Civilizations are about Maintaining the Status Quo

Here is a somewhat heretical thought..

All ‘civilizations’ and cultures are about maintaining the status quo.

As I have noted in a previous article, breaks in order are necessary for new ways to develop. However in time even these new ways stagnate by becoming civilizations or cultures.

and that is the problem!

Even a novel worldview will ultimately become just another set of dogmas supported by a new priesthood who will not adapt to changing conditions. Since the world around you changes, both in terms of conditions and what other people are upto, all dogmas will ultimately hit a series of obstacles which will ultimately destroy them. The supposed resilience of cultures is due to forced isolation (pre-meiji Japan, pre 1950-China), “insider” societies (India), extreme poverty (Africa) and simultaneous screwups by multiple groups of people (800-1500AD).

Even many European subcultures which were once innovative are no longer so. Are Greece and Italy even mere shadows of what they once were? UK, Netherlands and France are doing somewhat better, but are nowhere near their erstwhile peak. The same is true for Germany and Russia, though less so..

In each case, a culture that could once innovate, in a given set of conditions, lost the ability to do so after those set of conditions changed. However, as I have previously said, civilizations and cultures are themselves mechanisms to preserve the status quo- often at all costs.

Therefore the real culprits behind declines are those who try to preserve and maintain traditions, mores and culture in the face of continuous, and objectively quantifiable, adverse feedback.


This entry was posted in Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Economy, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology, Thoughts on Economics, Zero Sum. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Civilizations are about Maintaining the Status Quo

  1. Nestorius says:

    You’re mixing everything up. You need to separate between customs (aka mores, traditions, culture etc.), laws (a separate set which intersects with customs) and knowledge (false or true). While among many peoples, all these used to come as one thing, this wasn’t the case among other peoples.

    What matters here is knowledge and the expansion of knowledge (aka what is called progress). Now, when knowledge is linked with the others, progress becomes impossible. But, this wasn’t the case all the time throughout history.

    Your idea about customs is not heretical nor new. Customs, by nature, are repeated actions. The word ‘mores’ is related to the verb ‘moror’ = ‘to stay’. ‘consuetudo’ and ‘ethos’ all refer to actions that are repeated. In Arabic, the word for ‘custom’ is ‘aadah which come from the verb ‘aada = ‘to return’. So customs are the status-quo, par exellence.

    • Nestorius says:

      Plus, the reason why this idea seems heretical is because the words ‘culture’ and ‘civilization’ do not imply what they should mean, unlike the words ‘customs’, ‘tradition’ and ‘mores’. ‘culture’ and ‘civilization’ are two bogus words that are meant to inflate the value of what they ought to refer to. That’s why I never use them.

      But that is the point- The concept of a western ‘civilization’ is just as regressive as the ‘civilization’ of Bedouins or some stone-age tribe in the Amazon.

      I am just painting them with the same colors they use to paint others.

    • Nestorius says:

      You see, the White Westerner abhorrs the ideas of ‘customs’, ‘mores’ and ‘traditions’. For him, these things are reserved to the backward nations. Instead, the White Westerner thinks he engages in culture and civilization, which he considers superior activities.

      If you want to disrupt a system, stop using its terminology. Show the system that its constituents make no sense.

  2. Parisian007 says:

    Ultimately, it’s about men and their pursuit of sex that makes civilization advance. If men are inspired to work harder and more creatively (usually unconsciously or consciously for women and sex), they will.

    Freud writes about this.

  3. Commander Shepard says:

    @ Nestorius

    Learn some fucking netiquette and stop saturating the comment section with your inane, esoteric, drivel.

  4. Mr. Stricter says:

    One point being overlooked though is how important those customs are. They serve as a major form of social bonding and a synthetic tribe of sorts. This matters a great deal as it reduces social friction and enables people to get a long better and to perceive others a closer to “kin/tribe” than they really are.

    Without those customs humans tend to revert to instinctual behaviors and only bond with small tribal units. This kind of behavior makes organized society impossible as its too difficult to gather the needed resources and personal energy inputs.

    The problem comes when such customs become maladaptive, not by them being there.

  5. Pingback: Why Mature Societies Are Always Doomed « Playing the Devil's Advocate

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