes referred to as "dominator culture." Proponents of this view believe that traditional societies live in greater harmony with nature than civilizations; people work with nature rather than try to subdue it. The sustainable living movement is a push from some members of civilization to regain that harmony with nature.

Primitivism is a modern philosophy totally opposed to civilization. Primitivists accuse civilizations of restricting human potential, oppressing the weak, and damaging the environment. They wish to return to a more primitive way of life which they consider to be in the best interests of both nature and human beings. A leading proponent is John Zerzan, whereas a critic is Roger Sandall.

However, not all critics of past and present civilization believe that a primitive way of life is better. Some have argued that a third alternative exists, which is neither primitive nor "civilized" in the current sense of the word. This may be described as a radically different form of civilization. Karl Marx, for instance, argued that the beginning of civilization was the beginning of oppression and exploitation, but also believed that these things would eventually be overcome and communism would be established throughout the world. He envisioned communism not as a return to any sort of idyllic past, but as a quantum leap forward to a new stage of civilization. Conflict theory in the social sciences also views present civilization as being based on the domination of some people by others, but makes no moral judgements on the issue.

Among Eastern schools of thought, Taoism was one of the first to reject the Confucian concern for civilization.

Given the current problems with the sustainability of industrial civilization, some, like Derrick Jensen, who posits civilization to be inherently unsustainable, argue that we need to move towards a social form of "post-civilization" as different from civilization as the latter was with pre-civilized peoples.

[edit] Problems with the term "civilization"

As discussed above, "civilization" has a number of meanings, and its use can lead to confusion and misunderstanding.

However, "civilization" can be a highly connotative word. It might bring to mind qualities such as superiority, humaneness, and refinement. Indeed, many members of civilized societies have seen themselves as superior to the "barbarians" outside their civilization.

Many anthropologists backed a theory called unilineal evolution. They believed that people naturally progress from a simple state to a superior, civilized state. John Wesley Powell, for example, classified all societies as Savage, Barbarian, and Civilized; the first two of his terms would shock most anthropologists today. The early 20th century saw the first cracks in this world view within Western Civilization: Joseph Conrad's 1902 novel "Heart of Darkness," for example, told a story set in the Congo Free State, in which the most savage and uncivilized behavior was initiated by a white European. This hierarchical world view was dealt further serious blows by the atrocities of World War I and World War II and so on.

Today, multilinial views of cultural evolution are the norm within the social sciences, as is a greater level cultural relativism, the view that complex societies are not by nature superior, more humane, or more sophisticated than less complex or technologically advanced groups. This view of relativism has its roots in the writings of Franz Boas.

A minority of scholars reject the relativism of Boas and mainstream social science. English biologist John Baker, in his 1974 book Race, gives about 20 criteria that make civilizations superior to non-civilizations. Baker tries to show a relation between the cultures of civilizations and the biological disposition of their creators.

Many postmodernists, and a considerable proportion of the wider public, argue that the division of societies into 'civilized' and 'uncivilized' is arbitrary and meaningless. On a fundamental level, they say there is no difference between civilizations and tribal societies; that each simply does what it can with the resources it has. In this view, the concept of "civilization" has merely been the justification for colonialism, imperialism, genocide, and coercive acculturation.

On the other hand, critics of this view argue that there are real differences between civilizations and tribal or hunter-gatherer societies. The modes of social organization, they say, are fundamentally altered in complex, urban societies that gather large amounts of unrelated people together into cities. Additionally, it is argued that the complex division of labor and specialized economic activities that characterize civilizations produce better standards of living for their inhabitants.

For all of the above reasons, many scholars today avoid using the term "civilization" as a stand-alone term; they prefer to use urban society or intensive agricultural society, which are much less ambiguous, more neutral-sounding terms. "Civilization" however remains in common academic use when describing specific societies, such as "Mayan Civilization."

[edit] Development of early civilizations

[edit] African and Eurasian civilizations of the "Old World"

The earliest known civilizations (as defined in the traditional sense) developed from proto-civilized cultures in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern-day Iraq, the Nile valley of Egypt, while smaller civilizations arose in Elam in modern-day Iran, (Especially those parts considered to be the "Fertile Crescent"), the Mehrgarh and Indus Valley region of modern-day Pakistan and Northwest India, and the parallel development of Chinese civilizations in the Huang He River (Yellow River) and Yangtze River valleys of China, and on the island of Crete and in Mycenaean Greece in the Aegean Sea, Persia in modern-day Iran, as well as the Olmec civilization and the Caral civilization in modern day Mexico and Peru. The inhabitants of these areas built cities, created writing systems, learned to make pottery and use metals, domesticated animals, and created complex social structures with class systems. Proto-civilized cultures developed as a late stage of the Neolithic Revolution, and pioneered many of the features later associated with civilizations. The oldest granary yet found, for instance, dates back to 9500 BC and is located in the Jordan Valley. The earliest known settlement in Jericho (9th millennium BC) was a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A culture that eventually gave way to more developed settlements later, which included in one early settlement (8th millennium BC) mud-brick houses surrounded by a stone wall, having a stone tower built into the wall. In this time there is evidence of domesticated emmer wheat, barley and pulses and hunting of wild animals. However, there are no indications of attempts to form communities (early civilizations) with surrounding peoples. Nevertheless, by the 6th millennium BC we find what appears to be an ancient shrine and cult, which would likely indicate intercommunal religious practices in this era. Findings include a collective burial (with not all the skeletons completely articulated, jaws removed, faces covered with plaster, cowries used for eyes). Other finds from this era include stone and bone tools, clay figurines and shell and malachite beads. Despite considerable urban development in the Early and Middle Bronze Ages, these sites only became part of the fully civilized world around 1500 to 1200 BC when the pre-literate sites of Jericho and other cities of Canaan had become vassals of the Egyptian empire.

In Anatolia, the first urban complex has been identified at Çatalhöyük, having many of the characteristics found in later cities and towns in the Near East. It has been hypothesized that this culture came to an end when nearby forests were depleted of timber, a fate similar to that of the Anasazi in America. At Mersin, an early fortress has been identified guarding the Cicilian Gates trade route through the Taurus Mountains. At Hamoukar in Syria, evidence of an early battle has been found circa 4,500 BC, with those benefiting from the struggle being members of the Uruk culture from Southern Iraq. From Uruk comes the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the eariest known literary works, which pairs the beastial Enkidu with the demigod king Gilgamesh in a story reflecting civilization's advent. Whilst civilization at Hamoukar and nearby Tell Brak previously had been independent from Southern Iraq, henceforth Southern Iraq developed more rapidly with a higher population density.

It is also important to note various literate and pre-literate civilizations and proto-civilizations developed in southern Sahel, Sudan and East African regions prior to European contact (eg. See Ghana Empire, Mali Empire, Songhai Empire, Great Zimbabwe, Munhumutapa Empire).