Home > Ape Mind, Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology, Thoughts on Economics, Zero Sum > Highly Organized Civilizations Lack a Purpose for Continued Existence

Highly Organized Civilizations Lack a Purpose for Continued Existence

While I do have a generally nihilistic view about life, some things stick out as more worthless than others. Highly organized civilizations are something that I have always found to be particularly undeserving of continued existence. Many of you might find that idea odd because you have been brainwashed into believing that highly organized civilizations are the greatest accomplishment of mankind.

But are they? and by what criteria?

If we consider everything that we now know about the condition of the average person throughout human history and prehistory- one thing becomes rather clear. With the possible exception of the post-WW2 era, civilization has been an unmitigated disaster as far as the median person is concerned. I would go so far as to say that with the probable exception of a tiny percentage of people, civilization fucked it up for everybody else.

Don’t believe me? Consider the objective facts. If we look at the skeletons of pre-historic humans, especially hunter gatherers, it is quite clear that they had a pretty good life, few infectious diseases and a pretty good diet. Civilized humans did not achieve the same body size, relative freedom from infectious diseases and generally physically undemanding lifestyle till a decade after WW2. Therefore by the most basic criteria of human welfare, civilization has been a grand failure.

But why stop at physical evidence alone? Consider the shitty lifestyle of the majority of humans throughout most of human history. Most people worked from dusk to dawn in physically demanding and repetitive jobs just to scrape by. Do you think that farming and livestock rearing was fun? What about endless constructions of, often useless, fortifications to keep those ‘invaders’ out? Fancy fighting wars for causes that will never benefit you? Do you like worshiping gods and demons who don’t seem to care about you anyway? What about priests, prophets and “saints” who promise a lot but can’t deliver shit. Life for the vast majority of people in all civilizations was about lifelong hard labor that rarely benefited them, sacrificing for people who did not give a shit about them and believing in ideas that did not improve the quality of their life. There was no significant difference in the quality of life of a peasant in Egypt circa 3,000 BC and average guy in mid-19th century London.

Isn’t it odd that civilization could not deliver any worthwhile improvement in lifestyle for the majority of humans until the last 100-odd years? Why not? Doesn’t civilization always advertize itself as concerned with the betterment of humanity and progress? Isn’t there something fundamentally dishonest about a system that repeatedly delivers the opposite of what it promises?

In my opinion, highly organized and long-lived civilizations are the worst offenders in this regard. What did greco-roman civilization really deliver to its unwitting followers? What has Chinese civilization really done for its followers? How has Indian civilization made the life of the average Indian better? Didn’t western civilization only start delivering in the aftermath of WW1 and WW2?

The unpleasant truth is that civilization, as we know it, is incapable of making the life of an average person better. It is, if anything, a hindrance to making the life of such people better as most of what you call civilization is essentially a series of endless zero sum games involving continual strife, conflict, lies and bullshit. Nobody wins in the end, as even the so-called “winners” pay a much higher cost for their lifestyle than they otherwise would have.

Civilization, as we know it, is a disease.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. The Quest For 50
    May 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    You make a brilliant, and haunting, point.

  2. Nestorius (A. Hourani)
    May 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    The issue here is mainly about semantics. What does “civilization” mean?

    On the other hand, I don’t need to use and buy into a word that was invented by an effeminate French or English during the 18th century. The word “civilization” doesn’t exist in my dictionary, and I don’t need to use it or make arguments about it.

  3. May 16, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Luckily, civilizations destroy themselves.

    • Nestorius (A. Hourani)
      May 16, 2012 at 4:39 am

      1766
      A dictionary of the English language, Samuel Johnson, London, 1766:
      To Ci’vilize. v.a. [from civil.] To reclaim from savageness and brutality.

      1775
      The new and complete dictionary of the English language, John Ash, London, 1775:
      Civiliza’tion (s. from civilize) The state of being civilized, the act of civilizing.
      Civili’ze (v.t. from civil) To reclaim from savageness, to instruct in the arts of civil life.

      1861
      An elementary dictionary of the English language, Joseph Emerson Worcester, Boston, 1861:
      CIV-IL-IZA’TION, n. Act of civilizing; civilized state.
      CIV’IL-IZE, v.a. To reclaim from savageness.

      2012

      Definition of CIVILIZATION
      1a : a relatively high level of cultural and technological development; specifically : the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained b : the culture characteristic of a particular time or place
      2: the process of becoming civilized
      3a : refinement of thought, manners, or taste b : a situation of urban comfort
      — civ·i·li·za·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
      See civilization defined for English-language learners »
      See civilization defined for kids »
      Examples of CIVILIZATION
      the impact of technical advancements on civilization
      We are studying ancient Greek civilization.
      a book about life on the planet after wars have destroyed civilization
      First Known Use of CIVILIZATION
      1772

      As can be seen, and as the Merriam-Webster dictionary says, the term first appeared in 1772. Now, really, what is this thing that was discovered in 1772 and that no one else noticed before? Well, nothing but the thoughts of an Englishman whose main interest was wigs and hair powder (i.e. civilization).

  4. jackal
    May 16, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Out here where I live, in the boondocks where shopping is two hours away, some months back I began noticing a taxicab in our tiny town, two or three times weekly. Since we have no taxi company here, naturally, I wondered: Who has money for a cab that takes two hours to get here? I mean, the meter charge has got to be $200 before you even get in the cab. Yesterday, while I was motoring down the highway to shop, a taxi passed me. Besides the driver, there was only one other person — a big, round-faced woman — in the cab. Two hours later I saw this same taxi double-parked in front of a drug store, motor running, no passenger inside. A few minutes later, the obese woman emerged from the drug store, waddling back and forth like a chimpanzee walks, jumped into the taxi, which then got on the highway to motor back in the direction of our little hamlet. In two hours she would be back home, I thought. And then two more hours later, the taxi would be back in town where I was shopping — 8 hours total time on the meter for a single passenger. An $800 dollar cab ride, I thought. Curious about who has money for such expense, I called the taxi company. The dispatcher was kind enough to fill me in on how they regularly shuttle Medicaid recipients to and from drug stores, so they can get their prescriptions filled. The woman passenger fit the description of a welfare recipient, 300 lbs., probably suffering from diabetes, probably would die without insulin medication. Without misplacing observation, who are the real winners and losers in this scheme? What does it say about the purpose of civilization? Why doesn’t Medicaid simply mail the medication to the patient? Put it in a “If it fits, it ships” box at the post office. Pay $5 — not $800. I mean, mail-order prescriptions are the rave today. That’s how I’d do it if I needed medication. I sure as hell wouldn’t commute two hours each way just to get medicine for chrissakes.

  5. AC
    May 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Boring. Go back to talking about your hookers and stealing cell phones from random girls. Your talents are wasted in the bullshit area of airy-fairy theorizing. The down-to-earth, small scale, brutal truth is where it’s at.

  6. ksava
    May 20, 2012 at 8:17 am

    “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn makes a similar point. I’d recommend that book to anyone, since it’s a fairly short one that is for the most part a conversation using the Socratic method

  7. J.M.
    May 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Your observation is interesting, and not without merit, however you fail to notice that hunter-gatherer style is A FEMINIST DREAM, matriarchal in nature, if you like that shit well be guest. Second, what you fail to notice is that in such a world (civilization-less) most likely YOU WOULDN`T have been born, most Indians are not fit by nature, in fact the most common death cause for a male in those times was being killed either by a sexual rival or from invaders and in times of dearth, if you are not strong enough you are cannibalized either by outsiders or rivals in your tribe, so your point is….

    • lol
      July 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Even a broken clock can be right twice a day. The feminists may be wrong about everything else, but if they say civilization blows, we can give them credit for being correct about one single thing.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 105 other followers

%d bloggers like this: