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Title: Civilization and Beyond - Learning from History
Author: Nearing, Scott, 1883-1983
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Learning From History

By Scott Nearing

distributed in any quantity as a whole. It should not be summarized,
abbreviated, garbled or chopped into out-of-context fragments.

Social Science Institute, Harborside, Maine

August 1975


   INTRODUCTION: Thoughts about History and Civilization

   PART I _The Pageant of Experiments with Civilization_
        1. Experiments in Egypt and Eurasia
        2. Rome's Outstanding Experiment
        3. The Origins of Western Civilization
        4. The Life Cycle of Western Civilization
        5. Features Common to Civilizations

   PART II _A Social Analysis of Civilization_
        6. The Politics of Civilization
        7. The Economics of Civilization
        8. The Sociology of Civilization
        9. Ideologies of Civilization

   PART III _Civilization Is Becoming Obsolete_
       10. World-wide Revolution Disrupts Civilization
       11. Western Civilization Attempts Suicide
       12. Talking Peace and Waging War

   PART IV _Steps Beyond Civilization_
       13. Ten Building Blocks for a New World
       14. Moving Toward World Federation
       15. Integrating a World Economy
       16. Conserving our Natural Environment
       17. Re-vamping the Social Life of the Planet
       18. Man Could Change Human Nature
       19. Man Could Break Out of the Age-Long Prison-House
           of Civilization and Enter a New World



Human history may be viewed from various angles. The easiest history to
write concerns the doings of a few well known people and their
involvement in some memorable events. History may also concern itself
with inventions and discoveries: the use of fire, of the wheel or
smelting metals. It may center around sources of food, means of shelter,
or the making of records. It may be concerned with the construction and
decoration of cities, kingdoms and empires.

Social history enters the picture with travel, transportation,
communication, trade. Human beings group themselves in families, clans
and tribes, in voluntary associations; they compete, plunder, conquer,
enslave, exploit; they co-operate for construction and destruction.
Political history is but one aspect of man's group contacts and group

There have been histories of particular civilizations and of
civilization as a field of historical research. With minor exceptions
none of the authors that I have consulted has attempted an analytical
treatment of civilization as a sociological phenemenon.

Scientists start from hunches, examine available data, advance tentative
conclusions, test them in the light of wider observations, and round out
their research by formulating general principles or "laws." This
scientific approach has been used in many fields of observation and
study. I am applying the formula to one aspect of social history: the
appearance, development, maturity, decline and disappearance of the vast
co-ordinations of collective, experimental human effort called

"Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, where are they?" asked Byron. He might
have added: "What were they? How did they come into being? What was the
nature of their experience? Why did they rise from small beginnings,
develop into wide-spread colossal complexes of wealth and power, and
then, after longer or shorter periods of existence, break up and
disappear from the stage of social history?"

Such questions are far removed from the lives of people who are busy
with everyday affairs. In one sense they _are_ remote; in the larger
picture, however, they are of vital concern to anyone and everyone now
living in civilized communities. If Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans
and Carthaginians built extensive empires and massive civilizations that
flourished for a time, then broke up and disappeared, are we to follow
blindly and unthinkingly in their footsteps? Or do we study their
experiences, benefit from their successes and learn from their mistakes?
Can we not take lessons out of their voluminous notebooks, avoid their
blunders and direct our own feet along paths that fulfil our lives at
the same time that they meet the widespread demand for survival and

Civilization has been extensively experimental. Several thousand years,
during which civilizations have appeared, disappeared and reappeared,
have been too brief to establish and stabilize a hard and fast social
pattern. As the complexity of civilizations has increased, variations
and deviations have grown in number and intensity. With the advent of
western civilization a culture pattern is being put together which
differs widely from its predecessors.

All civilized peoples seem to have developed from simple beginnings and
experimented with broader and more complicated life styles. In western
civilization the number of experiments has increased and the span of
their deviations seems to have broadened. Under the circumstances an
analysis of civilization must take for granted not only social change
but the development of, human society along lines which link up the
outstanding structural and functional ideas, institutions and practices
of successive civilizations.

I propose in this inquiry to state certain accepted facts from the
history of civilizations and of contemporary experience. I also propose
to analyze the facts and generalize them in such a way that the results
of the study may provide an understanding of the human social past,
together with some guide-lines that will prove useful in the formulation
and implementation of the present-day policy and procedure of civilized
peoples, nations, empires and of the western civilization.

This book is not a popular treatise, nor is it a textbook. Rather. it is
an attempt to summarize an area of critical human concern. Academia may
not use such material: nevertheless it should be available to students
and administrators who must plan and direct the social future of

_Civilization and Beyond_ rounds out a series of studies that I began in
1928 with _Where Is Civilization Going_? The series has extended through
_The Twilight of Empire_ (1930), _War_ (1931) and _The Tragedy of
Empire_ (1946). Up to 1914 my field of study was confined largely to the
economics of distribution. The war of 1914-18 pushed me rudely and
decisively into the broader field. I have described the process in my
political autobiography: _Making of a Radical_ (1971).

I hope that this study will provide a useful link in the chain of
material dealing with the structure and function of man's social
environment, leading directly into an action program that will conclude
the preservation and loving economical use of nature's rich gifts and
the dedication of thousands of young aspiring men and women to the good
life here, now and indefinitely, into a bright, productive and creative

As of this date seven publishers have examined the manuscript of this
work and declined to publish it. All felt that it would not find any
considerable reading public. Nevertheless, I feel that the work should
be printed and distributed because it carries a message that may be of
first rate importance to the future of my fellow humans.

Scott Nearing.

Harborside, Maine May 5, 1975



We may think and talk about civilization as one pattern or level of
culture, one stage through which human life flows and ebbs. In that
sense we may regard it abstractly and historically, as we regard the
most recent ice age or the long and painful record of large-scale
chattel slavery.

From quite another viewpoint we may think of civilization as a
technologically advanced way of life developed by various peoples
through ages of unrecorded experiment and experience, and followed by
millions during the period of written history. It is also the way of
life that the West has been trying to impose upon the entire human
family since European empires launched their crusade to westernize,
modernize and civilize the planet Earth.

A third approach would regard civilization as an evolving life style,
conceived before the earliest days of recorded human history and matured
through the series of experiments marking the development of
civilization as we have known it during the five centuries from 1450 to

Thinking in terms of this age-old experience, with six or more thousand
years of social history as a background, it is possible to give a fairly
exact meaning to the word "civilization" as it has been lived and is
being lived by the present-day West. It is also possible to understand
the history of previous civilizations in cycle after cycle of their
rise, their development, decline and extinction. At the same time it
will enable the reader to recognize the relationship (and difference)
between the words "culture" and "civilization".

Human culture is the sum total of ideas, relationships, artifacts,
institutions, purposes and ideals currently functioning in any
community. Three elements are present in each human society: man, nature
and the social structure. Human culture at any point in its history is
the social structure: the aggregate of existing culture traits, the
products of man's ingenuity, inventiveness and experimentation, set in
their natural environment.

Civilization is a level of culture built upon foundations laid down
through long periods of pre-civilized living. These foundations consist
of artifacts, implements, customs, habit patterns and institutions
produced and developed in numerous scattered localities by groups of
food-gatherers, migrating herdsmen, cultivators, hand craftsmen and
traders and eventually in urban communities built around centers of
wealth and power: the cities which are the nuclei of every civilization.

Urban centers, housing trade, commerce, fabrication and finance, with
their hinterlands of food-gatherers, herdsmen, cultivators, craftsmen
and transporters, are the nuclei around which and upon which recurring
civilizations are built. Within and around these urban centers there
grows up a complex of associations, activities, institutions and ideas
designed to promote, develop and defend the particular life pattern.

A civilization is a cluster of peoples, nations and empires so related
in time and space that they share certain ideas, practices, institutions
and means of procedure and survival. Among these features of a civilized
community we may list:

   (1) means of communication, record-keeping, transportation
   and trade. This would include a spoken language, a method
   of enumeration, writing in pictographs or symbols; an
   alphabet, a written language, inscribed on stone, bone,
   wood, parchment, paper; means of preserving the records
   of successive generations; paths, roads, bridges; a system
   for educating successive generations; meeting places and
   trading points; means for barter or exchange;

   (2) an interdependent urban-oriented economy based on division
   of labor and specialization; on private property in the
   essential means of production and in consumer goods and
   services; on a competitive survival struggle for wealth,
   prestige and power between individuals and social groups;
   and on the exploitation of man, society and nature for the
   material benefit of the privileged few who occupy the summit
   of the social pyramid;

   (3) a unified, centralized political apparatus or bureaucracy
   that attempts to plan, direct and administer the political,
   economic, ideological and sociological structure;

   (4) a self-selected and self-perpetuating oligarchy that owns
   the wealth, holds the power and pulls the strings;

   (5) an adequate labor force for farming, transport, industry,

   (6) large middle-class elements: professionals, technicians,
   craftsmen, tradesmen, lesser bureaucrats, and a semi-parasitic
   fringe of camp-followers;

   (7) a highly professional, well-trained, amply-financed apparatus
   for defense and offense;

   (8) a complex of institutions and social practices which will
   indoctrinate, persuade and when necessary limit deviation
   and maintain social conformity;

   (9) agreed religious practices and other cultural features.

This description of civilization covers the essential features of
western civilization and the sequence of predecessor civilizations for
which adequate records exist.

Successive civilizations have introduced new culture traits and
abandoned old ones as the pageant of history moved from one stage to the
next, or advanced and retreated through cycles. Using this description
as a working formula, it is possible to understand the development
followed in the past by western civilization, to estimate its current
status and to indicate its probable outcome.

Long-established thought-habits cry aloud in protest against such a
description of civilization. Until quite recently the word
"civilization" has been used in academic circles to symbolize a social
idea or ideal. Professor of History Anson D. Morse of Amherst College
presents such a view in his _Civilization and the World War_ (Boston:
Ginn 1919). For him, civilization is "the sum of things in which the
heritage of the child of the twentieth century is better than that of
the child of the Stone Age. As a process it is the perfection of man and
mankind. As an end, it is the realization of the highest ideal which men
are capable of forming.... The goal of civilization ... is human society
so organized in all of its constituent groups that each shall yield the
best possible service to each one and thereby to mankind as a whole,
(producing) the perfect organization of humanity." (page 3).

Such thoughts may be noble and inspired; they are not related to
history. We know more or less about a score of civilizations that have
occupied portions of the earth during several thousand years. We know a
great deal about the western civilization which we observe and in which
we participate. Professor Morse's florid words apply to none of the
civilizations known to history. Certainly they are poles away from an
accurate characterization of our own varient of this social pattern.

We are writing this introduction in an effort to make our word pictures
of mankind and its doings correspond with the facts of social history.
With the nuclear sword of Damocles hanging over our heads, it is high
time for us to exchange the clouds of fancy and the flowers of rhetoric
for the solid ground of historical reality. The word "civilization" must
generalize what has been and what is, as nearly as the past and present
can be embodied in language.

Civilization is a level or phase of culture which has been attained and
lost repeatedly in the course of social history. The epochs of
civilization have not been distributed evenly, either in time or on the
earth's surface. A combination of circumstances, political, economic,
ideological, sociological, resulted in the Egyptian, the Chinese, the
Roman civilizations. One of these was centered in North Africa, the
second in Asia, the third in eastern Europe. All three spilled over into
adjacent continents.

No two civilizations are exactly alike at any stage of their
development. Each civilization is at least a partial experiment, a
process or sequence of causal relationships, altered sequentially in the
course of its life cycle.

These thoughts about culture and civilization should be supplemented by
noting the relationship between civilizations and empires. An empire is
a center of wealth and power associated with its economic and political
dependencies. A civilization is a cluster or a succession of empires
and/or former empires, co-ordinated and directed by one of their number
which has established its leadership in the course of survival struggle.

The total body of historical evidence bearing on human experiments with
civilization is extensive and impressive. It covers a large portion of
the Earth's land surface, includes parts of Asia, Africa and Europe and
extends sketchily to the Americas. In time it covers many thousands of

Experiments with civilization have been conducted in highly selective
surroundings possessing the volume and range of natural resources and
the isolation and remoteness necessary to build and maintain a high
level of culture over substantial periods of time. In these special
areas it was possible to provide for subsistence, produce an economic
surplus large enough to permit experimentation and ensure protection
against human and other predators. Egypt and the Fertile Crescent were
surrounded by deserts and high mountains. Crete was an island, extensive
but isolated. Productive river valleys like the Yang-tse, the Ganges and
the Mekong have afforded natural bases for experiments with
civilization. Similar opportunities have been provided by strategic
locations near bodies of water, mineral deposits and the intersections
of trade-routes. Others, less permanent, were located in the high Andes,
on the Mexican Plateau, in the Central American jungles.

Histories of civilizations, some of them ancient or classical, have
been written during the past two centuries. There have been general
histories in many languages. There have been scholarly reports on
particular civilizations. Prof. A.J. Toynbee's massive ten volume _Study
of History_ is a good example. Still more extensive is the thirty volume
history of civilization under the general editorship of C.K. Ogden.
These writings have brought together many facts bearing chiefly on the
lives of spectacular individuals and episodes, with all too little data
on the life of the silent human majority.

At the end of this volume the reader will find a list, selected from the
many books that I have consulted in preparation for writing this study.
Most of these authorities are concerned with the facts of civilization,
with far less emphasis on their political, economic and sociological

In this study I have tried to unite theory with practice. On the one
hand I have reviewed briefly and as accurately as possible some
outstanding experiments with civilization, including our own western
variant. (Part I. The Pageant of Experiments with Civilization.) In Part
II I have undertaken a social analysis of civilization as a past and
present life style. In Part III, Civilization Is Becoming Obsolete, I
have tried to check our thinking about civilization with the sweep of
present day historical trends. Part IV, Steps Beyond Civilization, is an
attempt to list some of the alternatives and opportunities presently
available to civilized man.

Any reader who has the interest and persistence to read through the
entire volume and to browse through some of its references will have had
the equivalent of a university extension course dealing with one of the
most critical issues confronting the present generation of humanity.

_Part I_

The Pageant of Experiment With Civilization



Thousands of years before the city of Rome was ringed with its six miles
of stone wall, other peoples in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa were
building civilizations. New techniques of excavation, identification and
preservation, subsidized by an increasingly affluent human society, and
developed during the past two centuries of archeological research have
provided the needed means and manpower. The result is an imposing number
of long buried building sites with their accompanying artifacts. Still
more important are the records written in long forgotten languages on
stone, clay tablets, metal, wood and paper. These remnants and records,
left by extinguished civilizations, do not tell us all we wish to know,
but they do provide the materials which enable us to reconstruct, at
least in part, the lives of our civilized predecessors.

Extensive in time and massive in the volume of their architecture are
the remains of Egyptian civilization. The earliest of these fragments
date back for more than six thousand years.

The seat of Egyptian civilization was the Nile Valley and its estuary
built out into the Mediterranean Sea from the debris of disintegrating
African mountains. Annual floods left their silt deposits to deepen the
soil along the lower reaches of the river. River water, impounded for
the purpose, provided the means of irrigating an all but rainless desert
countryside. Skillful engineering drained the swamps, adding to the
cultivable area of a narrow valley cut by the river through jagged
barren hills. Deserts on both sides of the Nile protected the valley
against aggressors and migrants. Within this sanctuary the Egyptians
built a civilization that lasted, with a minor break, for some 3,000

Egyptian temples and tombs carry records chiseled and painted on hard
stone, which throw light on the life and times of upper-class Egyptians,
including emperors, provincial governors, courtiers, generals,
merchants, provincial organizers. In a humid, temperate climate these
stone-cut and painted records would have been eroded, overgrown and
obliterated long ago. In the dry desert air of North Africa they have
preserved their identity through the centuries.

Since the Egyptians had a few draft animals, and little if any
power-driven machinery, energy needed to build massive stone temples,
tombs and other public structures must have been supplied by the forced
labor of Egyptians, their serfs and slaves.

Egypt's history dawns on a well-organized society: The Old Kingdom,
based on the productivity of the narrow, lush Nile Valley. The products
of the Valley were sufficient to maintain a large population of
cultivators: some slave, some forced labor, about which we have little
knowledge; a bureaucracy, headed by a supreme ruler whose declared
divinity was one of the chief stabilizing forces of the society. Between
its agricultural base and its ruling monarch, the Old Kingdom had a
substantial middle class which procured the wood, stone, metals and
other materials needed in construction; a corps of engineers,
technicians and skilled workers, and a substantial mass of humanity
which provided the energy needed to erect the temples, monuments and
other remains which testify to the political, economic, and cultural
competence of the ruling elements and the technical skills present in
the Old Kingdom.

Foremost among the factors responsible for the success of the Old
Kingdom was the close partnership between the "lords temporal" and the
"lords spiritual"--the state and the church. The state consisted of a
highly centralized monarchy ruled by a Pharoah who personified temporal
authority. This authority was strengthened because it represented a
consensus of the many gods recognized and worshiped by the Egyptians of
the Old Kingdom. The monarch was also looked upon as an embodiment of
divinity. Some Egyptian pharoahs had been priests who became rulers.
Others had been rulers who became priests. The two aspects of public
life--political and religious--were closely interrelated.

In theory the land of Egypt was the property of the Pharoah. Foreign
trade was a state monopoly. In practice the ownership and use of land
were shared with the temples and with those members of the nobility
closest to the ruling monarch. Hence there were state lands and state
income and temple lands and temple income. The use of state lands was
alloted to favorites. Each temple had land which it used for its own

Political power in the Old Kingdom was a tight monopoly held by the
ruling dynasty of the period. During preceding epochs it seems likely
that rival groups or factions had gone through a period of
power-survival struggle which eliminated one rival after another until
economic ownership and political authority were both vested in the same
ruling oligarchs. This struggle for consolidation apparently reached its
climax when Menes, a pharoah who began his rule about 3,400 B.C., in the
south of Egypt, invaded and conquered the Delta and merged the two
kingdoms, South and North, into one nation which preserved its identity
and its sovereignty until the Persian Conquest of 525 B.C.

The unification of the northern kingdom with the South seems to have
been a slow process, interrupted by insurrections and rebellions in the
Delta and in Lybia. Inscriptions report the suppression of these
insurrections and give the number of war-captives brought to the south
as slaves. In one instance the captives numbered 120,000 in addition to
1,420 small cattle and 400,000 large cattle.

Using these war captives to supplement the home supply of forced and
free labor, successive dynasties built temples, palaces and tombs;
constructed new cities; drained and irrigated land; sent expeditions to
the Sinai peninsula to mine copper. Such enterprises indicate a
considerable economic surplus above that required to take care of a
growing population: the high degree of organization required to plan and
assemble such enterprises, and the considerable engineering and
technological capacity necessary for their execution.

Chief among the binding forces holding together the extensive apparatus
known as the Old Kingdom was religion, with its gods, its temples and
their generous endowments. Each locality consolidated into the Old
Kingdom had its gods and their places for worship. In addition to these
local religious centers there was an hierarchy of national deities,
their temples, temple lands and endowments. The ruling monarch, who was
official servitor of the national gods, interpreting their will and
adding to the endowments of the temples, was the embodiment of secular
and of religious authority.

Egyptians of the period believed that death was not an end, but a
transition. They also believed that those who passed through the death
process would have many of the needs and wants associated with life on
the Earth. Furthermore they believed that in the course of their future
existence those who had died would again inhabit the bodies that they
had during their previous existences on Earth. Following out these
beliefs the Egyptians put into their tombs a full assortment of the
food, clothing, implements and instruments which they had used during
their Earth life. They also embalmed the bodies of their dead with the
utmost care and buried them in carefully hidden tombs where they would
be found by their former users and occupied for the Day of Judgment.

Holding such views, preparation for the phase of life subsequent to
death was a chief object of the early Egyptian rulers and their
subjects. One of the preoccupations of each new occupant of the throne
was the selection of his burial place. Early in his reign he began the
construction of suitable quarters for the reception of his embalmed
body. The great pyramids were such tombs. Other monarchs constructed
rock-hewn chambers for the reception of their bodies. In these chambers
in addition to a room for a sarcophagus were associated rooms in which
every imaginable need of the dead was stored: food, clothing, furniture,
jewelry, weapons.

Adjacent to the royal tomb favored nobles received permission to build
their own tombs, similarly equipped but on a smaller, less grandiose
scale than that of the pharaoh. By this means the courtiers who had
attended the pharaoh in his life-time would be at hand to perform
similar services in the after death existence.

Construction and maintenance of temples and tombs absorbed a
considerable part of Egypt's economic surplus. These drains on the
economy grew more extensive as the country became more populous and more
productive. Thanks to the lack of rain in and near the Nile Valley and
despite the depleting activities of persistent vandalism these
constructs have stood for thirty centuries as monuments to one of the
most extensive and elaborate civilizations known to historians. Despite
the absence of detailed records, Egyptian achievements under the Old
Kingdom indicate an abundance of food, wood, metal and other resources
far in excess of survival requirements; a population sufficiently
extensive to produce the necessaries of existence and a surplus which
made it possible for the lords temporal and spiritual to erect such
astonishing and enduring monuments; high levels of technical skills
among woodsmen, quarrymen and building crews; the transport facilities
by land and water required to assemble the materials, equipment and man
power; the foresight, planning, timing and over-all management involved
in such constructs as the pyramids, temples and tombs which have
withstood the wear and tear of thousands of years; the willingness and
capacity of professionals, technicians, skilled workers, and the masses
of free and slave labor to co-exist and co-operate over the long periods
required for the completion of such extensive structural projects; the
utilization of an extensive economic surplus not primarily for personal
mass or middle-class consumption but to enhance the power and glory of a
tiny minority, its handymen and other dependents; and a considerable
middle class of merchants, managers and technicians.

Speaking sociologically, the structure of Egyptian society from sometime
before 3,400 B.C., to 525 B.C., passed through four distinct phases or
stages. During the first phase, the Nile Valley, which had been
separated by tribal and/or geographical boundaries into a large number
of more or less independent units, was consolidated, integrated and
organized into a single kingdom. This working, functioning area (the
land of Egypt) could provide for most of its basic needs from within its
own borders. In a sense it was a self-sufficient, workable, liveable
area. Egypt was populous, rich, well organized, with a surplus of
wealth, productivity and man-power that could be used outside of its own
frontiers. Some of the surplus was used outside--to the south, into
Central Africa, to the west into North Africa, to the north into Eastern
Europe and Western Asia, inaugurating the second phase of Egyptian
development. During this second phase Egyptian wealth, population and
technology, spilling over its frontiers onto foreign lands, established
and maintained relations with foreign territory on a basis that yielded
a yearly "tribute," paid by foreigners into the Egyptian treasury. The
land of Egypt thus surrounded itself with a cluster of dependencies,
converting what had been an independent state or independent states into
a functioning empire.

The land of Egypt was the nucleus of the Egyptian Empire--center of
wealth and power with its associates and its dependencies. The empire
was held together by a legal authority using armed force where necessary
to assert or preserve its identity and unity.

Expansion, the third phase of Egyptian development, involved the export
of culture traits and artifacts beyond national frontiers, extending the
cultural influence of Egypt into non-Egyptian lands inhabited by Egypt's
neighbors. Merchants, tourists, travelers, explorers and military
adventurers carried the name and fame of Egypt into other centers of
civilization and into the hinterland of barbarism that surrounded the
civilizations of that period.

Thus the land of Egypt expanded into the Egyptian Empire and the
culture of Egypt (its language, its ideas, its artifacts, its
institutions) expanded far beyond the boundaries of Egyptian political
authority and established Egyptian civilization in parts of Africa, Asia
and Europe.

The era of Egyptian civilization was divided into two periods by an
invasion of the Hyksos, nomadic leaders who moved into Egypt, ruled it
for a period and later were expelled and replaced by a new Egyptian

The fourth period of Egypt's experiment with civilization was that of
decline. From a position of political supremacy and cultural ascendancy
Egyptian influence weakened politically, economically, ideologically and
culturally until the year of the Persian Conquest, 525 B.C., when Egypt
became a conquered, occupied, provincial and in some ways a colonial

Egyptian civilization can be summed up in three sentences. It covered
the greatest time span of any civilization known to history. Its
monuments are the most massive. Its records, chiefly in stone, picture
massed humans directed for at least thirty centuries toward providing a
satisfying and rewarding after-life for a tiny favored minority of its
population. To achieve this result, the natural resources of three
adjacent continents were combined and concentrated into the Nile Valley
through an effective imperial apparatus that enabled the Egyptians to
exploit the resources and peoples of adjacent Africa, Asia and Europe
for the enrichment and empowerment of the rulers of Egypt and its
dependencies. The disintegration and collapse of Egyptian civilization
occupied only a small fraction of the time devoted to its upbuilding and

Before, during and after Egyptians played their long and distinguished
parts in the recorded history of civilization, the continent of Asia was
producing a series of civilization in four areas: first at the
crossroads joining Africa and Europe to Asia; then in Western Asia (Asia
Minor); in Central Asia, especially in India and Indonesia and finally
in China and the Far East.

Experiments with civilization during the past six thousand years have
centered in the Eurasian land mass, including the North African littoral
of the Mediterranean Sea. Within this area of potential or actual
civilization, until very recent times, the centers of civilization have
been widely separated geographically and temporally. Occasionally they
have been unified and integrated by some unusual up-thrust like that of
the Egyptian, the Chinese or the Roman civilizations. In the intervals
between these up-thrusts various centers of civilization have maintained
a large degree of autonomy and isolation. Only in the past five
centuries have communication, transportation, trade and tourism created
the basis for an experiment in organizing and coordination of a
planet-wide experiment in civilization.

Nature offered humankind two logical areas for the establishment of
civilizations. One was the cross-roads of migration, trade and travel by
land to and from Asia, Africa and Europe. The other was the
Mediterranean with its possibility of relatively safe and easy
water-migration, trade and travel between the three continents making up
its littoral. Both possibilities were brought together in the Eastern
Mediterranean with its multitude of islands, its broken coastline, and
its many safe harbors.

The Phoenicians developed their far-flung trading activities around the
Mediterranean as a waterway, and the tri-continental crossroads as a
logical center for a civilization built around business enterprise.

Aegean civilization occupied the eastern Mediterranean for approximately
two thousand years. Its nucleus was the island of Crete. Its influence
extended far beyond its island base into southern Europe, western Asia
and North Africa. Experiments with civilization on and near the Indian
sub-continent centered around the Indonesian archipelago and the rich,
semi-tropical and tropical valleys of the Ganges, the Indus, the Gadari,
the Irra-waddy and the Mekong. Although they were contiguous
geographically and extended over a time span of approximately two
thousand years they were aggregates rather than monolithic
civilizations, retaining their localisms and avoiding any strong central

Beginnings of civilization have been made outside the
Asian-European-African triangle centering around the Mediterranean Sea
and the band of South Asia extending from Mesopotamia through India and
Indonesia to China. They include the high Andes, Mexico and Central
America and parts of black Africa. In no one of these cases did the
beginnings reach the stability and universality that characterized the
Eurasian-African civilizations.



Among the many attempts to make the institutions and practices of
civilization promote human welfare, Roman civilization deserves a very
high rating. First, it was located in the eastern Mediterranean area,
the home-site of so many civilizations. Second, it was part and parcel
of a prolonged period of attempts by Egyptians, Assyrians, Hittites,
Babylonians, Mycaenians, Phoenicians and others in the area to set up
successful empires and to play the lead role in building a civilization
that would be more or less permanent. Third, the Romans seemed to have
the hardiness, adaptability, persistence and capacity for
self-discipline necessary to carry such a long term project to a
successful conclusion. Among the widely varied human groups occupying
the eastern Mediterranean area between 1000 B.C. and 1000 A.D., the
Romans seem to have been well qualified to win the laurel crown.

Western civilization is an incomplete experiment. Its outcome remains
uncertain. Its future still hangs in the insecure balance between
construction and destruction, between life and extinction. It is "our"
civilization in a very real sense. It was developed by our forebears. We
live as part of its complex of ideas, practices, techniques,
institutions. Since we are in it and of it, it is difficult for us
humans to judge it objectively.

Roman civilization, on the contrary, is a completed experiment, one that
came into being, developed over several centuries, attained a zenith of
wealth and power, then sank gradually from sight, until it lived only as
a part of history. A study of Roman civilization has two advantages.
First, its life cycle has been completed. Second, it is close enough to
us in history and its records are so numerous and so well preserved that
we can form a fairly accurate picture of its structure and its
functions. It was written up extensively by the Romans themselves, by
their Greek and other contemporaries and by a host of scholars and
students; since the break-up of Roman civilization as a political,
economic and cultural force in world affairs.

Rome's experiment is sometimes called Graeco-Roman civilization because
Greece and Italy were close geographical neighbors and also because
Greek culture, which reached its zenith by 500 B.C. and was closely
paralleled by the rise of Roman culture, had a profound effect in
determining the total character of Roman civilization. In a very real
sense Graeco-Roman civilization was the parent of western civilization.
Among the many completed civilizations of which we have fairly adequate
records, those concerning Rome are most complete and most available.

The story of Roman civilization begins in the Eastern Mediterranean
Basin in an era when Greek and Phoenician cities, together with segments
and fragments of the Egyptian-Assyrian-Babylonian civilizations were
competing for raw materials, trade and alliances. Egyptians had been
supreme in the area for centuries. The Sumerian, Aegean, Chinese,
Hittite, Assyrian and Indian civilizations had enjoyed periods of
dominance but had never reached the level of supremacy enjoyed by the

When Rome came on the scene as a first-rate power, circa 300 B.C., the
crucial land bridge joining Africa, Europe and Asia was being passed
from hand to hand, with no power strong enough to succeed Egypt as the
dominant political-economic-cultural force in the region. Historically
speaking it was an interregnum, a period of transition. Egypt had ceased
to dominate the public life of the area. The trading cities of the
Greeks and the Phoenicians were pushing their way of life into the front
ranks among the recognized powers. The kingdoms of Asia-Minor were
still warring for supremacy in a field which none of the local kingdoms
was able to dominate and hold for any considerable period of time.

Public affairs at the African-European-Asian crossroads were being
periodically disturbed and upset by the intrusion of Asian marauders and
nomads who came in successive waves, defeated and drove the native
inhabitants off from the choicest land and settled down in their places,
only to be pushed out in their turn by fresh Asian migrants.

The African-European-Asian triangle was a meeting place and a battle
ground. Phoenician and Greek cities brought to this scene new factors
and new forces: the rudiments of science; trade and commerce, including
a money economy, accounting and cost keeping; the elements of economic
organization; the conduct of public affairs by governments based on law
rather than on the whim and word of a deified potentate; and the
construction of cities and city states built on these foundations.

Rome entered the picture when the forces of political absolutism based
upon an agriculture operated by serfs and slaves had fought themselves
to a standstill and exhausted their historical usefulness. The times
called for new forces capable of adapting themselves to a new culture
pattern extending over a greatly enlarged world. The Romans, with their
Greek associates, were in a position to fill the gap.

Romans lived originally in Latium, a small land area in southern Italy
on the Tiber River far enough inland to be protected against pirates.
They built a city which finally covered seven adjacent hills and
developed a community of working farmers, merchants, craftsmen and
professionals. The farms were small, averaging perhaps eight to fifteen
acres, an area large enough to provide a family with a stable though
meagre livelihood. The farmers were hard working and frugal.

At this period of Roman history and mythology Latium was one of many
communities occupying Italy. Each was self-governing. Each took the
steps necessary for survival and expansion. Like their neighbors, the
inhabitants of Latium were prepared to defend themselves against piracy,
brigandage and ambitious, aggressive rivals. Defense took the form of an
embankment and a water-filled moat which surrounded the early
settlements and provided shelter for herdsman and farmers in case of

At some point in pre-history, presumably when Etruscan princes were in
control of Roman affairs, the protective earth embankment which
surrounded the Roman settlements was strengthened by building a moat 100
feet wide and 30 feet deep. Behind the moat was a stone wall 10 feet
thick and 30 feet or more in height. Parts of this defense were built
and rebuilt at various times. When completed they were about six miles
in length, enclosing an area sufficient to accommodate the chief
buildings of the city and living space for a population of perhaps
200,000 people.

The defenses were designed to prevent interference or intrusion into the
life of the Romans. Behind them the inhabitants constructed temples, a
forum, palaces and other public buildings, bringing in clean mountain
water by an aqueduct that eventually reached a length of 44 miles,
constructing an extensive system of drains and sewers that disposed of
city wastes, building a network of roads that eventually gave the Romans
access first to all parts of Italy and later to the entire Mediterranean
Basin. They also replaced the wooden bridges over the Tiber and other
rivers by stone bridges carried on stone piers and arches.

Early in their building activities the Romans learned to make a cement
so weather-resistant that many of their constructs are still usable two
thousand years after the Romans built them. These and similar building
operations made Rome one of the show places of the Graeco-Roman world.
They also provided for the Romans a level of stability and security far
beyond that of their neighbors in that part of the unstable Italian

At the time Rome was founded, presumably about 700 B.C., the Italian
peninsula was occupied by a large number of principalities, kingdoms and
tribal nomads, newly arrived from eastern Europe and Asia. The struggle
for pasturage and fertile soil, for dwelling sites and trading
opportunities, went on ceaselessly. Romans, like their neighbors and
competitors, were reaching out to provide themselves with food, building
materials, trade opportunities, strategic advantages. They expanded
peacefully if possible, using diplomacy up to a certain point and only
engaging in war as a last resort. But since the entire Italian peninsula
was occupied by more or less independent groups, each of which was
seeking a larger and safer place in the sun, the outcome was ceaseless
diplomatic maneuvering, using war as an instrument of policy in the
struggle for pelf and power. Four centuries of power struggle, in which
Romans played an increasingly prominent role, gave the Roman Republic
and its allies substantial control of the entire Italian peninsula.
Beginning as one among many small independent states in Italy, the
inhabitants of Latium emerged from four centuries of competitive
diplomatic and military struggle as the de facto masters of all Italy.

Power struggles are carried on by contestants who occupy a particular
land area with its resources and other advantages. Latium was small in
extent (some 2,000 square miles) and had very limited natural
advantages. Operating from this restricted base, through four centuries
of diplomacy, intrigue and war, the Romans enlarged their base of
operations to include the whole of Italy. In this crucial era of its
history Rome expanded its geographic-economic base to a point from which
it could use the natural and human resources of all Italy as a nucleus
upon which to build the Roman Empire in Europe, West Asia and North

At the beginning of this period the Mediterranean Basin housed a number
of African, Asian and European empires. Each exercised authority over a
part of the Mediterranean littoral. Each empire was built around its
central city or cities. Each empire had its distinctive institutions and
practices. During these centuries all of the empires were defeated,
conquered, occupied and either dismembered or otherwise brought under
Roman control.

Extension of Roman authority, first over the Italian peninsula and
subsequently over parts of Europe, Africa and Asia, was the result of a
policy of expansion that was aggressively, persistently and patiently
followed by Roman leaders and policy makers. Neighboring territories
were amalgamated into the nucleus of the Roman Empire. More remote
territories were associated by treaty as allies of Rome, as dependent or
client dependencies of Rome, and as colonies or provinces of the Roman
Empire. In all cases they were integral parts of an expanding political,
economic and military sphere of influence with Rome, and later Italy, as
the center and nucleus. In the course of this development the expanding
Roman Empire grew to be the wealthiest and most powerful political,
sociological and cultural unit in the Euro-Asian-African area.

The Roman imperial cycle spanned some thirteen centuries. During this
period Roman life was transformed from its small, local seat of
authority in Central Italy into its new stature as the outstanding power
in the Mediterranean area. Economically it extended from peasant
proprietorship and a use economy to a market-money economy; from a
society of working peasant farmers to an economy resting upon war
captives reduced to slavery; from an economy based on production for
trade and profit to an economy based on power-grabbing, special
privilege, speculation and corruption; from an austerity economy based
on primary production to an economy based on affluence, exploitation,
and gluttony.

These revolutionary transformations in the Roman economy were
accompanied, politically, by hardening of the division of Roman society
along class lines with the resulting contradictions, antagonisms, and
class struggles, including open class warfare.

Domestic contradictions, confrontations, civil strife and formal civil
war were present throughout the entire history of Rome. They existed in
embryo in the earliest days of the original settlements on the seven
hills over which the city of Rome eventually spread. As Rome and its
interests became more complex socially and more extensive geographically
the number and variety of contradictions, confrontations, civil and
military conflicts increased correspondingly.

In terms of individual human lives the changes which took place in
Roman society during the six or seven centuries that elapsed between the
early Roman settlements and the reign of their Emperor Augustus were
profound and far-reaching. Many communities of diverse and often
incompatible backgrounds and interests were herded together,
helter-skelter, into the City of Rome, Latium, the Italian nucleus and
the subsequent alliances, federations, conquests, consolidations into
colonies, occupied areas, provinces and spheres of influence. The
greater the number and diversity of these interests and relationships,
the greater the probability of conflict. This empire building process
was not gradual and directed with scrupulous care to preserve the
amenities and niceties of polite social intercourse. The job was done by
and under the direction of military leaders who are traditionally in a
hurry to get results. The subordinates who carried out military
decisions were volunteer-professional soldiers, mercenary adventurers
and conscripts drawn form the four corners of the empire. As the empire
grew in extent and as its troubles multiplied, the military was more
frequently called upon to take over and iron out difficulties.

Domestically, in the city of Rome and its immediate environs, there were
several sharp lines of cleavage; between Roman citizens and
non-citizens; between the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, the working
proletariat and the idle proletariat; between the rich and the poor;
between freeman (citizens) and the slaves who grew in numbers as the
wars of conquest and consolidation multiplied war captives; between the
civilian bureaucrats and the members of the military hierarchy.

In the brief period of maximum territorial expansion following the
defeat and destruction of Carthage, the frontiers of the Roman Empire
were pushed out ruthlessly, North, East, West and South. In the
hurly-burly of rapid expansion individual rights were ignored, local
communities and entire regions were overrun, depopulated and resettled
with the tough disregard of individual and local interests that must
characterize any quick, general movement--economic, sociological or
military. If the expansion, expulsion and rehabilitation had produced
greater degrees of stability and security for individuals and social
groups they might have been tolerated and assimilated by the diverse
populations caught up in the maelstrom of drastic expansion. But rapid,
coercive social transformation produces neither stability nor security.
Its normal consequence is chaos, conflict and further change. In the
course of these internal conflicts the Roman Republic was gradually
phased out. In theory it persisted until the establishment of the
military dictatorship of Julius Caesar. Practically, while many of its
forms remained, the conduct of public affairs passed more and more into
the hands of political leaders who were able to command the backing of
the legions.

When the first war against Carthage was launched in 265 B.C., Carthage
was at the height of her power. Situated on the North African Coast
almost directly across the Mediterranean from Italy, the Carthaginians
were in effective control of the western Mediterranean. Carthage was
firmly entrenched in Spain. It was trading extensively with the British
Isles. Fleets of Carthaginian war ships patrolled the Mediterranean
guarding against piracy and economic or political interference by

Roman political and business leaders, inexperienced in international
political dealings and the promotion of international trade, found their
further expansion to the west blocked by Carthaginian political,
economic and military installations. The result of the confrontation was
a series of three wars that began in 265 B.C., and ended in 146. During
these 119 years an established power, Carthage, struggled to preserve
its position against aggressive Roman efforts to take control of the
West Mediterranean basin. The Carthaginians, under the able generalship
of Hannibal, mobilized a military force (including elephants), marched
from Spain over the Alpine passes into Italy reaching the gates of Rome.
Romans countered with the slogan: "Carthage must be destroyed!" When the
third Punic war ended in 146 B.C., with the defeat of the Carthaginian
military forces, the city of Carthage was leveled.

The defeat of Carthage gave the Romans control of the western
Mediterranean. During the same period Roman interests were pushing into
East Europe and Western Asia. In 214 B.C., Philip of Macedon had made an
alliance with Hannibal, directed against Rome. Consequently, three wars
between Rome and Macedonia followed, the third ending in 168 B.C., with
the defeat of the Macedonians and their subordination to Roman authority
in the form of a Roman governor.

When opposition to Roman influence developed in Greece in 148 B.C., a
commission of ten was appointed by the Roman Senate to settle affairs in
the Greek peninsula. The city of Corinth was burned to the ground and
its lands were confiscated. Thebes and Chalcis were also destroyed. The
walls of all towns which had shared in the revolt against Rome were
pulled down. All confederations between Greek cities were dissolved.
Disarmament, isolation and Roman taxation were imposed on the Greek
cities and the oversight of affairs was assigned to the Roman governor
of neighboring Macedonia.

Successful wars against Syria and Egypt extended Roman control over
additional territory in West Asia and North Africa. A map of Italy at
the time of the Roman Federation in 268 B.C. shows Rome as the most
powerful among two score minor associates in the federation. A map of
the Roman Empire at the death of Augustus in 14 A.D. shows a Roman
Empire extending from the Atlantic seaboard on the west to Central
Europe on the north, the Black Sea on the east and a generous strip of
Africa on the south.

Within three centuries Rome had expanded from its position as a minor
state in Italy to the effective control of those portions of three
continents which bordered the Mediterranean. Conquests during the
following century further extended the Roman frontiers.

Under the Caesars Rome was a society in the throes of political
transition. Roman Emperors, backed and frequently selected by the
military, were exercising despotic power. They still paid lip service to
the Constitution, an instrument that had relevance during the life of
the defunct Republic. In the era of the Caesars the law slumbered and
might ruled. The turbulent masses were fed and housed by the Roman
Oligarchy to which the Emperors were ultimately responsible. The far
flung territories conquered by military power and held by military
occupation were subject to the authority of the same Roman Oligarchy.

Behind the shams, frauds and tyrannies of a political dictatorship
paying lip service to the corpse of a defunct Republic lay the stark
realities of a bankrupt economy. Throughout the era of the Caesars the
Roman Empire continued to expand geographically. It also came into
contact and conflict with peoples so remote from Italy that for them
Rome was only a name for tyranny, extortion and exploitation. Julius
Caesar and his immediate successors penetrated these remote territories,
subjugating them, levying tribute, appointing governors and other
officials, policing them, pretending to rule over them. To do this
soldiers were marching on foot into regions that lay thousands of miles
from the mother city. To be sure, they marched over Roman roads and
bridges so well constructed that some of them are still being used at
the present day.

But the excellence of Roman engineering could not match up to the
implacable limitations of time and distance. Nor could they overlook the
need for building the physical structure of Roman economy as they
advanced into enemy territory. Equally decisive were the political
consequences of the property confiscation and forced labor required to
establish and maintain Roman power and enrich greedy Roman officials and
their lackeys and overseers.

Rising overhead costs, with no corresponding growth of income, an empty
treasury in Rome, and a persistent policy of fleecing the provinces to
pay for the normal costs of bureaucracy, plus its extravagances and
excesses, could lead to only one possible outcome. Higher taxes and more
ruinous levies in the newly conquered provinces could not fill the
insatiable maw of deficit spending.

Inflation was the immediate result, accompanied and followed by the
debasement of currency and new expropriations of private property.
Government expenses consistently exceeded income. The situation was
aggravated by the growth of parasitic elements which persistently
produced little or nothing and as persistently multiplied their luxuries
and extravagances. The parasites grew richer. The impoverished masses
suffered the normal deprivations of poverty plus the weight of steadily
rising over-head costs. As Roman authority extended farther from its
center, the chasm between its income and its out-go widened.

Slave labor aggravated the situation. There was a time when Roman
farmers and craftsmen did their own work. That time ended with the
enslavement of war captives who swamped the labor market. Like any
parasitic growth, slavery and forced labor destroyed the fabric of a
largely self-contained economy based on peasant proprietorship.

Roman economy was honey-combed with problems created by deficit
spending, currency devaluation and exploitation. At its base was a
foot-loose urban proletariat made up largely of refugees from a
countryside given over increasingly to the employment of military
captives as slave labor. The city masses at the outset were extensively
unemployed. Increasingly they became unemployable, parasitic, restless,

At the outset the slave revolts were local and occasional. As the slaves
grew more numerous unrest spread and hardened into organized resistance.
Spartacus, a slave, led a revolt which mobilized armies, defeated the
Roman legions in a series of battles and ended only with the death of
Spartacus and the dispersal of his forces.

Local and provincial affairs under the Roman Empire were administered by
a self-seeking corrupt bureaucracy.

Expansion by means of military conquest increased the influence of the
military at the expense of the civilian administrators. The consequent
burdens of militarism reached from the bottom to the top of Roman
society. Eventually, under the Caesars, the military selected emperors
from among the rivals for the purple of imperial authority, and used the
legions under their command to protect and promote their own political
fortunes, thus maintaining a form of latent and frequently open civil

Colonial unrest and provincial self-seeking were promoted by
conspiracies among Rome's less dependable allies.

Wars of rivalry between Roman candidates for top preferment shifted the
power-balance out of civilian hands into the grip of the military. Step
by step and stage by stage the Roman Empire became a warfare state
maintained at home and abroad by the intervention of the military. Wars
of rivalry at home in Rome were paralleled by wars of rivalry abroad.

During the Era of the Caesars Rome became the Eurasian-African honey
pot. Wealth centered there. Authority was enthroned there. Power was
generated there. Throughout the sphere of Roman political influence, of
trade and travel, the central position of Rome was recognized and
acknowledged. Not only knowledge and authority, but folklore mushroomed,
with Rome as its central theme. Asian nomads, searching for grass, Asian
potentates seeking new worlds to conquer and plunder, heard of Rome and
finally went there. All roads led to Rome. Thousands of miles of stone
roads were built as binding forces to hold the Empire together and
defend it against all possible enemies. It was along these roads that
the legions marched as they pushed back potential invaders and extended
the frontiers. It was these same roads and bridges that made easy and
sure the advance of the Asian hordes that would one day occupy and loot
the home city. Roads and bridges enabled Roman authority to maintain and
extend itself. The same roads and bridges provided a freeway that led
into the citadel of Roman power.

Under the Caesars the Roman Empire achieved its greatest geographical
extent and exercised its widest cultural influence. The city of Rome was
the capital of the western world. There was one state, one law, one
economy, one official language, one military authority.

Despite its apparent massiveness, Roman civilization was not a monolith.
Rather it was a conglomerate, consisting of many parts held together by
connecting social tissues which Rome and Italy alone supplied. In the
first instance there was a division into provinces, colonies and newly
acquired territories. The provinces, under their Roman appointed
governors, enjoyed a large measure of economic and cultural
self-determination within the Roman Empire. Beyond the Roman Empire lay
territories and peoples associated with Rome by treaties, bound to Rome
by trade and travel, in some cases paying tribute to Rome, but enjoying
sufficient autonomy as peoples, nations and empires maneuvering for
position and advantage, frequently allying themselves with non-Roman
areas and occasionally conspiring to by-pass Roman authority and even to
challenge Roman supremacy.

This political diversity along the defense perimeter of the Roman Empire
existed in a chaos ranging from questioned authority to open defiance
and military challenges to Rome and the threat of Romanization. Along
this defense perimeter were stationed the legions that guarded the
frontiers. Across it moved trade, travel, incursions, invasions and
periodic reprisals as a result of which the more turbulent neighbors
were brought within the sphere of Rome's influence or, in cases of
extreme dissidence and resistance, were depopulated, colonized and added
to the Roman conglomerate.

It goes without saying that the influence of Roman culture extended far
beyond the Roman defense perimeter, reaching peoples, nations and
empires to which Rome was little more than a name. The no-man's land
between what-was and what-was-not Rome not only existed in a state of
perpetual uncertainty, but provided a battle field for the smuggling,
brigandage, the periodic border clashes, the migrations, incursions,
invasions and punitive expeditions that are the characteristic features
of every ill-defined political boundary.

Roman civilization under the Caesars was a centralized absolutism with a
large measure of peripheral deviation and autonomy. It was directed by a
central oligarchy and patrolled, defended and extended by a military
force unified in theory but in practice grouped around the outstanding
personalities and subjected to the vagaries and upsets always associated
with power politics in the hands of military backed political despots.

Roman civilization, like all social organisms, came into being, moved
toward maturity, reached a plateau of fulfillment from which it
declined, broke up and eventually disappeared into the interregnum known
as the Dark Ages. The entire episode occupied a dozen centuries. Its
beginnings were unimpressively local. At the height of its wealth, power
and cultural influence it bestrode the Eurasian-African triangle. Its
decline and disappearance were no less spectacular than its meteoric
rise to fame and fortune.

I would like to summarize the Roman experiment and some of its lessons
by listing and commenting briefly on the forces that built up Roman
civilization and those forces which resulted in its decline and

Primary up-building forces in the Roman experiment:

   1. Establishing the city of Rome as a stable, defensible center
   of merchandising and commerce, transport, finance, population,
   wealth and power with a hinterland of associates
   and dependencies. As it turns out, the city of Rome has
   outlived both the Roman Empire and Roman Civilization.

   2. Steadfast dedication to Roman interests first, by all necessary
   means and despite costs which at the time seemed to
   be excessive.

   3. A recognition of that which is possible, especially in political
   relationships. The acceptance with good grace of a
   half-loaf where no more was available.

   4. Consistent, persistent aggression and expansion where such
   policies were beneficial to Rome, with little or no regard
   for their effects on Roman associates, allies, friends or
   enemies. Studied ruthlessness.

   5. Rewarding Rome's friends, allies and associates with economic,
   political and cultural advantages. Implacably punishing
   and where necessary exterminating Rome's persistent

   6. Wide tolerance of local cultural variation in matters that
   did not conflict with the major principles and practices of
   Rome's central authority.

   7. Taking defeats in their stride, paying the price, and recovering
   lost momentum. Again advancing along avenues
   which led to Roman success and aggrandizement.

   8. Indomitable persistence in the pursuit of major objectives.

   9. After the reigns of Julius Caesar and Augustus, concentrating
   power in a single person and his chosen brain trust,
   using that power to further aggrandize the Roman Empire
   and Roman Civilization.

This category is not complete. It aims to answer the basic question: In
a situation where a thousand contestants entered the knock-down and
drag-out struggle, first for survival and then for supremacy, what
qualities or qualifications enabled Romans to win the laurel crown of

Paralleling the up-building forces that established Roman supremacy were
counter-forces which undermined and eventually destroyed the Roman
Empire and Roman civilization:

   1. The growth of city life at the expense of rural existence.
   At the outset of its life cycle, Rome was essentially rural.
   At the end of the cycle Roman culture was turning its
   back upon ruralism and moving into a culture that was
   to be chiefly urban during an entire millennium. In that
   millennium Rome, her associates and dependencies, experimented
   with a culture that was essentially urban, but
   encircled, dependent and eventually replaced by a culture
   that was essentially rural.

   2. During the millennium between 600 B.C. and 500 A.D.
   the Romans and their associates succeeded in bringing
   large parts of Europe, Asia and Africa under their control,
   but the control was so rigid and temporary that tribalism
   and local nationalisms broke loose from the fetters of central
   authority and coercive integration, shattering the
   structure of Roman civilization and its structural core--the
   Roman Empire. Instead of resulting in closer cooperation,
   the strategy and tactics of the Roman builders and
   organizers led to contradictions, bitter feuds, civil strife,
   independence movements which combined with expansionist
   diplomacy and periodic wars to discourage, frustrate
   and eventually to eliminate peace, order and planned

   2. The spread of chattel slavery had a profound effect upon
   the texture of Roman life. At the outset Roman family
   farms housed the bulk of the population. During the cycle
   of Roman civilization unnumbered millions of captives
   were seized in the course of military operations and reduced
   to slavery. By the end of the Roman cycle the
   work-load of agriculture, commerce, industry, mining,
   transport, and the domestic life of the well-to-do was
   carried by slaves. Basically, therefore, the Roman world
   was divided first into Romans and non-Romans and second
   into masters and slaves, with a third category which consisted
   of an immense bureaucracy (including the military),
   a professional and technological group and a heavy burden
   of persistent parasitism.

   4. Growth of the abyss that separated wealth and the
   wealthy from mass poverty in the cities and the countryside.
   The abyss was widened and deepened by the presence
   of slavery. More extensive and more frequent foreign
   conquests added to the volume of slave labor in a market
   already glutted and reduced the price of slaves. Against
   this super-abundant cheap slave labor, free labor could
   compete only by reducing its standard of living and thus
   deepening the abyss of poverty. At the other end of the
   social arc, the rich were able to surround themselves with
   multitudes of slaves who provided the energy needed to
   carry on the complex life of Roman civilization. As the
   Roman world expanded, the abyss widened, deepened
   and became all but impassable. It was from such lower
   depths that Spartacus and other leaders of rebellious slaves
   drew sufficient manpower to challenge and for a time
   even defeat the full military power of Rome.

   5. Built into the structure of Roman civilization was the
   potential of civil war. The contradictions of mass slavery
   and poverty side by side with boundless leisure and
   abundance was only one side of the picture. Each of the
   more distant provinces became a possible base from which
   ambitious governors or generals could wage wars of independent
   conquest at the expense of Roman authority. Each
   newly subjugated people, smarting under defeat and the
   heavy hand which Rome laid on its dissidents and opponents,
   became a potential center for disaffection, conspiracy
   and rebellion against Roman authority.

   6. Conflicts over power succession, in the provinces, and
   more significantly in the mother city, added another
   aspect to the many sided pressures. As there was no legal
   means of determining the succession, the end of each
   imperial reign offered the probability of military intervention.

   7. Deification of emperors, during the era of the Caesars,
   led to the denigration and degradation of the common
   man. The fact that the common men of Rome were more
   and more likely to be poor slaves furthered the process
   and deepened the abyss between the haves and have-nots.

   8. Among the forces of disintegration operating in Rome
   none was more potent and more decisive than the numerical
   growth of the military and the increasing probability
   that any one of the growing contradictions and conflicts
   would lead to intervention by the military. Roman emperors
   were dictators and their retention of authority
   was increasingly decided by the legions which were
   willing and able to fight for the perpetuation and extension
   of their authority.

   9. The extensive, complicated, elaborate structure of Roman
   civilization involved a persistent and implacable rise of
   overhead costs of food and raw materials, of production,
   of transportation, of the bureaucracy, including the military.
   The area of Roman civilization increased arithmetically.
   Overhead costs rose geometrically. They were
   expressed in an empty treasury, rising taxes, inflation,
   expropriation, the degradation of the currency.

   10. Side by side with the rise in overhead costs went the
   increase of parasitism among the rich and among the poor.
   Something-for-nothing was the order of the day. Speculation
   was rampant. Gambling was universal. Instead of
   living by production of goods and services, Romans let
   the slaves do their work and lived by their wits.

   11. From top to bottom of Roman society negative forces
   replaced positive forces. Self directed labor gave place to
   slavery; participation in productive activity yielded to
   parasitism; productivity was subordinated to destructivity;
   the spirit of independence was replaced by the acceptance
   of increasing arbitrary individual authority.

   12. Roman society constantly faced and consistently failed
   to solve the contradiction between centralism and local
   interests and local rights. This contradiction increased
   with increasing size, diversity and complexity.

   13. Psychological forces played a part in the breakdown and
   break-up of Roman civilization. People lost faith and hope.
   They became disillusioned and cynical. They forgot the
   common good and devoted themselves to the gratification
   of body hungers. They turned from proud service of
   fatherland to the pursuit of pleasure for pleasure's sake.
   Romans lost freshness and vigor. Creativeness had never
   been as highly regarded among the Romans as it was
   among the Greeks. Life was lived closer to the surface. It
   was confined more and more to the present. Growth in
   the volume of Roman life sapped its vitality so that there
   was less surplus for experiment and innovation as more
   and more of the social income was devoted to meeting
   overhead costs.

Moralists have insisted that the decline and dissolution of Roman
civilization resulted from the abandonment of moral standards.
Undoubtedly this was true. The upstanding womanhood and manhood of early
Rome was replaced by a wealth-seeking, pleasure-loving, parasitically
inclined population. But these features of Roman life under the empire
and during the period of Roman decline were the outcome of political,
economic and social forces that have characterized one civilization
after another. Instead of insisting that Rome declined and fell because
it was immoral, it would be far more accurate to insist that Rome
declined and fell because the objectives which it sought, the means it
employed and the civilized institutions which it developed contained
within themselves oppositions and contradictions which led to decline
and dissolution. Rome declined and fell because the ideas, institutions
and practices upon which it depended--the ideas, institutions and
practices of civilization--could lead to no other outcome.



An experiment with civilization presently spans the planet Earth. It is
called "modern," "contemporary" or "western civilization." Its
artifacts, institutions and practices predominate in Europe, North
America and Australasia. They play a prominent role in the lives of
Asians, South Americans and Africans.

Two thousand years ago a long established Egyptian civilization was
passing into the shadows. Civilizations in China and India were
developing. Roman civilization was approaching the zenith of its

A thousand years ago Roman civilization, like that of Egypt, was a
memory; Chinese and Indian civilizations were holding their own, while
the followers of Islam were reaching out into Central Asia, North Africa
and Eastern Europe.

In east central Europe and around the Mediterranean the beginnings of
western civilization had made their appearance and were expanding their
control along the Eurasian trade routes and beginning to penetrate
western and northern Europe. The Crusades had introduced Asian culture
traits into the European backwoods. Hardy European and Asian mariners
were penetrating the Americas. Dark ages of ignorance and superstition
which had held sway in Europe for centuries were coming to an end.
Western civilization was beginning to draw the breath of a new life.

The vast structure of Roman civilization had split West from East. The
Eastern Empire retained its form and continued its culture for centuries
after its break with the West. Meanwhile the West fragmented into
smaller and smaller units, increasingly self-contained and increasingly
isolated. Cities raised and manned their own walls. The countryside
broke up into smaller and smaller divisions over which the Holy Roman
Empire exercised little more than a shadowy authority. Each landed
estate had its stronghold or castle. Each locality looked after its own
interests. The massive Roman Universal State, stretching for centuries
across parts of three continents, had broken up into a multitude of tiny
semi-sovereign, semi-independent fragments. Some of the fragments as
leagues, alliances and coalitions were reaching nationhood.

New dawn was illuminating the Dark Ages. Western man was sorting and
re-assembling some of the scattered fragments of the defunct and
dismembered Roman civilization. The task was colossal. Rome's "one
authority, one law, one language" hegemony had been replaced by an all
pervading diversity. The closely knit Greco-Roman Empire had been
superseded in Europe by a sparsely inhabited, roadless wilderness,
largely bereft of trade, using waterways as the easiest means of
communication and transport. The economy was built around wood cutting,
charcoal burning, backward animal husbandry, hand-tool agriculture,
hand-craft industry, the rudiments of commerce and finance centered in
trading cities. The great houses of the aristocracy and the gentry,
scattered villages, towns and walled cities were preoccupied and
disrupted by endless feuding and between-seasons warfare.

Adding to the chaos of this dismembered society were the controversies
over dynastic succession. Intermittent incursions of migrating hordes
from central Asia pushed their way into central and southern Europe.
Covert and open conflicts between ecclesiastical and secular authority
added to the general lethargy, confusion and chaos.

Europe struggled for centuries to free itself from Asian invasion and
occupation. At the same time Europe was improving its agriculture,
restoring its trade and expanding its hand-craft industries and its
commerce. Towns grew in population and productivity. Life-standards rose
in the cities. Cities based on trade and commerce extended their
authority and became city-states. Commercial cities joined their forces
to form trading leagues.

Lords spiritual and temporal, who had ruled Europe for centuries, were
joined by lords commercial, enriched by the growth of trade, transport
and developing industry.

Generations passed into centuries--the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth
and seventeenth. From small local beginnings the nations of western
Europe emerged: Spain, Portugal, the Low Countries, France, Britain,
Italy, Austria and eventually Russia. Each was a consolidation of local
principalities, earldoms, dukedoms, kingdoms. Each was passing through
the rural-urban transformation. Each was outgrowing feudalism and
producing a larger and larger group of businessmen, professionals,
tradesmen, craftsmen and maturing a middle class and a proletariat.
After the fifteenth century each state was spilling over its own
frontiers, annexing or losing neighboring territory, spreading beyond
the boundaries of Europe into the teeming markets of Asia and the newly
discovered treasure-house of the Americas.

A score of European peoples were engaged in the give-and-take of this
struggle for wealth and power--for land and its resources in Europe,
North Africa and the Near East; for booty, trade and overseas colonies.
As the struggle grew more intense smaller and weaker nations dropped out
of the contest or were partitioned and gobbled up piecemeal.

Such was the condition of Europe's free-for-all in the closing years of
the seventeenth century and the opening decades of the eighteenth
century, while three developing forces pushed into the forefront of
European life: the enlightenment and science, representative government,
and the industrial revolution.

Enlightenment broadened the social basis of knowledge and learning.
During the Dark Ages, knowledge and learning were a monopoly of a tiny
privileged minority composed of priests, scholars and a segment of the
aristocracy. Monasteries, great houses and trading cities sheltered this
monopoly. The countryside was a sea of ignorance, superstition,
oppression and exploitation. With the printing press came books. Books
promoted literacy and curiosity. Literacy and curiosity led to
speculation, experiment, discovery and the formulation and spread of
ideas. The product of these forces was science, which had had a long
period of gestation in North Africa and Asia.

Dark Ages of localism, with landlords, priests and soldiers directing
public affairs led to the concentration of wealth and power in the
landed aristocracy and the church. But traders in the countryside and
merchants in the centers of commerce held a talisman that opened before
them ever increasing sources of wealth. Country dwellers harvested one
crop a year. When crops were poor they starved. At best the margin of
profit was thin. Traders and merchants made a profit every time they
found a customer. The countryside lived on a use economy supplemented by
barter. As money increased in quantity it was loaned at rates of
interest by merchants and bankers who owned it and used it for their
purposes. Accumulating wealth and money enabled the traders, merchants,
bankers and manufacturers to out-buy and out-point landlords and
churchmen. Politically, these changes reduced the authority of absolute
monarchies. In their places representative governments made their

The third force that surfaced in Europe after the end of the Dark Ages
was the industrial revolution, which led to fundamental changes in the
means of production at the same time that advances in natural and social
science produced their practical counterpart--an explosive expansion of

Science, representative government and the industrial revolution led to
a rapid and extensive transformation of western society sometimes
referred to as the bourgeois revolution. As the bourgeois revolution
worked its way into the structure and function of European society, the
developing class of businessmen and professionals who had begun to
challenge the power-monopoly of the "lords spiritual and temporal" ended
by establishing a higher power monopoly under the control of business,
military, public relations oligarchy. This revolutionary transformation
of modern society took place during the thousand years that elapsed
between the crusades and the closing years of the nineteenth century.
The resulting social transformation had its geographical homeland in
Europe from which it spread around the planet. Politically, these forces
found expression through the commerce-dominated, profit-seeking,
colonizing empires, with the nation-state as nucleus. Colonizing empires
became the dominant force in Europe and in the non-European segments of
the planet which were gradually brought under European imperial control.

In the course of voyaging, "discovery" and the establishment of trade,
Europeans set up military outposts and maintained increasingly large
naval forces. The avowed object of these military and naval build-ups
was to defend and promote Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, French and British
imperial interests. Actually military and naval installations were
marking out and maintaining the defense perimeters of their respective
colonial empires. One of the widely accepted axioms of the period
equated colonies with national prosperity. The more successful
colonizing empires of the seventeenth and eighteen centuries became the
strongholds of nineteenth century monopoly capitalism.

Industrial revolution, flowering in Europe during the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries, gave the European commercial empires a lead over
potential rivals based on Asian wealth-power centres. As a result of
this lead European empire builders were able to establish and maintain
their authority in India and Indonesia, dismember the Turkish and
Chinese empires and partition Africa among themselves. Their only
potential rivals were the lumbering, isolationist United States of North
America and the newly awakened Island Kingdom of Japan. Both of these
non-European nations began playing serious wealth-power roles in the
same period from 1895 to 1910. Up to that point Europe continued to be
the homeland of monopoly capitalism. The chief centers of heavy
industry, commerce and finance were in Europe. European merchant fleets
and European navies sailed the seas. European banks and business houses
dominated planetary financing, insuring and investing.

Viewed from outside, the ascendancy of Europe seemed to be complete.
Europe held the strategic strong points: productivity, wealth, the means
of transportation, mobile fire-power. By the end of the nineteenth
century Europe was the monopoly-capitalist motherland. The rest of the
planet was made up of actual or potential dependents under European
authority. From these outsiders living at subsistence levels, Europeans
could get their supplies of food and raw materials at low prices and to
them Europeans could sell their surplus manufactures, their commercial
services, and their investment capital at high prices. The resulting
European prosperity was expected to continue indefinitely into the

This planetary structure, with Europe as the center of wealth, power,
art, science, free business enterprise and wage slavery, progress and
poverty, left the majority of mankind living as dependents and
colonials. The situation embodied several confrontations:

   1. The masters of Europe might quarrel among themselves.

   2. Non-Europeans might set up rival wealth power centers
   and challenge Europe's world hegemony.

   3. Colonials and other dependants might demand independence,
   and equal status in the family of nations.

   4. Rootless middle classes and the wretched of the earth
   might join forces and pull down western civilization's house
   of cards.

Western civilization, like its predecessors, was accepting and following
one central principle: expand, grab and keep. The application of this
principle took the form of an axiom of public and private life: might
makes right; let him take who has the power; let him keep who can.

Grab and keep, in a period of rapid economic expansion, led each of the
burgeoning European empires to the zealous defense of its frontiers as
the first principle of imperial policy. The second principle:
geographical expansion, followed as a matter of course. Expansion inside
Europe, with its tight frontier defenses, meant war with aggressive
rivals. Expansion abroad, especially in Asia and Africa, was less costly
and might prove more profitable. As a consequence, from 1870 onward,
British, French, Dutch, Russia and German colonial territory increased;
European armaments multiplied. Each expanding empire prepared for the
day which would give it additional square miles of European and foreign
real estate.

Grab-and-keep, with its resultant chaotic free-for-all, was the rule of
thumb accepted and followed by the West during the decline of Roman
power and through the middle ages to modern times.

The "might makes right" formula was in violent conflict with the "love
and serve your neighbor" professions of Christian ethics. Nevertheless,
it was the accepted overall principle of private enterprise economy and
the ruling ethic of Western statecraft. The principle was formulated in
five propositions or axioms:

   1. Make money, honestly if possible, but make money.

   2. Every businessman for himself and the devil take the laggards.

   3. We defend and promote our national interests.

   4. Our national interests come first.

   5. Our country, right or wrong.

These five propositions were the outcome of a millennium of experience
with the Crusades and extending to the present century. They are the
outcome of preoccupation with material incentives that can be stated in
two words, profit and power.

Such propositions, applied to everyday affairs, produced an economy and
a statecraft which favored the interests of a part before those of the
entire community. Where the whole is favored before any part there is a
possibility of co-existence and even of cooperation. Placing a part
before the whole involves competition all the way from the marketplace
to the chancelleries where the fate of nations is discussed and decided.

The above five propositions or axioms result from preoccupation with
material incentives: profit and power for managers, disciplined
co-ordination for subordinates, affluence, comfort and recognition for
the favored few. They provide the ideological background for twentieth
century western civilization.



Like its predecessors, western civilization from its inception was
essentially competitive. As it developed, the commercially, technically
and politically supreme Spanish, Dutch, French and British Empires
battled individually, or in rival alliances, for plunder, colonies,
markets and raw materials.

From the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, to the Victorian Jubilee in
1897, Great Britain became and remained top dog economically,
politically and to a large extent culturally. Britain was the workshop.
British shipping was omnipresent. The pound sterling was the chief
medium of foreign exchange. The British Navy patrolled the seas. English
was replacing French as the language of commerce and diplomacy.

During this British Century, from 1815 to 1897, Great Britain was
dominant among the European great powers, but it was never supreme.
Always there were countervailing forces. For centuries France had been a
major factor in the control and direction of European affairs. Defeat at
Waterloo reduced but did not destroy French influence. After 1870
Bismark's Germany began playing a major role. Russia, Austria, Holland,
Italy and Spain were also European powers. Overseas, the United States
of America and Japan were spreading their imperial wings.

With the explosive advances made by science, technology, productivity,
income and wealth accumulation, other countries were moving to the fore.
Even though Britain maintained her actual levels of economic output and
potential diplomatic presence she was one among several relatively equal
European states and world empires. At the same time her natural
resources were being depleted and with the growing importance of cotton,
rubber and petroleum, all of which Britain must import, her economic
ascendancy was progressively undermined. During the wars of 1914-18 and
1936-45 Britain entered an era of decreasing relative importance. Her
empire was largely intact, but her economic and political strength was
stretched to the breaking point.

Throughout its history, until the wars of 1914-45, western civilization
had its headquarters in central and west Europe, with branch offices
elsewhere on the planet. At no time after 1870 did any one European
power occupy a position of easy superiority over its rivals. If Great
Britain was top dog, France, the long established continental power was
snapping at her heels. Germany was an expanding power of major
consequence. To the North and East lay Russia, with its vast territories
and its persistent pressures into East Europe and Far Asia. By any
standard of political measurement Europe was in no sense a universal
state. Literally it was a potential battle field. War fortunes and
misfortunes revolutionized the Europe of 1870-1910. They also realigned
the planetary power structure. Heavy war losses down-graded all of the
erstwhile European powers. Central and West Europe ceased to be the
planetary hub. At the same time America and Asia shouldered their way
toward the center of the world stage. From London, Paris, Berlin and
other European vantage points the 1870-1945 era could be described as a
period of world revolution.

For half a century United States money and arms were used to stabilize
capitalism. For many years Washington through its control of all Latin
American states (except Cuba after 1960) had been able to dominate
United Nations policy, exclude socialist nations, notably China, and hem
in socialism. Through this period Washington subsidized and armed
counter revolution. Its anti-socialist-communist doctrine had been
accepted and largely followed by the West.

Washington's drive to cripple and stamp out socialism-communism was
accepted and followed particularly by the states with fascist leanings.
Since many western states had large and influential socialist minorities
and since several of them had been governed by coalitions in which
socialists-communists played a substantial role, acceptance of
Washington's anti-socialist program never won wholehearted support in
Europe. Atlantic alliance countries voted against the admission of
People's China to the United Nations during the Dulles Era. The
stalemated outcome of the Korean War (1950-3) called Washington
anti-socialist policies into serious question. The stupidities,
mendacities and wanton cruelties of the United States' undeclared
Vietnam War, even before the advent of Johnson and Nixon, had so
weakened Washington leadership that no major power would associate
itself with the adventure. The "Allies" in Vietnam were the U.S.A. and
two or three vassal Asian states.

Half a century of cold war and co-existence punctuated by military
invasions and hot wars, fought between groups from both sides in the
class struggle, faced mankind with several undeniable facts:

   1. Planet-wide economic, political and social changes had been
   made during the previous half-century.

   2. Capitalism was no longer supreme as it had been before
   1900. On the contrary, since 1950 the planet has been divided
   along class lines--capitalism versus socialism.

   3. Socialism-communism is one of the most obvious facts of
   present-day planetary life.

   4. Capitalism is losing ground, especially in Europe.

   5. Socialism is gaining ground, especially in Eurasia.

Co-existence presupposes recognition of these five propositions and a
willingness to abide by the outcome of the evolutionary-revolutionary
process, through which the western world is passing.

During several centuries, ending in 1900, western civilization passed
through an era of consolidation and integration that brought its
sovereign segments into increasing stable relationships. The most
advanced of these relationships took political shape in the half-dozen
European empires which controlled the planet in 1900. Side by side with
the consolidation of the planet into nations and empires there was
another process, world-wide in scope, which made the facts and products
of science and technology and their duplication the common property of
mankind, creating a cultural synthesis far more universal than the
political synthesis in nations, empires, the League of Nations or the
United Nations.

Any social synthesis includes positive and negative aspects which
function side by side. One builds up. The other wears down. For
centuries the building forces in western civilization were in the
ascendant. Since the turn of the century a shift of forces has been
under way. The wearing down forces presently are in the ascendant. Had
it been less competitive and more cooperative and co-ordinated, western
civilization might have taken another step in advance by extending
cultural unification into the political arena. The League of Nations and
the United Nations were efforts in this direction. Neither succeeded in
breaking down sovereignty far enough to permit planet-wide political

Having failed to co-ordinate and establish a planet-wide authority
during the critical years following 1870, western civilization accepted
the antithesis of co-ordination and entered a period of fragmentation:

   1. During the century and a half from 1815 to the present
   day, as facilities for co-ordination were multiplied by discovery
   and invention, Europe remained stubbornly fragmented
   into more than a score of sovereign states. Minor
   changes were made in boundary lines and in internal relationships
   of property and privilege, but the European maps
   of the period present a record of persistent fragmentation
   of the continent into strongly frontiered sovereign segments.

   2. Break-up of the European empires after two general wars
   led to the fragmentation of each empire into self-determining
   sovereign units.

   3. The "third world," consisting chiefly of European empire
   fragments, has not consolidated, but after the Bandung
   Conference of 1955 has consisted of a fragmented Africa
   and Asia torn by domestic and inter-state conflicts and
   harried by the persistent intervention of the western powers.

   4. Rivalry in the Pacific and in Asia has been heightened by
   the meteoric rise of Japan as a world power, the dismemberment
   of the Japanese Empire after 1945 and the fierce
   subsequent economic competition between Japan and her
   planetary competitors, chiefly the United States.

   5. United States efforts to coordinate Latin America as a
   source of raw materials and a market for manufactures and
   investment capital have not produced a United Latin
   American front against a common Yankee menace, but a
   sturdy refusal even of the tiniest Latin American Republic
   to surrender or limit its sovereignty has pushed a thorn
   into the vulnerable side of Washington's Monroe Doctrine
   control of the western hemisphere.

   6. The high point in divisiveness was the decision of the
   United States spokesmen to inaugurate the American Century
   by establishing control over the Pacific Ocean, making
   itself the chief power in Asia and installing U.S.A. authority
   in the power vacuum left by the expulsion of Britain,
   France, Holland and Japan from the territories composing
   their former empires. Local wars begun in Korea (1950)
   and extending across Southeast Asia have strengthened the
   determination of the local peoples to defend themselves at
   all costs against imperialist invaders from Europe and North

   7. The United States has been rich enough since 1945 to build
   and maintain a navy that can patrol the Atlantic and Pacific
   Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea and maintain large military
   forces in various European and Asian waters. This
   policy has been justified by the Truman-Johnson-Nixon
   Doctrine of determined opposition to the extension of
   socialism-communism and the consequent perpetuation of
   the cold war.

   8. In theory the socialist world is unitary. In practice it is so
   fragmented by national boundary lines and ideological differences
   that its members have not been able (during recent
   years) to get together and discuss their major common

United States wealth and military equipment have been sufficiently
over-whelming to support the program of an American Century during which
one nation might establish a universal state exercising planet-wide
authority along the lines of the Universal State established by the
Romans at the zenith of their power. In practice the program has not
worked out. On the contrary, opposition to the United States as _the_
world power or even as _the_ power in Asia has grown steadily and
quickly into a widespread "Anti-Americanism" or "anti-Yankeeism."

Conceivably a universal anti-American movement might develop a hot war
similar to the anti-Hitler coalition of the 1930's. If that precedent is
followed, however, the defeat of the United States would be followed by
a period of fragmentation similar to or even more intense than the
fragmentation of the 1950's and 1960's.

Present efforts to shore up the insolvent U.S.A. economy and the
resulting opposition of America's leading European trading partners is
not reassuring. If western civilization has passed the zenith of its
development and entered a period of decline and fragmentation even a
figure of Napoleonic capacities would be sorely pressed to breathe new
life into its disintegrating social structure. At the moment, to the
best of our knowledge, no such genius is in sight.

Western civilization is in some ways unique. In the main, however, the
development of its life cycle has been typical. May we take it for
granted that western civilization has turned its corner or may we assume
that it is still replete with the possibilities of further maneuver,
development and expansion? Perhaps the best way to approach the problem
would be to ask three questions: What contribution has western
civilization made to human nature, to human society and to mother
nature, and what further contribution can it make in the foreseeable

Individuals, born or reared in any form of society are adjusted, shaped
and conditioned by the social pattern of which they are a part. Each
society attempts to stamp the individuals with its own image and
likeness. The success or failure of this effort to assure individual
adjustment to the social norm and conformity to its practices varies
with the prosilitizing enthusiasm of the society and with the ration of
adaptability and self-consciousness of its individual members.

Western civilization has produced a bourgeois human being intensively
conscious of his capacities and anxious to try himself out in the
rough-and-tumble of the market place and on the battlefield; to
initiate, undertake, direct, administer. In the main, these are
characteristics of the human male, though the female often possesses
them in a greater or lesser degree.

Western civilization has opened the doors wide to aspirants eager to win
out in the game of grab-and-keep. It has been equally kind to their
chief executives, organizers and managers who rank second or third in
the chain of command. These individuals come from widely different
backgrounds. The social mobility of a bourgeois society gives them
opportunity to climb high on the ladder of preferment.

Many of those who fall into line, adapt themselves to the civilizing
process, accept with alacrity the chances that come their way, but do
not reach the top of the success ladder. They have the health, energy
and assertiveness necessary to keep climbing. They accept their
assignments and carry them out with modest success. They are the lesser
executives who work themselves out by the time they are fifty and find
some sinecure or safe position near the top of the social pyramid.

Below the high command posts there is a wide range of handymen and
specialists who fill particular positions and place their time, energy,
experience and expertise at the disposal of the high command. Among them
are scientists, engineers, technicians. Equally important are their
spokesmen, advisers and apologists: lawyers, preachers, teachers,
writers, speakers, publicists, carefully chosen for their ability to
apologize, passify, justify and reassure. On the political side are the
diplomats and politicians. Protection for their persons and property is
provided by the police and the armed forces, composed of highly paid,
well-trained, well-armed destroyers and killers.

Social stability and mass support come from an extensive middle class
composed of public servants and body servants, small tradesmen,
self-employed craftsmen, rentiers and retired persons who are assured
body comforts, social recognition and preferment for themselves, their
relatives and dependants. Members of this middle class are recognized on
occasion, pampered, amused, diverted, bored, frustrated and eventually
corrupted by the soft living which their middle class status makes

Close to the middle class come the white collar workers and the better
paid blue collar workers. Their lives are cluttered with gadgets and
fringe benefits. Their homes are paid for or bought on credit.

Below these more or less regularly employed workers on salaries and
wages come the semi-employed, racial or class underlings living in
poverty at or near the subsistence level.

Associated with this range of bourgeois occupations and often closely
identified with it are owners of family farms, tenants and hired hands.

Outside of the employment range, but dependent upon the economy are the
defectives and delinquents, the parasites who live on cake and the
parasites who live out of garbage cans.

Beyond these categories, in the American Empire, there are the colonial
compradors and handymen who enjoy standards of living comparable to
their opposite members in the North America nucleus. Below them are the
colonial masses who live their entire lives under conditions of
uncertainty and insecurity.

Millions of young people across the planet, born into the complicated
and bewildering social network of western civilization after war's end
in 1945 and graduated from school after the onset of the Vietnam War in
1965, find themselves in a complex, frustrating jungle. Should they fit
in or drop out? Those who are more conventional and adaptable fit in as
best they can, although the recent high unemployment rate among the
youth indicates that the adjustment is often difficult. Millions of the
less adaptable drop out.

Such a situation could have been foreseen by the initiated. Preparations
could have been made in advance to deal with it when it arose. In the
absence of adequate preparation the result is the chaos incident to
every downturn of the private enterprise business cycle, magnified in
this case by the regressive forces released during the disintegration of
the entire social fabric.

Two other areas require a word of comment. Among human faculties are
ambition, imagination, ingenuity, inventiveness, creativity. Human
beings are, to a greater or lesser degree, cosmically aware. In the
physical field western civilization handsomely rewards initiative. In
the social field it has been far less generous. Imagination and cosmic
consciousness have been quite generally listed among the undesirable
endowments of mankind.

Western civilization, in the early years of the present century,
produced a generation of insecure, unsettled, anxious, worried, harried
people. This is generally true of young, middle aged and old, of rich
and poor. Rapid social transition from expansion and advance to
contraction and retreat is a traumatic, hectic experience for any human

Western civilization in the early years of its decline has not brought
out the more generous aspects of human nature. In the best of times a
materialistically oriented society appeals to the more material and less
spiritual aspects of human beings. A period of social decline leads away
from principled conduct toward unashamed opportunism.

The current generation, born and reared in a disintegrating civilization
has been sorely tested and tried. From such tests the strong and
purposeful are likely to emerge stronger and more determined. For the
weak and vacillating the consequences are likely to prove disastrous.
The individual born into western society during its current "time of
troubles" has not had an easy row to hoe.

What has western civilization done to human society as such?

Western civilization has urbanized its society. Until recently in
Europe and until very recently in North America, the majority of people
were living outside of cities, in villages or on the land. From their
flocks and herds or from their cultivated land they fed themselves and
the cities. Mechanization reduced the demand for labor power in the
countryside. At the same time the growth of industry, trade, commerce
and "services" increased the demand for labor power in the cities.
Relatively the countryside was poor while the cities were rich. The high
prizes were in the cities, bright lights, crowds and the seductive
excitements of seething mass life. Incessant human contacts were part
and parcel of city life. City landlords collected high rents, city
merchants found many customers. City manufacturers could pick and choose
their wage and salary underlings among throngs of young and not so young

Western civilization grew in and around its cities. Both in form and
function it was urban rather than rural.

Western civilization specialized its society, mechanized it and later
computerized it, making social relationships depend less and less on
personality and more on the position of the individual in a working team
or on an assembly line. Human beings ceased to have names. Instead they
acquired numbers on the payroll, on their homes, on their identity

Specialization and division of labor, plus power-driven machines
increase productivity, income, surplus. In the countryside goods and
services often are scarce. In the city they are likely to be

Growth of wealth and income provide support for an increase in
population. Hence the population explosions in cities and in centers of
developing industry, trade and commerce. Countries passing through the
industrial revolution expanded their populations. Recently, the
population of some countries has doubled each twenty-five years.

Western civilization has been militarized as it was mechanized. Every
tool is a potential weapon. The truck becomes a tank, the airplane a
bomber. War making, like other aspects of western civilization, was
mechanized. Formerly war had pitted man against man. Mechanized war
pitted machines and their attendants against other machines and their
human attachments. The same mechanical forces that built cities,
factories and ships converted these agencies of production into
instruments of destruction. Each country in the civilized West fortified
its frontiers, trained officers in special schools, mobilized young men
and women for military service, stockpiled weapons, multiplied
fire-power, making western civilization an armed camp, with guns
pointing in every direction.

Regimentation of city life, of industry and commerce, of war, of
education and public health followed one after another as the individual
human became more and more a cog in a vast social mechanism. This
regimentation dulled imagination at the same time that it deified greed,
with "gimme, gimme;" "more, more;" as its watch words.

At certain points in its development western civilization has lifted
itself temporarily above the material forces that hemmed in the life of
primitive man. The Renaissance was one such period. The Enlightenment
was another. A third was the scientific breakthrough from Darwin and
Marx to the research and experiments which split the atom and
inaugurated the space age. These gains were offset by the growing
planet-wide chasm between wealth and poverty, the plunder and pollution
of man's natural and social environment and the terrifying growth of
destructive power revealed during two prolonged general wars in one

Mechanized war demonstrated its destructivity, physically, socially,
psychologically. Prolonged war accustomed an entire generation of
mankind to unnecessary suffering and the deliberate twisting, maiming
and destroying which are characteristic features of the war-waging
civilized state.

Exposure of an entire generation to wholesale destruction and mass
murder as a way of life had two quite divergent effects. It converted
sensitive introverts into pacifists. It produced millions of trained
destroyers and killers, experienced in the science and art of
mechanized warfare. Pacifists opposed, denounced and resisted the
warfare state and its progeny. Masses of trained destroyers and killers,
the "new barbarians," gained experience and improved their
qualifications by taking part in conventional warfare and in the
innumerable guerrilla adventures and operations that accompanied and
followed conventional wars.

Previous civilizations have been harried, hectored and undermined by
migrating "barbarians" who had heard of accumulated wealth and had come
to share or perhaps to take over the "honey-pot" and lick up the honey.
Western civilization has faced the problem of migration, intensified by
population explosion. But the "barbarians" who are tearing the social
body of western civilization limb from limb are not outsiders, invading
a civilization in order to plunder and sack it, but the offspring of
well-to-do civilized affluent communities who have repudiated the
acquisition and accumulation of material goods and services, turning,
instead to the satiation of body hungers and the freedom of social

Western man has spent ten centuries in building a civilization aimed at
economic stability and social security for the privileged. The "new
barbarian" progeny have rejected this civilization of affluence and are
busily engaged in fragmenting the social apparatus that has made
affluence possible. In a word, western civilization has organized and
coordinated, but in the process it has sowed the seeds of
disorganization and chaos.

One last word about the effect of western civilization on human society.
The West has littered and cluttered the planet with an immense variety
and with enormous quantities of gimmicks and gadgets from tin cans to
airplanes that fly faster than sound, and rockets that carry their
occupants to the moon. Western productivity has multiplied greatly. Too
often it has by-passed utility, ignored quality and outraged beauty.
More often than not its goods, services, institutions, practices and
ideas have remained at the surface without reaching down to life's

If life can be fragmented into "physical," "mental," "emotional,"
"energetic," "spiritual," and "creative" it must be evident that the
western way has smothered life's more significant aspects under a
blanket of trivialities, non-essentials and inconsequentials.

Western civilization has stressed competition, aimed at the acquisition
and accumulation of material goods and services. The competitive
struggle, in its civilian and military aspects, has played fast and
loose with the contents of nature's storehouse.

Through uncounted ages Mother Nature has set up a knife-edge balance
among the multitude of aspects and differentiated forms that have
existed and still exist on the planet. Humanity has increasingly upset
this balance of nature, ignorantly and often stupidly, without pausing
to determine the resultant changes. Nowhere is this upset more in
evidence than the changes in climate and animal life and their
possibilities of survival brought about by the erosion of topsoil. Paul
Sears, in his _Deserts on the March_, has told the story. It can be
summed up in four words: deforestation, overgrazing, erosion, drifting

Another aspect of man's aggressions against nature is the wanton
destruction of wildlife--like the American bison and the wood pigeon.

Still another example is the extraction from the earth's crust of
minerals and metals accumulated through ages and used to turn out
frivolous gadgets or, more disastrously, the materials and machines of
civilized warfare. Instead of conserving natural wealth, rationing it
and thus extending its use to succeeding generations, western man has
burnt it up in the firestorms deliberately kindled during the seven
disaster years from 1939 to 1945.

In the course of its existence western civilization has replaced food
gatherers, cultivators and artisans by hucksters and professional
destroyers of mankind and ravagers of the living space afforded by the
earth's land mass.

Western civilization has done its most far-reaching disservice to
mankind by separating and estranging man from nature. For ages man lived
with nature as one aspect of an evolving ecological balance.
Civilization's basic unit--the city--as it sprawls, cuts off man from
more and more contacts with the earth and its multitudinous life forms;
with fresh air, sunshine, starshine; with nature's sequences--day and
night, the procession of the seasons; with the birth, growth, death
animating so many of nature's aspects. The city is man-made. Well
planned, properly built and organized, it might have become an ornament
beautifying and exalting nature. Page the cities of the West one by
one--they are monotonous, ungainly, ugly slums and rookeries set off by
an occasional bit of creative architecture.

Western civilization has differed in certain respects from the long line
of its predecessors, stretching back through the centuries. In one sense
it has matured, ripened, taking its ideas and practices from its nearest
of kin. In the course of its life cycle it has already made distinctive

   1. It has become more nearly planet-wide than any of its
   known forerunners.

   2. It has developed unique approaches and controls through
   its science and its technology, inaugurating the power age
   by making riotous use of nature's energy sources.

   3. It has extended man's conquest of the planet and begun
   his adventures into space.

   4. It has enlarged the field of human creativity by increasing
   the number and proportion of men and women trained and
   experienced in productive and creative enterprises.

   5. It has opened the door to study and experimentation in
   extrasensory perception--man's "sixth" sense.

   6. It has made possible an unprecedented increase in the
   human population of the planet.

   7. It has raised its potential for destruction far above and
   beyond its potential for production and construction.

   8. It has brought together, classified and indexed the ideas,
   materials, techniques and generalizations which made possible
   this study of civilization, its appearances, disappearances
   and reappearances.

   9. Europeans have carried the burdens of western civilization
   and inherited its disintegrative consequences for so long a
   period that the fate of western civilization and the fate
   of present day Europe are closely interwoven.
   Western civilization seems to have reached and passed the
   zenith of its lifecycle without achieving the political integration,
   the stability or the unified authority attained by the Romans and
   the Egyptians at the high points in their lifecycles.



Each civilization that has left legible records or significant
traditions during the past five or six thousand years has made
distinctive contributions that modified the culture pattern of its
predecessors and its contemporaries. At the same time all of the
civilizations have had certain common features that are the
characteristic aspects which justify the general definition of
civilization presented in the Introduction to this study.

Civilization is the most comprehensive, extensive and inclusive life
pattern achieved by terrestrial humanity. Starting locally and following
the three basic principles of urbanization, expansion and exploitation,
each civilization has charted a course that led from tentative local
beginnings through a cycle of growth, maturity, decline, decay and

The civilizing process is essentially collective, subordinating the
interests of each part to the interests of the whole, while allowing
sufficient home rule to enable each part to have the political, economic
and cultural advantages enjoyed by the other parts, always excepting the
privileged position occupied by the civilization's dominant empire and
its nucleus.

Necessarily a civilization is composed of more or less disparate
segments, each one (before its inclusion in the collective whole)
maintaining a large measure of sovereign independence. Utilizing
advanced techniques of communication, exchange, and transportation, the
separate sovereign units are coordinated, consolidated, unified and
universalized. The result is an aggregate of parts, differing in many
local respects, but acknowledging the authority of the power center and
contributing material goods and manpower to its support and defense. The
main sociological purpose of each civilization has been to impose
central authority and universality upon political, economic and
ideological diversity.

Every civilization has been confronted with the advantages of unity over
diversity. Every civilization has professed its devotion to unity. Every
civilization at one or another stage in its development has subordinated
unity to the increasingly insistent demands of diversity.

For at least six thousand years one civilization after another has
sought to achieve centralization and universality. In every instance of
which history provides a legible record, centralized, universalized
institutions and practices have fragmented into diversity and stubborn

Western civilization is part and parcel of this generalization.
Generation by generation and century by century it has professed and
proclaimed the advantages of universality while it yielded to the
persistent demands of nationalism, regionalism and localism. Throughout
the latter years of the nineteenth century the will to unify gained much
ground. The tide turned with the turn of the century. For the first half
of the present century the forces of unity and of diversity seemed
stalemated. War's end in 1945 saw the shadow of a universal state
flicker across the screen of history. With the adjournment of the
Bandung Conference in 1955 the shadow dissolved and was replaced by the
strident nationalisms that have become an outstanding feature of
planetary politics, economics and social organization.

Despite the insistence of reason and experience that strength and
stability are the result of unity,--tradition, custom and habit have
held human society at the level of political, economic and ideological
diversity. Nowhere in history is this generalization more emphatic than
in the failure of the European standard-bearers of western civilization
to replace a millennium of diversity, discord and conflict by a unified,
coordinated, co-existing, cooperating European community.

At its best a civilization is insecure and even unstable, disturbed and
upset by an increasing domestic struggle for preferment and power that
includes rivalry, competition, revolt, rebellion, civil war and wars of
self-determination carried on by unassimilated regional, provincial and
colonial elements. From beyond their frontiers civilizations have been
assailed by rival aspirants for power, by armed bands in search of
plunder or by migrating peoples seeking greener pastures. All of these
forces have held the ground for diversity and barred the way to

Another factor of great consequence leading to the instability of
civilizations has been the concentration of wealth, power, privilege,
comfort and security in the hands of a minority, in sharp contrast with
poverty and insecurity among the less well-placed majority. Generally,
the privileged minority has been relatively small and the exploited
majority overwhelmingly large.

Still another disturbing factor in each civilization is the
transformation of its military arm from a means of defense against
external enemies into a major factor in the direction of domestic
affairs. The professional military build-up has frequently usurped the
state power and became king-maker by virtue of its monopoly of weapons,
organization, and its highly trained personnel of professional
destroyers and killers.

Upset by one or another of these disturbing and disruptive forces,
civilized populations have panicked and retreated from their
collectiveness toward more localized, more fragmented, less social and
more individual life patterns. Such a retreat rounds out the later
phases of a cycle of civilization--the phases of decline and final

Civilizations perish in the first instance because of internal
contradictions and conflicts, the struggle to grab, monopolize, and keep
wealth, status, power.

They perish because of the division of the nucleus and its associates
and dependencies between those who work for a living, those who have an
unearned income and those parasites who scrounge for a living. They
perish because of the hard class and caste lines that grow out of
economic contradictions; because of the development of a social
pyramid, layer above layer, until the summit is reached where there is
standing room for only a few. Competent, talented persons may rise from
level to level in this pyramid. A political and social bureaucracy
develops which feeds at the public trough. Then comes a bitter struggle
to get both feet in the trough and keep them there side by side with an
equally determined effort to exclude outsiders and other intruders. An
army of volunteers and novices is converted into a military
establishment which becomes a state within the state, extending its
control until it makes policy, selects top leaderships and carries on
its internal feuds and wars of succession dividing the defense forces
and using them for partisan purposes. Overhead costs rise; deficits in
the public treasury grow; so does public debt. Inflation follows, and
the debasement of the currency. Levies are made on private wealth for
public purposes. There is expropriation of the property of political
enemies. Espionage, secret agents, the growth of informers become part
of the society, along with the use of assassination as a political
weapon, the increase of violence and crime, and eventually, a flight
from the cities.

This tragic enumeration only skims the surface of the many and various
aspects of a situation that reaches its breaking point in civil war,
famine, pestilence and eventually in depopulation.

Social dissolution is accelerated by provincial revolts against central
authority; by survival struggle between the empires which were
coordinated and consolidated into the civilization; by revolt in the
subordinate and dependent segments of the civilization; by rivalry and
conflict between racial, cultural and political sub-groups forced into
the civilization, held there by coercion, policed by armed force and
taking the first opportunity to win political independence and self

While the momentum for expansion lasted, the civilization grew in wealth
and power. When it waned, disintegration set in. Changelessness seems to
be impossible in a social group. A civilization either expands or
withers, builds up or falls to pieces.

Starting from one or more local groups, each civilization has reached
out "to conquer the world", occupy it, organize it, dominate it, exploit
it, perpetuate itself. In each case expansion, occupation, domination
and exploitation are limited by human capacity (human nature); by the
relative brevity of a single human life; by the extreme variations in
the capacity of successive leaders. It is limited by geography; by the
means of transportation and communication; by overhead costs that
increase geometrically as the civilization expands arithmetically; by
the means of delegating responsibility; by accounting devices, available
raw materials and labor power; by power struggles inside the ruling
oligarchies; by the failure to maintain a balance between centerism and
localism; by growing local demands for self-determination; by the
invasion of nomads seeking to plunder the tempting honey pot at the
nucleus of the civilization.

Such limitations are political, economic and sociological. Psychological
forces are also at work. The vigor and vitality of the early builders
gradually spends itself. The will to austerity and the sense of loyalty
and social responsibility are diffused and diluted. Bureaucracy
degenerates into a rat race. The paralysis of parasitism replaces the
will to power. Physical gratification gains priority over the service of
the gods. Consistently, through its entire written history, civilization
has been built upon what the civil law of all nations calls "robbery
with violence". In every instance when the robbers have grabbed
everything in sight, and gorged to the point of physical satiety, they
fall to quarreling among themselves or turn with boredom and disgust
from the whole sodden mess of discord, disorder and degeneration.

Each step, from the establishment of an urban nucleus of expansion,
through the building of rival empires to the final struggle for supreme
power, involves the violent subordination of lesser interests to the
interests of one supreme authority. Violence takes precedence over
persuasion and negotiation. In each case the final appeal is to armed
combat using the most sophisticated weapons available.

During the "time of troubles" which overtakes each civilization, war
and the threat of war become normal aspects of domestic and
international relations. A specialized war-making bureaucracy is
organized; war plans are made; war games (rehearsals) are carried on,
and wars are fought as a means of determining which nation or
combination of nations shall have access to raw materials and markets,
dominate the trade routes, control the weaker peoples, own and exploit
the colonies.

To the victor, war is the means of extending national or imperial
frontiers and legalizing expansion at the expense of the vanquished.
Defeat in war leads to the imposition of indemnities, the payment of
tribute, the transfer of territory to the victor and in extreme cases
the extermination of the defeated nations or empires.

Settlements imposed by violence and policed by victors lead to
resentment, antagonism, hatred and the build-up of a desire for revenge,
including the restoration to the vanquished of lost territories. The
logical outcome of such a situation is preparation for a war of
independence by the vanquished, countered by military occupation, rigid
suppression, and exploitation by the victors in the previous struggle.

War is taken for granted as an instrument of policy. It is employed by
civilized nations and empires as a means of expansion. Wars of
independence and restitution follow conquest, dismemberment and
annexation. Civilized nations and empires prepare for war and wage war
as a normal aspect of civilized life.

Civilization, and in particular western civilization, is a time-bomb,
built to detonate and scatter its fragments far and wide. It is a type
of booby trap in which humanity has been caught periodically and
horribly mangled. Without exception, each civilization has contained the
forces and equipment needed for its own annihilation. At no time
reported by history has this formulation been more obvious than during
the decades immediately following war's end in 1945. Destructivity was
lifted to new levels of efficiency by electronic communication, the tank
and the airplane. It was further escalated by atomic fission and
nuclear fusion. Advances in science and technology had made dramatic
increases in the tempo of production and construction. Utilization of
atomic energy had stepped up destructivity to the nth power.

Based on assumptions that oft-repeated experience has proved to be false
and misleading, civilization in the 1970's is unstable and insecure.
Most civilizations are strangled in their cradles or plundered and
demolished in the course of the never-ending political, economic and
military conflicts which have marked and marred civilizations since the
dawn of history. The national and imperial survivors of these struggles
in every known instance have been largely or wholly led by military
adventurers and plunderers in search of booty, fame and power. With
professional plunderers, destroyers and murderers occupying the seats of
power, it is only a question of time and occasion before rising overhead
costs and the misfortunes of war result in their overthrow and
replacement by better organized, better armed invaders who slaughter and
enslave their predecessors and usurp and abuse their power. Of
necessity, civilizations are self-destructive, built as they are on the
ebb and flow of power struggle.

Successive conflicts involve an indefinite volume of overhead costs,
which grow with the intensity and extent of the expansive survival
struggle, creating a series of crises along a path that leads to
self-destruction and the return of the experimenters to a condition of
pre-civilized self-containment.

We in the West, looking back on our own immediate history, refer to this
pre-civilized status as the Dark Ages. Actually, such Dark Ages are the
transition stages between two periods of experiments with the building
of civilizations. In view of this oft-repeated experience, modern man
must look upon an epoch of civilization not as a way of life, but an
adventure of suicidal self-degradation and ultimate self-destruction.

Each cycle of civilization has had its peculiarities, determined by the
geographical and historical factors surrounding its origin and
development. Yet all have had features in common. Among the common
features we would list:

1. A revolutionary movement within the societies under
consideration. In each experiment with civilization the culture pattern
was transformed from pastoral and/or agricultural to a culture based on
trade, commerce and finance; from rural to urban; from simple to
complex; from local toward universal.

2. In each case an independent, self-directing, expanding state was
built around an urban center.

3. In each experiment a simple, local, social structure was extended,
expanded, specialized, sub-divided, integrated, consolidated.

4. In each experiment a relatively static society passed into the
control of an emerging class of peddlers, merchants, traders,
speculators, business enterprisers and professionals who were not
directly involved in the conversion of nature's gifts into goods and
services ready for human use, but in political and cultural practices
which enabled the emerging bourgeois class to stabilize and extend its
wealth and power and build an economic structure that augmented unearned
income and laid the foundation for predation, exploitation and

5. In each experiment an amateur apparatus for defense and/or aggression
matured into a professional military means for enlarging the
geographical area and strengthening the economic and political authority
of the new trading-ruling classes. In each empire and each civilization
there was an evolution of "defense" forces from voluntary to
professional status, from subordinate to dominant status, from
participation in public life to political supremacy over all aspects of
public life.

6. In each experiment massed labor power (slave, serf, or wage-earner)
was assembled, organized and trained to build roads, bridges, aqueducts,
housing facilities and eventually to operate agriculture, construction,
industry, trade and commerce, public utilities and other services in the
interests of an oligarchy.

7. In each experiment a capital city (and associated cities) became the
nucleus for accumulating wealth, constructing public buildings,
providing means of transportation and sources from which raw materials
could be secured for city maintenance and for the provision of sanitary
facilities, means of recreation and diversion.

8. In each experiment there was a competitive struggle between rival
communities, each passing through the rural-urban transformation. The
result was an increasing conflict for survival, for expansion and for
local supremacy.

9. Each experiment expanded along lines that led the more successful to
build traditional empires consisting of wealth-power centers and
peripheries of associates and dependents.

10. Each experiment produced a competitive survival struggle between
rival empires that would determine eventual supremacy.

11. In each experiment one among the local and regional contestants
defeated, conquered, dismembered, assimilated or destroyed its rivals
and emerged as victor, giving its name to a civilization: Egyptian,
Babylonian, Persian, Roman.

12. In each experiment the victims of imperial aggression, conquest,
exploitation and assimilation, conspired, united, resisted and revolted
against the dominant power. The result was endemic civil war.

13. Within each experiment, as the civilization matured, the same
confrontations appeared at the nuclear center and in the
provincial-colonial periphery:

     a. Extremes of riches side by side with slum-dwelling poverty.

     b. Expanding unearned income, with one class (the propertied and
     privileged) owning for a living and another class (peasants,
     artisans, serfs, slaves) working for a living.

     c. Intensified exploitation of mass labor side by side with the
     proliferation of parasitism throughout the body social, consisting
     of individuals and social sub-groups whose contribution in the form
     of goods produced and services rendered was less than the cost of
     maintaining the participants.

     d. Economic stagnation. Public spending in excess of public income;
     higher levies and taxes to replenish the empty treasury; rising
     prices due to excess of demand over supply; public borrowing with
     no means for repayment; the issue of money without corresponding
     reserves; degradation of currency through decrease of its metal
     content; unemployment among citizens due chiefly to increase in
     forced labor of war captives and other slaves; public insolvency
     due to territorial over-expansion; excessive overhead costs;
     nepotism, bribery, corruption in public service; an over-large
     bureaucracy feeding at the public trough.

     e. Revolution in the nuclear center and fierce suppression.
     Provincial revolt. Revolt in the colonies. Endemic civil war.

     f. Migration toward the central honey-pot; invasion by rivals and
     adventurers seeking to control it, plunder it and guzzle its

     g. Dissolution of the society; boredom; ennui; loss of purpose and
     direction; growing dissension; power struggle and avoidance of
     responsibility for trends that were little understood and generally
     beyond the control of existing officialdom.

Histories of individual nations and empires and histories of
civilizations and civilization assemble and present a great body of
factual information which support and substantiate this factual summary.
The present study aims to organize the facts, to compare them and to
draw conclusions as to the benefits and detriments; the practicality or
futility; the wisdom or folly of building empires and merging them into

These conclusions are based on several thousand years of experiment and
experience with the civilized life pattern. Time after time, in age
after age, human beings by the millions have poured faith, hope and
unbounded energy, devotion and dedication into the upbuilding of the
urban nuclei of successive civilizations. Details have varied. Ultimate
conclusions have been the same. One civilization after another has
passed into the limbo of history leaving, sometimes, splendid ruins as a
testimonial to its evident inadequacy to meet the survival needs of
oncoming generations.

Such conclusions, based on history, are underlined by current experience
with the over-ballyhooed, over-priced variant of the life pattern which
signs itself western civilization. Dating from the Crusades a thousand
years ago, western civilization has been promoted, built up and carried
forward by the blood, sweat and tears of credulous, hopeful, eager human
beings. Its promises have been wonderful; its performance, especially
since 1900, has been pitifully inadequate, superficial and unsatisfying.

_Part II_

A Social Analysis of Civilization



Several thousand years ago humankind began experimenting with the life
style which we are now calling civilization. Presumably it was not
thought out and blueprinted in advance but worked out by trial and
error, episode by episode, step by step--perhaps, also, leap by leap.

Historical and contemporary experiments with this lifestyle supply a
fund of valuable information, some of which has been covered in the
earlier chapters of this book. Our next task is to analyze and classify
this information under four headings: the politics, the economics, the
sociology and the ideology of civilization. (When the information is
properly arranged, we can do something with it and about it.)

Politics is the part of social science and engineering which is
concerned with the organization, direction and administration of human
communities. We use the word to cover the conduct of public affairs in
any social group more extensive than a family. Hence we refer to village
politics, town politics, national politics, international politics and,
in the present instance, to the politics of civilization as a way of

Each sample, referred to in our examination of typical civilizations,
was built around a center, nucleus or homeland consisting of one or more
cities with their adjacent hinterlands. The nucleus of the developing
civilization was also the nucleus of an empire. Each nucleus was a
center of planned production; accumulating wealth, growing population
and expanding authority. Certain locations are better suited than
others to provide the essentials of a civilization nucleus.

The first requirement for a nucleus is a tolerable climate, primarily a
satisfactory balance between heat and cold. Before the general use of
fire as a source of warmth human populations were concentrated at or
near the tropics. With the increasing use of artificial heating and
lighting human beings were able to cluster farther and farther away from
concentrated equatorial sunlight.

The second requirement of such a location is a strategic position in a
crossroads, in a network of transportation and communication.

The third requirement is a readily available source of the food and
building materials necessary to feed, house, and clothe a community and
provide it with some of the niceties of daily living.

The fourth requirement is the presence of sufficient man-power to
operate the nucleus and provide a surplus for defense and for its
extension and expansion.

The fifth requirement is defensibility against aggression or invasion.

The sixth essential is the availability of sufficient raw materials to
meet the requirements of the nucleus, provide the exports needed to
maintain a favorable trade balance for the nucleus and permit of its
expansion, advancement and enrichment.

Seventh, and in some ways, the most important requirement for the
establishing of an empire or a civilization nucleus, is the presence of
a will to live, a will to grow, a will to advance, competence in
management, and a dogged persistence that will remain constant through
generations or centuries of adversity, and still more demanding, through
long periods of security, comfort and affluence.

Eighth, and by no means least important, is the capacity to fight and
win the aggressive trade and military wars incidental to the defense and
expansion of the nucleus, of the empire, and eventually of the

The ninth requirement is tolerance, receptivity to new ideas and
practices, the capacity to adapt and to assimilate the outside elements
which are constantly incorporated into the growing, expanding empire or
the civilization.

Finally, as we read the history and observe the development of nuclei,
empires and civilizations, we are impressed by the role of outstanding
individuals who occupy positions of responsibility over sufficiently
long periods or with sufficient intensity to leave a lasting impression
on the ideas, practices and institutions of their times. This
requirement covers the practice of effective leadership.

Our concern, at this point, lies primarily with the first eight of these
requirements for survival and success in building up empires and

Empires and civilizations are established during periods of social
expansion when the up-building and out-going urges are widely felt. The
surge produces not a single center of growth and expansion but dozens or
scores of competitors, each aiming to win and keep a position well in
advance of its rivals. The resulting up-surge and free-for-all, which
usually lasts for centuries, is a characteristic and recurring feature
in the political life of every civilization.

This statement is less a requirement for success in organizing the
nucleus of a civilization, than a generalization about the natural and
social milieu out of which competing nuclei arise. Success of one among
the many competitors is a characteristic feature of the struggle for
nuclear survival, development and perhaps for eventual supremacy.

From earliest times waterways have provided the readiest means of
getting about. All that was needed was a hollow log, a raft, a primitive
canoe. Movement by land was impeded by mountains, deserts, forests,
swamps, water courses. Movement by water was a natural.

More and bigger boats required shelter against storms and protection
against destruction by enemies. A good harbor with an adjacent walled
town or city was the answer to this need.

Good harbors and navigable waterways are notably absent along the west
coast of South America and notably present in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Consequently, the South American West Coast line is sparsely settled to
this day, while the Eastern Mediterranean has been crowded with peoples,
teemed with trade and commerce, carried largely by sea, between cities
that occupied the best access to waterways.

Safe harbors and navigable waterways made trade and transport easy and
cheap. As each wave of human advance turned from animal husbandry and
agriculture to bourgeois practices of industry, commerce and finance,
locations at strategic points along trade routes were first occupied by
occasional markets and fairs and eventually by trading towns and cities.
Geography was a decisive factor.

Fertility was equally important. In the early stages of social
development transportation was difficult, dangerous and expensive.
Sources of food and building materials were found within a short
distance of the growing trade center. Again geography played a decisive
role. A deep, sheltered harbor backed by a desert could not attract and
support a thriving trade center. Food and raw materials are
indispensable to concentrations of human beings.

The Nile Valley, like that of the Ganges and the Yellow River, provided
the fertility and transport, the food and raw materials that have
sustained concentrated human populations for many thousands of years,
forming part of the base for Egyptian, Indian and Chinese civilizations.
Animal husbandry and grain farming, coupled with fishing and forestry,
made possible the growth of cities and laid the foundations for the
nuclei of these civilizations.

Temples, tombs and other public constructs provided the centers around
which Egyptian civilization was built. The stone, wood and other raw
materials used in the building of these unique examples of human
handiwork were floated up and down the Nile from their sources of
origin. Annual Nile floods provided silt deposits necessary to fertilize
farms and gardens. Nile water, impounded during floods, irrigated the
land during the long dry seasons. Banked by deserts, the Nile was a
ribbon of fertility running through a largely uninhabited wilderness.
The upper reaches of the Nile lay in the mountains of Central Africa.
The Nile delta, built up through ages by silt deposits, provided a
meeting place where African, European and Asian traders could exchange
their wares and lay the foundations for the civilization of lower Egypt.
The Nile also provided the means of communication which connected Lower
Egypt with Upper Egypt and led, finally, to the unification of the two
areas in a long enduring and prestigious Egyptian civilization. Once
again geography was laying down the guide lines within which
civilizations have been built up and liquidated.

Thus far we have noted the role of physiographic factors that have led
to building the nuclei of empires and civilizations. They have been
parallelled by social factors as men took advantage of natural
opportunities to concentrate, feed and house ever larger human

Empires and civilizations have been built up by comparatively large
numbers of human beings concentrated in relatively small spaces.
Wandering food gatherers and herdsmen ranged widely in search of game
and grass. Cultivators settled in villages from which they could work
the land. If crops were scanty, population was sparse. Only abundant
crops, dependable, season after season, provided the basis for large
settled populations.

Large, settled populations, adequately supplied with the essentials of
life, enabled human beings to organize social centers in which a
comparatively few people, tending their animals and working the land,
could release a comparatively large part of the population to devote its
time and energy to trade and commerce, to industry and transport, to the
arts and sciences and to the organization, direction and administration
of large scale enterprises such as government, the military,
construction and the mobilization of sufficient labor power to carry on
and enlarge their enterprises. In its simplest essence this was

Egyptian government, in its broad sense, rested on a class structured
society: the aristocracy, the priesthood, officialdom, businessmen,
highly trained scientists and engineers, skilled craftsmen and an
immense proletariat consisting of tenant farmers, peons, slaves and war

At the top of the political structure was an absolute monarch who
wielded power that was limited only by the ambition, tolerance and
loyalty of his associates--nobles, priests, soldiers, businessmen and
political advisers, and by the willingness of the rural and urban masses
to work and fight for their overlords. A number of the monarchs
(Pharaohs) ruled for long periods--up to sixty years. It was during
these long reigns that the Egyptian Kingdom was organized, strengthened
and unified, the rule of the monarch was safeguarded; ambitious nobles
were placated or destroyed; and the leadership succession was determined
and assured.

The nucleus of the Egyptian Empire was a dictatorship by a
self-perpetuated elite, headed by lords spiritual and temporal. Both
groups held land, accumulated wealth and exercised authority. It was a
government combining the theory of absolutism with the practice of
public responsibility. It was sufficiently arbitrary to get things done.
It was sufficiently inclusive to recognize and utilize special ability.
It was sufficiently structured to carry on from dynasty to dynasty. It
was sufficiently flexible to consolidate scattered communities into the
Old Kingdom, to unite Lower and Upper Egypt, to extend its authority
into Central Africa, the Near and Middle East and parts of Eastern
Europe, thus laying the foundations for history's most extensive and
long-lasting civilization during the period 3500 to 500 B.C.

I have used the Egyptian example of nucleus organization because of the
phenomenal successes achieved by the Egyptians in maintaining an empire
for at least 3,000 years. For a considerable part of those thirty
centuries Egypt was top dog in the strategic area where Africa joins

The nucleus is the hub from which the spokes of empire and of
civilization radiate. The radius of authority and the vast stretches of
occupied, exploited territory constitute the circumference of the wheel.
The nucleus is the center of wealth and power surrounded by a cluster
of associates and dependencies. The control, direction and
administration of the nucleus is parallelled by the control, direction
and administration of the total complex--the empire and/or the

The development from nucleus to empire and from empire to civilization
creates three sets of political problems: those arising from the
administration of the nucleus; those arising out of contacts between the
nucleus and the circumference, between the associates and dependencies
and the nucleus, and those arising out of the determination of the
associates and dependencies to sever their connections with the nucleus,
win their independence, and take part in the unceasing efforts to
establish new nuclei, win the unending power struggle and shift the
power center.

Relationship between nucleus and periphery are the normal outcome of the
expansion of a nucleus into an empire. Each growing urban center reaches
out for an extension of its territory; for the food and raw materials
required by a growing population; for markets that can absorb the goods
and services exported by the urban center to pay for its necessary
imports of food and raw materials.

Politically speaking, the essential problem is to maintain a
relationship that will keep the imports coming in and keep the exports
going out. Imports may take the form of plunder seized by the strong in
contacts and conflicts with weaker neighbors; tribute paid by the weak
to the strong at the insistence of the strong, or trade in which each
side gains something. Empire building involves all three methods.

In virtually all instances the nucleus is richer and stronger; the
periphery is poorer and weaker. In virtually all instances these
relative positions have been the outcome of military operations in which
each party has tried to impose its will upon its rivals. In each case
the spoils went to the victor, who forced defeated rivals to cede
territory, to pay tribute, to give hostages or in some other fashion to
agree upon a settlement that left the victor richer and stronger and the
vanquished poorer and weaker.

Politically speaking, the relation of nucleus to periphery was that of
superior to inferior. Where the discrepancy was very great it resulted
in a relation of master and vassal or even master and slave.

An empire or a civilization, consisting of a wealth-power center and a
periphery of associated and dependent territories and peoples, led to a
living-standard differential in favor of the center. It also involved
the establishment of a political apparatus strong enough to perpetuate
the relationship by collecting tribute and taxes from the weak and
depositing them in the treasure chests of the strong. The outcome was a
civil bureaucracy backed by a military or police strong enough to defend
and perpetuate an unpalatable superior-inferior position.

Once established, both the civilian bureaucracy and the military
apparatus tended to maintain themselves, to extend their privileges and
strengthen their positions. Since controversial issues, domestic and
foreign, are generally decided by force or the threat of force, the
military became the strong right arm of authority.

These confrontations and contradictions created three sets of political
problems: centralism versus localism; established central authority
versus provincial rights and self-determination; the concentration or
centralization of authority in the hands of a select few civilian and/or
military leaders, responsible to the central authority, who made on the
spot decisions and took action.

Under the institutions and practices of civilized society, the select
few were in a position to call in the military which was organized for
emergency action and was constantly standing-by. The military was
trained, disciplined and held a monopoly of weapons.

Civilizations frequently begin as commonwealths or federations forged in
the course of survival struggle. In any such struggle the military will
of necessity play a major role. As the competitive survival struggle
develops, one of the contending parties establishes its superiority by
winning military victory. In the course of this struggle the
commonwealth, a cluster of equals, yields place to the pattern of
empire--a center of wealth and authority with its associates,
subordinates and dependencies.

The strong right arm of politics includes man-power, money and weapons.
The politics of civilization faces a simple mandate: establish,
stabilize and perpetuate a nucleus of wealth and authority; build around
the nucleus a periphery of associates and dependencies.

Historically, the process was a long one extending through generations
and probably centuries. Throughout the struggle individuals must have
the necessities of daily life. Community activities must be housed,
equipped, staffed, supported.

Pastoral and village life were based on a use economy. People produced
what they needed and consumed their own products. Each tribe, family,
village was a more or less self-sufficient unit. When they were
threatened or invaded people defended themselves as best they could. At
worst they abandoned their homes to the invaders and fled into the
forests, mountains or deserts.

Towns and cities, with their industries, trade, commerce, their
permanent housing and capital equipment faced a radically different
situation. Since they could not carry their wealth on their backs they
must stay put and defend themselves or face irreparable losses. Defense
required careful, extensive, expensive preparations: walls, equipment,
stored food, personnel. Unless the city was sacked and burned during
survival struggles it remained as a vantage point to be held at all
costs. If surrendered and occupied by assailants, it was equally
valuable to invaders who were prepared to settle down, take advantage of
the site, the capital equipment and exploit the available manpower.

Whether occupied by friend or enemy, towns and cities were centers of
actual or potential wealth and power. They were also consumers of goods
and services many of which could not be home-produced. Food must come
from herdsmen or farmers. Building materials must come from forests or
mines. Such raw materials, the essentials of daily life, must be brought
into urban centers when and as wanted.

Food and raw materials could be secured occasionally by plunder. A
regular supply depended on trade and commerce, or on tribute levied and
collected periodically from associated or dependent peoples. In the long
run trade and commerce proved to be more reliable and more productive
than plunder.

As urban centers grew and developed, they established regular channels
of trade and communication, by land and water. Along these channels
needed imports moved into the urban centers and exports in exchange
moved from the urban centers into the back country or the provinces. At
every stage in the process care must be taken to prevent intervention by
thieves, robbers or envious rivals. Two devices were used to meet this
situation: money to facilitate exchange and a defense organization to
deal with intruders.

Money and its uses developed money changers, money lenders and banks.
Bankers and banks exchanged currency at a profit and extended credit.

Weapons in the hands of trained personnel evolved into locally employed
police and centrally organized armed services, performing police
functions and fighting wars, domestic and foreign.

Politics, local, regional or national, developed with the growth of
population, the profits of expanding urban life, production, technology.
As its scope broadened geographically city survival depended
increasingly on wealth and power (money and weapons).

During periods of peace and stability the civil authorities controlled
public affairs. In emergencies, such as natural disasters, invasion,
civil or international wars, the military authorities took command.

Military authority is an institutional feature of every civilization. In
periods of public danger it enjoys complete ascendancy. Like civil
authority, the military is a permanent and frequently the dominant
feature of each civilization. It is assured of ample income and
entrusted with the installations and implements of war making. Both in
income and in prestige the military holds a preferred position.

Since military functions center about destroying the person and
property of the "enemy"--domestic or foreign--public funds are made
available or are pre-empted by the military during periods of martial
law. As a civilization becomes more complex and extensive, the funds at
the disposal of the military tend to increase. The same factors of
extent and complexity lead to larger and larger numbers of
confrontations and conflicts in which the military is called upon to
play the leading role. Increasingly, therefore, the military is at the
center of policy making. Finally a point is reached at which war, civil,
colonial or international is always in progress somewhere within the
territories occupied by the civilization. At such periods civil law
slumbers and military authority is more or less dominant and permanent.

Under the slogan "defense of civilization," military necessity and
military adventurism shape public policy, empty the public treasury,
bankrupt and eventually destroy the superstructure of a civilization.

The nucleus which lies at the heart of an empire or a civilization has a
political life cycle that runs from the unstructured or little
structured aggregation of confederation or self-determining local groups
to a highly centralized political absolutism holding and exercising its
authority by the use of the military. The steps in this process have
been clearly marked in earlier civilizations. They are playing a
decisive role in the day-to-day life of western civilization. They
extend from early forms of government under leaders selected or elected
by popular acclaim or at least by popular consent, to more or less
permanent leadership enjoying many political privileges, including the
selection of its successors.

Under the pressure of social emergency, engendered within the social
group or imposed from outside the group by migration, intrusion or
invasion, leadership takes the measures which it considers necessary to
preserve and/or extend its authority. Each emergency offers leadership
an opportunity or an excuse to by-pass custom and/or law, overlook
whatever public opinion may exist and proceed to the measures needed to
meet the emergency. In each organized social group the exercise of
authority has provided the leadership with a near-monopoly of money and
weapons in the hands of a permanent military elite. The use of this
elite to deal with the emergency is accepted by civil authority as a
matter of course.

When social division of function has produced and armed a military
elite, leadership turns to this elite in any emergency arising from
natural disaster or social crisis. The outcome is a community directed
by a military arm seeking to perpetuate and enlarge its own role in the
determination and exercise of public authority, using any means which
seems likely to produce the desired results.

Politically, therefore, any expanding empire or civilization reaches a
point at which absolute monarchy, exercising unquestioned authority,
makes and enforces public policy by the use of the military or with its

Many commentators write as though the essence of civilization was its
art galleries, concert halls, its universities and its libraries. Such
agencies are the trappings, decorations and fringes of a civilization.
There is no justification for such a selective approach. The strong
right-arm of every civilization has been its wealth (money) and its
martial equipment (its guns).

Success in politics has been described as the art of selecting the
possible and bringing it to fruition. Every community is more or less
fragmented by deviations, contradictions, confrontations and conflicts.
These fragmentations begin in the personality and extend through the
entire social structure--from the individual, through the family, such
voluntary associations as the sports club, the trade union, the
merchants' association, the educational system, the political party, the
municipal or the national government.

Unrestrained and undirected social fragmentation leads to conflict,
destruction, perhaps to chaos. Success in politics rests on an
understanding of the chaos and its causes and an integration of
conflicting forces behind specific programs and around charismatic

One aspect of the problem is especially disturbing and baffling to the
uninitiated. Compared with the brief adulthood of an individual the life
span of communities is immensely long. The individual is at his or her
best for a few years or decades. Communities and their institutions
endure for hundreds and in some cases for thousands of years. Under the
most favorable conditions an individual can hope to play a part in
community affairs for a decade or two. Before he comes on the stage of
public affairs and after he leaves it, social life stretches

Politics is one aspect of that more or less extensive social experience.
Its immediate objective is to bring order out of chaos and replace
randomness by purpose and if possible by plan.

In the wake of the bourgeois revolution, which was directed particularly
against monarchy and generally against absolutism, the most obvious and
attractive social pattern was a republic, ruled by the citizens in a
manner which in their opinion was best calculated to promote their
safety and happiness.

Under a republican government public affairs would be openly and freely
discussed by the citizens at a time or place of their choice by word of
mouth, through a free press or in public gatherings. At stated intervals
elections would be held at which all citizens of proper age would select
representatives and a legislature or parliament where questions of
public concern could be debated and appropriate measures adopted.
Implementation or execution of these measures would be placed in the
hands of executive officers responsible to the parliament. As a
safeguard against any miscarriage of the public will, the right of
petition was guaranteed. In some instances the right of referendum and
recall was provided. To obviate any miscarriage of justice, provision
was made for courts, responsible to the citizenry, as an independent arm
of government competent to protect and assert popular rights.

Overall, citizens of the republic, through duly elected representatives,
would draw up and proclaim a constitution containing a general plan of
the governmental machinery. When adopted by the legislature or
parliament this constitution became the law of the land. Governmental
activities were carried out and laws were enacted in conformity with
constitutional provisions. In practice the citizens of the freest
republic were face to face with one of the oldest political dilemmas
confronting mankind: the question of leadership and followership.

In almost any social situation, from trivial to grave and critical, some
one woman or man volunteers advice and often initiates action. If no one
approves, the initiative falls flat. If there is a chorus of approval,
the crowd follows the lead of its spokesman. If some approve while
others disapprove or remain silent, a show of hands is in order. If
there are real differences in the group, some taking one side, some
another side with no chance of common action, the group may divide into
several factions, some remaining in the assemblage, others departing,
with their spokesmen leading the way.

In such confrontations there are many determining factors, the
experience and wisdom of the leadership; the urgency of the subject
under discussion; the depth of the separation between opposing factions;
the experience of the citizenry and their willingness to compromise on
divisive issues; the willingness of the factionalists to abide by a
majority decision.

Experienced leadership, which has enjoyed a period of public approval
long enough to build up not only a group of devoted followers, but a
group of place-men and office-holders who owe their positions to the
leader, can assemble a bureaucratic or political machine, adopt measures
and take the steps necessary to keep its chosen leader in a life job,
with the possibility of naming a successor.

Republics have adopted various measures to prevent the establishment of
a self-perpetuating dynasty, by limiting public office-holding to a
stated number of years; by providing that the office holder may not
succeed himself. Political leaders may avoid such provisions by staying
in the background, having their closest associates elected to office,
and when their term is ended, secure the selection of other associates
upon whose personal fidelity they can rely.

All such measures require that the leader keep the favor of a
considerable number of his constituents. To avoid this often difficult
or disagreeable task the leader and his close associates may persuade
their constituency to by-pass both constitution and parliament, enlist
the support of the military, seize power and establish an arbitrary
dictatorship of admirals and generals or establish a committee of
military leaders who will pick out civilian office holders willing to
follow the political line laid down by the military leaders.

As republics gain in wealth, increase their power and broaden their
geographical base by bringing outside peoples under their sway, their
dependence upon military means of resolving public controversies becomes
greater. This is particularly true where outsiders brought under the
republic's authority have mature political institutions including their
own leaders and their own ways of dealing with public relations.

Given such a situation, the control by the republic over the
policy-making apparatus of dependencies is likely to have been
established by force of arms. In such a case it is only a matter of time
and occasion when the dependency will demand the right of
self-determination and be prepared to fight for independence of "foreign
tyrants, oppressors and exploiters."

Minor inexpensive military operations for the suppression of colonial
revolt which are quickly and successfully ended may add to the stature
of empire-building leaders. But major operations, long continued,
expensive and inconclusive, will undermine the prestige and weaken the
position of the most firmly seated imperialist. The Boer War against the
British and the wars waged by the Koreans and the Vietnamese against a
series of occupiers and exploiters are excellent examples of the
operation of this principle.

As empire building proceeds under its inescapable expansionist drive, a
point will be reached at which the overhead costs of maintaining the
empire will exceed the income. As that point is approached in one after
another of the empires comprising the civilization, the central
authority will be successfully challenged by the dependent, colonial
periphery. Ordinarily, such challenges will coincide with the
inter-imperial wars which have periodically disrupted every civilization
known to history. When such a coincidence does occur, as it did in
western civilization from 1914 to 1945, the bell is likely to toll
loudly for the civilization in question.

Measures usually adopted to prevent such a catastrophe--martial law,
military dictatorship, self-perpetuating monarchy, divine authority, are
more than likely to heap fuel on the flames of rebellion and lead into a
social revolution.

An unstructured social group operating under the competitive principle
"Let him take who has the power" tends to develop into absolutism. At
any stage in the history of a civilization this development can take

Civilization, therefore, comes into being with this built-in
contradiction: the strong and predatory exploit the weak, but at a
certain point protect the weak and nurture the defenseless. Exploitation
by the rich and powerful is recognized and accepted as a prerogative
enjoyed by the rich and powerful. At the same time limitations are
placed on the character and intensity of the exploitation.

This dichotomy is perpetuated by agreements, laws and constitutions
which guarantee the property rights and social privileges by which the
rich and powerful safeguard and increase their wealth and power. Under
the same agreements, laws and constitutions, the privileges and rights
of the defenseless and weak, are specified.

Political institutions in every civilization, including that of the
West, have accepted and adopted a regulatory structure under which
limits are imposed on profiteering. The domestic life of a civilization
consists of an establishment within which exploitation can continue in a
manner which the constitution makers and legislators consider to be as
efficient as possible and as fair as possible to all of the parties

As a civilization matures, wealth and power (the means of exploitation)
are increased in volume and concentrated in fewer hands. The resulting
absolutism with its immense structure of wealth production and its
well-organized military arm, imposes conformity to its decrees,
servility, peonage and even slavery on the working masses. The masses,
in their turn, organize, agitate, demonstrate, strike, sabotage, and
periodically take up, arms in defense of their lives and their

We are describing certain political aspects of a process of social
selection which has dominated one civilization after another. At the
present moment it has reached a critical stage in the West. We apply the
term "social selection" to the result of this process because there is a
parallel between the natural selection of the biologists and the social
selection which sociologists observe in the rapid and extensive changes
presently taking place in the centers of western civilization.

Natural selection is a process in the course of which many compete and
contend while only a few survive and mature.

Social selection is a similar knock-down and drag-out struggle in which
peoples, nations, empires and civilizations take part. Many enter the
contest but only a few live to write their story in the long and complex
history of civilizations.

At the outset of such a contest, the European-Asian-African cradle of
the coming western culture contained numerous political
fragments--kingdoms, principalities, cities, city states, inert peasant
masses, migrating tribes--struggling locally and regionally for a place
in the sun, or for additional territory and extended authority. These
struggles reached the military level in local wars, regional wars,
general wars. In the course of this survival struggle, the weakest and
least effective contestants were defeated, dismembered and gobbled up by
their stronger and more efficient opponents.

Local struggles--in the Near and Middle East, in North Africa, in
eastern, central and western Europe--were trial heats in the course of
which many contestants were eliminated, while the survivors continued
the process of city, nation and empire building at higher and broader
levels. It was only after five hundred years of such conflicts that the
outlines of western civilization took definite political form:--a group
of battle-hardened contestants, centered in Europe, heavily armed and
equipped, intent on protecting and enlarging their home territory and
extending their authority over dependencies and colonies in various
parts of the planet.

This survival struggle continued for another three hundred years, down
to the beginning of the present century, reaching its highest level of
intensity between 1914 and 1945, with contestants from all of the
continents taking an active part. In this present round the contestants
are nations and empires, organized in ever-changing alliances. Some of
the contestants are old, scarred and battle weary. Others are young and
vigorous, recent entrants in the planet-wide contest for pelf,
possessions and power.

During the later years of the struggle, after war's end in 1945,
erstwhile dependencies and colonies of the disintegrating European
empires declared their independence, joined the United Nations as
sovereign states and played active parts in the battle for survival.

African development typifies the process during the later phases of
western civilization. When voyaging and discovery became a leading
activity of European nations around 1450 A.D. northern Africa was
directly involved, but the bulk of the continent--Equatorial
Africa--remained almost entirely untouched. After 1870 the pattern was
dramatically altered as British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and
Italian forces moved inland, staking out their claims.

Division of Africa among the great powers reached its culmination when
this process was completed, about 1910, when the whole vast continent of
Africa excepting Ethiopia, Egypt and South Africa had been parcelled out
among the rival European empires. In terms of geography and population,
Africa was still African. Politically it was pre-empted, occupied,
dominated and exploited by European empire builders, who used the over,
all trade name of western civilization.

Excessive costs of empire building, including the disastrous losses of
military struggle from 1914 to 1945, impoverished and weakened the
European overlords to such an extent that they could no longer maintain
their footholds in Africa. At the same time African minorities in
various parts of the continent launched independence movements under the
slogan of self-determination, drove out the European occupiers,
organized political states and declared that Africa must be governed by
and for Africans.

Much of Africa, at the time, was organized along tribal lines, which cut
across the boundaries drawn by the European imperialists between their
colonial territories. The resulting chaos temporarily removed Africa
from any meaningful role in the planet-wide contest for pelf and power.
Africans are politically sovereign. Economically and culturally they
remain dependent on their former European masters.

Politically, western civilization is in a state of flux. Its European
homeland is basically divided by potent fears, ambitions, feuds and
conflicts, and separated geographically from North America and Asia.
Despite several attempts to unify the continent politically, Europe was
disrupted, fragmented and weakened by two general wars in a single
generation. The European empires were politically and economically upset
by widespread colonial revolt in Asia and Africa. Spectacular
achievements of socialism-communism, particularly in East Europe and
Asia, added to the previous fragmentation a new line of division between
capitalist West Europe and socialist East Europe. This process of
fragmentation is giving separatist forces ascendancy over the forces of
integration and unification.

In Roman and Egyptian civilizations, the period of survival conflict led
to the centralization of wealth and authority. After five centuries of
suicidal competitive struggle, the European homeland of western
civilization is criss-crossed by sharp lines of division. Furthermore,
the shift of production and military power from Europe to North America
and Asia reduces the probability of speedy European integration.

In the more important centers of western civilization the chief item of
public expenditure is preparation for a war of air, water and land
machines that may extend technologically into a nuclear war. While we
have no precedent that would enable us to gauge the consequences of an
extensive nuclear war it seems reasonable to assume that it would
further fragment an already fragmented European continent.

The heavy burdens of militarism which western civilization is presently
carrying, have unbalanced budgets, which lead to inflation and to
onerous burdens of debt and taxes. It seems unlikely that a group of
warfare states like the top western European powers can escape the
economic contraction which presently threatens them and regain solvency
and stability through fiscal reforms or readjustments in tariffs and

Our analysis of the politics of civilization may be summarized in four
general statements:

   1. Each civilization has consisted of a cluster of empires,
   nations and peoples which at some previous period have
   enjoyed independence and sovereignty.

   2. Relations between these erstwhile sovereign units have
   been determined by a shifting mixture of diplomacy and
   armed force, with war playing a determining role in the

   3. In the course of survival struggle, political leadership within
   the civilization has shifted back and forth as one group
   has succeeded in establishing and maintaining its authority
   over the entire civilization.

   4. A general axiom of the politics of civilization might read:

   At the conclusion of each war among civilized peoples
   the victors are entitled to make the following declaration:
   We operate under the Law of the Jungle: "Let him take
   who has the power and let him keep who can." We have
   the power. We have grabbed the real and personal property
   of our neighbors and we propose to keep it. Our
   friends are welcome to attend our Feast of Victory. Let
   our enemies beware.



Politics involves the exercise of authority--the policy making,
planning, control, direction and administration of a community. Economic
forces provide the wealth, income and livelihood--the wherewithal upon
which a community depends for its physical existence, its survival, its
geographical extension, the continuance of its life cycle.

There is no sharp line separating economics from politics. While the two
fields are different in character and scope, they are so interrelated
and interwoven that any successful attempt to separate them would leave
the inquirer with two segments of a lifeless social cadaver. In the
course of this exposition it will become increasingly evident, as the
political and economic lines cross and re-cross, that the two fields are
inseparable parts of a total body social.

One civilization after another has begun with a predominantly rural
economy that has become increasingly urban as it matured. Food
gathering, pastoral life and small scale agriculture were rural. Trade,
commerce, manufacturing and finance, concentrated populations, increased
division of labor, specialization, inter-communication and
interdependence produced the trade center, the commercial metropolis and
the general purpose city.

Herdsmen and land workers, dependent on grass and rainfall, lived close
to the subsistence margin and were at the mercy of forces they could not
control. Traders and money changers, with an eye for business in a
growing marketplace made a more ample living. At the same time the more
successful among them accumulated capital which they loaned or invested
in stocks of goods, shops, warehouses, caravans, ships. By hiring
labor-power they multiplied their own limited physical capacities. By
investing in varied enterprises they assured themselves against possible
loss in any one of them. They also multiplied the possibilities of

Trade, finance and commerce, by producing a regular flow of abundant
income, brought into existence a new field of occupations and a new
class--business and the businessmen. Herdsmen and farmers depended for
their livelihood on nature, her niggardliness or generosity. The
businessmen required only the presence of a group large enough to
purchase goods and services, pay rent and interest, work for wages and
leave the profits to the enterpriser. Each profit beyond the subsistence
level enabled the businessmen to expand, buying more goods, hiring more
labor, making still greater profits.

Communities of businessmen pooled their profits, extended their markets,
built fleets, enlarged cities. Through joint action they engaged in
plundering expeditions and collected tribute from their victims.
Organized fabrication turned out the goods and services which were
marketed for profits. The resulting wealth enabled the successful
businessmen to build houses, stock them with consumer goods and art
treasures, hire servants, live sumptuously. Productivity, wealth,
prosperity filled their honey pot to overflowing.

Honey pots provide the "good things" of life for their owners. They also
tempt outsiders. Honey-pot owners fear pilfering by their servants; fear
sponging by their relatives, friends, neighbors; fear robbers and
kidnappers; fear migrating hordes on the lookout for plunder. Defense is
a necessary aspect of each rich household, neighborhood, city, nation,
empire, civilization.

The sequence from productivity, through prosperity, wealth accumulation,
abundance and the measures needed to defend and safeguard the
accumulations, leads to an affluent community or society. It also calls
into being new and distinctive class forces.

   I. The business class (hucksters and profiteers), a self-seeking,
   aggressive group of adventurers, promoters and
   organizers of bourgeois society to whom _profit_ comes
   first. At one or another stage in the life cycle of every
   civilization aggressive bourgeois greed for wealth and
   power makes itself felt. Their role in western civilization
   has been outstanding. The business class through
   its control of the productive apparatus and the sources
   of credit has been able to surround itself with subordinates,
   scientists and other experts, apologists, strong-arm
   squads (police and military), spies and assassins.

   II. A middle class, made up of business class subordinates
   plus self employed tradesmen, professionals, independent
   farmers and craftsmen.

   III. A class of blue collared and white collared producers of
   goods and services who hold their jobs during good
   behavior. When not needed or wanted they are pushed
   into the ranks of the partially or wholly unemployed.
   Most civilizations have added to the working force serfs,
   peons and/or chattel slaves.

   IV. A class of hangers on--economic parasites--who consume
   more than they produce. The payment of unearned income
   to property holders and the creation of monopolies
   enables this class to live on rent, interest and profit in
   proportion to their ownership. As parasitism increases
   and multiplies it proves to be a dead weight which
   eventually drags down any economy that tolerates it.

   V. A class of dependents, defectives and delinquents, supported
   by society but contributing little or nothing to
   its maintenance or its advancement.

Every civilization has maintained a greater or lesser degree of mobility
between the classes. Mobility makes it possible for those with greater
ability and energy to leave the countryside, settle near the
market-place and climb the ladder of success. It has also made it
possible for policy makers to dump those whose services are no longer
needed or wanted by the ruling oligarchy.

Among the driving economic forces in a civilization are hunger, fear,
greed, ambition. In practice these forces have proved far more effective
than whips and clubs in the hand of slave drivers. They animate the
rat-race for pelf, power, "success", which attracts idealism, energy,
ability and throws out the carcases of those no longer able to make a
contribution to the wealth and power of the oligarchy and its

Hunters, herdsmen, cultivators, craftsmen, mariners, miners perform
services that maintain the solvency of any economy in which they play a
leading role. Fast talkers, adventurers, promoters, manipulators,
gamblers add little or nothing to the income of the communities in which
they operate. Often, however, as gargantuan consumers, they play an
important role in building up the deficits which finally wreck an

Accumulations of wealth in market centers tempts the ambitious and the
adventurous to enter the rat-race and grab more than their pro-rata
share of the honey. The most obvious way to do this is to secure
possession of the honey pot.

Far away, in the tribal past of a civilization, lay a period of scarcity
in which the members of the community shared the scarce income or
starved. As the tribal wealth increased, the leaders, their families and
retainers got more than a fair share of the available goods, services,
preferment, privileges. At a very early stage the "ants" stored away
what they could spare, while the "grasshoppers" had a "good time".
Investing their stored wealth in land or productive enterprises the
"ants" added unearned income to their normal earnings from productive

Because the "ants" held the wealth of the community they were able to
exercise authority and determine community policy. One result of their
decisions was the creation of titles to land and stored wealth. A second
result was the institution of property-custom and later of property-law
under which those who owned property enjoyed special privileges which
gave them still larger shares of the community wealth and income.

Wealth ownership and the exercise of authority, concentrated in one
person or family, created a basic division in the community between
those whose livelihood depended on their labor and those whose income
was determined by their ownership of property and their exercise of
authority. In the course of time this development divided the community
into a property-owning, governing minority which was wealthy, and a
property-poor majority whose livelihood depended upon the willingness of
the property holding minority to use their land and productive
implements in operations that turned out goods and services.

Property ownership and income were protected by law. Labor income
depended on the bargaining power of the property-less majority. Property
income yielded wealth to the property owners. Labor income, under the
pressure of competition in the labor market, yielded only subsistence.
Thus the community was divided into owners and workers. The owners
controlled and spent or invested the income. The workers were provided
with the necessaries and a few crumbs of comfort.

Private property and property law supported by state power
institutionalized a basic division in every civilization. One segment of
a civilized community enjoyed wealth and power; other segments produced
goods and performed services. The owners were rich; the producers were
poor. Riches side by side with poverty are characteristic features of a
civilized society.

Exploitation has been the economic backbone of every civilization from
earliest times to the present day. Each civilization has exploited and
used up its natural resources. In every civilization individuals,
groups, classes and sometimes castes have exploited or used up fellow
humans and fellow creatures to suit their own purposes and advance their
own interests.

Abraham Lincoln gave a classical definition of human exploitation in a
simple sentence: "It is the principal that says you work and toil and
earn bread and I will eat it."

Exploitation of nature and of fellow beings by man began long before
written history. During periods of civilization, and notably in
present-day civilization, exploitation has determined social
relationships. It has also become one of the pillars of every civilized

Civilized peoples use up natural resources as a matter of course. The
more advanced technically have stripped their environments of
replaceable and irreplaceable resources. They have also perfected
techniques for using the productive power of their fellow creatures. One
way to do this is by owning the body. Another way is ownership of land,
capital and consumer goods which enable the owner to live without labor
on the products resulting from the labor of others.

Owners of property and wealth receive an income because they are owners.
They may be very young or very old, able-bodied or helpless. Their
livelihood comes to them not because of anything they do, but because of
the property titles which they own.

The owner of land may collect rent. The owner of capital may collect
interest. The owner of an enterprise may collect profits. Each lives by

Workers produce goods and services. They are paid an income proportioned
to their production.

Owners of land, capital and consumer goods are paid incomes proportioned
to their ownership.

Workers work for a living. Owners live by ownership, chiefly of land and
the implements of production.

Owners of property frequently are rich. Workers, by comparison, are
poor. The line separating owners from workers also separates riches from

Income from services rendered, from work, is earned income. Income from
property ownership, by contrast, is unearned income.

The relation between earned and unearned income is not confined to one
generation. Under laws passed by the owners and their retainers the
owners of private property may give or bequeath this property to their
descendants. In the course of time a community is divided between
workers who are poor and owners who are rich. Since the rich need not
work in order to live, they and those associated with them may live on
the unearned income derived from property ownership. In a word, they may
become parasitic.

Parasitism may lead to social decay. Generation after generation, the
owners and their dependants may live in comfort or even in luxury while
those who work and their dependents may lack simple necessities. This is
the confrontation of riches and poverty which has played so large a role
in every civilization.

Through the ages, in one civilization after another, the glaring
contrast between riches and poverty has appeared, dividing the community
and laying the foundation for class struggle and class war, both of
which decrease social efficiency, intensify class antagonism.

In the early stages of any culture cycle, barter is replaced by a money
economy. Money is a medium of exchange, usually issued by a public
authority and used in daily transactions, to pay tribute or taxes and to
meet other general expenses. In its earlier forms it is made of
relatively scarce materials that are in general demand, limited in
supply and easily divisible into smaller units. Gold, silver and other
metals meet these requirements and have been used as money through the

Cash money and promises to pay speed up wholesale and retail exchanges
in the market place. They fill the bill in normal times. But there are
emergencies and other exceptions. One of the commonest of the
emergencies is war.

In a previous chapter we pointed out that war is a characteristic
feature of a civilization that has passed the top-point of its expansion
and begun to decline. Then the chickens come home to roost. Civil war,
colonial wars and wars between imperial rivals follow each other,
creating emergencies in which demand for certain strategic goods and
services rises steeply, with no corresponding increase in supply. Prices
increase. The common defense requires immediate purchase of supplies.
The public treasury is exhausted. The government borrows from money
lenders (bankers). It also prints paper money and puts it in

If the credit of the government is good, if the emergency is of short
duration, matters right themselves and the economy survives without
serious derangements. But war-emergency disrupts and sometimes destroys
an economy. This outcome often results from military defeat.

Another exception to normal economic transactions is buying on
credit--buying today and paying tomorrow. The temporary gap between
purchase and payment is filled by credit--a promise of the purchaser to
pay later and the confidence of the seller that the bill will be paid.
Such credit transactions are covered by notes, bonds and mortgages made
out by the buyer and accepted by the seller. Until the debt is settled,
the borrower pays the seller interest at an agreed rate. Bankers enter
the picture, providing capital and collecting interest on their loans.

Where credit is abundant and relatively cheap, borrowers spend beyond
their incomes, hoping to pay later when the loan falls due. Borrowing
and over-spending are among human frailties. They are also forms of
risk-taking or gambling. Who knows whether the banker who promises to
pay on demand will be alive and doing business next week when his
promise to pay is presented for settlement? When the promise to pay is
issued by a government which decides the value of currency, and accepted
by that government as payment for taxes and other obligations, it is
more readily acceptable than paper issued and guaranteed by an
individual money lender or banker.

Each civilization has had a background of simple use economy--food
gathering, animal husbandry, agriculture--in which most of the people
produced what they needed and consumed what they produced. Such an
economy employs money rarely.

In a money economy those who have cash use it to pay their bills or
settle their accounts.

Those who buy on credit pay interest to money lenders. The money
lenders, later the bankers, make their profits by helping others to
spend beyond their own means. The money-lender also accepted loans from
others, promising to pay them back at a later date, and giving the
lender a piece of paper, specifying the amount of the loan. The paper
promise to pay became a bank-note, passed from hand to hand. It had no
intrinsic value, but as the money lender promised to pay cash for the
note on demand, it was accepted in payment of debts or for the purchase
of commodities.

When a shirt-maker turns out a product and exchanges it for a pair of
shoes made by a shoemaker there are no overhead costs. Each producer
adds to his wardrobe an item that makes his life more satisfactory.

Examples of simple barter are seldom found in market economies.
Civilized society assembles quantities and varieties of goods and
services in the market place, invites consumers to choose among the
wares and provides money to make transactions quick and easy. Civilized
society supplements money with credit on the principle: buy and use
today; pay tomorrow. Civilization goes beyond these bare essentials of
merchandizing by furnishing transportation and communication, making
long term loans at interest, writing insurance, developing the
techniques of accounting and management. Customers who visit the market
have basic human needs--the necessities of life. Beyond these
necessaries, there are conveniences, comforts, luxuries. The markets of
civilization cover the entire range of human needs and human wants from
necessaries to luxuries.

Civilized merchandizers take two other steps aimed to activate
consumption. They develop new lines of merchandise that will have more
customer appeal, leading to new wants. They also advertise new wares
that will create new wants, bring back old customers and attract new

For the foot-weary customer who has shopped away his energy and
enthusiasm for buying more and more, a civilized marketplace furnishes
food and shelter, recreation, entertainment and culture--beer,
libraries, concert halls and circuses as well as food, clothing and

These multiple functions of a civilized economy are part and parcel of
the changes which have converted the simple barter deal of exchanging a
pair of shoes for a shirt into a specialized, civilized market place.
They also cause civilized economies to devote far more time and money to
marketing goods and services than they spend in their manufacture. In a
broad sense, these supplementary costs are "overhead."

Shirt makers and shoemakers convert raw materials and partly finished
goods into shirts and shoes. Operating costs of manufacture are minimal
in a civilized economy. The major items that go into the final price of
the product are overhead costs.

Current accounting practices include in overhead: taxes, interest,
insurance and general items. Actually the price of goods and services in
a civilized economy includes minimal charges for raw materials and labor
and maximum charges for overhead.

There is another phase of overhead which pyramids with each advance in
the extent and complexity of a civilization--taxes to cover the costs of
government. As the civilization expands and specializes, governmental
services multiply. The number of government workers grows in proportion
and often out of proportion to the total production costs. Expenses of
government rise and with them the corresponding need to increase taxes.

Overhead costs in the village or small town are low. Much of the "public
service" is done by citizens who volunteer their time and energy. In the
centers of civilization public service is a profession, often well paid
and usually quite permanent.

Expansion is a basic feature in the life of every civilization.
Expansion increases overhead costs. When American Indians made their
silent way through the forests or roamed the plains there was no
overhead. Each provided his own means of locomotion. With roads came
bridges. With roads and bridges came capital costs. As dirt roads gave
way to macadam and macadam to asphalt and concrete, as country roads,
winding over hill and through dale were replaced by graded superhighways
cut straight through or built over all obstacles, the cost per mile rose
fantastically. All of these added costs appeared somewhere in the tax
bills which citizens were required to pay.

In any enterprise overhead costs rise in direct proportion to the extent
and complexity of the social order. As they rise, they increase the
prices of the goods and services which citizens (or consumers) must pay
for their livelihood. A good illustration of this principle is the price
of an identical acre of land: in the remote countryside; on an improved
highway; in the suburbs of a growing city and at the city center.

Increasing wealth brings greater risks. Wealthy cities like wealthy
individuals and families must pay for their protection against robbery
and piracy; against extortion and expropriation. Among important
business enterprises insurance ranks high. The costs and profits of
insurance are suggested by elaborate insurance company buildings and the
high salaries paid to their officials.

Insurance, usually a private overhead, comes high. Public insurance:
maintenance of law and order, crime and punishment, the secret and open
police, the armed forces, (land and sea and air) are vastly more
expensive. If, to these limited costs of overhead are added the costs of
militarism as a public enterprise and the ruinous costs of military
adventurism and its inevitable wars, the mounting costs lead to
insolvency and eventual economic and social ruin.

Another overhead cost which plays havoc with civilized nations and
peoples is the support of a bureaucracy. Increased extent and complexity
exhaust the community capacity for voluntary service and lead into an
era where the volunteers who carried on the limited public activities of
a village are supplemented and eventually replaced by a constantly
growing body of public servants. Growing extent and complexity plus the
need for finding safe places for those who are useful to the rich and
powerful, widens and deepens the public crib. In large enterprises,
private as well as public, paper work employs a small army, which must
be fed and housed at a level worthy of "a great nation." Business
machines reduce the personnel necessary for a given social enterprise,
but their high capital and operational costs increase overhead.

Another aspect of overhead costs is the multiplication of parasitic
professions. In simple villages, there are few body servants, no
able-bodied individuals who fetch and carry at the word of command, or
who only stand and wait for the moment when some whim, fancy or real
need may call for their services.

Village life, with its limited area and still more limited resources,
has little economic surplus upon which parasitism can feed. There is
landlordism, of course, but the margin of surplus is small. The city,
the province, the nation, the empire present a different picture.
Parasitic professions abound and proliferate: money changers, money
lenders, realtors, confidence men, gamblers, fortune tellers, priests,
entertainers, artists, thieves, robbers, and prostitutes abound, consume
more than their share of the community income, without making an
equivalent return in production or service. Their support adds to the
social overhead.

Another source of social overhead are the numerous followers of the
"something for nothing" cult who receive unearned income--an income
derived from civilization in its mature and its final stages.

Broadly there are two types of income--earned income and unearned
income. Earned income is something for something--or return for goods
provided or service rendered. Unearned income is something for
nothing--an income derived from some monopoly, privilege, sinecure or
form of property ownership.

Property in persons or things has been a characteristic feature of all
civilizations. Property owners, receiving rents, interest, dividends, in
proportion to the amount of property which they own are not called upon
to make equivalent return in exchange for their property--based income.
This personal parasitism of property owners is aggravated by provisions
of property law under which the owners of property can give, sell or
bequeath these sources of unearned income to family members, friends,

Eventually, unearned income, handed on through generations, creates a
class or even a caste of citizens who live without rendering an
equivalent of services, on the labor of their fellows, adding a
significant amount to the total of overhead costs.

Wealth ownership, the exercise of power, living in luxury on unearned
income, add to overhead costs, but are accepted as respectable in
civilized communities. Another and far less respectable form of social
parasitism is the manipulation of social forces in a way that will bring
the operator more than a fair share of social income with no equivalent
in service. Such is "politics" or "politicising." "Politics" as a
source of livelihood takes many forms, some less legitimate than others.

The most usual source of office-holding is the humble work of the clerk,
handyman or messenger, responsible for carrying out the nagging routine
of government. Beyond this common labor of public service are public
servants skilled in their several professions. Beyond and above them are
department heads and still higher are the appointed or elected officials
responsible for the success or failure of a given public policy.

Who are the occupants of town, city, state, and national positions of
authority and responsibility? Preferably they are elected or appointed
because of their popularity or are the successful product of civil
service examinations. At worst they are appointed as a return for favors
or else because they are relatives or friends of successful politicians
or their backers.

Whatever its source and however efficient or inefficient its
performance, the body of paid public servants increases with the
expanding life of locality, region, province, state, nation and empire.
With its growth goes corresponding accommodations in wages and salaries,
office space and equipment and other routine outlays. Frequently the
increase of the emoluments of bureaucrats, especially at the higher
levels of authority and responsibility, creates sinecures which are
filled by parasites or by individuals who are engaged in shoring up the
bureaucracy rather than rendering a public service. The outlays
necessary to finance such a top-heavy bureaucratic fabric grow in direct
proportion to the age and rigidity of the bureaucracy, draining off
public funds into private coffers and adding uncompensated elements to
overhead costs. If inflation is a problem, at or beyond the apex of an
imperial epoch or cycle of civilization, financial costs rise

The chief overhead cost in every civilization is and has been war.
Examine the budget of the United States or any other leading civilized
power. From two-thirds to three-quarters of central government outlays
are for war in the past and preparation for war in the future.

The net result of rising overhead costs appears in the history of all
previous civilizations. They are eating out the vitals of western
civilization while we write and read these words.



Sociology is the science and art of association.

Human associations range from kinship groups like the family, tribe and
clan to larger more complex groups like villages, towns, cities,
nations, empires, to still more inclusive leagues, federations and

In a broad view, sociology includes politics, economics and ideology.
For the purposes of our social analysis, we have divided the field into
four separate categories, beginning with politics, continuing through
economics and drawing our study together under the general headings of
sociology and ideology.

No civilization that we have studied can be regarded as an intentional
or projected or planned enterprise. On the contrary, civilizations have
developed and matured in true pragmatic fashion, taking one step after
another because their predecessors had followed this course or because,
given the human urges and the available natural and social
opportunities, the next step seemed to be determined by previous steps
plus the momentum of the enterprise. In the course of this development
an ideology was built up and modified in such a way as to justify and
strengthen the entire project.

When William Penn received a grant of land from the English Crown, he
was already committed, ideologically, by the Quaker faith to Quaker
methods. Without ever seeing his proposed home across the Atlantic he
drew up a plan for his City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia), and for
the organization and conduct of his enterprise. The entire project was
formulated in Penn's mind and put on paper. This is a good example of an
intentional community.

No civilization so far as I know, has followed such a sequence.
Certainly in the civilizations with which we are most familiar,
political and economic forces, the principles of necessity and
availability have led to the formulation of an ideology that would
justify and promote the interests of the social group which was
controlling and directing the community or communities in which the
civilization was maturing.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that each of the component
elements making up the expanding civilization--each people, city, state,
nation, empire--developed its own total culture pattern, subject to the
pressures mutually exerted by neighboring communities. The aggregate of
these culture patterns, separately and often antagonistically matured,
comprised a lesser totality called an empire and a larger totality
called a civilization. It is with this larger totality that we are

We propose to analyse the sociology of civilization under the following
headings: (1) the structure or anatomy; (2) the function, physiology, or
process; (3) motive forces in civilization; (4) contradictions and
conflicts, with a final section on the life cycle of civilization.

The structure of human society consists of specialized economic,
political, administrative and cultural groupings assembled and
maintained in relationships that supply necessities, conveniences,
comforts, luxuries for the individuals, together with capital goods and
services for the social groups composing the civilization.

In terms of social history the growth of structure has proceeded from
the horde, tribe and clan to the family, village, city, city-state,
nation, empire, civilization. These steps are not necessarily
sequential. Under varying social conditions they have been determined
and modified by particular historical situations. The smallest and most
intimate building block of human society has been the family. The
largest and most inclusive has been the civilization. The family as a
social group has existed for long periods, over wide areas, in immense
numbers. Civilizations have been few and often far between. They have
arisen out of particular historical situations, played distinctive
roles, written their own histories and made varying contributions to the
sum total of human culture. In the long time intervals and the wide
geographical distances that have separated civilizations human beings
have lived within more local and less complex social structures.

Civilized human society is distinctive in structure. While it varies in
detail from one civilization to another, its broad outline is
unmistakable. Each civilization has been built, defended and perpetuated
in and around cities.

Between civilizations, in time and space, most human communities have
been self-sufficient. Whether as food gatherers, pastoral people or
cultivators of the soil they have produced and consumed the food,
shelter, clothing, implements and weaponry required for their survival.

The city, whether a political capital or a center of trade and commerce,
was sharply separated from the self-sufficient countryside. The city, by
its very nature, could not be self-sufficient. Food, building supplies
and raw materials were not produced inside the city limits, but must be
produced in the hinterland from which they were transported to the
cities. City dwellers devised means of paying for the production,
transportation and marketing of these necessary imports. The countryside
can and does exist independently of the city because it can provide the
goods and services on which its existence depends. The city, on the
contrary, cannot exist without the supplies produced in the hinterland
and transported to the city.

Urban centers of civilization have for their background a pastoral and
agricultural source of food supplemented by fabrication, merchandising
and financing. Instead of the occupational uniformity of the
countryside, the city offers a wide range of occupations, increased
productivity, quick and substantial profits resulting in a build-up of
capital on one side and enlarged consumer spending on the other.
Consequently the successful competitor in the race for supremacy
develops productivity, accumulates wealth, expands capital spending,
enlarges the scope of the arts, thereby augmenting the city's
attractiveness to business enterprise and migrants from the hinterland.

As the capital city grows in wealth and opportunity it requires larger
imports of food, raw materials, building supplies, manpower. Growing
internal need leads to greater external expansion. Economic, political,
administrative and cultural needs not only increase the demands of the
city on its existing hinterland, but they lead to a demand for a more
widely extended hinterland.

The countryside is the goose that lays the golden eggs. The city
gathers, guards and eventually consumes the eggs or converts them into
capital forms and lives in part on this unearned income.

The city is the mecca which attracts by its wide ranging opportunities.
It is also the center in which policies are made and offered to the
countryside as normal facts of life. The countryside accepts city
leadership including a higher wealth-power per capita ratio for the

Cities, with their accumulations of population and wealth, are walled or
otherwise defended. When danger threatens, countrymen often move inside
the walls until the danger abates.

Cities and city life increase and expand with the growth and expansion
of civilization. Cities are the centers from which civilization grows
and expands. Historically, a number of cities or city-states have
competed for survival and supremacy. One by one they have dropped out of
the race or have been out-classed, defeated and/or absorbed by the
victors in the competitive struggle. One location proved to be more
advantageous than others. The inhabitants of one locality were more
skillful, more far sighted than those of rival localities. Many
competed. Eventually one survived the final round of struggle, emerging
as the nucleus of an expanding empire and a maturing civilization. A
protracted conflict raging first in Italy and later in the entire
Mediterranean basin, resulted in the Roman Empire and eventually in
Roman civilization. A similar series of struggles, this time
planet-wide, gave the British a taste of planetary supremacy in the
nineteenth century and opened the door wide enough to give the United
States oligarchy a glimpse of an American Twentieth century, which never

Occupational differences within the city led to a differentiated class
structure. As the trading city developed, businessmen eventually played
a dominant role because they were able to command larger incomes,
accumulate more wealth and offer more aggressive leadership.

Nuclei of both empire and civilization were associated with a cluster of
allies, client states, dependencies and colonies related to the center
by economic interests and by diplomatic bargains or political controls.
They paid tribute or taxes as the price of living within the defense
perimeter of the ruling elite, conforming to the chief aspects of its
culture and in emergencies taking refuge inside the city defenses.

The city center made and implemented policy and provided local
leadership in emergencies. Inhabitants of the city enjoyed a superior
status and had a higher standard of consumer-living than most of those
who inhabited the countryside and the hinterland.

A structured society based on division of labor and/or function enjoys a
competitive superiority over a classless community. The structured city
was not only richer than the countryside, but it was in a position to
provide leadership, to plan and implement policy and act more

A civilization consists of a cluster of associated allies, clients,
dependencies, and colonies bound together by economic, political and
cultural ties. Since armed force has been the chief instrument for
bringing these elements together, the agency responsible for exercising
armed force enjoys priority in a listing of the structural institutions
of civilization.

Land owners, often acting as military chieftains, dominated the
hinterland of a civilization. The city was dominated by businessmen. The
unification of city and hinterland and the complex of cities and
hinterlands composing a civilization established a governmental
apparatus in which all ruling elements were represented. In the earlier
stages of a civilization there may have been assemblies or parliaments
composed of representatives of various interests. As the civilization
was unified by war, representation was replaced by some form of monarchy
in which one supreme commander, emperor or pharoah was the final judge
and arbiter. The monarch set up a network of public authority, regional
as well as universal, provincial as well as central, and garrisoned it
with professional soldiers and sailors paid by the monarch and
responsible to him.

Corresponding with this political structure was an economic structure
consisting of a central treasury, a uniform system of weights, measures
and values, a system of spending priorities, decided by the central
authority, a source of income: taxes, tribute, booty, sufficient to
cover expenditures.

A civilization which ran a chronic deficit--over-spending its
income--moved year by year, through debt, inflation, currency
degradation, and repudiation toward its own disintegration and ultimate
bankruptcy. The historical record is very clear on this point,
especially in Roman civilization and in western civilization after 1870.

Most civilizations have had a body of religious institutions staffed by
a priestcraft, which has shared power with the economic overlords.
During certain periods in the long history of Egyptian civilization the
priestcraft held the balance of power. So great was its ascendancy that
the spoils of war and the gains of peace were shared by the temple
treasury and the royal treasury. In some cases the temple treasuries had

All civilizations for at least five thousand years have had a
professional military of sufficient consequence to play a leading role
in policy making and to claim a lion's share of the spoils of military
victory. In some cases civil and military authority were merged in one
supreme commander--emperor, pharoah. At other times, notably in Rome,
after the fall of the Republic, the Pretorian Guard nominated and
appointed its emperors.

Well up toward the summit of each known civilization, four groups have
shared authority and competed for supremacy: land-lords, wealth-lords,
war-lords and priests. Where these four major shapers of public policy
and directors of public administration were of like mind, they shared
wealth and power. When they differed, one or another enjoyed priority
and exercised some measure of control over the other three.

Less personal, but of major concern among the institutions of
civilization were the channels of communication and transportation that
have played so decisive a role in the life of every civilization. Top
ranking among the means of communication were common language, spoken
and written on metal, papyrus, paper; a unified system of accounting and
cost keeping; permanent records. Among the means of transport were
waterways, including canals, viaducts, roads, bridges skillfully built
and kept in good repair.

Another significant institution of civilization is the idea of
ownership, the division of property into public property and private
property and the right of the private property owner to do what he will
with his property, subject always to the over-riding principle of
eminent domain: the right of the community to expropriate private
property for public uses, with or without compensation.

Another institution of civilization is the provision of public services
in addition to means of communication and transportation. These public
services include a water supply; the disposal of waste; public defense
of life and property; food and diversion (bread and circuses) for the
needy; fire prevention and fire fighting apparatus; educational
facilities, including libraries and reading rooms; outside recreational
facilities such as parks and play-grounds. All of these facilities could
be provided by the rich and powerful for themselves and members of their
families. They could be supplied more effectively and apportioned more
justly when they were public services open to all.

The countryside lacks the financial and the administrative means of
providing a wide range of public services. Indeed, countryside dwellers
pride themselves on being able to provide necessary services on a
family, household or village basis. City dwellers learn to regard such
public services as a matter of public right. Their existence is a magnet
which draws a steady stream of migrants from the countryside into the

Civilizations are dominated by business interests. It is for them to
provide facilities for the transaction of business, cash money, credit
instruments, installment buying, means for changing money, insurance,
discounting facilities. As a civilization grows in wealth and population
the political apparatus becomes a major employer, a major producer of
goods and services, a major purchaser of producer and consumer goods, a
major agency for borrowing, lending, insuring, in short a major factor
in the multitudinous activities of a commercial, industrial community.

Classes, class interests and class lines are a part and parcel of all
civilizations. They are less rigid and more flexible than similar lines
existing in an agrarian community where land ownership plays so large a
role in determining social forms and social functions. In a static
agrarian community dominated by landlords, war-lords and the clergy,
rigid class lines help to hold the community together. In a community
dominated by business interests, both labor power and purchasing power
must be free to respond to demand and supply. This is as true in a
planned public economy as it is in a private enterprise economy. In
accordance with the same principle, facilities are provided for the
movement of individuals back and forth across class lines.

The specialized, interdependent structure of civilization with its city
control of the hinterland, its products and inhabitants, enabled the
city-centered oligarchy to accumulate and concentrate wealth and
monopolize power, to skim the cream from the available milk, monopolize
the cream, distribute the skimmed milk judiciously and thus perpetuate
its ascendancy through generations and centuries. During periods of
expansion civilized communities develop a dynamism which maintains their
ascendancy. In subsequent periods of contraction form takes over,
imposing conformity on the status quo.

During their periods of expansion civilizations are dynamic. Their
history records growth at home, expansion abroad, exploitation,
domestic and foreign under the pressure of effective motivating forces.
The resulting dynamism leads to the contradictions, confrontations and
conflicts which have studded the internal and external life story of
every civilization.

Perhaps the most outstanding aspect of the dynamic functioning of
civilization is its growth in magnitude. It might be more accurate to
describe the process as an explosive expansion--explosive because rapid
and spectacular.

Form limits function. At the same time function modifies and ultimately
determines form. The two factors are omnipresent and complementary.
Except for purposes of analysis they are two inseparable aspects of
every human society. Where form predominates, social status results.
Where function predominates fluidity, flexibility and dynamism are the
outcome. Rapid change occurs on the home front at the same time that it
is taking place abroad.

Growth at home takes place in two fields. The first is the extension of
the homeland frontiers, broadening the geographical area of the nucleus
around which the civilization is being built. The second aspect of
growth involves an increase in multiplicity, variety and complexity and
perhaps also a higher level of quality. Increase in quality is an
optional feature of growth and expansion. Toward the end of a cycle of
civilization quality declines.

For the record we list fourteen aspects of the domestic growth of
civilization: (1) population; (2) production of goods and services; (3)
trade, commerce, finance; (4)wealth, capital, income, capital
construction; (5) the defense establishment; (6) growth in numbers and
in variety of consumer goods and services; (7) specialization; (8)
formal education, literacy, learning; (9) advances in science and
technology; (10) growth in the arts; (11) rising standards of luxury for
the oligarchy and growth in the volume of the professional and technical
middle class and their living standards; (12) growth of the state
bureaucratic apparatus in its complexity and in the number of its
personnel; (13) growth of the sources of unearned income and especially
in the number of persons living on unearned income; (14) growth of
dependents, delinquents, criminals and other outlaws. This list is not
exhaustive, but it is indicative of the wide area in which domestic
growth takes place.

Paralleling their domestic expansion, civilizations expand
geographically up to the point of diminishing returns, determined by the
growth of overhead costs. This process has taken the civilization, its
personnel, its institutions and practices into territory not heretofore
occupied, sometimes with the consent of the "foreigners", but more often
in the teeth of their determined and long-continued opposition.

Expansion of a civilization is of necessity a movement from an urban
center and beyond the urban center. Each civilization has been built
around one or more urban nuclei which accepted and practiced expansion
as the primary law of their beings.

Expansion takes many forms. It may be peaceful, as travel is peaceful.
It may be competitive, as trade is competitive. It may be economically
aggressive; the search for markets, for raw materials, for investment
opportunities carried on simultaneously by representatives of long time
rival cities, states, empires. It may be a movement for a place in the
sun; mass migration, colonization. It may take the form of planned
military invasion having as its purpose the conquest and occupation of
foreign territory; the subjugation of the citizenry of the conquered
lands; the establishment of an alien government in the conquered
territory; the reduction of the "natives" to the status of second class
citizens in their own homelands; exploitation of the natural resources;
the levying of tribute; the imposition of taxes and the expropriation of
moveable articles such as bullion, works of art and other treasure by
the invaders, conquerors and occupiers.

Policies of expansion, conquest and occupation rely upon weaponry and
war-making as essential instruments. Historically their role has been
frankly recognized by builders of every empire and the leaders of every
civilization. All civilizations known to history prepared for war and
utilized war as the final arbiter in their pursuit of expansionist
policy. Empire builders and civilizers have taken it for granted that
might made right. The mighty, in terms of military striking power and
killing power, have fought over and inherited the earth.

The practices of every civilization have centered about exploitation--of
natural resources, of labor power, of rivals in the race for supremacy,
of weaker and less aggressive peoples. Expansion gives the ruling
oligarchy of the expanding nation, empire or civilization command of the
strategic vantage points from which the principle of exploitation can be
made continuously operative.

We have dealt with exploitation in connection with the economics of
civilization (Chapter 7). Its central concept is the "you work--I eat"
formula. In sociological terms it extends far beyond livelihood, into
the relations of man with the natural environment (ecology); the
management and direction of labor power and policy making; social
administration and policy implementation, including policing of the
territories lying within the frontiers of the nation, empire or
civilization, plus contacts and relationships with territories lying
outside the frontiers: in short, with the success or failure, the
domination or subordination of the territory under consideration.

Structurally and functionally a civilization cannot remain static. It
must expand or contract. If it expands, crossing frontiers and
penetrating areas heretofore considered foreign or alien, and proposes
to remain in those alien territories, it must have sufficient means at
its disposal to continue the administration of its home territory and at
the same time to take on the administration of the newly acquired
foreign territory.

Home territory administration has as its broad purpose the utilization
of available means to attain its ends and serve its interests.
Administration of areas into which the home forces are penetrating must
attain the same ends and serve the same interests on the "you work--I
eat" axiom. Unless the newly acquired territory can attain those ends
and serve those interests it is a liability, not an asset, and its
continued existence will pose a threat to the expansionist venture.

Natural resources, plus labor power, plus effective management and
direction must be integrated in the interests of the entire enterprise.
Self determination is of secondary consequence, coming into play only
after the interests of the whole have been assured and safeguarded.

There is of course the collective principle under which the interests of
the whole can be best served through the cooperation of its component
elements. But this is a horse of quite another color. It presupposes the
willingness of the respective parts to enter voluntarily into a
cooperative relationship. Sociologically speaking this is the antithesis
of the situation we have been considering: expansion and exploitation in
the interests and for the purposes of the expanding forces. So long as
expansion and exploitation are accepted and practiced as the basic
principles of any community, so long independence and self-determination
will be irrelevant and inimical to the dominant elements in the nation,
empire or civilization under consideration.

Under the "you work--I eat" formula natural resources will be utilized
in the manner best calculated to advance the interests of the ruling
oligarchy. Who will be the judge, jury and executioner in the case? Who
else but the concerned ruling oligarchy?

In the history of civilization this principle has been followed
systematically. The forests have been cleared away, the land has been
overgrazed, cultivated and exposed to the erosive attacks of sunlight,
air, water and frost. Wood from the forests has been hauled to the
cities and burned, has been used to construct palaces and temples,
houses and ships, with no recognition of the principles of priority or
renewal. If wood was available where must it go? The oligarchy decided
the issue in terms of ostentation and expediency. Rarely during recorded
human history have there been oligarchs who said: "Irreplaceable
resources like minerals must be used with extreme economy. Replaceable
resources like forests or top-soil must be used and at the same time
replaced and if possible augmented."

Decision making in the civilizations reported by history has been
chiefly in the hands of specially privileged minorities. The purpose of
these minorities has revolved around the provision of comforts and
luxuries for the decision makers and their dependents and the increase
of their wealth and power. Rarely has any ruling oligarchy said: "The
continuance of our privileges and our barest existence is the result of
labor power applied to natures gifts. We must safeguard nature and
improve the health and vitality of those who do the world's work. If,
due to unforeseen circumstances, over which we have failed to exercise
adequate control, there is some shortage, let the idler and the wastrel
suffer. Under all circumstances the producers must have all those goods
and services needed to preserve their productive efficiency."

Through the entire course of written history the shrewdest, the
strongest, the best fed and most comfortably housed have gained wealth
and power, kept them and added to them. This has been the central
sociological principle followed by the wealth-owning, power-wielding
oligarchs of one civilization after another. Nature has been polluted,
despoiled, pillaged. Society has been exploited and plundered. Most
civilizations, during most of their history, have been led and ruled by
the rich and powerful, who have used their wealth and power to advance
their own interests, with scant respect for the hewers of wood, the
drawers of water and the tillers of the soil. Those at the imperial
center have milked the periphery. Cooperation has been occasional and
confined largely to pre-civilized communities. In all civilizations
exploitation has been the rule; the exploitation of nature, of labor
power and of the social fabric.

The record of natural resources exploitation is well known. Paul Sears'
_Deserts on the March_; Fairfield Osborn's _Our Plundered Planet_;
William Vogt's _Road to Survival_, and Rachel Carson's _Silent Spring_
tell the story of the misuse and the extravagant abuse of nature. The
record of labor power exploitation is less publicized.

Food gatherers like the North American Indians had no machinery and a
minimum of implements or weapons. They migrated with the weather and the
available game, traveling with their possessions. Herdsmen also moved
about in search of pasture. Land workers faced four new problems. They
must stay with their land and make a weather-proof habitat in dwellings
and villages. They must make the implements needed for farming, building
and defense against marauders. They must accumulate and preserve enough
food to carry them from one harvest to the next. They must improve and
beautify their artifacts and constructs. Traders added a fifth
must--they must produce and accumulate stocks to meet the needs of
various customers as well as their own greed for profits.

Successive stages, from food gathering to trading and manufacturing,
required more energy--human energy, animal energy, and eventually
mechanical energy. Part of this energy enabled humans to survive,
another part enabled them to multiply. Still another part made it
possible for one portion of the population to live without productive
work on the work output of their fellow creatures. This exploiting
minority was headed by land owners, soldiers and priests.

Landowners built themselves and their dependents strong houses and
castles. Much of the labor power that went into this construction was
"forced." The laborer gave the landlord labor time in exchange for the
privilege of working part of the land for his own support. Soldiers
defended the landlord and joined plundering forays on the territory of
neighbors. The priests, in exchange for sustenance, mollified "higher
powers" and built temples in which the people could gather, worship and
be admonished.

Farsighted, energetic, resourceful men (and women), using mass
productive energy, built themselves castles, built their priests temples
and mobilized serfs, war captives and slaves who worked in gangs for
generations and centuries to assemble the raw materials, construct and
decorate the buildings, and perform the services needed to operate the
enterprises and to provide their owners and masters with the
necessaries, comforts, luxuries.

As centers of civilization grew richer and more powerful they defeated
neighboring peoples, brought some of them home as war captives and
exacted from their defeated rivals promises to pay yearly tribute in the
form of timber, metals, food and often of slaves.

Mobilization of energy resources had been proceeding on a small scale
for ages. Successful civilizers made this one of their chief tasks,
mobilizing energy forces and materials and using them to build palaces,
temples, mausoleums and whole city complexes with appropriate defenses
against marauders and other enemies.

Administrative networks, adequate to produce such results, planned and
directed the construction and administered and policed the operations.
Using elaborate techniques of communication, transportation,
fabrication, beautification, accounting, planning, initiative,
leadership, mobilization, maintenance and replacement of labor power,
imposition and sharing of authority, discipline, adjustment to deviation
and opposition, means for dealing with revolt and rebellion, the
builders of civilization performed their necessary tasks.

As civilizations have matured they have grown at the nucleus, expanded
abroad and experimented more or less successfully with various means of
exploiting nature, man and human society. Most of the competitors for
survival and supremacy dropped out or were forced out in the course of
continuous survival struggles.

Survivors of the obstacle race dealt successively with personal
rivalries; class conflicts; civil wars; dictatorships; tyrannies; with
overhead costs that grew more rapidly than income; with empty
treasuries, inflation, depression, economic stagnation; with increases
in top-heavy bureaucracies; with parasitism; with hooliganism; with the
growing role of the military in decision making and administration;
sharing the honey-pot with migrants and invaders; with rivalry and power
struggle at home and abroad; with division, fragmentation and eventual

Any student of the sociology of civilization must turn from this
analysis of function with the conviction that whatever the advantages of
civilization as opposed to earlier phases of human association, the
pattern of civilization in action is workable only to a very limited
extent. Civilization is not an example of perpetual motion. Rather it is
a social life cycle, with a beginning and an end, and a peck of
troublesome contradictions and conflicts in between.

Civilization is an integrative process. During the course of its
competitive survival struggle, potential building units of an expanding
civilization are tested out and included or rejected in much the same
way that a stone-mason checks and tests the individual stones of which
his wall is being built. The analogy is not entirely accurate. A wall
becomes a completed part of a total structure. A civilization is a
process of existence from conception and birth to dissolution and death.
At any point in the process there is a delicate balance between
integration and disintegration. As a matter of fact, both integration
and disintegration exist and act, constantly, side by side. If the
integrative forces are in the ascendant, form is built and function is
accelerated. If the disintegrative forces are dominant, form breaks down
and function stagnates.

This shifting balance and/or imbalance with its resulting build-up
and/or break-down exists geographically, biologically, sociologically.
It can perhaps be best described as successive change. It cannot be
referred to as evolution except in its integrative aspect.
Disintegratively it becomes devolution.

Civilization is a result of sociological build-up at a certain cultural
level. It has not been universal in all human societies, but
exceptional, both in time and in geographical space.

What has caused the pattern of civilization to appear, disappear and
reappear again and again during the period of written history?

There have been many answers. The most general answer is divine
intervention by beings above and beyond mankind. Whether such
intervention has taken place or is taking place, human beings are unable
to say with finality, but several thousand years of recorded history,
plus our own daily experience provides convincing proof that the
political, economic, ideological and sociological constructs which have
appeared and disappeared in the course of social history are, at least
in large part, the products of human brains and human hands. They are

The social pattern of civilization, like other social patterns which
preceded civilization and which continue to exist side by side with
civilized communities, is the result of human ingenuity and human
energy, of human inertia, ineptitude, and the human urges to build,
decorate and destroy.

Variety in human culture is caused by the variety in the human natural
environment, the human social environment and in man himself.

Natural advantages exist and vary from place to place. There are fertile
valleys; there are also mountains and deserts. There are a few fine
harbors, but for the most part landings are difficult and dangerous.
Certain islands have become the bases of civilizations, but this is true
of only a very small number of many existing islands.

Civilizations have flourished in certain climatic zones and not
elsewhere. At one historical period civilizations were established in
the tropics and semi-tropics. In the present period they are located
chiefly in temperate climatic belts.

Another source of differences between civilizations is the variation and
the adaptability of certain peoples to the peculiar conditions out of
which civilization grows.

Still another explanation of the presence or absence of civilization in
particular times and places is the "great man" theory of history. All
human communities, pre-civilized and civilized, have had gifted leaders
whose thoughts and actions have brought about social changes. These
"greats" were the divinely, ideologically or sociologically inspired.
Divine inspiration or revelation led to the founding of religious
faiths. Ideological and sociological inspiration resulted in domestic
cultural changes and the extension of economic, cultural and ideological
activities into foreign lands, thus pushing the frontiers of nations,
empires, and civilizations farther from the chief wealth-power centers.

Thomas Carlyle wrote that history is the lengthened shadows of a few
great men. Arnold Toynbee concluded from his _Study of History_ that
religion has been a prime motive force in the building and preservation
of civilizations.

Technology has been a motive force of hard-to-define importance in
revitalizing, changing, expanding and perpetuating civilizations.
Increased productivity, expressing itself as increases in income,
accumulated wealth and various forms of capital investment, have
provided the economic basis for population growth and the more effective
exploitation of natural resources and labor power, advances in the means
for transportation and communication, accounting, planning management
and "defense."

Among the social motive forces responsible for the development of
civilization is the accumulation of wealth in an impoverished world. The
most important single factor in this connection was the development of a
class of businessmen in a society dominated by landlords, churchmen and
soldiers. Landlords, churchmen and soldiers lived during periods of
animal husbandry and primitive agriculture on the very narrow margins
produced during bountiful harvests. When harvests were bad, husbandmen
and farmers were reduced to starvation levels. Lacking means of storage
and refrigeration as well as facilities for transporting heavy materials
such as food, fuel and building materials, pre-civilized society
accumulated wealth slowly in mobile forms (precious metals and jewels)
and made few productive investments.

The advent of trade (business) and the trading class created a small but
potentially powerful class whose income and wealth were not derived from
direct contact with nature but came from trade, money changing, lending,
insuring and other activities associated with the accumulation and
investment of wealth in profit-yielding enterprises. Only in a secondary
sense did business depend on animal husbandry or agriculture. As their
primary task businessmen devoted themselves to the exploitation of labor
power and the storage and merchandising of the products turned out by
herdsmen, farmers, craftsmen. Part of their profits went into more
elaborate standards of feeding, clothing and housing themselves and
their dependents. Another, and a more crucial part of their profits went
into ships, warehouses, and the implements used in converting raw
materials into consumer goods and services, transporting them to the
markets, displaying them and persuading consumers to diversify their
needs, purchase a greater variety of goods and services and thus
increase the number and profitability of business transactions.

As this process mushroomed with the expansion of civilization, consumers
demanded a greater number of more expensive artifacts and consumer
capital goods, from housing and house furnishings such as bathrooms and
well-stocked kitchens to refrigerators, washing machines, air
conditioners, telephones, television sets, bicycles, automobiles and
elaborate recreation facilities and equipment. The expansion of mass
production and the mass market paced one another, constantly raising the

Mass production, mass marketing and pyramiding profits resulted, first
and foremost in the enrichment of businessmen. Their riches
automatically pushed them into a position of pre-eminent importance from
which they were able to make public policy and utilize public authority
for the protection and advancement of their own class interests. It also
called into being a vast array of new professionals; teachers,
engineers, scientists, technicians, social workers and propagandists,
converting the "middle class" from a shadowy remnant of feudal society
into the largest class numerically and the most influential class
politically in the entire modern community.

At the same time, economic enrichment and expansion increased the
importance of the war-making apparatus. The expansion of civilization
has involved a competitive struggle carried on constantly along several
fronts, economic, political, cultural, ideological. The means of
struggle in every civilization has included the military as a political
force and as a final arbiter in deciding who should win and who should
lose civil and inter-group wars. Victory and defeat determined the fate
of land and natural resources, populations, capital installations,
taxing facilities, domestic policing. This deterministic role of the war
machine has never been more dramatically in the foreground than during
the crucial years from 1910 to the present day, when war apparatus costs
have topped the list of government expenditures.

Growth of state functions with the expansion of the economy has
resulted in the creation of a vast state bureaucratic apparatus. Heading
this bureaucracy are the ministers of state, each with a separate
department. Under the department heads are sub-departments, sub-divided
in their turn into bureaus or separate offices. At each level, functions
are assigned and salaries are fixed. Entrance into this anthill is
sometimes by personal favor, sometimes by examination. Once in, however,
barring misbehavior, or some catastrophe like the abolition of a
particular bureau, the office holder is in for life with a pension when
he is retired for age.

Inside the bureaucracy there is a slow movement determined by seniority.
There is also some skipping, as when new bureaus are formed or when
death or retirement offer opportunities for the favored few to move
forward or skip upward. As we read the record, the bureaucracy existed
in the days of Egypt's Amenhotep, or in those of Rome's Augustus Caesar,
as it exists today--locally in every municipality, province, nation and
empire and generally throughout western civilization.

Every civilization known to history has had its priestcraft as well as
its statecraft. Statecraft spawned its bureaucracy. Priestcraft spawned
its theocracy. Both patterns have inter-penetrated entire civilizations.
Each locality, region and district has had its representatives of state
and of church. In some instances the church took precedence. In others
the state was supreme. As the civilization matured, using war as the
chief instrument of policy, the state in the person of military
dictators has tended to predominate. In every civilization the state has
collected its taxes and the church has collected its tithes.

The net result, in every civilization, has been a ruling oligarchy,
self-appointed and self-perpetuating, which has shaped policy, planned
and directed administration, exercised authority and lived comfortably
and at least semi-parasitically on the backs of the underlying urban and
rural masses, sharing its sinecure with its middle class handymen. In
some times and in certain localities the oligarchy has maintained a
representative front. Elsewhere it has functioned arbitrarily. In
extreme cases one man has ruled for a brief period. Generally the
oligarchy has held the reins of authority.

Each phase of human society has had its oppositions, its confrontations,
its conflicts, proportioned to its magnitude, its specialization and the
interdependence of its component parts, its ratio of change to stability
and its foresight, plans and preparations for dealing with changes when
they occur. Since civilization, of all known forms of human association,
is the largest, most specialized and most interdependent, it is in
civilization that we should expect to find the most intensive and
extensive contradictions, confrontations and conflicts.

Among the many oppositions of civilized association five are
outstanding: the we-they relationship; rural versus urban life;
subsistence versus acquisition and accumulation; hard work versus ease,
luxury and parasitism; poverty versus wealth.

Civilization is not only complex and interdependent in form, it is
avowedly competitive in its functioning. Politically, nation building,
empire building and the establishment and maintenance of each
civilization is a competitive struggle between declared rivals to gain
and keep place and power. Economically, the efforts to get and keep
natural resources and labor power and to use them to _Our_ advantage and
_Their_ disadvantage dominates the field of livelihood. Ideologically
_We_ are right, while _They_ are wrong. Culturally _We_ are superior.
_They_ are inferior.

The _We-They_ relationship developed very early in the history of the
human family. Individuals and small, more advanced groups have reached a
level of understanding and living based on the cooperative inclusive
formula of _"We, Ours, Us",_ but every civilization known to history has
accepted and adopted the competitive, divisive formula and poured energy
and wealth into the political, economic, ideological and cultural
struggle to take and keep for individual, local or class advantage.

Resulting oppositions fragmented civilization: (1) urban vs. rural life,
city vs. hinterland; (2) cooperation vs. competition; (3) acquisition
and accumulation vs. sharing; (4) riches vs. poverty; (5) the individual
vs. the group; (6) status vs. change.

These fragmenting forces have been accepted, adopted and given priority
by civilizations as they developed predominance. As they grew in
magnitude they limited or subordinated the forces of integration and

Opposites and oppositions lead to confrontations along class lines,
geographic lines, cultural lines, color lines, racial lines. The
traditional confrontation of rural vs. urban life is doubly underlined
by two factors: first, the countryside operates generally on a use
economy with pay for services largely in kind or by barter. The city
operates under a market economy with payment for services usually in
money. Second, the standards of life and work are more primitive in the
countryside than in the city. Third, as the civilization advances toward
maturity, city population increases while it declines in the
countryside. Consequently vigorous, energetic, adventurous people leave
the deteriorating countryside.

Increasingly the owners of land and capital live in the cities, visiting
the countryside for holidays and recreation, leaving rural areas to
servants, peons, serfs and slaves. Small owning farmers are bought out
or expropriated. Unable to make a living in the countryside they move to
the city. Lacking city skills they work as casual labor or are
unemployed. The city is divided between enterprisers, their
subordinates, owners of country estates and members of the state
bureaucracy on one side and vassals, servants, serfs, and slaves and the
unemployed on the other. The rich and powerful become richer and more
powerful. The poor and dependent grow in numbers--protest, demonstrate,
riot, revolt.

This class struggle dominates public life in the urban centers of every
civilization. The rich offer petty reforms and minor benefits to the
impoverished, semi-employed city masses. At the same time the urban
oligarchy breaks up into rival factions: the Ins and the Outs. The Ins
hold public jobs, spend public money, award contracts and pass around
favors. The Outs wait and maneuver for their turn at the public
pie-counter. Both Ins and Outs appeal for mass support.

Oppositions and confrontations lead to conflicts which have studded the
life of every civilization. Conflicts include wars which may be divided
into six groups: (1) Wars of expansion, conquest, colonization directed
toward the enlargement of the territories included in the civilization.
(2) Wars of survival among adjacent nations and empires. (3) Wars fought
to suppress unrest and revolt in the colonies and dependencies of an
empire or civilization. (4) Wars fought to repel the invasion of
migrating peoples attempting to occupy territory over which an empire or
a civilization claims jurisdiction. (5) Peasant, serf and slave revolts
and rebellions against the authority of empires or civilizations. (6)
Civil wars to determine the leadership of particular empires; wars of
leadership succession; conflicts and power seizures within particular

In every civilization final decisions regarding domestic and foreign
issues have been made by an appeal to arms. There were laws and legal
institutions in many civilizations under which confrontations might have
been prevented and armed conflict avoided. Where these legal means
failed to provide solutions, contestants turned to armed force as the
final arbiter.

Competitive survival struggle has played a prominent role in the life of
every civilization known to history. Competition at its highest level
employs armed force as its instrument of policy. War, domestic and
foreign has, therefore, dominated the history of every civilization.
Walter Bagehot called war a state maker. In the same context, war may be
referred to as a civilization maker.

Conflict, including war, has played a major role, often a determining
role in building and maintaining civilizations. It has also been a major
and perhaps _the_ major factor in undermining and destroying
civilizations. Arnold Toynbee contends that war has been a "proximate
cause" of the overthrow of one civilization after another. No observer
of current western civilization can fail to note the determining part
played by war during the first half of the present century.

Every completed civilization known to historians has passed through a
sociological life cycle: origin, growth, expansion, maturity, violent
premature dismemberment and death in the competitive survival struggle
or gradual decline and eventual dissolution.

Every completed civilization has had small, local beginnings, on an
island like Crete, or a group of islands like the Japanese Archipelago,
or a tiny spot like Latium on the Tiber River, or an isolated area like
the desert-surrounded Nile River Valley in Africa. The seed ground or
nucleus of each civilization has been a small, well-knit group of
vigorous, energetic people, well-led, living in an easily defended,
limited area, enjoying relative isolation, but also having ready access
to the outside world.

At the beginning the growth cycle has moved slowly, from victory to
victory, as competing neighboring peoples have been brought under the
authority of the victor in local wars. After generations or centuries of
struggle a point is reached at which the nucleus of the growing empire
begins to expand, through trade, colonization, diplomatic alliances,
conquest, into an era of survival struggle in which rival cities reach
out for the same piece of fertile land, the same markets, the same
mineral deposits. Again the life and death survival struggle tests out
the people, their leaders, their ambitions, determination, tenacity.

Earlier struggles were local. Now the struggle area has become regional.
At the outset the peoples were amateurs in the science and art of
expansion, occupation, consolidation, exploitation. Through the hard
school of struggle they became professionals. From victory to victory
they gained in territory, in wealth, in administrative skill. One by
one, rivals were eliminated, annexed or associated with the nascent
empire which was by way of becoming the central empire of a maturing

Generations of effort and centuries of time have gone into the empire
building process. The farther the civilization has expanded, the greater
the necessary input of manpower, wealth, enterprise and administrative
talent needed to keep the enterprise strong, solvent, masterful.

Eventually the expanding civilization reaches a point at which the costs
of further expansion are greater than the income derived from further
extension of its authority. Up to this point expansion had paid its own
way. Beyond this point it is a losing proposition--politically,
economically, sociologically. At this point begin times of troubles; bad
harvests; colonial or provincial revolts; power struggles between
individuals or classes in the homeland; new rivals moving in to share in
the prospective plunder of the mother-city.

From this time of troubles the civilization enters a new phase of its
lifecycle. Up to this point victory has brought plunder and prosperity
which have financed new foreign adventures and led to new victories.
Beyond this point lies stalemate, economic stagnation, military defeat.
Building an empire and establishing it as the central force in a
civilization is a long and arduous process. Once the process is
reversed, the decline may move quickly or slowly, but as it proceeds the
civilization is fragmented and eventually dissolved or taken over by a
more vigorous rival.

At all stages of this cycle there have been life and death survival
struggles. Peoples, nations and empires entered the contest, played
their parts, made their contribution to the up-building process. There
were ups and downs, advances and withdrawals, victories and defeats.
There were many contenders for survival and supremacy. Usually there was
one survivor which gave its name to the civilization.

The period of ascendancy of any civilization has been historically
brief. The struggle to the summit was long and exhausting; the descent
from the summit more rapid than the ascent. Literally, like the bear
that went over the mountain to see what he could find, and who found the
other side of the mountain, the civilizations that have reached the
summit of wealth and power have found on the other side of the summit a
steep downward sloping time of troubles that ended in dissolution and

Civilization, as a sociological life pattern, has proved to be seductive
and alluring in prospect, but in retrospect unsatisfactory and
frustrating. Civilization has proved to be not an opportunity for the
ambitious, but a trap for the ignorant, inexperienced and unwary. For
the many contestants who set out to conquer the world the experience
has been disappointing and on the whole disastrous. For the few who have
reached the summit the experience has been frustrating.

Civilization as a way of life is like any other contest. The struggle is
good for those who are able to benefit from it by learning its lessons.
Whether they win or lose is a matter of no great consequence. For the
losers the experience often is heart breaking and death-dealing.

Students of social history have been tempted to draw a parallel between
the biological life cycle of an individual and the sociological
lifecycle of a civilization. There are elements of likeness between
biological birth, growth, maturity, old age and death of human
individuals and of human civilizations. All of the individuals and
civilizations that we know have passed or are passing through such a
lifecycle. The same thing may be true of the larger universe of which we
are a minute fragment. However exact or inexact it may prove to be, the
parallel certainly is unmistakable, alluring. It may also be seductive
and mortal.



This study was laid out along inductive lines: an examination of the
facts with such generalizations as the facts suggest or justify. We
began our social analysis of civilization by presenting noteworthy facts
concerning the politics, economics, and sociology of various
civilizations. In the present chapter we deal with their ideologies.

We are accepting and following the fourth variant definition of
"ideology" presented by Webster's New World Dictionary: "The doctrines,
opinions or way of thinking of an individual, class, etc." In this case
we are reporting on the doctrines, opinions, thought forms and action
patterns of entire civilizations.

Our concern is not with the doctrines, opinions and ways of thinking and
acting advanced by elite minorities. Such an approach would involve a
study of comparative ideologies. Rather we are asking what civilized
peoples were trying to do, as measured by their political, economic and
sociological activities, programs and purposes.

It may be presumptuous for an individual to generalize about
civilizations of which he knows so little. On the other hand, if we
recognize the limitations under which all assumptions and
generalizations operate it is possible and often helpful to assume and
generalize, although the generalizations may be no more than interim
reports, subject to later amendment, correction or rejection.

What were the prevailing ideas of civilizations and what ideas were put
into practice? What purposes dominated and directed the lives of
civilized peoples? How successful have civilized peoples been in
achieving their objectives?

At the outset we must realize that in any complex society there are wide
ranges of ideology, from the body of ideas held by small uninfluential
sects to the purposes, ideas, policy declarations and actions of
governing oligarchies. We do not wish to defend or attack the ideas, but
to summarize them and understand them in a way that will give a group
picture of the purposes, ideas, policies and day-to-day activities of
the civilizations in question. For convenience in our discussion we will
take up, first, civilized societies as collectives, and then the
operation of civilized ideology as expressed in the lives of

Presumably the most immediate purpose of all civilized peoples has been
survival, getting on as a collective or group from day to day, through
summer and winter, under normal conditions, and/or in periods of stress
and emergency. If the group cannot survive it loses its identity,
breaking up into the self-determining parts of which it is composed.

Survival means continued existence as a group--in the face of disruption
from within or attack and invasion from without. The group which
survives continues to exist and to act as a group that maintains the
common defense and promotes the general welfare.

Each social group competing for survival has a sense of its own identity
and a belief in its capacity to survive. This ideology is strengthened
by the belief that the group has special qualities and is protected by
powerful entities that will guarantee its success in the survival
struggle. The group considers itself better qualified to survive than
neighbor groups. Such ideas, carried to their logical conclusion, make
the group in question superior to its neighbors in survival qualities
and a people chosen by its gods.

A superior people, chosen by its gods, is in a class by itself. Other
people, by comparison, are inferior. It is the destiny of the superior
people to take the lands of their inferior neighbors, and, whenever
opportunity offers, to defeat the neighbors in battle, capture them and
force them to do the bidding of the captors.

Cults of ideological superiority are widespread. Put into successful
practice by a victorious tribe, nation or empire, they develop into
cults of superiority which assert: "We, the victors, are stronger,
better people than our weaker neighbors." As one victory follows another
the belief in superiority grows. People in an expanding empire or
burgeoning civilization are obviously better survivors than their less
successful competitors.

Competitive survival struggle modifies the cultures of both victors and
vanquished. The dispersal and adoption of culture traits, supplemented
by negotiation and accommodation, broaden the geographical area of the
victors, increasing the population and adding to the material resources,
the wealth and income of the enlarged group. It may also involve the
corresponding decrease of the geographical area, population, wealth and
income of the vanquished.

In order to protect itself, preserve itself, to enlarge itself and,
where possible, to improve itself, each competing groups aims to set up
standards of ideas and conduct to which all living members of the group
are presumed to agree and to which they must adhere. When new members
enter the group, by birth or adoption, they are duly indoctrinated with
the group ideology. Early in their history the individuals and
sub-groups composing every civilization adopted such standards and
promulgated them by the decree of a leader or by the common consent of
associated groups, as the outcome of negotiation, discussion, give and
take. During the history of every civilization such agreements were
reached and recorded in compacts, treaties, laws, constitutions,
specifying the nature and limits of the collective cultural uniformity
at which the community aimed.

The struggle for collective uniformity was long and often bitter.
Individuals and factions resented and resisted the imposition of group
authority. Internal conflict led to civil wars in the course of which
the group was divided or the solidarity of the group was reaffirmed
despite hardships imposed on disagreeing, divergent minorities.

Closely paralleling the group need for survival and uniformity
(solidarity) was the need for group expansion, or extension. In the
competitive struggle for survival which played such an important role in
the life of pre-civilized communities, strategic geographic location was
often decisive. Soil fertility, mineral deposits, timber reserves,
access to waterways, location on trade routes all played a part in
community survival, stability and growth.

Such geographical advantages are few and far between. Often they are
already occupied and defended by stable communities. Their control and
utilization are basic in determining the survival or elimination of
rivals in the competitive struggle.

Above and beyond the need to occupy the "corner lots" of the planetary
land mass was the urge of civilized peoples to advance from littleness
to bigness as a goal in itself. Confined by limitations on communication
and transportation, pre-civilized man was circumscribed and localized.
With the advent of cultivation, land workers were tied to a particular
piece of real estate on which they lived and worked. When asked whether
the village across the valley was Sunrise Mountain the local peasant
could reply: "How should I know? I live here."

Reacting against restricted living and pressed by curiosity and the
spirit of adventure, the imaginative and adventurous members of each
generation pressed outward from the homeland toward wider horizons. Many
traveled. Some migrated. Others pursued the will o' the wisp of
expansion by adding field to field. The grass always looked greener on
the other side of the mountain. The ambitious expansionist therefore
tried to control both sides.

"Move on! Move on!" became the watchword, without any particular
emphasis on quality. In one civilization after another bigness
(magnitude) was accepted as a symbol of success, because "the more you
get and keep, the happier you will be."

Mastery of strategic advantages, plus the illusion of mere bigness,
without any specification to quality, became keys to survival and

Civilized man exploited natural advantages and augmented his power over
nature and society by increasing his wealth and multiplying the
population. At the outset of the struggle strategic geographical
advantages were occupied and utilized by local groups. Through survival
struggle, one of the groups, better organized, better led, more
determined and productive, succeeded in securing possession of one
strong point after another, until an entire region, like the Nile Valley
or the Mediterranean Basin had been conquered and occupied by a single
great power. The measure of success in the power struggle is the
occupation of strategic strong points. Natural resources, including land
and labor power, are among the chief spoils of victory.

Seven basic goals or principles were involved in the building of
civilizations: group survival; propitiating the gods; recognizing and
following aesthetic principles; achieving and stabilizing property and
class relations; expansion (bigness); individual conformity to the
collective pattern; and collective uniformity in a united world of human
brotherhood. At times and in places the basic propositions were
accepted, rejected, fought over. Each civilization which followed them
successfully was able to establish itself, maintain itself, and up to a
certain point add to its prestige, wealth and power.

The first goal was success in the struggle for survival. Collective
uniformity and expansion opened the path to wealth and power, in the
city, state, the empire, the civilization. From a multitude of local
beginnings the struggle for expansion and consolidation led to ever
larger aggregations of land, population, capital and wealth concentrated
in the hands of an increasingly rich, powerful oligarchy, protected and
defended by a military elite pushing itself ceaselessly toward a
position from which it could make and enforce domestic policy and order.

A second collective goal has been propitiating and wooing the unseen
forces of the universe: holding their attention; keeping them on "our"
side; relying on their influence for defense against enemies, mortal and
immortal, and help in providing water in case of drought, fertility,
assistance in healing the sick, comfort for the dying, consolation for
the bereaved and success in business deals. These multiple aspects of
ideology are summed up under the term "religion".

Each civilization has had its religious ideas and ideals, its religious
practices and institutions. Many civilizations have divided their
attention between civil ideology and religious ideology. In some cases
religious ideology took precedence, resulting in a theocratic society
under the leadership of religious devotees. In other cases, notably
Roman civilization and western civilization, religious ideology was
subordinated to secular interests.

In the early stages of western civilization, religious ideology took
precedence over secular ideology. With the rise of the bourgeoisie,
secular ideology moved into the foreground, making loud religious
professions, but also making sure that business-for-profit had the last
word in the determination of public policy.

A third collective ideological goal of civilization has been aesthetic;
the yen for symmetry and balance; the love of beauty; the desire for
harmony; the quest for excellence; the lure of magnificence; the search
for truth. Out of these urges have arisen the pictorial and plastic
arts, architecture, music, the dance, science, and philosophy, providing
outlets, occupations and professions that have colored and shaped many
aspects of civilized living.

A fourth collective goal of civilization has been the establishment and
maintenance of social structure, including classes and/or caste lines
based partly upon tradition, partly on function and partly upon
proximity to the honey-pot, the wellspring of wealth, income, prestige
and power.

Since the principle of private property has been implicit in every known
civilization, the ownership of land, capital and consumer goods and
services has been a prerogative of the ruling oligarchies, shared by
them with their associates and dependents and used as their chief means
of establishing and maintaining the "you work, I eat" principal of
economic relationships.

Private property, and its derivative, unearned or property income, has
enabled the ruling oligarchies of civilized communities to receive the
first fruits of every enterprise. They have also enabled the oligarchs
to establish a priority scale of income distribution under which those
who held property and its derivatives could have first choice among
available consumer goods and services. Second choice went to the
associates, retainers and defenders of the oligarchs. Third choice went
to the preferred, professional experts who spoke for and represented the
oligarchy. Fourth choice went to the artisans--skilled designers,
builders, fabricators. What remained went to hewers of wood and drawers
of water, the workers, women and men, who provided the necessaries,
comforts, luxuries upon which physical survival and social status
depended. Generally this proletarian mass, including chattel slaves,
serfs, tenant farmers and war captives, were outside the pale of
respectability. In a caste-divided community they were scavengers and
untouchables, living a life close to that of domestic animals.

Most civilizations have permitted gifted individuals to move vertically,
from the bottom toward the top levels of the social pyramid. Vertical
movement was severely restricted, however. Generally people lived,
served and died on the class or caste level into which they were born.

Members of classes and castes are not free agents. They have privileges
and rights. They also have obligations and duties. Classes and castes
are functioning parts of an interdependent social whole which can
maintain balanced order only so long as each segment recognizes its
obligations and performs its duties.

Social balance therefore depended on class collaboration. Successful
collaboration, in its turn, is the outcome of a general acceptance of
class and caste and general willingness to go on living and functioning
in a class divided society.

A fifth collective goal of civilization has been expansion from the
nucleus outward, with final authority exercised by and from the nucleus.
At the outset of the survival struggle which led to the establishment of
one language, one religion, one law, one authority, one loyalty, each
among the many contestants had its own language, its own religion, its
own law, its own authority.

These rival forces were temporarily confederated against internal
disruption or foreign invasion. ("Liberty and union, now and forever,
one and inseparable.") In the course of the survival struggle, the
separate parts of which the civilization was composed began with the
local autonomy permitted by confederation, and ended up with one among
the many contestants donning the imperial purple and establishing itself
as the master and supreme dictator--the Caesar or Pharoah of the
conquered, unified world.

Foreign territories conquered and brought by force of arms within this
imperium were subjects of a central authority which they never really
accepted. Authority continued to be exercised from the imperial nucleus.
The newly conquered territories were policed by professional soldiers
whose primary loyalty was national but whose responsibility was to the
aggregate composing the Roman or the Egyptian civilization.

The acid test of the expanding civilization was embodied in the degree
of acceptance of wholeness as opposed to self-determination. Were the
individual members--the provinces and colonies composing the
whole--willing and able to sink their differences in an unquestioned
wholeness, or were they prepared at the first opportunity to exercise
their right to self-determination and declare their independence of the

The resolution of this question constituted the sixth collective goal of
civilization: to establish a whole in which the component members were
able and willing to recognize the axiom that the interests of the whole
come before the interests of any of its component parts.

The issue of central authority versus local self determination has been
one of the basic issues of the present century because during the
preceding period, the British, French, Dutch and Spanish Empires had
been built up by the conquest and occupation of foreign lands. If the
nineteenth century was an epoch of expanding imperial authority, the
twentieth century has been an epoch of the dismemberment of empires by
movements for independence and self-determination.

Seventh, and finally, among the collective goals of civilization, each
has developed an ideology that justified empire building by conquest,
exploitation, chattel slavery, peonage, wagery, the supremacy of the
empire nucleus, the subordination of the periphery to the nucleus and
other aspects of ascendancy and mastery including "divine" rights in
politics and "natural" rights in economics.

Civilizations expect the individuals and groups of which they are
composed to preserve the status quo, work as disciplined members of an
effective team and be satisfied with the outcome. This brings us back to
the goal with which we began this discussion of the collective goals of
civilizations: The primary task of any civilization is to survive.

Each individual human being, living and working in a civilized community
occupies a sphere of action, enjoys the advantages and disadvantages and
accepts the responsibilities and duties which pertain to his sphere.
Within his sphere the individual succeeds or fails in so far as he leads
a rewarding personal life and contributes his share toward the
collective life of the group to which she or he belongs.

If the individual in a civilized community is to live a good life, the
first task is to maintain normal health, good spirits and a
determination to get the most out of life and to contribute at least the
equivalent of what he receives in service to his group.

As a civilization expands and extends its influence, the individual must
contribute his mite to the entire enterprise while adding to his own
store of goods and services. Acquisition and accumulation satisfy a
human desire to have and to keep. They also add to the wealth and well
being of the community on the widely accepted utilitarian formula:
happiness comes in direct proportion to the extent and variety of ones

In most civilized communities the building unit is a family. It is this
family unit, usually directed by a male or father figure, who acts for
the family and represents it in the community.

In passing, the reader should note that the breakdown in family life now
so prevalent in many parts of western civilization is a departure from
the civilized norm. It is really a measure of the extent to which
western civilization itself is disintegrating.

The revolution in science and technology, mass production and the
distribution of goods and services through a mass market have put
acquisition and accumulation of goods and services as a life-goal to a
severe test. Until the early years of the present century no
civilization had provided affluence for more than a small fraction of
its population. The vast majority consisted of slaves, serfs, war
captives, and tenant farmers. Only an exceptional few were in a position
to live in comfort or luxury on unearned income. As each civilization
matured, ownership of land and capital diverted the flow of consumer
goods and services into the coffers of a diminishing proportion of the
total population. The vast majority lived at or below the subsistence
level. General affluence was a goal that was talked about and dreamed
about, but there was no way to test its practical effects on the
population as a whole.

Under conditions presently existing in many parts of the West, millions
of individuals and families following the utilitarian principles of
acquisition and accumulation have secured and kept an abundance of goods
and services in strict accordance with utilitarian principles. Yet they
have not been and are not happy.

Quite the contrary, in many cases they are unhappy, particularly in the
second and third generations of affluent family life. This is notably
true in the United States, Scandinavia, Switzerland and other parts of
western Europe. It is true to a lesser degree in New Zealand and

Millions of families in these countries, with all their possessions,
fail to enjoy peace and happiness. On the contrary, they are so acutely
unhappy that many of them have come to regard acquisition and
accumulation as a sterile rat-race. Consequently multitudes of people,
young and old, have turned their backs on civilization, separating
themselves from their affluent homes with their glut of consumer goods
to live at non-civilized or pre-civilized levels. These individuals are
avowedly anti-civilization in so far as its material incentives are

Similar attitudes were expressed in previous civilizations. Socrates
went barefoot through the streets of Athens. Diogenes lived in a tub.
Uncounted numbers of Indian holy men and early Christians rejected all
affluence, embraced poverty, lived simply and austerely. Religious
asceticism is no novelty. But the wholesale rejection of acquisition and
accumulation as a way of life certainly marks a turning point in the
popular attitude toward the utilitarian axiom that human happiness is
directly proportioned to the quantity and variety of material

Civilization presupposes getting, keeping and exercising power over
nature, society and man. Each civilization has added to man's
utilization of nature. This has been a notorious aspect of western
civilization since the inauguration of the scientific-technological
revolution. After a century of intensified exploitation of the natural
environment, entire communities are reacting with dismay and disgust
against the resulting pollution of air, water and land, the wanton waste
of soil fertility, forests and minerals, and extermination of various
forms of "wilderness." Freedom to exploit nature's storehouse has not
brought happiness. On the contrary, it threatens the existence of other
life forms and even the continuance of human life on the planet.

Private enterprise and other forms of permissiveness have led to
practices that circumscribe and hamper life. Their declared objective is
the liberation and enlargement of human life and well being. Where they
have been tested out they have proved themselves to be obstructive and
destructive rather than creative and constructive.

Notable advances in science and technology have greatly increased the
human capacity to transform nature and remake society. Designed and
executed as a means of enhancing the general welfare, science and
technology might have promoted human well-being. But employed as a means
of exploiting nature and society for the benefit of a favored few,
science and technology, whether directed by European and American
promoters of the African slave trade, Spanish conquerors in Latin
America, by Belgians in the African Congo, by European whites in their
dealings with the North American Indians, by the Nazis in Europe, or by
Americans in South East Asia, have involved merciless exploitation
accompanied by revolting atrocities.

Never in recorded history was the capacity of man to modify nature and
exploit society more publicly tested out than in the atom bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the purposeful devastation of jungle life and
village life in large parts of Vietnam and Cambodia. Reported in the
public press and pictured, live, over radio and television, these latest
developments in the ugly record of man's exploitation of nature have
become part of the record of the decline and dissolution of western

Exploitation of human society for the benefit of the few at the expense
of the many is an old story that extends through the entire record of
written history. Every civilization has produced a cluster of
institutions and practices that enabled a few rich and privileged to
live in affluence at the expense of the impoverished many. This
juxtaposition of riches and poverty is the logical outcome of a system
of social relations designed to provide the few with comfort and luxury
while the many are forced to accept penury and hardship. Exploitation,
carried to its logical conclusion, permits and requires a parasitic
minority to live in abundance while the majority must content itself
with scarcity, extending to death from malnutrition.

Another goal presented to individuals by the promoters and fashioners of
civilization is individual perfection, physical, mental, emotional,
moral. Every generation of human beings contains individuals who are
beyond the average--bigger, stronger, more talented, seeing farther,
searching more deeply, endowed with greater sensitivity, working more
conscientiously, imbued with a love of their fellows and determination
to serve them. Such individuals have genius in one or another form and
offer themselves and their products as a gift to the general welfare of
their generation. Scientists, poets, musicians, inventors, artists,
teachers, healers, philosophers, statesmen have appeared in each
civilization adding their mite to the sum-total of community culture.

Innovators, moralists and counselors of perfection have played a
noteworthy part by advocating and often by living noteworthy lives.
Reports of their sayings and doings are part of the folklore and the
history of each civilization. If they did not set the tone of their
generation, they provided it with a model toward which their less
talented, less creative fellows might aspire. If they were creative
artists their works provided models which were admired, copied and
emulated by their successors. If they were moralists or philosophers
their sayings were recorded, respected and repeated by successive

Each civilization has adopted lines of thinking and codes of action
which embody the best and most advantageous in theory and in practice.
These codes of thought, feeling and action are attributed to some
outstanding individual and passed on from generation to generation as
codes of conduct to which all right-thinking individuals may or should

Human beings know everything about themselves except whence they came,
what they should do and whither they will go. To compensate for this
lack of knowledge and wisdom each civilization has established and
maintained religious organizations and institutions whose duty it was to
search out the truth, record it and teach it to successive generations.

In some civilizations the religious institutions have dominated the
secular. At other times and in other places the secular has maintained
its ascendancy over the religious. In still other cases the religious
and the secular forces have maintained an uneasy balance leading to
acrimonious bickering and sometimes to civil war.

Central to their discussions is the nature of life. Is it continuous, as
it appears in vegetation and the animal kingdom, or is it discontinuous
like the rocks on the mountainside or the grains of sand on the
seashore? Those who live for the moment prefer discontinuity. Those who
observe their natural environment are forced to the conclusion that life
today is part of a sequence or progression which relates the life of
yesterday to that of tomorrow.

Recorded history, from fossil and geological remains, to the books on
library shelves assures us that man has had a past. Projecting this
experience, it seems quite reasonable that barring accident or a
purposed intervention, man will have at least some future. To prepare
for that future, using the knowledge and wisdom at our disposal, seems
to be a must for any reasoning creature.

Even for the short planetary life-span of the average human, the logic
of this position seems inescapable, whether it applies to the next hour,
day, year, or century. In terms of our children and grandchildren it is
even more impressive. Today we find it desirable to live as well as
possible. If there is any future, the same principle should apply to its
implementation and utilization.

If the "hereafter" begins tomorrow and if those whose well-being
concerns us will probably be "alive" tomorrow, the science and art of
the future (futurology) takes its place beside other fields of theory
and practice as a must for all responsible members of the human race.

If the conditions presently existing in human society affordment, skills
and technical experience necessary to make significant changes, why
wait? Why not proceed forthwith to live a better life?

This dilemma has confronted individuals and sub-groups in various
civilizations. It has been particularly in evidence during periods of
decline and social disintegration. It has led people of both sexes and
all ages to uproot themselves from the old social order and reestablish
themselves in a social order "nearer to the heart's desire."

Such efforts have been described as "intentional communities" to
distinguish them from a traditional, currently existing social order
which emerged from the past encumbered with vestigial remains and
obsolete institutions and practices having little or no relation to the
needs and wants of a changing world.

Pilgrim Fathers in New England, William Penn in Pennsylvania, Lord
Baltimore in Maryland aimed to organize local intentional communities.
Similar efforts were made by the Mennonites, the Dukhobors, the
Hutterites, the Mormons in North America. The Christians during the
decline of Roman civilization led a movement to convert a large
geographical area to a new and better way of life. Followers of
Mohammed, several centuries later, made a similar effort to convert the
Eurasian-African world to their ways of thinking and acting.

Young people by the thousands, in the United States and other western
countries, are turning their backs on western civilization and are
organizing enlarged families and communes that provide their members
with a modified social order which aims at improvements here and now.

Necessarily such social experiments are looked upon with suspicion by
the Establishment. They are "new", "different", "subversive", "godless",
"wicked." Hence, they are criticized, denounced, raided and often broken
up as threats to existing law and order.

Intentional communities may grow out of consumers' cooperation. They may
begin as farm collectives. Generally, however, they consist of the
followers of outstanding leaders of religious or ethical sects. Many
intentional communes spring up, mushroom-fashion, and disappear with
equal rapidity. Others endure for generations and centuries.

In a very real sense they are pilot plants designed to correct
individual or social maladjustments and substitute new ways for old
ones. As pilot plants they experiment with deviations from existing
social norms, acting as a social laboratory in which new ideas and
practices are tested, modified, accepted, rejected.

Change is one of the essential aspects of every society. There are
changes in personnel. In each generation individuals grow old and
retire. Others grow up and take over the tasks of organizing the
communities in which they live. Profound social changes result from
discoveries and inventions: the wheel, the arch, steam and gas engines,
electricity, atomic power. Cyclic changes occur in the economy. Social
changes follow alterations in the weather. Nations, empires,
civilizations are produced by the changing life forms.

During long periods, social changes are so gradual that they are
unnoticed save by the more sensitive and perceptive. At other times,
social changes tumble over one another in an overwhelming revolutionary
flood which sweeps away the old, yielding place to new, "lest one good
custom should corrupt the world".

Changes in society beget changes in ideology. Reciprocally, changes in
ideology lead to changes in social structure and function. The more
rigid the social order, the more stubborn its resistance to change. By
the same token, more fluid societies lend themselves more readily to
changes in practice and in theory.

It is not possible to discuss ideology without some reference to the
closely related problems of means and ends. As we consider our existing
social establishment, in the light of unceasing social change, we must
deal with goals or objectives, with practicable modifications of social
form and function and with the way in which changes can be, might be,
will be brought about.

One fact is obvious. Whether social change is major or minor, local or
general, it shifts the social balance. Any shift in the social balance
involves reactionaries, conservatives, liberals, radicals, some of whom
will gain, while others will lose in the course of each social
transformation. All will be concerned and involved.

Since political change involves some alteration in the balance of social
forces, it behooves those who advocate and those who oppose social
change to maximize acceptance and minimize opposition in order to take
advantage of the gains and cut down the losses incident to all change.

For present purposes we wish to make seven notes about means and ends.

   1. _Opportunists_ propose to act now and win what they can
   today. Never mind about tomorrow with its sequences and
   consequences of today's action. Sufficient for the day is the
   evil thereof.

   2. _Pragmatists_ believe in serving their own interests, on the
   theory that whatever serves personal interests must have
   first priority. "What is good for me/us is good for the

   3. _Experimentalists_ are prepared to try out any suggestion
   which promises to achieve the desired goals. Singly and in
   working teams they test and try out, seeking the most
   effective means of reaching desired ends.

   4. _Innovators_ formulate projects and test out results, checking
   and rechecking as they search for more effective means
   of achieving results.

   5. _Radicals_ seek out the roots, digging, sifting, classifying,
   assembling their findings, announcing their conclusions and
   working to apply them in theory and practice to the structure
   and function of their communities.

   6. _Revolutionists_ are in a hurry. Disillusioned with the past and
   the present they seek by "direct action" to create a new
   social order, out of whole cloth, quickly, here and now.
   Never mind the means, get results!

   7. _Totalists_ have the whole truth, attained through reasoning,
   experimentation, revelation. Having learned the truth, they
   dedicate their energies to the propagation of the faith.
   Where they encounter opposition they counter it and, if
   necessary, annihilate it with its originators and advocates.

As a matter of practical experience, proponents of all seven approaches
to social problems and social change employ a wide range of techniques
from persuasion to coercion. To support their projects they advance
logical arguments, elaborate half-truths, make emotional appeal; employ
trickery, deceit, preferment, privilege, flattery, soft living, bribery,
coercion, physical and social violence--individual and collective

Civilization as reported in history and in its current practice is based
on five faulty ideological assumptions:

   1. _Competitive survival struggle results in social improvement._
   Survival struggle has certainly played a role in stimulating
   discovery, invention and the diffusion of culture traits. Its
   end results have always included civil and inter-group war
   with its unavoidable costs in destruction, dissolution and

   2. _The effort to grab and keep, with its accompanying competition,
   is a chief source of social progress._ The game of
   grab and keep is play for children. Mature human beings
   should strive to create, produce, share.

   3. _The accumulation of goods and services brings happiness._
   At the out-set of life this may be true. But accumulation
   for its own sake produces the miser. Misers are not happy
   people. Riches yield happiness only as they are distributed.
   Accumulation brings many headaches, and few abiding

   4. _Successful accumulators "have fun."_ Perhaps they do, for
   a time, at the expense of others on whose backs they ride
   and whose life blood they suck. But mature men and
   women do not "have fun"; they shoulder and carry their
   share of social responsibility.

   5. _Progress can be measured by the multitude of personal
   possessions._ Not so. True progress for humanity consists
   in movement from having to doing; from the possessive to
   the creative; from the material toward the spiritual.

Ideologies have played a role in determining the structure and function
of every civilization. As civilization grows up, matures, and declines,
ideologies change with the changing times. In its early history each
civilization seeks acceptance for its picture of reality and its
techniques for reaching individual and social goals. As each
civilization declines and disintegrates, a multitude of counselors
clamors for attention to a particular formula that will prove acceptable
and workable in the existing emergent circumstances.

_Part III_

Civilization Is Becoming Obsolete



Every organism, mechanism or social construct reaches a point in its
life cycle at which its existing apparatus must be repaired, renovated
and updated or scrapped, redesigned and replaced. Today western
civilization in its totality faces that dilemma.

The culture pattern variously known as European, western or modern
civilization, dating from the Crusades, has existed for about a thousand
years, and spread across the planet. During that millennium western
civilization has passed through a life cycle similar to that of its
predecessors. According to Oswald Spengler's historical perspective, a
civilization passes through its life cycle in about a thousand years. If
the Spenglerian assumption is in line with the course of history,
western civilization should be in an advanced stage of decline and
should eventually disappear as a decisive factor in world affairs.

Spengler's argument is fully and floridly presented in _The Decline of
the West_. The author offers a theory of history based on the existence
of an arbitrary and rather mechanical life cycle. It includes a period
of gestation, rise and expansion, a period of maturity and stability and
a final period of decline and dissolution. Spengler believed that
western civilization is in the grip of an irreversable decline.

The Spenglerian perspective is based on the assumption of a normal
pattern in the growth and decline of civilizations. The normalcy on
which Spengler based his assumption was disrupted around 1750 when a
series of new dynamic factors entered the stream of modern social

I. Mankind gained access to immense stores of energy which supplemented
human energy, the energies of domesticated animals and a miniscule use
of water power and air power. To these traditional energy sources the
revolution in science and technology has added steam, electricity, and
the energy stored in the atom.

II. These new sources of energy were harnessed and directed through
mechanical and chemical agencies that greatly extended human capacity to
convert nature's stored wealth into goods and services available for
human consumption, and to develop a surplus of wealth and a release of
manpower sufficient to build up a backlog of capital which, in its turn,
produced goods and services with economic surpluses convertible into
additional capital.

III. This revolution in the tempo of production and capital accumulation
was parallelled by a like revolution in transportation and communication
by land, water, and eventually by air and in space. Electricity played
an essential part in the process by speeding communication and helping
to put transportation on wheels.

IV. Building construction was also revolutionized--metals, concrete,
glass and synthetics replaced wood and stone as the basic construction

V. New energy sources and the new capital expanded the volume and
variety of production far more rapidly than the increase in population
and turned the resulting surplus into a technical apparatus that made
possible mass production for a mass market.

VI. Mass production, transportation, construction and marketing ushered
in an era of surplus that replaced the age of comparative scarcity with
an age of rapidly increasing abundance.

Changes in the means of production play havoc with any established
social pattern. The economic alteration that accompanied and followed
the eighteenth and early nineteenth century transformation of western
economy overturned various aspects of the western social structure:

   1. Representative government made its appearance and spread

   2. Social services and social security, previously reserved for
   the elite, were provided for wider and wider circles of the

   3. Changes in technology, advances in science, the replacement
   of landlords, clergymen and soldiers by businessmen
   and professionals, including the military, as the recognized
   leaders of the modern society, put social control in the hands
   of a new ruling bourgeois class;

   4. The bourgeois revolution brought into existence two other
   classes: the industrial proletariat as an ally and/or an
   acceptable leader of the peasant masses of Europe. At the
   same time it enlarged the middle class to a point at which
   it was able to play a decisive role in the formulation and
   direction of social policy in industrialized communities.

   5. Fragments of the industrial proletariat and the greatly
   enlarged middle class came together in an avowedly revolutionary
   movement: socialism-communism, which reached
   the power summit between 1910 and 1917.

   6. The bourgeoisie countered with a cold war aimed to exterminate
   socialism-communism, using propaganda, petty
   reform and armed intervention as its chief agencies.

   7. The high birth rate, the prolongation of life and mass education
   provided society with a substantial body of skilled,
   experienced, socially conscious, alert citizens, increasingly
   aware of the historical changes through which they were
   living and determined to intervene whenever their well-being
   was threatened.

   8. Extension and equalization of opportunity opened the way
   for an informed citizenry to express itself and defend its

   9. Emerging planet-wide social consciousness spread an awareness
   that the concerns, plans and programs of any part of
   the human family are of vital importance to the whole of

Change is a universal force which operates in nature, in society, in man
himself. At times it takes place so gradually that one day seems like
another. At other times it operates with furious energy, turning things
upside-down overnight. Such change, whether it takes place in nature or
in society is revolutionary.

Rome's demise as a world power was followed by centuries of
quietude--The Dark Ages. These in turn yielded to a period of
revolutionary change that found its early expression in the voyages and
discoveries that spanned the earth after 1450. Three centuries later the
rebirth of western humanity expressed itself in the industrial
revolution that flooded across the planet and became an early stage of
the planet-wide sweep that has played havoc with nature, turned the old
society upside down and presently promises to produce a new society for
a reborn human race.

World-wide revolution is the predominant force in the twentieth century.
Its existence and some of its consequences have become an all-embracing
theme for thought and discussion. They have put into the hands of
present-day humanity the ideas, experiments and experiences needed for
transforming nature, rebuilding social institutions and practices and
opening the way for mankind to move confidently into a future replete
with intriguing and exciting possibilities.

An excellent summary of this entire field is appearing in a six volume
_History of Mankind_, sponsored by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Volume six of the history
is titled _The Twentieth Century_. Particularly noteworthy is an
Introduction of more than a hundred printed pages, Part I, _The
Development and Application of Scientific Knowledge_, and Part II on
_The Transformation of Societies_. Events surrounding the war of 1914-18
are correctly described as "a turning point in world history." (Vol. VI
p. 11)

World revolution is one aspect of present-day society. From our present
vantage point we cannot tell how far it will go or what it will do to
humanity and its present habitat.

Advances in science and technology have provided mankind with a new
stage on which to go through a new act and speak a new piece. What
effect will they have on the institutions and practices of western
civilization? Have they rendered the forms and functions of civilization
obsolete? Or can western civilization adapt itself or be adapted to the
very difficult situation created by the revolution through which human
society is presently passing? Can western civilization be reformed to
meet the new historical situation created by the great revolution or
must it be rejected and replaced?

If the institutions and practices of western civilization can be
adjusted to meet the demands of the new situation created by the
scientific, technological, political and cultural revolution, the
reformed social apparatus may function in a new day that is dawning for
the human family. If reform proves to be impossible, the apparatus of
western civilization must be replaced by a social structure in keeping
with the requirements of the new age inaugurated by the innovations
introduced into the human culture pattern by the revolution of our time.

There is widespread recognition of the need to keep the structure of a
society in harmony with necessary functions and updated to the
consequences of probable or possible discovery and invention. This is no
mean task as western experience during recent centuries has so clearly
demonstrated. Power elites of feudal Europe neither anticipated nor
prepared for the consequences of the industrial revolution. The result
was the smash and clatter of the American and French Revolutions (1776
and 1789) and minor revolutionary shocks through the nineteenth century.
Power elites in western Europe dealt with mass production and its
consequent abundance of goods and services with mass marketing, social
security and other crumbs of affluence scattered among the restless
masses. But when the trade winds of the scientific and technological
revolution blew in the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the Chinese
Revolution of 1911 and the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Romanoff
dictatorship was still ordering back the tide of social change and the
dominant United States oligarchy cold-shouldered the Mexican Revolution,
took sixteen years to recognize officially the Russian Soviets and
waited twenty-three years after 1949 before they were even on speaking
terms with the Chinese Communists.

For two centuries, new ideas, institutions and practices have followed
discoveries and inventions as regularly as day follows night. The
consequent flood of innovations that has swept through the West and
across the planet in the past two generations has made drastic social
change a matter of the utmost urgency. The only open questions concern
the direction of the changes, their rapidity, and the success of the
social system in adapting itself to the shattering effects of newly
released social forces.

Social change can come with the rush and turmoil of revolution or the
studied step-by-considered-step constancy of the conscious improvement
of society by society. Two powerful social forces limit gradualness. One
is human impatience. The other is the rapidity with which masses of
people all over the planet are being informed of the good-life potential
implicit in present-day western affluence.

Impatience is emotional rather than rational. It is a compound of human
urges on one hand and on the other hand of the frustrations built up in
individuals and populations attracted by new wants and frustrated by
barriers of custom-habit; the carefully constructed apparatus of
direction, division and restriction (the State, the Church, the
communication media), and the potent class forces of the

In every modern community the media of mass communication are
broadcasting information regarding the widening consumer prospects
created by the current revolution in science and technology. In every
modern community there are eager, ambitious, hopeful individuals urging
their fellow workers and fellow citizens to get moving toward the
promised land of peace and plenty. In every community the bureaucracy,
representing the more comfortable and secure elements of the population,
is asking the less well placed class groups to "take it easy," take "one
step at a time," and remember that "Rome was not built in a day."

Conservatives, urging law and order under the status quo, have reason
on their side. The movement of a technologically oriented community from
monopoly capitalism into socialism-communism is without historical
precedent and therefore largely experimental. Plans are tentative; there
are shortages of materials and particularly of skills based on
experience. Costly mistakes are made leading to delay until they can be
corrected. The counter-revolution, abundantly financed by the forces of
reaction, operates constantly, in critical situations almost always
through the military, to preserve the "law and order" which are the
prime forces behind its wealth and its power. In an untrod, untested
area ignorance is a blank wall until it is pierced by ingenuity and
innovation. There are many ways to miss a defined objective and only a
few ways to reach it.

Cautious, experienced people, living comfortably, are inclined to let
well enough alone. Restless, hopeful idealists are eager to reject,
modify, improvise and replace.

Conservatives try to preserve both the structure and the traditional
activities of a community on the plea that a bird in the hand is worth
two in the bush. Liberals (moderates) would preserve the structure but
bring its activities up to date. Radicals would scrap the old and
replace it with a new structure and new activities geared to the new
possibilities and the new requirements.

Survival wars from 1914 to 1945 marked not only the end of Britain's
planetary domination but the termination of Europe's planetary regency.
The events of the period also loosened the bonds that had held western
civilization together.

A social structure which includes imperial nuclei and colonial
dependencies is constantly threatened by colonial unrest and revolt.
Colonial revolt, endemic in every civilization, became epidemic after
1943. The path to independence had been blazed by North and South
American colonials. It was followed after 1943 by the inhabitants of
British, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Asia and
Africa. The slogan of the independence movement was "self-determination."

Before self-determination can operate there must be a "self" capable of
making decisions and carrying them into practice. Identification of the
"self," or "nationhood" as it was called in this era, involved bitter
domestic struggle, internal reorganization and consolidation. The
process was typified in the British Colonies of North America between
1770 and 1789 which produced the United States of North America. Asians
and Africans who gained their independence after 1945 faced a double
problem: the establishment of nationhood, and regional consolidation.

The British colonies in North America won their independence as a loose
confederation of sovereign states. After war's-end in 1783, they were
able to form a regional federation: the United States of North America.
Despite their efforts, they were unable to include Canada, which was
under strong French influence. British colonials in Asia and Africa
after 1943 were less fortunate. After winning their independence as
Indians or Burmese, they were unable to take the next step and organize
a United States of Southern Asia.

The Bandung Conference (in 1955) of representatives from Asia and
African countries failed to realize the hopes of its conveners. After
prolonged deliberations it was able to go no further than the "five
principles" of self-determination and co-existence, under which the
independence of each participating nation was reaffirmed and each agreed
not to interfere in the internal affairs of its neighbors. The
conference adjourned without establishing any form of organization or
making provision for further meetings.

After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, hopes ran high for the establishment
of a bloc of Latin American States, led by the elected president of
Brazil, Joao Goulart, that might act as a bulwark against further
"yankee aggression" in Latin America. In 1962 a military coup overthrew
Goulart, drove him into exile, jailed and disenfranchised his supporters
and lined up Brazil, largest and most populous nation of Latin America,
solidly behind the Monroe Doctrine of United States supremacy in the
Americas, implemented by Washington's burgeoning "Pentagon diplomacy."

African developments were even less fruitful than those in Asia and
Latin America. Asians and Latin Americans generally had reached the
level of self-identification necessary for statehood and national
self-determination. Large parts of Africa living at pre-national levels
of tribal identification, devoted their energies to the realization of
nationhood. Their constitutions announced their frontiers and proclaimed
their sovereignty, but inter-tribal rivalries and personal ambitions
turned each new nation into a battle field for prestige and authority,
with the military often making the final decisions.

Asians and Africans had won telling victories in their struggle to drive
out their former imperial masters. When it came to the affirmative task
of organizing responsible regional federations, their failure was
dismal. Asia and Africa were regionally disunited. Former colonial
people, still monitored by alien representatives of monopoly capitalism,
were fragmented by the self-determination struggle into theoretically
sovereign nations many of which lacked the experience and the local
expertise which are the indispensible prerequisites of self-determination
and of fruitful regional federation.

Another aspect of the world revolution produced more tangible results.
The latter half of the nineteenth century brought into being a
grass-roots movement of peoples demanding everything from petty reforms
of administrative machinery to planned revolutionary transformations of
the established monopoly capitalist structure. This movement
crystallized as an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, pro-socialist
national and international struggle. From the publication of the
Communist Manifesto in 1848 until the beginnings of socialist
construction in 1917, it was a movement of protest against poverty,
unemployment, war, waste, inequality, exploitation. After 1917 it became
a movement to end imperialism, war and exploitation and substitute a
planet-wide social system that would give every human being a chance to
play a meaningful part in utilizing nature, improving society and
creating socialist women and men, capable of cooperating for the general
welfare of mankind.

The Enlightenment had diminished ignorance, spread information and
brought elementary education to the masses. Self-government had given
people confidence in their ability to make the phrase "we, the people" a
working formula for social improvement. The Industrial Revolution had
converted millions of superstitious, frustrated peasants into craftsmen
and professionals confident in their ability to use nature effectively,
to advance their own interests and to improve society. These and
secondary social forces laid the foundation for the social revolution
that mushroomed across the planet during the opening years of the
present century. The occasion for the revolution was four years of
destructive war (1914-18) during which two rival gangs of imperialists
led their dupes and victims to shed blood and destroy property in a
struggle to decide which band of plunderers should exploit natural
resources and labor power for its own advantage.

General war presented twentieth century man with a dilemma, an
opportunity and a choice. Should he continue the grab-and-keep society
that had flowered in Europe and elsewhere during the previous century,
with its consequent poverty for the many, unemployment, exploitation and
the power-struggle of the empires, or make a revolutionary change? As
the stalemated war of 1914-18 with its frightful destruction of life and
property continued year after year, the determination in favor of
revolutionary change grew and crystalized.

David Lloyd George, Britain's Prime Minister, put the situation into
words presented to the Versailles Peace Conference on March 25, 1919:
"The whole of Europe is filled with the spirit of revolution.... The
whole existing order in its political, social and economic aspects is
questioned by the masses of the population from one end of Europe to the
other." (Memorandum of Lloyd George to the Peace Conference, 1922 Cmd.

Lloyd George proved a true prophet. Mass discontent and the spirit of
revolt spread rapidly. Soldiers at the front mutinied. The armies of
Tsarist Russia dissolved as the privates and officers alike returned to
their homes, determined to stop war, end Romanoff tyranny and build a
better life for the Russian people. To gain these results they replaced
the Tsarist absolutism by local, regional and nationally elected
people's Soviets.

Before the War began in July, 1914, the socialist parties of Europe were
divided between moderates who were willing to accept welfare-state
reforms and allow the grab-and-keep structure of monopoly capitalism to
continue in authority, and revolutionaries who demanded the abolition of
capitalist imperialism and its replacement by socialism. European
reformist socialists shouldered arms in July, 1914, and shot down their
comrades across the frontiers. European revolutionary socialists, led by
Lenin in Russia, Liebknecht in Germany and Jaures in France gained in
strength as the war proceeded. Liebknecht and Jaures were assassinated.
Lenin lived in exile until he went back to Russia and led the
revolutionary forces that liquidated Tsarism in the closing months of

For the first time in the history of western civilization, a proletarian
revolutionary force had established its authority over one of the most
extensive and populous nations on the planet. For the first time a
responsible government threatened to abandon the fundamental assumptions
and principles of western civilization. Could this new "subversive"
government survive in the merciless free-for-all in which western man
was engaged? Could it not only survive but build up a social system
which contradicted and condemned the underlying precepts of the West? In
a word, could socialism be built in one country, surrounded by civilized
monopoly capitalist powers?

Historical events have answered these questions in the affirmative. At
this writing the Soviet Government has survived continuously for more
than half a century. During that period it has transformed economically,
politically and culturally backward portions of Europe and Asia into one
of the most advanced areas on the planet.

Monopoly capitalist society assumes that productivity, wealth and
fire-power, effectively co-ordinated under competent authority, will
guarantee survival and perhaps win supremacy. Beginning its life in one
of the backward areas of the planet, the Soviet Union has met all of
these tests by converting itself into a first class world power. Its
productivity is second only to that of the United States. In wealth it
stands second among the nations. Its fire power has carried the Soviet
Union to victory in civil and international war. Its ruling
oligarchy--the Soviet Communist Party--has maintained its authority
through the stresses of domestic strife and major international
conflict. In terms accepted by the existing free-for-all West, the
Soviet Union is an established world power.

Through the first three decades of its existence the Soviet Union was
the only government avowedly engaged in building a socialist rival to
monopoly capitalism and determined to replace capitalism as the dominant
planet-wide social system. After 1943 it was joined by a dozen other
European, Asian and American countries, dedicated like the Soviet Union
to the task of building socialism. In addition to these dozen countries,
several others such as India, Burma, Indonesia, Ceylon, Ghana and Libya,
declared their intention of building socialism by legal, and gradual
stages. Almost all of the countries busied with socialist construction
were in East Europe and Asia. The countries building toward socialism
were more widely scattered, but by and large they were Eurasian.

From 1919 to 1943 socialist construction was directed, at least in
theory, by the Communist International with headquarters in Moscow--the
"general staff of the World Revolution". Under war pressure the
Communist International was dissolved in 1943. No equally inclusive
international socialist authority has since been established.

World revolution is not confined to the Old World of
Africa--Asia--Europe. It is widely prevalent in the Americas where it
can claim a certain priority. Outstanding among colonial uprisings of
modern times was the rebellion of the British colonies of North America,
from 1776 to 1783. Even more widespread was the rebellion of the
Spanish, Portuguese and French colonies of Central and South America
which spanned most of the nineteenth century and extended on into the
twentieth. Russian Bolsheviks held the headlines on revolutionary
activity from 1917 to 1943 but it should not be forgotten that one of
the most prolonged and thorough-going revolutions of the present century
gripped Mexico from 1910 to 1917. At the beginning of this period Mexico
was a political semi-dependency of the United States. It was
semi-feudal, with a large population of Amerindians and a pre-industrial
economy. Foreign capitalists and entrepreneurs, including those from the
United States, played a leading role in the country.

Mexico's 1910-1917 revolution was prolonged. It was also radical,
up-rooting many aspects of its old social pattern, speeding up the
bourgeois revolution, and preparing the way for a Mexican form of
populism and a Mexican foretaste of a proletarian revolution, initiated,
led and manned by Mexicans.

Mexico's revolution resulted in two important developments that have
played a major role in socialist construction. Both contributions
appeared in the Mexican Constitution of 1917, adopted eight months
before the Russian Bolsheviks seized power in November.

The first contribution was a chapter on the rights of labor. Bourgeois
constitutions had emphasized "civil" rights: the right to vote, trial by
jury; freedom of speech, press, assembly; the right to go and come; the
right to compensation when private property is taken for public
purposes; the right to modify or replace the existing constitution. The
Mexican Constitution of 1917 contained a detailed specification of the
rights of labor, including proper working conditions, adequate
compensation, education, health, social security. The Constitution also
contained a crucial property provision: the natural resources of Mexico
are the property of the Mexican people and cannot be alienated.

This second provision was inserted in the Mexican Constitution at a time
when extensive concessions to develop Mexican resources had been handed
out to North American and European capitalists. It was inserted in part
because the social ownership and sharing of land and other
natural resources has been one of the basic demands of the
Socialist--Communist--Anarchist movements from their inception.

Monopoly capitalism depends primarily on the private ownership of the
means of production, including natural resources. Capitalist opposition
to socialism is not only a matter of theory. In practice the private
ownership of natural resources enables the owner to charge rent to any
and all users. Natural resources are sharply limited and usually
localized. As population grows, demand for living space is intensified
and rents rise. It is not an accident that the stretches of "black
earth", of copper, iron, petroleum, the precious metals, and the land
occupied by Mexico City, London, New York and other population centers,
poured a stream of wealth into the treasuries and augmented the power of
their owners.

Effects of the insertion into the Mexican Constitution of the provision
making natural resources "the property of the Mexican people" have been
far-reaching. One socialist country after another has written into its
constitution a provision that its natural wealth is the inalienable
heritage of its people. This provision has two important results: it
establishes natural resources as part of the public sector of the
national economy; it also limits the possibility of handing out
concessions to foreign exploiters, private or public.

During the opening years of the present century socialist parties and
other forward looking organizations were demanding social ownership of
natural resources, public utilities and other social means of production
as the next logical step toward a more equitable distribution of wealth
and income. There was a possibility that such revolutionary changes
could be made under bourgeois law by exercising the right of eminent
domain, upon the payment of reasonable compensation to former owners. At
least in theory, the democratic majority in any bourgeois country could
put an end to private enterprise capitalism and establish socialism by a
constitutional amendment, legislative enactment, and a caretaker
political apparatus to administer and supervise the transition.

Socialist parties were making "reformist" demands for better working
and living conditions and "revolutionary" demands for changes in
property and class relationships. Increased productivity and growing
affluence made it possible for a progressive bourgeois state to meet the
reformist demands, establishing a welfare state legally and

Under the bourgeois constitutions generally existing at the beginning of
the present century, a popular majority could adopt necessary
constitutional amendments, pass the necessary enabling laws and launch a
program of socialist construction.

Such a program was part of the thinking of European and other socialist
leaders during the opening years of the present century. Inspired and
encouraged by the successes of socialist construction in the Soviet
Union and other socialist countries, middle of the road socialists
proposed to move gradually and legally from capitalism to socialism.

Conservative socialists who were members of coalition governments in
parts of Eurasia, described such welfare states as victories for
socialism, despite the fact that they left the essentials of state power
in bourgeois hands.

Between 1920 and 1950 the western world found itself in this essentially
revolutionary situation: the world-wide revolution in science and
technology had opened the way for the human race to turn its back on the
limitations and inadequacies of civilization and advance to a new level
of culture and human opportunity.

The impact of this revolutionary situation expressed itself at several

   1. Much of west and central Europe, important parts of North
   America, much of Australasia, important parts of East Asia
   and fringes of Africa had at least two generations of experience
   with some degree of affluence.

   2. Scientifically and technologically maturing societies that
   had opted for socialism constitutionally and legally were
   engaged officially in socialist construction. These countries
   and peoples were located chiefly in Eurasia.

   3. Former colonial and client dependencies of the nineteenth
   century empires struggling for self-determination and statehood
   were entering a stage of affluence. These countries
   and peoples were mainly Afro-Asian. Some of them were
   located in Latin America.

   4. Countries and peoples still under the political, economic
   and cultural umbrella of the formerly dominant empires
   were at different stages in the completion of the bourgeois
   revolution. Their ruling oligarchies--fascist or neo-fascist--were
   stubborn defenders of remnants and fragments of the
   nineteenth century bourgeois culture. Their stronghold was
   the Atlantic Community.

During the cold war years following 1945 each of these groups was
undergoing the drastic social changes incident to the worldwide
revolution of the period. Meanwhile mini-wars, civil and international,
were fought in the Americas, Africa and Asia. By common consent
conventional weapons were used and atomic weapons were kept in

These experiences were highlighted in British Guyana and Cuba. British
Guyana was a Crown Colony, with a London-appointed Governor and a small
occupying force of British troops with an elected legislative assembly
and a considerable measure of home rule.

Democratic socialists Cheddi and Janet Jagan helped to organize the
Peoples Progressive Party of British Guyana. Twice Jagan won a popular
electoral majority and was established as Prime Minister of the British
Colony. His two periods of administrative responsibility were badgered
and hectored by every reactionary force that could be mobilized inside
and outside British Guyana, from the British appointed governor to the
domestic and foreign business interests and the urban trade unions.
Before a third election British and American governments, business and
labor interests got together. Money was funnelled into the country
through trade union connections. Protests were staged. Riots were
organized. The electoral system under which the Peoples Progressive
Party had won its victories was altered in London and Jagan was replaced
by a system of proportional representation under which the P.P.P. was
defeated and a new regime inaugurated.

Throughout the struggle the Peoples Progressive Party had insisted upon
winning popular majorities as a basis for establishing socialism in the
colony by democratic methods and legal means. Imperialist reactionaries
from Britain's Prime Minister and the President of the United States to
the A.F. of L.-C.I.O. retorted: "No you don't", and backed up their veto
with money, riots and guns. As a consequence of this counter-revolutionary
conspiracy, the Peoples Progressive Party was forced out of office and
an administration favorable to British, United States and native Guyanese
capital was substituted.

A revolt was led by Fidel Castro and his associates against the
Washington-backed Batista regime in Havana, Cuba. When Cuba was seized
by United States armed forces during the Spanish-American War of 1898
much of the island was in the hands of anti-Spanish rebels who were
demanding independence of Spain's imperialist rule. Between 1898 and
1959 seven million Cubans enjoyed technical independence. Actually the
island, located only 90 miles from Florida, was economically a United
States colony and politically a Washington dependency, with United
States armed forces stationed in the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. After
seizing power in 1959, Castro went to the United States seeking a market
for Cuba's chief export, sugar; a source of food supplies not produced
in Cuba, and the manufactures necessary for the economic and social life
of an essentially agricultural island.

Batista had emptied the Cuban treasury before he fled the island in
1959. Castro therefore needed loans to meet the immediate needs of the
Cuban economy. He also sought to continue arrangements under which the
chief market of Cuban sugar was in the United States. Castro was turned
down cold. All doors, political and economic, were closed to him. As a
revolutionary with left leanings he got the cold shoulder in New York as
well as in Washington.

Faced by economic bankruptcy and political hostility in the West, Castro
turned to the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. They bought
his sugar on long term contracts; provided him with manufactures;
extended loans. Under these economic and political conditions Castro's
Cuba had no choice. Of necessity it became a part of the socialist bloc,
took over the property of Americans and other foreign investors, planned
its economy and announced socialist goals, thus making the island of
Cuba the only outpost of socialist construction in the Americas.

Socialists exercised authority in one country from 1917 until 1943.
Thereafter the land area devoted to building socialism steadily
increased. By the time China threw off imperialist leading strings and
opted for socialist construction in 1949, a third of mankind was living
on territory under nominally socialist control. Most of this territory
was Asian. An important part lay in eastern Europe. Until 1917,
effective control of the planet was held by a half-dozen empires headed
by the British, who exercised authority over a quarter of the human race
living on a quarter of the earth's land area. After 1917 socialism
mushroomed as a potential competing social system, challenging monopoly
capitalism in Europe, replacing it in large sections of Asia and even
threatening to destroy the foundations of western civilization.

"Action and reaction are equal and opposite" is an axiom of physical
science which is also applicable in the social field. The sweep of world
revolution and the growth of socialism-communism after 1945 called into
being an opposing force of counter-revolution. The greater the successes
of socialism, the more ardent and assiduous was the counter drive, aimed
to modify, negate and, if possible, to destroy the revolution and
restore the social system of imperialism-colonialism built by monopoly
capitalism to its prerevolutionary status of planet-wide ascendancy.

Winston Churchill personified this counter revolutionary drive. It was
he who proposed to "strangle the Bolshevik infant in its cradle". The
Peace Conferees, meeting in Versailles, heeded Lloyd George's warning of
March, 1919, and turned their attention to the urgent task of
strangling socialism. Revolutionary beginnings in central Europe were
stamped out. Funds were raised and arms were supplied to the
anti-Bolshevik forces in European Russia and Siberia. At the height of
the counter-Bolshevik crusade there were sixteen armies in Soviet Russia
with the common aim of destroying Bolshevism and restoring the country
to its previous status as one of the pillars of western civilization.
This military phase of the counter-revolution lasted for four years. It
failed. By 1922 the Soviet leaders were able to turn their energies to
the task of rebuilding a devastated country while they planned and
organized a socialist society.

Counter revolutionary forces failed to overthrow the Bolsheviks during
the civil war of 1918-1921. They failed again when the Nazi armies
swarmed into the Soviet Union in June, 1941. The years from 1941 to 1945
cost the Russians perhaps twenty million dead, six million dwelling
units and immense damage to their economy and their social organization.
When the war ended, responsible observers in the West predicted that if
the Soviet power survived, decades must elapse before the country was
back on its feet.

War destruction had played havoc with much of Europe. The Soviet Union
was especially hard hit. Under the Marshall Plan billions of dollars of
United States aid were poured into Britain, France, Belgium and West
Germany. At the same time, the Soviet request for United States loans
was refused categorically by President Truman. Alone and unaided the
Soviet People repaired the extensive damage inflicted by the 1914-18
war, the Russian Civil War and the 1941 military invasion from the West,
and went on with the task of socialist construction which the war had
interrupted. Within five years--by 1950--the Bolsheviks were again on
their feet, going strong, extending substantial aid to China and other
professedly socialist countries and playing a crucial part in the
struggle for disarmament and peace.

At war's end in 1918 the Soviet Union was struggling to draw the first
breath of socialist life. Three decades later, after expelling the
Nazis, the Soviet Union was a sturdy giant of a nation standing head
and shoulders above its nearest European competitors. During the
interval, Soviet Russia was attacked, denounced, boycotted, encircled,
invaded, ostracized as the leading figure in "an international communist
conspiracy". When the policy of intervention and invasion failed, the
counter-revolutionaries turned to cold war.

Whether or not there was a "communist conspiracy" to overthrow
capitalism, there was certainly an organized capitalist conspiracy to
overthrow socialism-communism. Representatives of the chief capitalist
empires made repeated attempts to subsidize anti-Bolshevik forces in the
Soviet Union. From 1918 to 1921 and from 1941 to 1945 they used every
available means, including military invasion, to overthrow the Soviet
Union and stamp out the beginnings of socialist construction in Central
and East Europe.

From the military invasions of the Soviet Union immediately following
war's end in 1918, western spokesmen, led by President Wilson, did their
utmost to subsidize counter-revolution inside the Soviet Union, to send
American and other armed forces into the country, to villify, denounce,
boycott and handicap the Soviet Government. Sixteen years passed
(1917-1933) before Washington extended diplomatic recognition to the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. President Wilson did his best to
keep the Soviet Union and Mexico, both under the control of
revolutionary governments, out of the League of Nations.

After the 1936-1945 war Washington played the same role with regard to
China, refusing for twenty-two years to recognize Socialist China
diplomatically, leading the drive in the United Nations to exclude China
from membership, although the United Nations Charter specified that
China should be one of the permanent members of the Security Council.
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles justified the policy of
blacklisting and boycotting China by declaring that there was no such
nation as China on the Asian mainland, only 650 million slaves, and that
Chiang Kai Shek's rump government on the island of Formosa was the
"China" specified in the U.N. Charter.

Under the Truman Doctrine announced immediately after war's end in
1945, the United States refused to tolerate any extension of socialism,
whether by revolution from within or by invasion from without any
country. This doctrine was applied to Greece, to Iran, to Guatemala, to
Santo Domingo, to Chile. During the Korean War, which began in June,
1950, one of President Truman's first directives ordered the United
States Seventh (Pacific) Fleet to occupy the waters about Taiwan
(Formosa), which was historically part of China.

In order to implement this anti-communist policy, Washington used a
newly created international secret service, the Central Intelligence
Agency or C.I.A., gave it an initial appropriation of $100,000,000 and
turned it loose to spy, corrupt, undermine and overthrow governments
that refused to accept or follow Washington's leadership.

Between 1815 and 1914 the planet enjoyed a measure of peace and order.
In the three decades between 1914 and 1945, two general wars, a plague
of lesser wars, a general economic depression and a hurricane of
revolutions scourged the planet. Meanwhile, the revolution in science
and technology and its products penetrated almost every crack and cranny
of human society.

Had the changes incidental to these rapid transformations been carefully
planned and supervised, the disturbances in the ecology and the shocks
to human society would have been less disturbing and upsetting. In the
absence of any planet-wide authority, there could be neither general
planning nor general supervision. There were warnings aplenty from
liberals and radicals who were attempting to keep the situation in
perspective, but such utterances failed to reach the great bulk of

Disturbing and upsetting products of the revolution in science and
technology--the harnessing of steam, the internal combustion engine, the
air plane, electronics, plastics, and the release of atomic energy--were
used to mutilate, destroy and kill. During the half century that began
in 1910, tens of millions were mobilized, fed, taught, armed, and led to
the slaughter fields by the masters of western civilization in two long
orgies of wholesale destruction and mass murder--1914-18 and 1936-1945.
Energies and techniques that might have brought peace and plenty to the
human family were used to set fire storms that incinerated property
while it degraded humanity to the horrors of mass suicide.

In a very real sense these ghoulish results were the logical outcome of
competitive nationalism armed and equipped with the technology produced
during the two centuries of the great revolution. War is the most
carefully planned, most elaborate and most intensive form of
competition--the decisive climax of a life and death struggle for

The great revolution had put into human hands almost infinite
possibilities for utilizing nature and improving the social environment.
With foresight, careful planning and skillful manipulation of forces and
trends the cultivatable portions of the planetary land mass might have
been turned into a garden of unending plenty dotted with marvelous city
centers of light and learning.

In order to achieve such results it would have been necessary for the
human family to coordinate its efforts around an agreed division of
labor, share the goods and services produced and move from one level of
affluence to a level of abundance.

Instead of joint efforts to achieve abundance and security, the most
prosperous and most highly developed centers of western civilization
consolidated their authority in sovereign states, surrounded by
forbidding frontiers, armed them with the most destructive agencies that
human imagination and ingenuity could devise, schooled the citizens of
each nation in the suicidal formula: "might makes right; every nation
for itself and woe betide the laggard and the loser."

The logical ideology of such a formula was egomania, suspicion, fear and
hatred. Its outcome was a competitive life and death struggle for wealth
and power, with the nation or a bloc of nations as the units of
competition. The struggle at its highest level involved occasional local
wars and periodical general wars like those of 1914-18 and 1936-45.

Before the great revolution such struggles were waged chiefly with
weapons wielded by human muscle power, supplemented with whatever animal
power was available. Equipped with the products of the technological
revolution, the struggle became a war of machines, powered by the
energies of nature. Retail killing and destruction was replaced by mass
murder and wholesale annihilation.

Given the assumptions, the practices and the institutions of
civilization, the catastrophic losses of the present century could have
been foretold and, with competent leadership and disciplined
followership, could have been averted. But leadership was self-serving,
shortsighted and for the most part untrained, while followership was
split up into national and local segments, each following the suicidal
doctrine of every nation for itself and the devil take the laggards.

Socialists-communists around the earth have spent a wealth of time and
energy during several generations predicting the present revolutionary
upset and preparing for it. They have been derided, denounced and
persecuted for their efforts. Despite bitter opposition they have
prepared for change, they accept change, they welcome it, because in
change they see the only path to improvement and betterment.

They are learning to live with change and even to welcome it because the
time of troubles through which their society is passing is warning them
of the dangers they face. At the same time they are learning, bit by
bit, of the spectacular achievements of the billion human beings in
socialist-communist countries.

The majority of mankind has been unprepared for revolutionary change.
When change came they resented it, maybe resisted it at the outset.

Those who have a vested interest in capitalist imperialism--the real
backbone of the counter-revolution--join and support counter-revolutionary
organizations and take part in counter-revolutionary activities.

Planners and organizers of the counter-revolution have the bourgeois
state generally on their side and enjoy the backing of the bourgeois
establishment, its organizations and its facilities. Since their object
is defense, they have no constructive program. Instead they stumble,
fumble and bungle as their system flounders into one disastrous crisis
after another.



Each bit of handiwork, each artifact, tool and machine is an expression
of man's wish and will. Each transcends nature and is an affirmation
that takes its place in the vast storehouse of human culture.

Cities, the building blocks of civilization, not only transcend nature;
they replace her. Up to a certain point man lived more or less
consciously as a part of nature. Bit by bit and step by step man shifted
from the stream, the glade, the tree and the cave to the hut, the
village, the city, the nation, the empire, the civilization.

Early in this study I wrote of civilization as an experiment: an
aspiration, a creative urge, a concept, a purpose, a unity of thought
and act, a conscious sequence of related actions, a construct of
multiplying complexity.

These terms, by and large, are constructive and, to a degree, creative.
I might have written a parallel series of words associated with
destructiviness. In every social situation construction and destruction
are Siamese twins. One does not appear without the other. The same
forces, the same implements, the same institutions and practices that
construct can be used to destroy.

Through ages, men learned how to establish, maintain and perpetuate
community and organize society. At every stage of the building process
it was necessary to check, to question, to evaluate, unlearn, tear down,
make a new start. Pushing up and tearing or wearing down is implicit in
nature. It is an essential aspect of human society.

Each human being is a living example of production and destruction. Each
generation repeats the affirmation, modifying it little or much in
accord with circumstances.

Modification means purposeful change--partially or wholly abandoning the
old and replacing it with something new. In the course of these changes
the conservative elements in man and in society, voluntarily or under
coercion, give up the old and learn how to use the new. The learning
process is always more or less painful, especially to people past middle

The world-wide revolution resulted from a long-continued related series
of affirmations, punctuated and interrupted by contradictions and

Trends inherent in the world-wide revolution of 1750-1970 suggest a
cycle that reached its high point at the turn of the century and began
its downward course around 1900. The chief European empires were jointly
and severally involved in the bitter struggle for survival and supremacy
from 1870 onward. Until the outbreak of war in 1914, events followed an
irregular course marked by the shifting relationships of Italy and the
increased pressure from Germany for a showdown. The showdown was the war
of 1914-18, continued in a second phase from 1936 to 1945.

Immediate political results of the showdown were victory for one side
and defeat for the other side. Economic, sociological and ideological
consequences were profound and far reaching. We noted some of them in
the previous chapter.

UNESCO's _History of Mankind_ devotes its final volume six to the
twentieth century. The authors note that the chief European powers
emerged from the general war of 1914-18 "weakened in every way: in men
and wealth, in the balance of their economies and the stability of their
political structure and above all in their relation to other powers
rising or beginning to rise in other parts of the world". (Vol. VI p.

Aside from the victory-defeat relationship which led to political
realignments during the post-war years, the essence of the experience
is to be found in the UNESCO phrase "weakened in every way". Another way
of describing the experience is to state that the participants in this
four year blood bath were "bled white."

It is easy to be specific. In the course of the war sixty million people
were mobilized. Most of these people stopped what they had been doing
until mid-summer of 1914 and began an entirely new line of activity. Up
to that point most of them had been living with their families, in their
neighborhoods, going through a daily routine that included household
cares, production or service work, the conduct of neighborhood affairs,
the maintenance of normal livelihood activities, the upbringing of the
new generation and perhaps most important of all, adaptation to a
rapidly changing social situation.

The changes that took place in the summer of 1914 involved an almost
complete reversal of purpose and direction. Up to that point Europeans
were devoting a considerable proportion of their time to production and
the maintenance of the normal life routine. At that point they left
their homes, exchanged ordinary clothes for uniforms, laid down the
implements of peace, picked up the weapons of war and prepared, under
very expert leadership and direction, a series of mass movements
designed to disrupt the ordinary life routine of other human beings on
the other side of lines drawn on a map, but having little relation to
customary life activity and even less to geography.

Execution of this purpose involved a mass movement from the home
territory into that occupied by the "enemy". If the enemy resisted he
must be forced to do the will of the invaders. Instead of cooperating in
a joint effort to maintain and improve the general welfare, uniformed,
armed, expertly-led masses began beating up each other, until one side
gave in and cried "enough."

Plans for war had been drawn and redrawn for years, for decades.
Elaborate preparations had been made. Destructive weapons had been
designed and built. Transport had been provided, food stored. Defensive
preparations had also been made in the form of fortifications so placed
as to obstruct or prevent "the enemy" from crossing the "frontier".

When sport-lovers go from home for a day to play a competition in
another city or province, they go, play the game and then go back home
to continue the ordinary life routine. In the case of the project we are
now considering they left home in July, 1914 and returned months or
years later. Many never got back home because they were killed in battle
or died of wounds; many were "missing"; they disappeared.

If casualties in the 1914-18 war had been numbered in dozens, or scores
or even in hundreds, the communities from which they came could have
gone on without them--handicapped perhaps but not seriously disrupted.
But when they were numbered in thousands and tens of thousands it was a
quite different story. Actually, they were numbered in millions.

Mobilized to carry on the war were 42.2 million on the Allied side. On
the side of the Central Powers, 22.8 millions. The total: 65 million. 12
million of those mobilized were Russian, 11 million were Germans, 8.4
million were French, 8 million were from the British Empire. From
Austro-Hungary came 7.8 million, from Italy, 5.6 million. Turkey
furnished 2.9 million, Bulgaria 1.2 million; 4.4 million came from the
United States; 0.8 million from Japan. Lesser numbers came from other

Except for Spain, the largest contributions of war conscripts came from
the countries with the largest populations. With the exception of Spain,
all of the great powers of Europe provided the "cannon fodder"; the
human beings which Europe's "great powers" assembled to take part in
this profligate orgy of mass murder which went on for more than four
years, from July 1914 until November 1918.

Body count reports and "estimates" give the total number of human beings
murdered in the four year period as 8,538,315. (The legal definition of
"murder" is killing, not accidentally but with the intention of taking

This figure of 8.5 million murdered human adults, most of them in the
prime of life, refers to the murdered bodies that were recovered and
disposed of. In addition there were "prisoners" and "missing."

As the 1914-18 war proceeded it became less a series of combats between
human beings; more and more it was a war of machines such as
battleships, tanks, big guns and by war's end, of airplanes. Human
beings drew up the plans, made the blueprints, shifted the gears, pushed
the buttons. Their efforts were supplemented and multiplied by the
killing power of physics, chemistry and mechanics brought to the task of
wholesale murder, which produced 8.5 million dead human bodies.

"Prisoners and missing" accounted for 7,750,000 additional human beings.
Many of them were torn to shreds and smithereens by the gigantic
concentration of mechanical and explosive power, designed, constructed
and transported to the European battlefields for the express purpose of
carrying on this month-long and year-long collective endeavor to take as
much life as possible and destroy as much property as possible while war
declarations authorized and legalized mass murder and wholesale

Not all victims of the hideous 1914-18 blood bath were killed. "Wound
casualties" numbered 12.8 million among the Allies; 8.4 million among
the boys, young men and adults mobilized by the Central Powers. Some of
the wounded were crippled for life. Some were less severely injured, but
all 22.2 million were more or less severely handicapped when they stood
up to face the rigors of civilian life at war's end. All were denied the
possibility of living normal, productive, creative, satisfying lives.

Wars are fought on battlefields. In the war of 1914-18 many of the
battlefields included villages, towns, cities. These complex
institutions, occupied by men, women and children were smashed and
burned wholesale.

The figures which I have used in listing the 1914-18 war losses were
compiled by the United States War Department. They are more or less
accurate, but they underline the fact that for years on end the centers
of western civilization concentrated their energies and devoted every
means at their disposal to cripple or destroy fellow human beings and
their habitations.

When we read of the destruction of the Roman Empire we console and
perhaps try to fool ourselves by saying that the immense network of
civilization which the Romans and their Greek associates spread across
Eurasia and Africa during the historical period that began about 700
B.C. was destroyed by hordes of migrating "barbarians." When we turn to
our own civilization, however, there are no barbarian hordes to take the
blame. The wholesale destruction which took place in Europe from 1914 to
1918 and which was repeated and multiplied during the wars of 1936-1945
was carried on officially by spokesmen for the most advanced, most
highly developed, most civilized countries of the western world.

We have been using the word "murder" to describe the wholesale slaughter
of Europeans by Europeans that took place from 1914 to 1918 and from
1936 to 1945. The word "murder" is inaccurate. The Europeans who carried
on the wholesale destruction and mass murder during the two most general
wars of modern times were committing murder in one sense. In quite
another sense they were engaged in collective suicide. Europeans were
blotting out the life and well-being of fellow Europeans. When the
process came to a temporary halt in 1945 every European participant in
the struggle was weaker in human potential and poorer in economic means
than they were when the war began.

Arnold Toynbee describes the entire episode as the "down grading" of
Europe. He might have added two words and reported "the down grading of
Europe by Europeans", as a glaring example of large scale, long
continued, deliberate self-destruction.

Fundamental social changes were bound to follow the revolutionary
technical transformations that took place during the world-wide
revolution of 1750-1970. Changes may be made in various ways. Some are
slow and relatively painless, particularly when they extend over
generations; other changes are so rapid that they are agonizingly
painful. Involuntary changes, made under outside pressure are almost
always painful. World-wide revolution, under the best of conditions,
promises to be painful. When it comes from alien sources, and is under
forced pressure, the costs are almost sure to be excessively high.

This brings us face to face with one of the most important problems
facing mankind at the present moment. Given the worldwide revolution of
the past two centuries, what changes--political, economic, sociological
and ideological--must be made to prepare the way for the new society and
shift the family from the old homestead to the new apartment with a
minimum of pain and a maximum of satisfaction?



Blatant contradictions disorganized human life after war's end in 1945.
In the crucial area of war and peace three groups were bidding for
attention: dedicated peace partisans (peacenicks); nationalist
enthusiasts waging wars of liberation; and massive semi-official and
official nationalistic groups busily preparing for the next big war.

Occasionally these groups joined hands on "hot" issues. Generally they
were far apart. Often they were in active opposition.

Dedicated peace advocates were an important factor in this post-war
period. They had been vocal and influential in July, 1914 immediately
before the outbreak of the first general war. They had continued to play
an active role between the first and second general wars. In the autumn
of 1972 the World Peace Council called together a peace assembly in
Moscow representing significant elements from 143 countries. The largest
single element in the World Peace Council was the Socialist bloc, headed
by the Soviet Union.

Peace advocates mobilized wide public support for the "no more war"
movement that developed during the closing months of the 1914-18 war;
for the Briand-Kellogg Treaty of 1928 which renounced war as an
instrument of policy; for the effort to secure general disarmament that
resulted in the General Disarmament Conference of 1933 and for the
United Nations Charter of 1945.

Official declarations in favor of disarmament and peace had been
paralleled by the organization of unofficial peace committees and
societies in western Europe, in the Americas and in the socialist

Peace efforts had been strengthened by the outbreak of local
wars--between India and Pakistan, between Israel and the Arab League; by
wars of independence and liberation in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, North

Much of the public backing for the peacenicks came from student groups
in official and private high schools, colleges and universities.

Nationalist liberation movements were active in settled communities such
as Ireland and Canada's Province of Quebec. There were less established
movements in newly liberated restless ex-colonies and remaining colonies
of the chief European empires, of Japan and of the United States. The
widely advertised World Peace Council turned more and more from general
advocacy of peace, such as the Stockholm Peace Petition, to the support
of liberation movements among colonials and supressed minor

Preparations for another general war were expanded and intensified as
the competitive struggle for oil and other natural resources mounted. By
the end of the 1960's total arms expenditures of the chief powers were
running at $200 billion per year. In 1973 the total reached $225

There was much general talk about peace, but the most insistent note
sounded for a high level of spending on armaments. Britain's Prime
Minister Heath voiced a sentiment vigorously promulgated by every
representative of national security "British interests come first".

Confusion was heightened by the presence of men who faced all three
ways: talking peace, waging small wars and preparing for the next big
one. In February, 1974 in his State of the Union message to the U.S.
Congress, President Nixon spoke of "our goal of building a structure of
lasting peace in the world." At the same moment the Washington
administration was feeding the fires of war in South East Asia and
asking the United States Congress to increase 1975 U.S.A. defense
appropriations from $80 billion to $90 billion per year.

When war ended in 1945 there was a planet-wide sigh of relief and a
devout hope that after so many years of local and general wars, the time
had come for western man to take a long decisive step in the direction
of peace. The United Nations Charter expressed this hope to end the use
of war as an instrument of policy.

Since the period of general social relaxation usually known as the Dark
Ages was superceded by the multiple innovations of the Reformation, the
Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the scientific-technical developments
of the 1750-1970 Revolution, man the dreamer, inventor, designer,
planner, architect and engineer has modified many aspects of nature and
transformed the social environment.

Until the Reformation and the Renaissance, European ruling oligarchies
in territories along the Mediterranean and throughout western Europe
were able to perpetuate their privileges and preserve the life styles of
an agricultural-feudal society. Improvements in navigation and the
growth of trade, commerce and industry opened the way for the bourgeois
revolution with its rapid growth of cities and the parallel increase of
wealth, income, and living standards among the newly-enriched
businessmen and their associates and dependents.

Social changes in feudal Europe had been gradual. The dynamism implicit
in the bourgeois revolution escalated the rate of social change with
corresponding modifications in the pattern of European political,
economic and cultural institutions and practices.

In the early stages of the transformation the awareness of change was
limited to a minority of city dwellers. To the rural illiterate
majority, change was a closed book. A great social gulf separated the
feudal countryside from the growing centers of trade, commerce and
industry. Bourgeois life processes narrowed and gradually bridged the
gulf. Differences between city and country living persisted, but the
stark contrast between city abundance of goods and services and their
virtual absence from the common life of the countryside grew less and
less marked as the proportion of the total population living in the
countryside declined with the trek to cities and their suburbs.

Europeans living for the most part in a pre-civilized rural environment
passed through generations of illiterate unawareness of the social
process through which European life was expanding. The rapid extension
of industry and commerce after 1750 (the bourgeois revolution) completed
the transformation of a rural, semi-feudal west and central Europe into
a continent of town and city dwellers devoting their lives to pursuits
unknown to their immediate forebears. In this new Europe the countryside
played a decreasing role, as food supplies and raw materials came
increasingly from less developed parts of eastern Europe or from the
colonies which were opened up by the planet-wide trade and commerce
promoted by the aggressive expansion of the European empires.

Most Europeans, satisfied with the axiom "old fashions please me best"
were stand-patters in the early stages of this transformation. As the
conversion of Europe from feudal status to urban dynamism continued,
however, an ever larger part of the population became aware of the
change through which their society was passing. With the Renaissance and
the Enlightenment inert unawareness gave place to enthusiastic
propaganda in the writings of pamphleteers, essayists, poets, novelists
and social reformers who set the intellectual tone for the new society.

In a very real sense, the bourgeois Europe which emerged after 1750 was
something new under the sun. Large elements of the population,
previously engaged in producing and consuming the bare necessaries of
food, shelter and clothing were increasingly engaged in trades and
professions and rendering services unknown to the feudal countryside. As
the expansion of western civilization continued, entire European nations
like the Low Countries, England and Germany turned to trade, commerce,
industry, leaving only a dwindling minority engaged in agricultural
pursuits. The change was speeded by the revolution in science and

Changes in economic and social relations are paralleled by corresponding
alterations in the total way of living. Western civilization was, in its
entirety, a cultural departure from the pattern of any preceding
experiment with civilization because of the drastic changes that the
revolution in science and technology had introduced into human society.

Throughout the life-cycle of western civilization minor and major
alterations have been made in its structure and its function. Some of
the earlier political changes were part and parcel of the bourgeois
revolution. They included:

1. The abolition of absolute monarchies and hereditary aristocracies and
their replacement by limited monarchies and republics with various types
of representative and popular governments selected by ballot.

2. The replacement of personal tyrannies and autocracies by written
constitutions and laws passed by elected parliaments.

3. Replacement of war as the sport of kings and the chief instrument of
policy makers, by negotiation, diplomacy, and treaties which became the
core of existing "international law."

4. Arbitrary national sovereignty was supplemented by more or less
permanent alliances and by the formal international organizations such
as the Universal Postal Union, the World Court and the League of

5. Regional Associations were organized; the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization; the Organization of American States and the Organization
for European Unity.

6. Disarmament conferences were held. General peace treaties were signed
like the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact of 1928 and the United Nations

7. Two major efforts were made to establish a general confederation of
nations and empires--the League of Nations in 1919 and the United
Nations a quarter of a century later. Both the League of Nations and the
United Nations proved to be feeble and ineffectual efforts to bridge the
gulf between limited national sovereignty and planet-wide order and
peace. But they were tentative steps in the direction of a federation of
the world and they did mark a notable advance from the chaos and
conflict incident to the planet-wide expansion of the European empires
toward more stable economic and social conditions and more orderly
international relationships.

Paralleling these changes in the political life of western civilization
there have been a number of drastic economic reforms. One was the
abolition of chattel slavery. A second was the replacement of serfdom
and peonage by free labor receiving fixed wages and salaries. A third
change was the division of large feudal estates and other concentrated
landed properties into small units owned and operated by working
farmers. A fourth change was the establishment of free trade areas
within and among sovereign states. A fifth innovation was the transfer
of individually operated and family businesses into associations and
corporations with limited liability and widespread ownership by bond and
stockholders. Sixth, trade unions and consumers' cooperatives were
recognized and legalized. Seventh, legal provisions were made for social
security against accident, sickness, unemployment, old age. Minimum
incomes were guaranteed. Eighth, many steps were taken toward public or
social ownership of the means of production, including land and other
natural resources. Ninth, repeated governmental efforts were made to
deal with the inflation that attends prolonged exhausting wars. These
efforts included the regulation of credit and debt and the substitution
of new currencies for old ones that had been hopelessly devalued.

Political and economic changes in the life-patterns of western
civilization have been accompanied by far-reaching cultural reforms such
as the provision of free public education; the emancipation of women;
the provision of public recreation facilities; popularized culture
through information, the drama, music, literature, art; equalizing
opportunity and facilitating movement up and down the ladder of
recognition, approval, disapproval.

Political reforms of western civilization date from the Reformation and
the Renaissance. Economic reforms were speeded by the industrial
revolution. Together they are often described as the bourgeois
revolution, which resulted in the power shift from landlords,
ecclesiastics and knights in armor to businessmen, protected and
assisted by the state, the church, channels of information and
propaganda, the police and other armed forces. Cultural reforms
accompanied the reforms in politics and economics.

Underlying the changes and supplementing reforms were improvements in
the means of communication and transportation; the discovery and use of
new sources of energy and the changes in production and merchandizing
which have played so vital a role in the transition from a skimpy
economy of scarcity to an open-handed economy of abundance, extravagance
and conspicuous waste.

Through all of the political, economic and social changes made in the
structure and function of western civilization its basic activities have
remained unchanged. The nuclei of civilized life have been cities
concerned primarily with trade, commerce, industry, finance--planned,
organized and administered by businessmen, their professional and
technical associates and assistants. In practice, city centers of wealth
and power have expanded, using the military as the readiest means of
implementing policy. They have occupied and garrisoned the foreign
territory brought under their control. At home and abroad they have
exploited nature, men and other animals in their interest and for their
profit. The trading cities of medieval Europe, the emerging nations of
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the colonizing empires of the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the industrial European
empires of the nineteenth century devoted their energies increasingly to
expanding into new territory, occupying and exploiting it, and fighting
the wars which pock-marked the ceaseless struggle for pelf and power. In
short, they continued to build up the institutions and to follow the
practices of civilized peoples. This has been true of the millennium
that began with the crusades and has hastened the rise of western
civilization and its extension to planet-wide proportions.

Similar conclusions can be drawn from the life stories of the score or
more of civilizations that rose, flourished and sank into inconsequence
during the previous five thousand years.

Each civilization has had its own habitat, its own life pattern. Each
has had its own languages, laws, traditions and customs. But despite
such local differences, all of the civilizations have had in common
those characteristics which justify their inclusion in the family of

Anyone who wishes to test the accuracy of these generalizations may be
satisfied by reading and observing the events that began with the wars
between Japan, China and Russia, the Spanish American War, the Boer War,
and the revolts in Cuba, China and the Philippines, all of which took
place between 1895 and 1905. The present century opened in a period of
critical struggle between empires, within empires and between imperial
centers and colonial dependencies. These preliminary skirmishes led up
to two general wars in 1914-1918 and 1936-1945, accompanied and followed
by a score of minor wars and a planet-wide rash of civil wars and wars
of independence waged by peoples of the erstwhile colonies.

Three johnnie-come-lately empires played star-roles in the drama:
Germany, the United States and Japan. The histories of all three
countries from 1870 to 1950 provide ample support for the contention
that the central theme of western civilization, as of its predecessors,
is a competitive struggle for wealth and power, aimed at expansion and
exploitation, using war and the threat of war as instruments of policy.

Even under the pressures generated by the innovations and the political
and economic changes of the current world wide revolution, the principle
objectives of civilization have remained constant: geographical
expansion; military, economic and cultural occupation; exploitation of
the newly acquired territories and peoples. Each civilization has built
up and maintained a professional military apparatus and used it as the
final arbiter in the determination of domestic and foreign policy.

The means used to achieve these objectives have varied from time to time
and from place to place. The basic pattern of civilization has
appeared, disappeared and reappeared.

Each civilization has made heroic efforts to reform itself when
submerged in a time of troubles that made its institutions and its
practices intolerable to those in power or those groups and classes
which had grown so desperate under its exploitation and oppression that
they preferred death to continuance of the established order.

Each civilization has made its contribution, retaining its essential
form while modifying its practices to meet the requirements of
particular situations. Western civilization is no exception to this
general rule.

Following the all but universal principle that "action and reaction tend
to be equal and opposite," subjugated, occupied peoples revolt against
"foreign" occupation and exploitation. Again western civilization is no
exception, as the movements for independence and self-determination that
followed the 1946 post-war collapse of the European empires clearly

Reaction against western civilization went beyond revolt to include the
rejection of the obsolete concepts, forms and practices inherent in
civilization. Rejection has been accompanied and followed by proposals
for replacing civilization by concepts, forms and practices more in
keeping with the social relations and situations resulting from the
current world revolution.

Most reforms of civilization have been attempted during the life of
western civilization because during that era both the structure and
functioning of civilization have been called into question. In no
civilization (Egypt, Rome or the modern West) have the essential
principles of civilization been seriously modified. Again and again,
during the times of trouble that marked the breakdown of successive
civilizations, particular institutions were rejected but civilization as
a way of life has been accepted and re-established in the course of each
new cycle.

During previous cycles the breakdown of a civilization had been followed
by a period of rest and recuperation before the beginning of the next
experiment. The breakdown of western civilization, a negative reaction,
has been accompanied by a planet-wide drive to replace the concepts,
forms and practices of civilization by the concepts, forms and practices
of socialism-communism.

Socialism-communism as a way of life for nations and continents is a new
experiment on the planet earth. Heretofore there have been small
groups--families, tribes and sects--that have adopted and followed
cooperation as a way of life, but widespread planned cooperation on a
national or continental scale is a novelty.

As a result of these changes, conflict-torn and fragmenting western
civilization found itself divided into three factional groups:

I. Corporate business organized domestically and internationally to
preserve and extend its wealth and power. Big business interests, their
dependents and backers were concentrated chiefly in West Europe and
North America. Their network of interests and controls was planet-wide.
Literally they were the backbone of western civilization.

II. Builders of socialism-communism, an alternative and rival life
pattern, have been concentrated in East Europe and Asia. The
socialists-communists occupied a minority position in most of the
countries dominated by big business. Their program called for the
replacement of capitalist competition and conflict by a cooperating,
planned, planet-wide society operated for service rather than for

III. A third segment, made up largely of nations and peoples located in
Africa, Asia and Latin America, who up to war's end in 1945 had been
colonies or dependencies of the big business directed empires. Since
1945 they have become increasingly independent and self-determining.

The three-fold division of the planet was determined in part by the
age-old ideas, principles and practices of civilized peoples during the
past six thousand years. In part, it was the outcome of the planet-wide
revolution of 1750-1970. It was likewise the result of the wars,
revolutions and independence movements that have upset and realigned the
world since 1776. Under the impact of these forces human society was
being unmade, re-examined and remade.

By comparison with its own beginnings and with its predecessors, western
civilization has made many changes in its political, economic and
sociological way of life. It has also developed national and regional
variants of its overall pattern.

Despite these changes, and with the possible exception of its very large
and significant socialist-communist sector, the West has retained the
structural and functional features of previous civilizations: urban
nuclei supporting themselves by trade, commerce and finance; expansion
up to and beyond the point of no return; the life and death power
struggle within and between its constituent peoples, nations and
empires; the use of war as the final arbiter in these struggles; the
rise of the military to a position of supremacy in policy making and
public administration; an all-pervasive pattern of exploitation within
the urban nuclei and between rival provincial factions; speculation in
the necessaries of life; the growth of overhead costs far beyond the
increase of production and of income; the degradation of currency;
multiple taxation; the abuse of credit; inflation, unemployment and
chronic hard times.

Western civilization differs from its predecessors in one crucial
respect: it is planet-wide. Previous civilizations known to history have
been limited by oceans, deserts and other geographical barriers. The
revolution in communication and transportation has by-passed geographic

The French saying "the more things change the more they remain the same"
finds ample justification in the story of western civilization and its
predecessors. In one instance after another, for at least six thousand
years, civilizations have been built up to summits of wealth and power.
Then, on the downward sweep of the cycle, they have declined, decayed
and been dumped on the scrap heap of history. No two of these cycles
were exactly alike. Each cycle was a social experiment that followed a
well marked path. There were variations, innovations, deviations from
the norm, but institutions and practices were strikingly similar. In
this broad sense, and despite minor departures, the life patterns of
civilization have appeared, disappeared and reappeared with close
similarity in structure and function.

Western civilization has had a life cycle of approximately a thousand
years. During that millennium it has undergone many changes--political,
economic, sociological, ideological. Throughout these changes its basic
characteristics have remained; have appeared and reappeared. In the
1970's western civilization retains the essential features which justify
us in describing it as a civilization.

The great revolution which began about 1750 and has increased in breadth
and depth throughout the past two centuries had led to vital changes in
structure and functioning, particularly of the West but generally in the
entirety of human society. So far-reaching are these changes, and so
deep running, that human society, particularly in the West, has outgrown
or is outgrowing the life pattern evolved by civilizations during the
past four or five millenia. As a consequence, geographical expansion by
the time-honored method of grab-and-keep has become more difficult, far
more expensive in manpower and material wealth and is in growing
disrepute among a sizeable minority of individuals and social groups,
even in the centers of western civilization. It is in notable disfavor
among the former colonies and dependencies of the European empires.

At the same time, war as a means of achieving social ends has fallen
into greater and greater disrepute. War costs, measured in terms of
human well-being and welfare had soared to fantastic heights before
1945. The devastation, during that year, of two moderate sized cities,
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was a foretaste of the increasingly bleak
chances of human survival with the stockpiling of nuclear weapons far
more destructive than the fission bombs used on the two Japanese cities.

Under the conditions prevailing before the great revolution, competitive
struggle between nations and empires, expanding as a result of victory
in war, had ceased to be a practicable means of gaining, holding and
increasing wealth and power. If the costs of the international power
struggle exceeded the gains, there were no longer victors who won and
vanquished who lost. Instead, everybody lost as the entire social
structure was wrenched, dislocated, wracked and down-graded. Certainly
this seemed to be the plain-as-day lesson of the two general wars and
the flurry of minor wars which swept the earth after 1910.

Expansion through armed struggle no longer paid its way. It was the
obvious lesson stressed by J.A. Hobson and Nicolai Lenin in their
respective studies of imperialism (1903 and 1916). It was the theme of
Norman Angel's _Great Illusion._ It was summarized by Arnold Toynbee's
_War and Civilization._

If the costs of expansion exceeded the income, the outcome of expansion
would be dismemberment for the vanquished and bankruptcy for the
victors. Indeed, this formula generalises the experience of the survival
struggles during the war years which began in 1911. I summarized the
experience in _The Twilight of Empire_(1929).

The catastrophic economic breakdown during the Great Depression of
1929-1938, the spectacular and fateful rise of Hitlerism in Germany
after 1927, the destructive Civil War in Spain from 1936 to 1939,
followed immediately by the war devastations of 1939-45 were part and
parcel of the same picture. The same may be said for the revolt of the
colonial peoples, downgrading all European "victors" in the war of
1914-18, and the social revolutions following 1945 that shook up the
planetary power structure and opened the way for socialist-communist
forces to begin socialist construction in one country after another.

Some European states had become super-states, armed to the teeth,
surrounded with their satellites, dependencies and colonies. They
expanded, exploited and battled as they played the absorbing and ruinous
game of "Beggar My Neighbor". Politically and economically the struggle
reached and passed its high point between 1914 and 1945. The subsequent
years have revealed the aftermath--a down-graded Europe and an ascendant

Empire building has been made prohibitively expensive by the revolution
in science and technology; if the human family is to survive in
anything like its present numbers, a way must be found to end the use of
war as a means of attaining social objectives. New techniques, chiefly
non-competitive, must be discovered and employed in the maintenance of
social relations.

Not only must war be abandoned as a means of achieving social
objectives, but exploitation of nature and man must be superceded by a
planet-wide life style that conserves natural wealth and shifts the
center of economic endeavor from competition to cooperation.

Abandonment of war as an instrument of policy and the renunciation of
exploitation of man by man and nation by nation as a means of enrichment
would put an end to the scandalous and corrosive extremes of riches and
poverty that have cursed every civilization of which we have a written

Western civilization, like its predecessors, had consisted of rival
nations and empires competing for living-space, wealth, position,
expanding territorially as they exploited nature and available labor
power for the advantage of the few.

Civilization as a life style, built around the competitive struggle for
wealth and power, using war as an instrument of policy and multiplying
the techniques of expansion and exploitation, has had a series of
experimental tryouts already under way at the dawn of written history.
Under no circumstances has civilization proved to be wholly rewarding
and satisfying. The current revolution in science and technology has
rendered civilization unreformable as well as obsolete.

The structure or pattern of civilization has divided western
civilization into separate parts that benefit by separateness and profit
from conflict. The result is a typical example of a self-destroying life
style struggling through an impasse from which there is no escape save
through a third fratricidal war.

Today civilization is a bad buy, especially for young people starting
out in life. Civilization still has its advantages for those who have
lived actively, achieved many of their material objectives and retired
to spend their declining years in a well-feathered nest. For some
privileged young people, willing to settle for comfort and conformity,
civilization offers the leisure to learn, and an opportunity to test
themselves out against a big field of ardent competitors. But for
energetic, forward-looking, idealistic young people, the opportunities
offered by western civilization are deemed inconsequential, trivial and
in the long run, inadequate. For them, the game is not worth the candle.

Today civilization is a bad buy for two reasons. The first is that
antisocial, predatory, exploitive and parasitic elements are
unfortunately and unnecessarily prominent in the lives of all civilized
peoples, including the present West. The second reason is the arrogant,
self-righteous, peremptory, bragging, bullying, dictatorial approaches
adopted by civilized people in their dealings with those who live on the
fringes or outside the pale of civilization. The first reason is an
inescapable consequence of the political, economic, ideological and
sociological assumptions of the civilizing process. The second reason is
inherent in the methods used by civilized peoples in their dealing with
the uncivilized majority of humanity.

_Part IV_

Steps Beyond Civilization



In the previous chapter I argued that we are marking time in a fool's
paradise while western civilization slips backward and downward toward
dissolution and oblivion. Like many of its predecessors, our
civilization seems to have exhausted its capacity to create, progress,
advance. Instead it is disintegrating and breaking up in our current
time of troubles.

In an earlier epoch of human history civilization helped to bridge the
wide gap between man the victim and plaything of nature, and man as the
user, director and, to a limited degree, the coordinator of natural
forces. Today questions of our demise or our survival and advance are
pressing and urgent.

Civilization has played an important role in the social history of
mankind during the several thousand years when segments of the human
family have turned their backs on barbarism, regrouped their forces,
revamped their patterns of association and experimented with the more
complicated, specialized and integrated life pattern of civilization.
These experiments have paralleled or followed one another, separated by
shorter or longer ages of rest and recuperation. Each epoch of
civilization has contributed ideas, artifacts and institutions to the
sum total of human culture. This has been the case with past
civilizations. It is true of western civilization.

Civilization, like other aspects of human culture, is never static but
always dynamic. It changes constantly, waxing and waning. It develops,
expands and contracts. It reaches out toward universality, then breaks
down and dissolves into a welter of conflicting regional and local
interest groups. These changes are the outcome of hard-nosed experience.
They are related to alterations in ideas, outlooks and purposes. They
are often associated with technical discoveries and inventions. They
come and go in more or less clearly defined cycles. They are influenced
by deep running political, economic and social forces and trends.

Each civilization matures into forms and develops functions and
institutions that tend to consolidate and crystallize in well defined
social patterns and habit grooves in which two forces oppose each other:
one force is status--preserving that which is; the other force is
change--that which tends to become or is becoming.

Status and change confront each other at all social levels. During
periods of rapid social change they take the center of the stage and
dominate the drama.

The planet-wide revolution of 1750-1970 is an outstanding example of
rapid change. The current opposition of status and change has pushed
other aspects of social life into second place and has made the social
status of yesterday outmoded today and obsolete tomorrow.

The disintegration of western civilization (indicated by its 1910-1975
time of troubles) is having profound effects on western man. The effects
are physical, mental, energenic and moral for individuals. Socially they
find expression in vandalism, hooliganism, major crime, in the break-up
of the family; in alienation, inertia, boredom; in laxity, indiscipline;
loss of faith, weakness or absence of purpose. Most serious of all,
perhaps, western peoples are learning to ignore principle, live for the
moment, satisfy their already sated appetites and pay little or no
attention to the future. These attitudes are widespread in the western
world of the 1970's, particularly among the young. These effects, on the
whole negative, are offset by a number of positive factors. Human beings
are curious and imaginative. They are also ingenious, inventive and
intuitive. All of these attributes are assets when dealing with the
future and the unknown.

In a previous generation, preceding the war of 1914-18, a very large
part of the West was under the influence of the Christian church, which
promised good things in the hereafter. During the ensuing years of
military conflict, planned destruction and wholesale murder, another
considerable part of the West, both socialist and liberal, was promising
security, comfort and convenience here and now. The influence of the
Christian church on life style, even among its own membership, has
declined in the past half century. Affluent monopoly capitalism,
meanwhile, has provided the rich, the middle class and important numbers
of workers and farmers with necessaries and amenities far beyond the
levels imagined by reformers and revolutionaries of a previous
generation. As an integral part of this maturing revolutionary situation
a generation of human beings born since war's end in 1945 has come on
the scene, surrounded by the concrete and glass buildings, block printed
nylons, the automobiles and domestic appliances of monopoly capitalism
and by the social security of socialism. In both segments, capitalist
and socialist, the more gifted, original, sensitive, creative members of
this comfort-pampered generation have turned their backs on affluence
and security and begun shouting a new slogan: "We want to live!"

There is nothing surprising about this development. Many trained,
experienced observers have been predicting it. Youth, idealism,
aspiration, optimism, ambition--cannot be satisfied with status in any
form. They want to live, to achieve, to face difficulties, to overcome
dangers, to express themselves, to create. They are not content merely
to arrive at physical affluence. Affluence and social security cannot
satisfy. They merely sharpen the appetite for a continuance of the life
journey, on the best terms permitted by the current time of troubles.

Among the members of the post-war generation, this ambitious, perceptive
elite is aware of two disturbing and compelling realities. The first is
the peril to mankind implicit in a continuance along its present
disaster course of war, with its inescapable counterpart, social
dissolution. The second is the possibility that out of the wreckage and
rubble of an outmoded cultural pattern, a mature, chastened, more
experienced, more consciously purposive generation will arise,
possessing the wit to see the necessity of creative advance, and the
wisdom to guide the pioneers of humanity along the difficult and
dangerous path that they must follow if they are to reach the land of
purpose and promise.

Current frustrating experience with the breakdown of western
civilization, coupled with historical precedents, confront the present
generation of mankind with a compelling challenge and a unique, precious
opportunity. The challenge arises out of experiments with particular
civilizations and with civilization as a way of life. Our analysis of
this situation leads to only one possible conclusion: Repeated
experiments with civilization unmask it as a way, not of life, but as a
cycle of rise, expansion, maturity, decline and certain death.

The challenge is emphasized by the failure of reforms and reformers of
civilization to make changes in structure and function sufficient to
meet the challenge of the birth-maturity-death cycle. Nor has it been
possible for western civilization to take advantage of the drastic
changes and challenges arising out of the current world revolution.

Man's top negative priority at the present moment is to reject the
wiles, the temptations, the mortal conflicts and the annihilative
destruction which have disrupted and decimated civilized society during
the past six thousand years and reached their apex in the Great
Revolution of 1750-1970. These experiences prove beyond the shadow of
doubt that this pattern of human collective life is inadequate to meet
the present and future needs of the human family.

Man's top positive priority is the present-day occupancy of the planet
Earth by 3,700 million human beings who wish to survive, to utilize and
conserve the natural habitat and to improve the social environment.
Within narrow limits, almost all members of the human family want to
live and to help other humans to do likewise. Multitudes of human
beings, particularly among the youth, want to enjoy outward looking,
satisfying, productive, creative lives. They also want those near and
dear to do the same thing.

What steps must they take in order to realize their hope and fulfill
their aspirations?

Broadly speaking, they must pick their way warily through the maze of
artifacts, gadgets and gimmicks produced by human ingenuity during the
current world revolution. Most of them are superficial and time
consuming. A few are fundamental. They are of the utmost importance as
implements to human advance. Taking what advantage they can of recent
innovations, avoiding dead-ends and illusion leading to rainbows, the
more sensitive and more competent segments of mankind must close ranks
and move upward and onward to a new level of culture. The chief
instrument available for such an enterprise is the twentieth century
version of the political state. The bourgeois revolution was achieved
through the developing, evolving political state. The political state is
the binding force that held scattered fragments of the human family
together during the stresses and strains of the current revolution in
science and technology. It is the political state that must be depended
upon to resist the fragmentating forces of a disintegrating western
civilization, to preserve the social structure and administer human
society through the transition from civilization into the structure and
functioning of the new social order which is presently supplanting

Through Europe's transition from feudalism to capitalism, the feudal
state, here and there, step by step, was replaced by the bourgeois state
as the chief structural building block of western civilization. The
bourgeois revolution, in various parts of Europe, lasted for several
centuries; the process was well under way by 1450. As lately as 1945
feudal pockets remained in Eastern Europe.

An even more profound transformation of European society is made in the
course of the Great Revolution of 1750-1970. The transformation is in
its early stages. During the process, the political life of
Europe-in-transition will be administered by the political institutions
of the bourgeois state, together with the closely related state patterns
of socialism-communism which have come into being during the present

During this transition the bourgeois state itself has evolved. At the
outset it was a revolutionary force devoting its energies to the
elimination of feudal institutions and practices and replacing them by
the institutions and practices needed for the advancement of bourgeois

Today the bourgeois state is a bulwark of conservatism; devoting its
energies to the preservation of bourgeois forms and practices and doing
its utmost to fulfill its counter-revolutionary role of resisting and,
if possible, destroying the institutions and practices needed to replace
the political institutions and practices of civilization by the new
institutions required to move mankind from the outmoded lifestyle of
civilization to a lifestyle beyond and above that to which humanity has
become adapted during the now obsolete epoch of civilization.

At the same time, the socialist-communist variant of the bourgeois state
pattern is providing the framework within which the institutions and
practices needed for the transition from civilization to a newer and
more universal social order are being matured. At the next stage in the
birth process, the institutions and practices necessary for upbuilding
the social order that will replace civilization are being worked out in
theory and embodied in experimental practice.

In practice, an accurate distinction must be made between the
conservative bourgeois state, the temporary transitional state and the
universal socialist-communist state that will shepherd humanity along
the difficult and dangerous path of the political life pattern beyond
civilization. In theory such distinctions are needed as part of the
scaffolding within which the social pattern of beyond-civilization will
be constructed.

Like most decisive epochs of human history, the revolution through which
we are passing has had both a negative and a positive aspect. In Chapter
11 I wrote about one of its destructive aspects--the extreme
destructivity of two periods of general war. At this point, I would like
to list ten positive contributions made by the same revolution toward
the development of a social life style that is offering itself as an
alternative to civilization.

1. NEW SOURCES OF ENERGY. Up to 1750 human beings had the energy of
the human body plus the energy of domestic animals. They used wind to
turn mills and sail ships and water to turn crude wheels. They also
burned various things, particularly vegetable fibres, to produce heat.
During the revolution they have learned to use steam, electricity and
chemical explosives. Recently they have learned to use the energy in the
atom, to use water power extensively and, to a slight extent, the energy
of the sun and the tides.

2. The revolution has taught people who previously feared CHANGE,
to welcome change and take full advantage of discoveries and inventions
that modified nature and profoundly altered human society.

3. Among the INVENTIONS were the extensive use of the wheel for
movement on land, the use of steam engines and electric motors for
moving, manufacturing and transportation and the use of electricity for

4. INCREASED HUMAN MOBILITY on land and water, and, more recently,
in the air and, still more recently, in outer space. Easy and rapid
movement, and almost instantaneous communication brought people together
in towns and cities, built up trade in goods and services, increased
speed of communications and enabled people living at a distance from one
another to keep in close touch, bringing human enterprises and human
beings into continuing contact. Human life, thought and action were
coordinated. Increased mobility UNIFIED HUMAN SOCIETY.

5. RESEARCH is now an accepted aspect of all phases of human life
and activity. Research is a recognized occupation. Research teams solve
problems, map the paths of enterprise. We are learning first to think,
then, only after careful study, decide on courses of action and follow
them through.

6. The field of inquiry and research covered the entire range of human
experience. Information, resulting from research, provided the subject
matter of new sciences. In the new fields new skills were developed and
new professions built up. The members of this new TECHNOLOGICAL
INTELLIGENTSIA, added to the learned professions, created a large
group who expected and enjoyed affluent living conditions.

7. SPREADING AFFLUENCE increased the number of families that
enjoyed abundance of goods and services, comforts and luxuries mass
produced and offered in a mass market, lifting people out of scarcity by
growing abundance. Scarcity ceased to restrain. Instead, people learned

8. Increase in size and complexity called into being a new profession.

9. Large numbers of well-fed, housed, educated and aware human beings
created the possibility of arousing, mobilizing and utilizing
people--especially young people--to take part in voluntary group
projects, co-operate and create. Such experiences developed SOCIAL

10. People growing up in affluence, living above the rigors of poverty,
asked questions about themselves, their society and the universe in
which they lived. They learned that they and their fellows had not only
the five accepted "senses," but additional senses with corresponding
experiences. This opened their eyes to the possibility of additional or
extra senses, opening the immense field of "EXTRA SENSORY PERCEPTION,"

These ten areas, opening up largely during the years of the great
revolution are "new wine" which cannot be contained in the old wine
skins. They raise questions and open up vistas which transcend the
narrower confines of civilization. They are among the materials and
facilities out of which a new world is coming into existence.



One of man's earliest collective experiences is summed up in the saying:
United we stand; divided we fall.

United we survive and prosper. Divided we quarrel, fight and sooner or
later break up into smaller sovereign competing groups. If human beings
wish to utilize nature or to enjoy the advantages of collective action
and group life they must get together and stay together.

This necessity for collective action has appeared and reappeared all
through written history. It is one of the most important lessons of
present-day human experience. It holds for families, neighborhoods,
villages, cities, nations, for mankind as a whole. It is joint action
for the general welfare.

The principle of collective action has been recognized and put into
practice during the ten centuries that span the rise of western
civilization--put into practice up to a certain point--the nation or the
empire. Beyond that point, collective action has taken two forms:
competition and conflict, including war, and coordination or cooperation
under agreement, contract or treaty.

Among the outstanding results of the great revolution, improvement in
communication and transportation have brought humans into contact with
one another on an increasingly extensive scale, reaching its high water
mark in planet-wide networks of trade, travel, migration and diplomacy,
leading up to the One World which was so much in the foreground of
public discussions between the two general wars of 1914 and 1939.

Much has been written on the subject. I contributed by two bits in _The
Next Step_, a book published in 1922 and _United World_, published in
1945. Perhaps the most critical failure of western civilization was its
inability or unwillingness to take that next step during the decisive
years that followed the Hague Conference of 1899.

In listing the Ten Building Blocks for a New World (Chapter 13 of this
book) I began with world federation because in terms of the public life
of the earth around 1900, the planet was divided into two alliances of
nations and empires--the Allies, headed by Great Britain and the Central
Powers, headed by Germany.

Instead of cooperating to gain their declared objectives of peace,
prosperity and progress these two power blocs engaged in an armament
race from 1903 to 1914, leading up to general war in 1914, with a second
general war between the rivals in 1939.

When I was organizing Part II of this study (A Social Analysis of
Civilization) I had to decide whether to begin with economics or
politics. As an economist I was inclined to put economics first, but
since the study centered on civilization, and since all known
civilizations were not groupings of economic subdivisions but aggregates
of nations, empires and their dependencies, and since the expansion of
civilization has consisted in enlarging the geographical area of the
civilization in question, I decided to begin with politics. As the study
has progressed I have seen no reason for reversing the choice.

On the contrary, since I began collecting data for this study at the
time of the first general war, I have watched the unfolding political
struggle for economic and cultural objectives with the increasing
conviction that politics is the primary focus, with economic forces
always in play, but usually in the background, leaving the center of the
stage to politics.

This is another way of saying that the present-day world is divided
primarily into political nation states rather than into areas of
economic function. Always, economics is important. But, at least
superficially, political considerations are in the foreground to clinch
decisions. A time may come when economists or sociologists occupy the
central offices where primary decisions are made. That time has not yet
arrived. In so far as the present generation is concerned, politics is
in the foreground. The politicians make the crucial announcements and
sign the key documents.

Therefore our survey of the Steps Beyond Civilization begins with
politics. Our attention centers on the political aspects of World
Federation with economic considerations present and always operating,
but not dominating the crucial decisions.

For better or worse, in 1975 and the years immediately succeeding, we
will be living on a planet divided into some 140 politically sovereign
states. In view of the widespread pressure toward self-determination,
the number of sovereign states has increased considerably, especially
since war's end in 1945.

Presumably the principal "united we stand" applies to those 140
sovereign states.

Sovereignty includes the right of self determination--putting the
interests of one particular state above the interests of the entire
family of nations--the part before the whole. Here is a contradiction
and a possible conflict of interest. Britain's Prime Minister Heath,
like many another spokesman in his position, summed up the issue in the
pithy phrase: "British interests come first."

If the French, Italian, Japanese and other prime ministers take a
similar stand, implied by the principle of sovereignty, situations are
bound to arise in which the interests of two or more nations clash,
opening the way for conflicts at many levels: differences of
interpretation, negotiations in the course of which concessions may be
made by both parties. The differences may be settled by diplomats
sitting around conference tables or by armies on the battlefield.

With 140 sovereign states on the planet, the probability of conflict
would seem to be overwhelming. As a matter of daily experience such
confrontations and conflicts do occur. Most of them are handled by
negotiation. A few lead to armed struggle.

Since 140 sovereign states exist on one earth, means must be found that
will enable them to co-exist, if possible, without conflict, and
certainly without military conflict. The means generally relied upon
today for dealing with such problems is negotiation between
representatives of all parties at interest. At the national level this
would mean negotiations between representatives of the involved

Negotiations between representatives of various governments are always
going on--dealing with political, economic and cultural issues. Within
each nation such negotiations are conducted between spokesmen for
various government departments. Internationally they are conducted by
representatives of various governments working through their diplomatic
or consular services. Within each nation and between nations
confrontations may be settled by negotiation. At each level they may
result in armed conflict.

Governments exist to deal with conflicts and, where possible, to resolve
them before they reach the shooting stage. This is notably true in
domestic affairs because there are usually public officials charged with
the duty of dealing with problems. Internationally, unless there is an
international agency such as the Universal Postal Union of the
Organization of American States, the issue must be settled by special
representatives of the parties.

The argument for a world government begins with the assumption that
means should exist to deal with international issues before they reach
an acute stage. Such means exist within each local government. Similar
arrangements should exist at the international level to deal with issues
that arise between governments.

The political core of a social stage beyond civilization will be a
planet-wide, international, regional and local network of institutions,
integrated, coordinated and administered on the federal principle: local
affairs controlled locally; regional affairs controlled regionally;
international affairs controlled by a planet-wide political authority.
Such a relationship would imply states rights for the local authority;
regional rights for the regional authority, and full awareness in the
central authority of the possibility, at this juncture, of establishing
order, justice and mercy on the planetary level--in our present
terminology, a "world government."

Basic to this federal structure would be the Jeffersonian assumption:
"That government governs best which governs least", with an amendment:
"provided that the authority in question governs sufficiently to
establish and maintain physical health, social decency, order, justice
and mercy in reasonable proportions throughout the area subject to its

At each level, local, national, regional and planetary, there will be
committees, councils or other authorities with full responsibility for
the conduct of public administration at the local, the national, the
regional and the planetary or international level.

Currently the federal principle is widely established at local and
national levels. Attempts are being made in various regions to
effectuate stable authorities at the regional level, such as the United
States of North America or the United States of Mexico. There has been
much talk of planet-wide government established by one wealthy and
militarily powerful nation over its peers, or by a voluntary association
with its peers. Institutions established thus far: League of Nations,
The United Nations, The World Court, the Universal Postal Union, have
fallen far short of stable, planet-wide, all inclusive political

At the moment there are 122 states which are members of the United
Nations. There are perhaps an additional score of nations which have
applied for membership or which might be accepted if they made an
application. Accept this rounded figure, and we have perhaps 140 nations
or potential nations on the planet. Some are long established and
stable. Other nations are new-born, with small populations, few
resources and minimal means of defense or offense. By and large this is
the family of nations which might be coordinated into an effective world
authority which would be responsible for order, decency and peace in a
federally coordinated world.

World authority, to be effective and reasonably stable, must be equipped
with sufficient delegated powers to maintain orderly and decent
relations between its members, establish peace, and carry out policies
necessary to provide and promote ecological and sociological welfare. To
achieve such results it must have a built-in balance between central
authority and local-regional self-determination. It must also enjoy
sufficient elbow-room to provide for social change and for consistent
social improvement.

The goal of world government, as of any political enterprise that
pretends to represent human needs, will be social stability, security,
efficiency of service, and enlarged opportunities for citizens to speak
and act for themselves, directly or through their representatives, at
all levels. Politics is the theory and practice of the possible in any
given situation. Executives and administrators in Los Angeles, London
and Tokyo or in the United States, Britain and Japan will deal with
public transportation, public education and public law and order in
terms of general principles such as those stated in the opening
sentences of this paragraph. They will also face specific situations
arising out of climate, access to raw materials, custom, habit and other
ecological and cultural factors which differ profoundly from continent
to continent, nation to nation, city to city and district to district in
the same nation.

Human communities have sought and found different means of dealing with
the problems of community administration. At one extreme of social
administration are various types of arbitrary, personal dictatorships.
The Greeks called them tyrannies--arbitrary rule by individuals or small
groups subject only to their own decisions.

At the other extreme are social groups that arrive at decisions as the
outcome of discussion in which all group members may take part. Group
decisions may require unanimity or they may be the outcome of voting,
with a majority or plurality vote carrying with it the right and duty to
put decisions into effect as part of the public life of the community.

Various forms of government have been established locally and
regionally. At the level of a civilization, the government has been
established almost universally as the outcome of armed struggle and
military conquest, and has been exercised through the use of armed force
in the hands of armed minorities.

A century without general war, 1815 to 1914, led to a widespread
balance-of-power assumption that planet-wide peace and prosperity could
be established and maintained by preserving a balance between the armed
forces of individual nations or alliances. Hence there need be no more
general wars fought for survival or supremacy.

The bitter struggle for markets, raw materials and colonies that
followed the French-German War of 1870 developed into an armament race
after 1899. From the Hague Peace Conference of 1899 to the outbreak of
general war in 1914, desperate efforts were made to maintain the
power-balance and avert a general war. The failure of these efforts
proved the ineffectiveness of the balance-of-power formula.

Today it is generally taken for granted that a balance of power between
armed nations is no guarantee of peace and order. It is also taken for
granted that frivolous talk like that of an "American Century" after
1945 has no justification in the light of present-day history. As
matters now stand neither a balance between rival armed powers, nor the
domination of the planet by any one power can be relied upon to maintain
world order and keep world peace.

Forms of self-government and representative government developed during
the bourgeois revolution and advocated and partially applied during the
proletarian up-surge, are being continued or are reappearing during the
current struggle for power and prestige at the planetary level. As the
planet approaches one world technologically, there is an increasing
possibility of a planetary political federation, directed by a world
governmental apparatus.



Repeated efforts have been made to establish large-scale, widely ranging
economies. This was the case during Egyptian and Phoenician
civilizations. It was certainly true of the economy of the Roman Empire
and of Roman civilization.

Such efforts faced drastic limitations. The most formidable was the
narrow margin of surplus produced by hand labor in the forests, on the
fields and in the workshops, operated, in the main, with hand tools,
with minor inputs of energy supplied by domestic animals and with the
small amounts derived from wind and moving water.

Two further limitations existed. First, as each civilization matured its
leaders and policy makers ceased to labor on the land or in the
workshops, preferring to keep their hands and clothes clean, to free
themselves from irksome demanding toil and devote themselves to tasks
more befitting "gentlefolk." This was notably true of landlords as a
class. It was also true of the richer traders, merchants and
moneylenders, particularly of the third and fourth generations.

Expansion of empires and the civilizations which they developed entailed
military operations. Military operations, in their turn, produced
war-captives, who must earn their keep and, if possible, something more.
Sold in the market to the highest bidder, war captives and their
descendants became chattel slaves. As civilizations were expanded by
conquest and matured by struggle, they developed some type of forced
labor to balance the increased parasitism of the masters and the
growing numbers who were called upon to produce "services" rather than
material goods.

Certain areas of civilized economies were taken over by the public
authorities. Planning and building of cities and their ports, of
highways, including bridges, of viaducts, aqueducts, of drainages for
the cities, of public buildings. The construction of defenses, including
city walls, were partly or wholly public enterprises. Temples and tombs
for the mighty were often in the same category.

Maintenance of large elaborate households by political leaders, and in
later periods of empire building, by the successful merchants and
technicians, led to the employment of many servants, including
subordinate members and relatives of the elite.

Much necessary labor was performed by members of each household. The
resulting economy was therefore fragmented at the household level with
virtually all of the energy supplied by human beings and domestic

As each civilization developed its pattern of forced labor, including
the labor of war captives, it launched the deadly competition between
freemen and slaves which almost inevitably ended in favor of the slaves,
who were housed and fed by the masters and who could operate at overhead
costs lower than those involved in the hiring of wage or salaried

Land ownership tended to center in the political-military leaders, the
temples and, as each civilization matured, in the hands of its

Integrating such economies proved to be a difficult, arduous task, well
beyond the powers of the average political, military or hereditary
leader. In a very real sense, the problems of management were extremely
personal and correspondingly concentrated in the hands of skillful
acquisitors. Nowhere was the impact of the 1750-1970 revolution more far
reaching than in the area of management.

Economic activities, in the course of the great revolution, had less and
less connection with the homestead, and except for a tiny minority of
the personnel, had no connection with the family of the owner-operator.
The seat of the family--the home--continued to exist, but on a far more
restricted basis. Arts and crafts moved from the household into the
workshop, where they expanded both in extent and in complexity. Domestic
tasks were associated with hand labor and simple tools. The great
revolution filled the workshop with the ancestors of present day
machinery, but with a prodigious difference. In the early step from home
workshop to factory, hand tools in plenty were being used in the
workshops. As "modernization" progressed, hand tools were replaced by
specialized machines.

The implements of specialization--the machine building tools and the
machine tools themselves--were housed in forests of associated
workshops. The mechanics of specialization sprawled over acres and
square miles of factory floor space. Nowhere were the results of the
great revolution more in evidence than in the vast difference between
the workshop attached to the house of the early industrialist and the
forest of chimneys and stacks, and the acres and square miles of
floorspace in present-day industrial establishments, with their
personnel numbered in thousands and the capital invested in plant and
equipment running into the millions or billions of dollars.

Two centuries of the great revolution have given present-day industrial
society a capital plant the like of which has never existed on the
planet in any historical period. After two hundred years of meteoric
development, it exists today on a planet-wide scale and at a level of
all-pervasive dominance undreamed of even up to the middle of the last

Modern industry "plants"--steel plants, cement plants, open pit mines,
textile plants, machine tool plants, auto plants, rubber factories, oil
refineries--not only occupy extensive acreage per plant, but the same
interests and corporate managements operate dozens of plants in widely
separated geographical areas and produce a great variety of goods and
services. An experienced observer feels entirely at home in any
industrial center, on any continent. In Detroit, in Dusseldorf, in
Osaka, in Shanghai, in Bombay, the architecture of the plants is
essentially the same, the machines in the widely separated plants bear
a striking resemblance to one another, and the problems of management
are similar.

Unit plants and their coordinated managements in the aggregate compose
the present-day world economy. They are the essence of its being. They
occupy the skyline and dominate the economic life of modern industrial
society. They are the units which make up the sum-total of modern
industry which, in its turn, is the bony structure around which have
grown the sinews and muscle of present-day planetary economy.

Modern state structure goes back through the half dozen centuries during
which it has been developing. Its ancestors may be met with in the
history of previous civilizations.

Modern industrial structure on the other hand is something essentially
new under the sun--newly imagined, designed, constructed, productive. It
has no ancestry before 1750 because its essential building unit--the
modern machine--did not exist previous to that date.

In the last chapter we dealt with the growth of states into empires and
the aggregation of empires into civilizations with the possibility that
the existing states could be welded into a world federation. One of the
chief obstacles to such a development is the centuries of conflict
during which modern nations have been built up and the strong bonds of
nationalism have been established as a means of holding divergent groups
of people in line by particular oligarchies operating in particular

On the economic level such difficulties are minimal. The process of
coordination and consolidation was far advanced before the end of the
last century. The practice of integration--joining productive units in
functional sequences--was also accepted and followed, with little regard
for political or cultural considerations. The result has been an
economic integration which has developed inside the chief industrial
nations and across national boundaries.

Despite political obstacles, economic integration has proceeded with
giant strides, especially during the past hundred years. Under a well
developed world political federation the world economy could be
integrated and used to provide the necessaries, conveniences and minimal
comforts for the entire human family. There are nationalistic obstacles
to political federation. Economic integration is an obvious must and a
logical outcome of the industrial integration that has gone on so
swiftly during the great revolution of 1750-1970.

When we talk about integrating the world economy we are dealing with a
problem which no previous civilization has faced because no previous
civilization had machines or the social and cultural institutions which
have grouped themselves around the ultra-modern machine phenomena.

World economy in 1975 includes three essential elements: the planet
earth and its resources; the institutional structure of modern society;
and human beings with their diverse concepts and skills which provide
its motive force. These three factors, land, capital equipment, and
human energy, are the three-fold apparatus upon which 3.7 billion human
beings depend for the goods and services which sustain them from day to
day and year to year.

At an earlier period this economic apparatus centered around the land
and its cultivation (agriculture). Since the onset of the great
revolution the goods and services have come increasingly from a
factory-office centered occupational apparatus. When we consider the
integration of the world economy, it is this industrialized, modern
economy that we have chiefly in mind. No previous civilization faced
such a problem. There are no real precedents upon which we can rely. We
must go forward, if we do go forward, experimenting with problems which
face the human family for the first time.

The integration of planetary economy in 1975 is a total, or unitary,
problem. It is not a problem of one continent, of one nation or empire,
of one racial or cultural group. It is a problem which the human family
faces as a human family, occupying our planet Earth. It is our capital
equipment. It is the success with which we apply our know-how to the
earth, using our capital equipment and our skills, producing the goods
and services upon which our physical existence depends. We rise or fall,
sink or swim in terms of our own capacities, our own abilities to adapt
ourselves to historical circumstances which will determine the
conditions of life on the earth. Indeed, our decisions and consequent
actions may determine our own extinction or survival.

Planetary economy will aim to provide the means of livelihood for its
constituents along six lines: to conserve the human heritage of natural
resources, using them sparingly and, where possible, adding to them; to
produce and distribute those goods and services which are needed to
maintain health and provide for social decency; to produce and
distribute goods and services honestly, efficiently and economically; to
assure simple necessaries for all, including dependents, defectives and
delinquents; to give high priority to local self-sufficiency; to
maintain enough central economic authority to guarantee adequate goods
and services to successive generations of the planetary population.

An effective world government, therefore, must adopt and administer an
economic program designed to: (a) Utilize and conserve natural
resources, making them available, on a just basis, for the use of
successive generations; (b) End involuntary poverty and insecurity and
the exploitation of man by man and of one social group by another social
group; (c) Make necessary public services generally available on equal
terms, to all mankind; and (d) Guarantee equal opportunity to
earth-dwellers based on the greatest good to the greatest number.

Feeding, clothing, housing and educating an agricultural village was a
prime consideration at an early stage in social history. Providing the
necessaries and amenities of life in a commercial-industrial city
occupied the attention of city fathers as a consequence of the shift
from agriculture to trade and commerce as the principle source of
livelihood. Caring for the physical, physiological and cultural needs of
populations in the United States, Britain, Japan and other growing
commercial-industrial nations presented difficult challenges. The
organization, expansion, defense and improvement of the American,
British, Japanese and any other contemporary empire, posed even larger
and more complex problems which have nagged mankind during recent
generations. Recently, the planet-wide revolution of 1750-1970 has
brought the entire human family with 3,700 million members isolated in
140 different nations, face to face with political, economic and social
problems on a planet-wide scale. These problems are planet-wide in their
dimensions. Measures designed for their solution must be equally

Villages, cities, regions and nations have learned, often the hard way,
how to think, plan and act in terms of their own interests, or, more
concretely, in the interest of their owners, masters and exploiters. It
is with politics and economics of this planet-wide level that we of the
present generation are particularly concerned.

Dwellers in western Europe and North America have to deal with the
politics and economics of monopoly capitalism. Its central offices are
generally located in particular countries--Britain, Holland, France,
Germany, where big business enterprises had their beginnings and from
which representatives of oil, steel, textile, motor and banking
enterprises spilled over into the territory of their competitors as well
as into the "third world" of erstwhile colonies and other dependencies.

Monopoly capitalism has made no real effort to organize a functioning
world economy. On the contrary, it has established, maintained and
consolidated centers of economic interests and activities at the
national level. In theory and in practice the bourgeois-dominated planet
is divided into economic and political states and spheres of influence,
each equipped with the separatist institutions of political sovereignty.

Politically the task of setting up a competent world government has not
been seriously taken in hand. The same may be said for the organization
of a planned, organized, supervised planetary economy. So far as we
know, such world economic institutions and practices cannot exist in the
chaos of one hundred forty sovereign states, each exercising authority
over its economy, each with its own program for growth and expansion,
and putting its claims for wealth and power above peace, order,
justice, and mercy for the entire human family.

General economic practice throughout the 1450-1970 experiments with
nation building, empire building, competitive struggle and sporadic
efforts at world conquest, occupation and exploitation have crossed
national boundary lines as a matter of necessity. It could not be
otherwise, because no nation has been able to reach the cultural level
of civilization on a basis of economic self-containment. Primitive
agriculture can maintain a high degree of self sufficiency. City
populations abandon self-sufficiency and adopt the principles of
expansion, occupation and utilization of foreign territory and
exploitation of resources and manpower, at home and abroad.

As western civilization has matured, power struggles at the top,
conquest, occupation and exploitation have come more and more to the
fore until, in the era of monopoly capitalism, they dominate the field.
In this period of human history nothing less than the just sharing of
available goods and services will implement the principle of "to each
according to his need".

Monopoly capitalism, throughout its entire history, has tended to
function internationally, moving across frontiers in search of raw
materials, markets, and fields of profitable investment. Inter-group
trade has been carried on between and through "foreign" markets, cities
and states. Not only has the flag followed the investor, but the
investor has used governmental agencies, including the military, to
protect economic interests, promote them and expand them. Early in their
history, western nations subsidized private organizations like the Dutch
East India Company and the British Hudson Bay Company and authorized
them to exercise quasi-public authority. International banking and
insurance paralleled international trade.

Western civilization, from its earliest beginnings in foreign business
relations and ideological adventures like the Crusades, has spilled
across national frontiers in its search for adventure, for experience,
for information, for pelf and power. A part of the expansionist drive
was "strictly business" in character. Another part--international
conferences, public and private; tourism; the export of artifacts and of
information, were promoted by mixed motives, from missionary zeal for
the propagation of The Faith to international business for profit,
public and private.

One of the most spectacular aspects of European expansion during modern
times has been the growth of production and trade; the rapid increase in
"foreign" investment; and governmental efforts to tie together
geographically and ethnically remote places and peoples into neat
bundles tagged Spanish Empire, British Empire, French Empire, Russian
Empire. Nineteenth and early twentieth century history centered around
such international experiments and included inter-state build-ups like
the European Common Market and the Organization of American States.

War losses and emergency spending incident to warfare led to large scale
financial assistance from one government to another. Such transactions
are not confined to recent times, but during the war years from 1914 to
1945 they reached fantastic proportions. The United States foreign aid
program alone, following the war of 1939-45, involved grants and loans
of $125,060 million dollars from July 1, 1945 to December 31, 1970
(_Statistical Abstract_ 1971 p. 958). Similar grants and loans were made
by other countries to their allies and associates. These examples
illustrate the build-up of an extensive international relationship that
has been an integral aspect of the 1750-1970 world revolution.

Throughout this experience two parallel forces have been at work. One
was the effort to establish a stable, renewable and self-renewing social
environment. The other was the effort to adapt and remake man (human
nature) to fit into the rapidly changing social environment and to
expand and deepen relations with nature.

Sociology, the science and art of staying together in more or less
permanent social groups, thus becomes the theory and practice of
association. Politics and economics are specialized aspects of
association. Political relations, economic relations and other aspects
of association make up the overall field of the human community or
human society.

Groups of human beings are brought together and held together by various
means, among which communication is outstanding. At every level, from
the local to the general or universal, and in every aspect of politics,
economics and other forms of association, human beings communicate.

One function of planetary association involves the establishment and
maintenance of a network of planetary communication. Locally,
nationally, regionally, and internationally the channels or means of
communication have been extensively developed.

Devices designed to reproduce and elaborate oral and written
communication blanket the planet so extensively that the individual and
family privacy enjoyed by human beings before the middle of the last
century has literally ceased to exist. In its place is a communications
network that operates twenty-four hours in the day and seven days in the
week. By a move of the hand and a flick of a switch everybody can be in
touch with anybody and anybody with everybody almost everywhere.

Channels of communication, trade and travel keep members of the human
race constantly in touch with one another. Except for the solitary,
living alone in the wilderness (urban or rural) there is no hiding
place. Mechanisms supplementing man's five senses, see, feel, hear and
report everything.

Facility in communication provides a wealth of information. Using
available means of human communication, a central planetary authority
can inform, alert and arouse the entire human family with its 3,700
million members. Socially minded, it could announce and initiate the
measures necessary to maintain peace and order through conformity to a
common program of social action. Coordinating, integrating and
administering the channels of communication at the planetary level will
be a primary responsibility of any planet-wide economic program.

Planetary government will be responsible for establishing, maintaining
and improving a network of communication and education designed to
ensure both uniformity and diversity in the human population. The
revolution in science and technology has been particularly noteworthy
in the field of communication, extending from the family to the entire
human race; from the home telephone, the morning newspaper, the
phonograph, radio and television to regular mail delivery, the printing
press, the camera, lithography, the typewriter, tele-communication, the
computer, public address systems and the various devices for overhearing
and recording that produce more or less permanent records of casual
vocal expressions.

Planet-wide communication in the 1970's provides an example of the
transformation from economic localism to economic worldism during recent
times. By its very nature, communication tends to involve all four
corners of the planet. In that sense, communication tends to become
unique. It is not a real exception, however. Through communication
channels, knowledge concerning every aspect of man's economy, from
agriculture to commerce and finance, crosses frontiers almost
automatically, strengthening, deepening and integrating planet-wide

A planet-wide economy will not be designed, planned and coordinated as a
result of either military conquest or political expansion and predation.
Rather, it will be a public enterprise of the entire human family,
operated by a world government in the public interest for the social
service and well-being of mankind.

The worldwide revolution of 1750-1970 provides the economic basis for a
planet-wide society--for One World. The real danger--that any local or
regional war may grow into another general war in which nuclear weapons
are used--provides reason aplenty to put the whole before the part and,
in the pursuit of general human welfare, to federate the political life
of the human family, following the many steps toward worldism already
taken by various aspects of its economy.



Beyond civilization we will conserve, share, beautify and, if possible,
improve the earth, which is our physical base of operations.

The earth is an irregular sphere, one of a number of planets circling
the sun, from which we get light, heat and radiation. The earth has a
shell or crust made of various minerals. Two-thirds of its surface is
water of various depths up to six miles. Above the surface is an
atmosphere, some twenty miles thick, composed of various gases, dust
particles and water vapor. Operating throughout the earth there are
vibrations of different wave lengths.

As a whole the earth is a going concern that carries out its daily,
seasonal, yearly business of providing a home for an immense variety of
forces; for living forms, in the earth, on the earth, in the water and
in the air. The earth and its attributes are the common host or mother
of us all.

Some of earth's inhabitants are "alive". Many of the living forms move
about--and reproduce themselves, passing through a life cycle from birth
to death.

Some among the living forms cluster together into more or less permanent
groups which develop social relationships including communities in which
individuals are born, live and die.

Speaking in metaphors, the sun is the common father of us all, providing
us with light and heat, the earth is the common mother of us all,
providing us with sustenance. We living beings, progeny of sun and
earth, pass through a span or cycle of earthly existence--helping one
another, ignoring one another, jostling one another, annoying and even
killing and devouring one another.

This is a roundabout way of saying that nature, human beings and human
society are part and parcel of a total relationship which includes the
planet earth, the solar system and an immense range of celestia which
includes minute particles of celestial dust, like our earth, and
majestic assemblies of celestial notables like the Island Universe of
which we are unnumbered and barely noticed particles.

At some point in this vast assemblage, actually before the assemblage
came into existence, there were responsible, animating forces in play.
There was also the responsibility for the use or exercise of the
operating forces. We humans are a product of those forces. We also share
in their functioning. Consequently we share in the responsibility which
is associated with their exercise.

It is the task of philosophy to designate the responsibility; to
describe it, measure it and perhaps to assign it. At any rate, we find
ourselves in a position where certain things are expected of us, perhaps
even required of us as members of the human family and/or of the human
family as a functioning whole.

It is entirely possible that, instead of overlooking, ignoring,
bickering, quarreling and periodically maiming and killing each other
wholesale, we humans should be devoting our energies, emotions, thoughts
and plans to furthering the larger purpose of which the earth and its
inhabitants are small segments. In a word, that we humans should be
acting as a responsible part of a functioning whole engaged in the vast
enterprise of being and becoming.

Whatever our ultimate tasks may be, our immediate problem is three-fold:
(1) To make the earth the fittest possible living place for all of its
inhabitants; (2) to organize human society in the way best calculated to
achieve that objective; and (3) to make every reasonable effort to
prepare ourselves to play a meaningful part in this cosmic drama to
which we have been assigned.

Item (1) is the theme of this chapter, item (2) is the theme of Chapter
17. Item (3) is the theme of Chapter 18.

Passing beyond civilization we will attempt to conserve, share, beautify
and if possible to improve our earth.

Our first task is to make the earth the fittest possible place for _ALL_
of its inhabitants. In a way that is a simple assignment, but its
implementation will take us into every nook and corner of the land,
water, air, radiational field, and every other aspect of the planet,
including the weather.

When we say _ALL_ forms and phases of life we mean all. All microscopic
life, all lichens and mosses, all vegetation on land, in the water, in
the air. All insects, all birds, all fish, all quadrupeds. All two
legged animals. All centipedes and all those in between.

All forms of life have been assigned to our earth for a purpose, or have
made a place for themselves in the vast scheme of things or are clinging
parasitically to life after their assignments have been fulfilled or as
their usefulness is drawing to a close.

In a broad sense, that which lives on the earth, including mankind, has
a right or an opportunity to be here, living to the utmost of its always
limited capacity. How limited? Limited by the similar rights of all
other forms and aspects of life. In a word life on the earth--each life
and all life--is a shared opportunity.

Doubtless there are planners, regulators and arbitrators whose task it
is to decide, at any particular moment, who shall survive and who shall
perish. Actually we humans perform a part of that function every time we
thin out a forest, weed a garden, select our seed or teach a class. At
one stage of life we are the judges, at another stage we are the judged,
performing multiple tasks that must be fulfilled during each moment of
each day and each year.

In our Island Universe this earth is small. But in each backyard, on
each acre or square mile of earth, decisions may be made or are being
made that determine survival, utility, order, beauty. The results of
those decisions appear constantly in the life all about us.

We have all been in homes where neatness, usefulness and good taste
abound. We have been in villages and towns where the same conditions
prevailed. On the other hand, we have been in situations that can be
described only by the words littered, disorderly, chaotic. We have also
seen neat orderly homes in disorderly, slovenly neighborhoods. Much
depends upon who makes the decisions and whether the plans that are
carried into effect promote or obstruct the ultimate purpose.

At the moment, we have the satisfaction of orderly, beautiful
neighborhoods at the same time that we are surrounded by a disorderly,
littered, chaotic international battleground.

The earth with its oceans and its atmosphere is a storehouse containing
many if not most of the essentials for survival, growth and development,
for mankind as well as a multitude of other life forms. Perhaps its most
valuable single asset from the human viewpoint is its topsoil. Topsoil
plus light, air and moisture provide the elements necessary for
producing vegetation. Vegetation, in its turn, furnishes the nourishment
on which animals thrive.

At the top of our priority list for the well-being of the earth stands
the injunction: conserve and build topsoil.

Topsoil is lost through erosion--wind erosion, water erosion, erosion
through over cropping. It is held in place by stones, grasses, and the
roots of shrubs and trees. Untouched by human hands, on the prairies and
in the forests, topsoil is deepened year by year as winter frosts break
up soft rocks, as dead grasses, leaves, twigs break down into humus, to
become part of the topsoil and provide the nourishment for a new round
of vegetation.

Topsoil is renewable, replaceable. Lost through cropping and erosion, it
may be rebuilt and deepened by natural processes. In temperate climates
with normal rain and snowfall, the topsoil of grasslands or a forest may
be deepened year by year and century by century. Topsoil may also be
deepened by dust storms that pick up particles of humus from dry lands
and carry them to moister areas.

Through a carefully controlled sequence, semi-desert lands planted first
to grasses and then to shrubs and trees can be protected against wind
erosion. As vegetation flourishes it increases dew formation and
rainfall. Plant roots prevent runoff and retain the water in gulleys and
low places. Evaporation builds up moisture content in the atmosphere.
Water vapor forms drops and falls in rain or snow.

Foresighted husbandry not only prevents erosion but, practiced on a
sufficiently broad scale, increases air moisture and modifies
climate--the weather.

We are less fortunate with some of the critically important minerals
that make up the earth crust.

During early centuries in the history of western civilization
adventurers and prospectors concentrated on the precious metals. The
voyagers and discoverers who sailed fifteenth century seas were seeking
supplies of gold, silver and precious stones that could be cut and
converted into the highly prized jewels adorning the crowns and scepters
of the mighty.

Production at that stage meant agriculture, with side occupations such
as hunting, fishing, weaving, tanning, pottery, thatching and peat
cutting, in the all but continuous countryside. There was a very little
mining, but outside of the commercial towns and the growing capital
cities people made their living by taking care of domestic animals and
tilling the soil. Between seed time and harvest they tightened their
belts and prayed the Powers that Be for a bountiful yield. If it came
they feasted. If the crop failed they struggled to survive on the narrow
margin between hunger and starvation.

If they saw any money it was likely to be copper, with perhaps an
occasional piece of silver. Gold was for the rich, of whom at that
period there were precious few, even among the owners of land and the
wielders of power.

Country folk barely scratched the surface of the earth. Roads were wheel
tracks in the mud. Bridges were fords that became more or less
impassable with high water.

These assertions sound strange and romantic to the modern beneficiaries
of asphalt and reinforced concrete. They were the lot of most Europeans
and North Americans when our great grandfathers and great grandmothers
were in their prime.

What has made the difference between their use of the earth and ours?
Chiefly, the newly tapped sources of energy and the wide variety of
minerals--whose names were unknown except to scholars and scientists
before 1750. It is the new sources of energy and the only recently
utilized metals that have made the difference.

Farm land can be used and abused many times before its productive
possibilities are exhausted. Even then, with foresight, technical
proficiency, the investment of labor and capital, agricultural land can
be restored to fertility. Iron ore, tin, copper and tungsten are
extracted from the earth, refined, put to some use or wasted as the case
may be, but they are gone. They may be replaced by other minerals.
Through geological ages they may redeposited in the earth's crust. But
to all intents and purposes, they are finished.

It is a source of pride to promoters and propagandists for the status
quo that western man has removed more metals and minerals from the
earth's crust in the past two hundred years than his predecessors
removed during the previous two thousand years. It is also a source of
danger, because the possibilities of taking those particular minerals
from that particular cubic foot of the earth are ended.

Replaceable natural resources such as soil fertility, grasses and trees
can be restored and reproduced. Irreplaceable natural resources are
exhausted by one use. In so far as they are concerned, that part of the
earth's crust has been impoverished--made poorer.

Wasted through neglect and careless use, squandered in the senseless
destruction of war, the earth is still a rich treasure house for its
multitudinous forms of life. Its remaining treasures can be carefully
conserved. Such replaceable resources as topsoil, vegetation and water
can be husbanded. Oceans, mountains and, deserts can be dealt with as
we proceed with our programs for the most economical use of the natural
resources that remain to us.

Western man is presently emerging from a boisterous era of invention,
discovery, of multiplying productivity and corresponding waste of
irreplaceable natural resources-temporarily justified by "national
security" and "war emergency." The temporary loss of replaceable
reserves and the permanent loss of irreplaceable resources is none the
less tragic, no matter how urgent the immediate cause for their

At this stage in the history of earth's conservation, when so much is
waiting to be done, if each family, each village and town, each city
state and nation will do its bit to conserve, plan, shape, utilize,
beautify, improve what remains of the natural environment, the results
will be impressive enough to justify the time and means devoted to the

Wherever we go with our plea for the foresighted and economical use of
the earth and its remaining resources, we are met with the question:
"But what can I do?" The answer is simple. Find your place in the
nearest team working to utilize, conserve, and, where possible, enlarge
the natural wealth of the planet. If no such team exists, join with your
neighbors in organizing one. Take seriously your assignment to use the
part of the earth with which you are in contact intelligently,
economically, wisely.

Whether you are a novice or a professional, a homesteader or a longtime
resident, be sure that each contact you make with the earth enlarges its
possibilities of utility, order, beauty.

This crusade to save and utilize the earth as the common mother of so
many forms of life must be carefully planned and well organized through
successive generations. Men have spent far too much time and energy in
destroying. The time has come when they must conserve, plan, shape,
utilize, beautify, improve.

If the energies now going into business, sport, social events,
frivolities, make-believe and the deliberate destruction of waste and
war could be directed to planning, utilizing, beautifying on the
circumferences and at the centers of population concentrations, immense
forward strides could be taken in a single generation.

The planet still has immense, unused or little used reserves of natural
resources. The old order is slipping, floundering, wasting. Civilization
has told the best of its story and is busy writing its epitaph. The
revolution of 1750-1970 provides the opportunity for a new beginning.
The place is here. The time is now. Let us conserve, beautify, share,
utilize and, in so far as possible, improve our natural surroundings.



Beyond civilization we could develop a sociology-a cluster of
associations, institutions, outlooks, purposes and practices designed to
revamp the social life of the planet in much the same way and with the
same general outlook with which we approach the political, economic,
sociological and ideological problems arising from the presence, on the
planet Earth, of some 3,700 million different human beings.

There are at least two approaches to the sociological aspects of our
planet-wide, coordinated society. One way is that with which nature's
cyclism has made us familiar--the "day" of manifestation (activity) and
the "night" of rest (recuperation, restoration and renewal). This might
be described as a natural, gradual evolutionary way.

The other way is based on creative intervention which shortcuts
evolutionary gradualism in the same way that a great leap shortcuts many
ordinary steps.

Perhaps the conception can be illustrated in a most effective way by the
alternative presented during the great revolution of 1750-1970. At the
beginning of this epoch man walked the earth literally, except when he
sailed on the water or used the horse or some other swift animal to
travel by land. In the course of the great revolution mankind has
learned to move his body at speeds which sometimes exceed the movement
of sound, on the land, on the water, through the air and into space. He
has done this short-cutting by revolutionary changes in types of energy
coming from outside his physical body. In another sphere--communication
devices--man has stepped up the movement of his emotions and thoughts
and his creative imagination beyond the speed of light.

This analogy is not complete, nor is it wholly convincing. But the great
revolution in science and technology, applied in the field of social
science can quite conceivably provide humanity with the means of
short-cutting the normal or "natural" processes in sociology as it has
already short-cutted the normal or "natural" process in human
transportation and communication.

As long as human beings accept the normal, traditional, "natural"
principles of association and group action, humanity will continue on
the tread-mill of civilization with its long established cycles of
beginning, expansion, exploitation, maturity, conflict, decline and

This aspect of planetary sociology may be illustrated by the rise and
decline of total membership in the human family. We know that Roman
civilization passed through a completed cycle of population expansion to
an optimum, followed by a catastrophic population decline. Western
civilization has been experiencing a population expansion or explosion
that can be measured with a moderate degree of statistical accuracy.
Planetary human population doubled from 500 million in 1650 to 1000
million in 1850. Between 1850 and 1950 population more than doubled
(from 1000 million to 2,500 million). In 1975 the human population of
the earth is close to 3,700 million.

An essential aspect of world government will be a population program
designed to adjust social structure and planning to the means of
production and to make generally available to all humans and, where
possible, all living things, the results of invention, discovery and
experience with affluence, general security and wide variations of
vocational and avocational choice. In practice such a program would
include the planned utilization and conservation of nature and the
conscious improvement of society by society.

Social planning at the planetary level could deal chiefly with large
national or regional groupings, more or less divergent in viewpoint but
conscious of the necessity for bringing local and regional groups
together in order to secure common agreement and to take part in
directed joint actions. Such efforts must aim at sufficient cohesion to
provide for normal social function at all levels; sufficient
permissiveness to allow for a measure of self-determination at all
levels; sufficient authority to carry on production and distribution at
all levels, and sufficient libertarianism to tolerate discussion and
opposition at all levels, with a maximum degree of self sufficiency and
self-determination at all levels.

Nowhere is the need for social planning more in evidence than in the
sphere of human population. In the early years of the present twentieth
century, the human population was doubling in about 50 years (from 1500
million in 1900 to 2500 million in 1950, from 1,900 million in 1925 to
3,800 million in 1975). Had this rate of growth continued for another
hundred years the planet's fertile acres would have been fully occupied
by jostling crowds with _standing-room only_ signs in the more desirable
living spaces. Japan, the United States, several countries of West
Europe and China have launched campaigns to reduce net population
increase to one percent per year or less.

A culture level, to be effective in the present predicament of a human
race (oscillating uneasily between the possibility of social advance and
the probability of recession into another Dark Age of ignorance,
superstition and social stagnation), must include certain essential
elements. First and foremost, it must be planet-wide. Given planetary
unification by communication, transportation, travel, migration, trade
and commerce, and cultural interchange, one world has become a factual
reality. World oneness is laced by contradictions, confrontations,
conflicts; by traditional, customary, habitual, ideological, legal, and
national barriers of greater or lesser rigidity. Despite these divisive
forces, our need to function in terms of planetary oneness is so great
that the term "citizens of the world" not only makes sense, but is
accepted and even flaunted in the face of tough restrictions and hard
nosed nationalism.

Segments of humanity that are ready and willing to sign up as world
citizens already enjoy world consciousness, carrying world passports;
and are experimenting with various aspects of worldist thinking,
contact, organization. They are ready and willing to take part in a
multitude of planetary experiments in world-wide human association.

The great revolution of 1750-1970 has made two notable contributions to
the institutions of western civilization. In the field of politics it
has contributed the nation state. In the field of economics it has
contributed industrialization with its twin sociological consequence,
mechanization and urbanization.

Machines and cities are the Siamese twins of the modern age. They are
also the twin forces that helped to push the nation state into its
strategic position of sovereign independence.

Nationalism today is a unifying force inside the frontiers of the 140
nations that presently litter and clutter the earth. Beyond each
frontier, however, nationalism has become one of the most divisive
sources of misunderstanding, controversy, disruption and conflict
presently cursing mankind. In the exercise of their sovereignty the
oligarchs who make policy and direct procedure in each sovereign state
put national interests first. On a planet which currently hosts 140
sovereign states this policy of putting the interests of the part before
the interests of the whole results in controversy, conflict, and may
result in collective self-destruction.

It is reassuring and encouraging to compare the rise of nationalism and
Europeanism during the past thousand years with the rise of planetism
and worldism from 1450 to 1970. The development of nationalism and
Europeanism is still incomplete, but the drive in that direction has
thus far survived the fragmenting forces of self-determination and
political independence which have played so vital a role in human
society since the beginning of the present century. Europeanization is
still a dream rather than a reality. The forces of regionalism,
nationalism, and separatism still dominate European life. But the
ideology and techniques of Europeanization are widely recognized,
accepted and put into practice. The development of worldism seems to be
following a parallel course.

Consequently, wisdom, foresight, and the acceptance of change as a major
factor in all social relationships seem to justify our assumption that
sooner or later man's survival on the planet will depend on a degree of
worldist thinking, association and institutionalism that will guarantee
the preservation of order and decency at the planetary level.

Since conformity implies and involves a will to diversity, measures to
establish and maintain order and peace would include the widest possible
latitude and the utmost effort to encourage the greatest possible
diversity at regional, national and local levels. Thus diversity would
become a virtue in much the same sense that conformity became a virtue
in bourgeois Europe toward the end of the last century and in North
America during the Joseph MacCarthy period. Through the past dozen years
American youth has reversed the trend, adopting a permissiveness under
which the sky is the limit in language, clothing, sexual conduct and
professional choice and behavior.

Non-conformity is all very well as protest against super-conformity, but
it fails utterly to meet the basic need of the 1970's for a mass
movement away from the institutions and practices of civilization, plus
a disciplined and purposive mass determination to assume attitudes,
adopt practices and establish institutions leading beyond civilization
to a world culture pattern which insists upon conformity up to a point
necessary for survival and social advance, and beyond that point, a
diversity--including recognized and organized opposition at the
planetary center. At the same time there must be a degree of regional
and local diversity that will provide for the utmost independence,
self-confidence, self-expression and regional and local
self-determination compatible with the basic principle: to each in
accordance with need.

Beyond civilization, matters of general concern will take precedence at
the same time that matters of regional and local concerns will be dealt
with regionally and locally. In such a society individuals and
communities at all levels will be schooled and experienced in
self-discipline and prepared to follow conduct patterns that emphasize
the principle: live and help others to live to the fullest and the

Beyond civilization lies the recognition and practice of the principle
that the welfare of the whole takes precedence over the demands of any
of its parts. At the same time, each part or segment of the social whole
has specific rights that the directors of the whole are bound to
recognize, respect, defend and implement.

Such results can be achieved under a social pattern aimed at respect for
life--all life; the preservation and improvement of the conditions under
which the good life can be lived by all members of each community as
well as by the human family as a whole. If human society is to be
preserved and progressively improved it must encourage individuals and
cherish institutions whose responsibility and duty it is to stimulate
self-criticism to a point that will make survival and social improvement
the first charge on community life--from the locality, through the
region to the whole human family.

Should self-discipline and self-criticism falter, militant minorities
must urge and initiate those revolutionary changes which are necessary
for the health and well-being of any ailing human community. This is one
of the contradictions that faces every human enterprise, including the
human race itself.

Cyclic renewal or regeneration is one aspect of life on our Island
Universe. The principle operates in the life cell, and from the cell on
up and out, to the more extended and extensive aspects of life and
being. The course is well marked and increasingly understood.
Alternatively, humanity can put its creative imagination to work; plan,
organize, prepare and by a carefully designed, revolutionary technique
take a great leap onto another culture level, establishing other norms
beyond those currently accepted by civilized peoples.

"Beyond civilization" lifestyles are being planfully introduced in order
to save humankind from impending disaster. In that sense, they are
emergency measures. Developmentally, they are being designed as a
planned replacement of the life style current in the matured centers of
western civilization.

Under such conditions the habit patterns of civilizations could be
deliberately abandoned or superceded by life styles more appropriate to
the institutions and practices of human beings prepared to live and able
to live and develop in a community which is establishing itself on a
level beyond civilization.

Let no reader retort: Old things are best; old ways are most secure;
beware of the errors of human judgment, the lures and wiles of human
imaginings, the reckless enthusiasm of inexperience; the machinations
and subversions of the counter-revolution.

Whether he will or no, man has already advanced far along the path that
leads beyond the culture level of civilization into a culture pattern
which includes new means of association and new social institutions. The
most obvious examples of the universal pattern which the human race has
been developing during the present epoch are to be found in the "one
world" consequences of the planet-wide revolution in science and

Planetary fragmentation which accompanied the dissolution of Roman
civilization divided and sub-divided mankind into unnumbered
self-contained segments: families, tribes, classes, villages, cities,
kingdoms, principalities, nations, empires. They were separated from one
another by geographic, ethnic, ideological and political barriers which
were intensified by tradition, custom, migration, and the competitive
struggles among the elite for pelf and power. Ignorance and superstition
played a major role in the decentralizing process. Conflicts at various
levels led to further social segmentation and isolation of autonomous
social groups.

In the backwardness of those Dark Ages--curiosity, fellow feeling, mass
migration, the spirit of adventure, trade, travel and the need for
common action to master nature and repel enemies--broke down barriers
and created fields of mutual interest and general well-being, reversing
the trend toward fragmentation and replacing it by a trend toward
universality which reached its high point during the closing years of
the nineteenth century. The slogan of this movement was "United we
stand, divided we fall. The bell which tolls for one, tolls for all.
When one benefits all benefit. Peace, progress and prosperity promote
general welfare."

Two general wars in 1914-18 and 1939-45, brought pre-meditated,
deliberated suffering, hardships and death to multitudes. Each war led
to a clamor for peace and order that resulted in a World Court, The
League of Nations and the United Nations. The efforts at planet-wide
united action for peace and disarmament were paralleled and supplemented
by the growth of specialized public services for communication, travel,
scientific interchange, arms limitation. They were further augmented by
a spectacular expansion of trade, travel, capital investment and
scientific research and interchange.

Events since war's end in 1945 have marked out the steps which the human
race might take in the immediate future to deal with the new problems
arising out of the world revolution of 1750-1970 and to stabilize human
life on the planet.

   Step 1. Revise the United Nations Charter to make all citizens
   of member nations also citizens of the United Nations
   and therefore under its direct jurisdiction.

   Step 2. Delegate to the United Nations authority to levy taxes
   or otherwise provide its own income.

   Step 3. Call a planet-wide convention of delegates from all
   nations, authorized to draft a world federal constitution
   and submit it for ratification by all member

   Step 4. When approved by two thirds of the states represented
   at the constitutional convention the constitution
   so adopted would became the basis for world
   law and the administration of world affairs.

   Step 5. Inaugurate a world government that would be responsible
   for maintaining and promoting peace, order,
   stability, justice, equality of opportunity and general
   welfare at the international level.

Heretofore, the nearest approach to a universal state has been an
empire like that of Egypt or Rome built by conquest and maintained by
military authority exercised by the imperial nucleus over its associated
and subordinated territories. The universal state described above would
be an association of sovereign states, each delegating a sufficient
measure of its sovereignty to enable the World Federation to act as a
responsible planet-wide government.

The probable consequences of these five forward steps have been
summarized by Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos (_Only One World_ N.Y. Nostrom
1972 pages 28-29). "In every case the needed steps take us away from
division, from single shot interventions, separatist tendencies and
driving ambitions and greeds. We have to grasp and foster more fully the
truly integrative aspects of science. We have to revise our economic
management of incomes, of environments, of cities. We have to place what
is useable in nationalism within the framework of a political world
order that is morally and socially responsible as well as physically

Up to this point in social history, critical situations have usually
been dealt with on the battlefield. Might measured right. The victors
carried the day, won the right to exploit their defeated rivals and
weaker neighbors. The result was planet-wide political chaos, and an
economic free-for-all, in which political power and economic superiority
bestowed upon their possessors the right to plunder and exploit
geographic areas limited only by existing means of communication and
transportation. At no known point in social history were conquerors and
exploiters able to unify the earth politically and exploit its total
economic resources.

A planned, stabilized future for humanity will be assured when the earth
is governed much as cities, states, nations and empires have been
governed in the past and the present, but with one essential difference.
At no known past time have all human beings been represented in a
government authorized to make and enforce world law. In the absence of
law, chaos and armed conflicts have determined the course of human
affairs. Under a recognized world federal government, world law will
bring, for the first time, the practical possibility of a law and order
determined by and for the human population and charged with the
responsibility for establishing and maintaining planetary public policy.

World law will be only one aspect of the new situation that will result
from the establishment of a planned, stabilized future for humanity.
Other aspects of the new society will include:

1. Shaping the future of nature on and in the planet, with all of its
potential riches.

2. Perhaps also taking a hand in determining the future of other
celestial bodies making up our solar system.

3. Shaping human society, the man-made and man-remade human heritage
that plays so vital a role in determining the course of human
life--individual and social.

4. Shaping and guiding man--the gregarious, imaginative, venturesome,
productive--destructive, creative animal.

5. Building up in human society respect (reverence) for being, respect
for life with its multitudinous variations of opportunity for individual
and social activity.

6. Arousing interest and dedicating time, thought and energy to the new
science and new arts grouped together under the title Futurology.

7. Having a hand in perpetuating and shaping one segment of our
expanding universe in accord with the Cult of Excellence: good, better,
and best ever! This is an exciting, constructive, long-range project
worthy of the attention and devotion of any being, even the most
ambitious and omniscient.

8. Aiming at the Truth--the workability, improvement and the
perfectability of our planet Earth as a recognized, accepted and
essential part of our planetary chain and of our Island Universe.



Man could conserve natural resources; he could remake human society. But
man himself? There, perhaps, is the root of the problem we are

Can man change himself? Can he change human nature? Could human beings
as we know them be transformed sufficiently to live and survive under
the life-style that replaces civilization?

In our universe as we know it today, from the least to the greatest,
from the most minute to the most extensive, change is one of the basic
principles of existence. Nature changes. Human society changes. Changes
in nature and in society are paralleled by changes in man
himself--changes in outlooks and purposes, changes in ways of feeling,
thinking and acting.

Human beings have lived under the aegis of tradition, custom,
habit--thinking and acting "normally" and "naturally" in ways accepted
by their forebears and followed by them with little or no regard for
reason, foresight, or creative imagination. Rudiments of all three
capacities were known to exist in human beings. On the whole, the status
quo has been preferred; innovation frowned upon and innovators
discouraged, denounced, reviled and sometimes even put to death.

In the field of natural science revolutionary short-cutting through the
use of man's creative imagination has been widely used. The great
revolution is one aspect of the anticipated result. Similar
revolutionary short-cutting in the field of social science and social
technology is bound to produce a "new man" in the same way that similar
practices have remodeled, regenerated and renewed man's relations with
nature, and his theories and practices of association.

Despite efforts of the Establishment to impose conformity,
non-conforming individuals continued to be born and to grow up as
deviants, misfits and intentional non-conformists. Some of these rebels
against the established social order left home, joined the army or went
to sea. Others stayed at home, bided their time and, when opportunity
offered, joined with like-minded fellows in organized underground
opposition or open rebellion against the status quo.

History reports the existence of such dissident individuals and social
groups and movements in one civilization after another.

In a very real sense any invention, discovery or innovation in any field
of human thought or action, if widely accepted or adopted automatically,
becomes a revolt against the status quo. Our experience with innovation
during two centuries of the great revolution gives us every reason to
suppose that the flow of scientific and technical invention and
discovery will continue for an indefinite period into our future. On the
whole the evidence suggests increase rather than decrease of innovation
and therefore of change.

A time of troubles such as that through which western civilization is
now passing offers individuals and social groups unique opportunities to
play significant roles in shaping the course of events. In every human
population there are individuals who are dissatisfied with the status
quo and prefer change to status. For such individuals a time of social
troubles is a holiday.

There is also an ever-renewing social group for whom a time of troubles
presents a challenge and an opportunity--the young people of the
on-coming generation.

Adults are generally conditioned and shaped by the social situation into
which they were born and in which they matured. Young people are passing
through the conditioning process. They are undergoing the process of
rapid change.

Young people in their teens and early twenties stand, usually hesitant,
on the threshold of life. They are bursting with energy, eager, hopeful,
anxious to enter the stream of adult activity. Inexperienced, they
under-estimate the difficulties, taking up any line of activity that
promises quick results. They are impressionable and generally seeking "a
good life."

Such resources of energy and idealism exist in every generation and
reappear as the generations follow one another. Youth groups have played
active roles in one country after another where opportunities were
restricted by the establishment and revolutionary propagandists painted
a rosy future. Political nationalism in the eighteenth century and
economic and social emancipation in the nineteenth century mobilized
high school and college age youth in the Americas, Europe, Asia and

It is folly to assert that human nature is a given and unalterable
quantity in every social situation and that since "you cannot change
human nature" intentional social changes are out of the question. The
facts are otherwise:

   1. There is a wide diversity in human beings ranging from
   herculean physical strength to pitiable weakness; from the
   mental power of genius to the nonentity of imbecility; from
   outstanding and unquestionable talent in arts and letters
   to illiteracy and clumsy inefficiency. This wide diversity
   in human capacity is one of the outstanding features of
   human nature, recorded again and again in history and
   encountered in all human aggregates.

   2. There is a period in human life when the habit patterns
   of childhood are exchanged for the habit patterns of adulthood.
   At this turning point, youth is likely to follow
   dynamic and purposeful leadership.

   3. There is a wide diversity in social situations, from rock-ribbed
   stability, to entire communities teetering on the brink
   or plunging over the brink into the maelstrom of revolution.
   Such diverse situations have existed again and again
   during the 1750-1970 revolutionary epoch.

   4. When a revolutionary situation develops, a revolutionary
   leader well-established in a community trembling on the
   brink of a revolutionary overturn may seize the reins of
   power and establish a regime founded on opposition principles,
   dedicated to another set of principles and practices.
   When such a revolutionary coup is successful the bells of
   history have tolled for the older order and the trumpets
   of victory have sounded for the new society.

   5. The intensity and the direction of the social changes which
   radiate out from the climax of a revolutionary situation
   and the consequent, subsequent attempts at counter-revolution,
   are the outcome of active, purposive intervention by
   all of the social groups present at the center of revolutionary

The current shift from a laissez-faire economy ("letting nature take her
course"), to a planned, managed, controlled economy is a precedent which
gives us a foretaste of what will lie ahead when a planet-wide federal
government undertakes the planning, direction and management of a
planet-wide economy and society.

The outcome cannot be determined in advance. Unexpected situations will
arise, the resolution of which will shape the fate, present and future,
of mankind. In a very real sense, our eggs are all in one basket--the
Earth. Our future, for generations to come, may be determined by the
decisions we are making or the social policy we are initiating at the
present moment.

Large scale research and experiment should go a long way toward
developing the skills required by competent and successful planetary
leadership. Political experiments like the United States of North
America or the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics or the League of
Nations or the United Nations, the planet-wide search for petroleum or
the joint scientific efforts that went into the splitting of the atom,
have given us opportunities to develop the science and art of
planet-wide leadership.

Behind and beyond our training courses--our formal educational system
(which should be in the front rank of our priorities)--we could train
apprentices in every occupational field, selecting the most apt, the
most eager, the seemingly best qualified and giving them every
opportunity to try out their skills and improve their qualifications in
their chosen fields of endeavor.

Aspirants for any occupational assignment would divide themselves into
three groups: those who feel that they have chosen wisely, find
themselves in congenial surrounds and want to spend coming years in the
occupation of their choice; those who are uncertain and still unable to
decide upon the field of their life activity; and third, those who have
chosen badly, are dissatisfied with the occupational groove in which
they find themselves and who are ready to move into another field at the
first opportunity.

The well adjusted will constitute the elite of their chosen occupations,
learning its skills and joining with other well satisfied professionals
in passing on their enthusiasm and knowledge to the next generation of
aspirants for inclusion in the same production teams. The undecided
should be the object of special attention. They have entered an
occupational field on an experimental basis and should be advised and
helped during the experimental period when they are deciding to make a
go of it or to try for something more congenial or at least more

Misfits who have made a wrong choice and who have no clear call to stay
where they are should be advised and helped to find more congenial
occupational surroundings.

We may think and experiment with this selective process as though it was
easy and probably final. Nothing could be further from the reality. Even
the best adjusted have moments of uncertainty and indecision about their
occupational futures. The less adjusted spend a part of their lives
looking around for a more attractive field.

In every field, some of the best adjusted go as far as their interests
and capacities carry them and then shift over into other occupations
which, in turn, offer them more chances to employ their talents to
greater advantage.

In every field of human endeavor individuals come and go. They should
stay where they seem to be useful and go when their usefulness is
decreasing or coming to an end.

Balance between status and change is as desirable for the individual as
it is for the group. The decision to stay or go should remain open to
the endless round of individuals who comprise any working team. The
existence of such flexibility is limited, however, by the need to
maintain a working force of interested, alert, eager individuals--skilled,
adjusted and disciplined in group endeavor and achievement.

We are describing the unending process of selection which goes on from
hour to hour and day to day in any well ordered social group. Every
group has its fields of endeavor, its goals and its scale of priorities.
Individuals come and go. The group carries on. Excellence in group
performance depends upon its competence in selecting, training and
coordinating its endeavors.

Every social group has its hard corps of trained and tested veterans.
Also it has its problem of aging. The apprentice of yesterday becomes
the experienced, skilled operator of today. Tomorrow brings retirement
for those who have reached the age limit of service and who as a matter
of group routine are replaced by newcomers. In the course of this cycle
the directors of the group have their opportunity to improve the level
of group efficiency by phasing out the old and incorporating the new.

The range of capacity, from perception and facility to ineptitude and
incompetence, holds for the new generation as it did for the old. The
tone and performance level of each group is determined by the
effectiveness of this selective process.

At some point it becomes necessary to inquire into the biologic aspects
of any social enterprise. We are doing our utmost to select and educate
and train the fit. Are we producing potential fitness?

Long experience has taught us that we cannot produce a silk purse from a
sow's ear. Eugenics emerges as an important aspect of every long term
group endeavor. Qualities and capacities are handed on from parent to
offspring. Are we reproducing fitness or unfitness?

As we move beyond civilization onto a more mature and more complicated
culture level, we may have a workable system of social priorities, but
does our oncoming stream of manpower have the interest, the imagination,
the competence, the sense of social responsibility and the staying power
necessary to arouse in a series of generations the will and
determination to carry out social policy?

Are the oncoming generations able and willing to shoulder the loads of
clearing out the rubbish accumulated through ten centuries of western
civilization, make effective use of science, technology _and_ available
human capacity and move onward and forward to new levels of social

We could develop a corps of socially responsible technicians as we have
developed a corps of competent scientists and technicians in the field
of natural science. In each field priorities are constantly changing.
Each field is called upon to meet the changes by making corresponding
changes in its personnel, its education and its apprenticeships.

In addition to formal schooling and apprenticeship we have a vast
network for the distribution of information and the formation of public
opinion. The printing press, the camera and other means of communication
determine the levels of information and the willingness of the public to
keep abreast of the shifting social scene.

A social structure resembles every other human meeting place--it tends
to accumulate dead wood. There are two answers to this problem: periodic
housecleaning, without fear or favor, together with careful scrutiny of
the apprentices and other newcomers in the field.

Every social group has its quota of defectives and
delinquents--biological and social, physical, mental, emotional. Here
the critical problem is where to draw the line. Perhaps the best general
answer is to measure productiveness, including those who make a net
contribution, including those whose presence is desirable and excluding
undesirables. Again this involves periodic housecleanings.

Throughout the past two centuries mankind has been confronted by an
epoch-making, many sided development--the great revolution of
1750-1970. As I write, the great revolution is modifying the structure
and functioning of human society and, consequently, the forces which
condition, shape and, in large measure, determine the directions and
channels in which humanity lives, moves and has its being.

The great revolution is changing man's relation to nature, to the
structure and function of human society and the ways in which men think,
feel, act and live. The great revolution has shifted the human living
place from rural to urban, replaced a large measure of self-employment
by wagery, lifted large segments of mankind out of scarcity into
abundance, led to widespread migrations across Europe and from continent
to continent, expanded nations and built empires. In the course of these
developments Europe became the center of world economic, political and
cultural affairs, held the position briefly and lost it in the course of
two general, suicidal wars.

Speaking broadly, such a period in the life of any society may be
described as a revolutionary situation--one in which changes are made
frequently, rapidly and with far reaching consequences. In a word, the
existing social pattern is in process of being turned over, turned
upside down, transformed by forces which seem to operate according to
their own principles and often quite independently of human intention or

Our society--western civilization--is undergoing a revolution. People
born into a rapidly changing society are often tempted and sometimes
compelled to play significant roles in the revolutionary process.
Unconsciously or consciously, unwilling and unwitting or deliberately
and purposefully they are revolutionaries.

Among the participants in the revolutionary process, the far-seeing,
imaginative, perceptive and mature develop into purposive
revolutionaries. In the course of a series of political, economic and
cultural revolutions like those which played so fateful a part in China
between 1899 and 1969, an entire generation is born, grows up and, in
larger part, retires from active life or dies off.

Long continued cultural changes play a part in local history. They have
an equally important role in the lives of neighboring nations and
peoples. With present means of communication, transportation and travel,
the influence of revolutionary events such as those in China from 1899
to the present day may be profound.

The bourgeois revolution from 1750 to 1840 centered largely in West
Europe and the Americas. In scope it was economic, political, cultural.
The Chinese and other revolutions of the present period, beginning with
the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the Chinese Revolution of 1911, are
once more transforming the economic, political and cultural life of

UNESCO's _History of Mankind_ (Harper and Row), particularly its Volume
6 titled _The Twentieth Century_, presents voluminous comments from a
wide range of qualified scientists and commentators on the changes
associated with the great revolution of 1750-1970.

The economic, political and cultural life of the majority of human
beings has been modified by the events comprising the great revolution.
Its influence has been, and continues to be, planet-wide. Consciously or
unconsciously, human beings have been brought into contact with
influences that are transforming them as they revolutionize human

Western man and his way of life have been primarily responsible for this
great revolution. The changes brought about in the human life pattern in
the course of the great revolution have created a new world--in
structure, in function, in outlook, in stepped-up capacity for even more
spectacular changes in the future.

Instead of regarding human beings and human society as unchangeable and
sacred we must regard both as a part of our social problem: taking the
steps necessary to reach and occupy the highest possible levels of
social and individual health and effectiveness. We can and should make
every effort to improve human society. We should be equally concerned to
improve man and his nature.



We humans have been living for ages with various lifestyles--as hunters
and fishermen, as herdsmen, as cultivators of the soil, as craftsmen, as
traders and merchants, as professionals, as exploiters, as parasites,
wreckers and plunderers. On the whole, our energies have been spent in
relatively small, self-sufficient groups, staying close to nature, as a
part of nature.

Occasionally we have turned from this "natural" way of life, to build
towns and cities, experimenting with large scale mass enterprises and
expanded aggregates of population, wealth and centralized authority to
which we have given the name of civilizations.

These civilizations, in their turn, have passed through a recognizable
life cycle--the cycle of growing, developing, maturing, aging, breaking
up and disappearing. One aspect of their civilized life was the keeping
of records. Another aspect was building with baked clay and stone. Baked
clay, some metals and stone, have withstood the wear and tear of time,
sheltered in the temples and tombs which we are uncovering, deciphering,

While engaged in these scholarly pursuits, our variant of the
pattern--western civilization--has been passing through the customary
life cycle. If we read the signs correctly, western civilization reached
the high point in its cycle toward the end of the last century. Since
then, for seventy-five years, it has been on the decline.

If we accept the cycle of civilization as one of the facts or sequences
presented to us by history, we may continue to pass submissively through
the successive stages of decline until western civilization is
liquidated by the same forces that wiped out preceding civilizations.
This would be the normal course of a cycle of civilization as it appears
in recorded history.

Need we follow this course? Must we follow it?

History answers "yes" and also "no."

History answers "yes"--the record to date reads that way.

But the record of history also shows that men have repeatedly interfered
and intervened in the historical process by discovery and invention. The
historical record is subject to change. Man is not entirely free.
Neither is he helplessly bound on the wheel of necessity, presently
known as civilization.

In Chapter 10 we listed a number of discoveries and inventions which
have greatly increased man's control over his own destiny. As these
innovations are embodied in the life styles of planet-wide human
society, there is every likelihood that men can deal with the future
almost as comprehensibly as they now deal with the past. Those who take
this position argue that humanity has reached a point at which it may
break out of the present cycle of civilization and begin a new cycle
which will correspond with the possibilities brought to mankind during
the great revolution of 1750-1970.

The idea is not new. It has appeared repeatedly in various forms:
individual withdrawal from the world and its troubles to live solitary,
perfected, sin-free existences; the formulation of plans for utopian or
ideal communities; the establishment of such communities--apart from the
workday world; revolutionary mass movements away from the current time
of social troubles into a more workable, more acceptable, more basically
productive and fundamentally creative life style.

Hermits and reclusive monastic life need not concern us here. They are
to be found in many parts of the existing society. They live their lives
apart from the main currents of human life. We may make the same
comment, with slight modifications, on intentional communities
organized within the bounds of surrounding civilizations. They meet the
needs of exceptional individuals who find the existing order intolerable
and who wish to move at once into a more congenial community life.
Intentional communities founded to demonstrate particular social or
economic theories usually are short-lived, covering, at best, one or two

Intentional communities organized around ethical or social principles
are more enduring, lasting through generations and sometimes through
centuries. During their existence they may have considerable influence
on the communities of which they are a part. At best they parallel the
life of the civilization against which they protest, while they share
its problems. Religiously oriented intentional communities may be found
today in many of the countries composing western civilization.

What concerns us here is the split of western civilization into two
broadly divergent groups: capitalism and socialism-communism.

Capitalism, in its present monopoly form, is the outcome of a thousand
years of development. Throughout its existence it has been politically
and economically competitive. The vehicle of political competition began
as the nation, then continued as the empire. Economically, the vehicle
of competition has become the profit-seeking business corporation,
backed politically and often subsidized economically by the nation or

As western civilization has developed, nations and empires have tended
to form more or less permanent alliances. Business corporations likewise
have tended to establish conglomerates which include widely divergent
businesses, some limited to one nation or empire, some international.

Historically, the present-day business community developed out of a
segmented European feudal society as a protest against political
restrictions. Its early key-note was laissez-faire--freedom of
businessmen to make economic policy and accumulate profits. The
practical outcome of laissez-faire economy has been monopoly or finance
capitalism functioning through the sovereign state or empire.

Marxian socialism-communism, organized and developed largely since 1848,
has grown up as a rebellion against monopoly capitalism. At it matured,
after revolutions in Mexico, China, Tsarist Russia and East Europe, it
became an alternative and even a competitive life style. Marxism has
been, at least in theory, cooperative rather than competitive. Its
objective has been not private profit but a higher standard of economic
and social life for exploited masses of the business community and of
the Third World. Capitalism has had as its slogan "Every man for
himself". The slogan of Marxism is "Serve the whole people".

Until 1917 Marxism was a body of social theory and a program of specific
political demands. In the period from 1848 to 1917 Marxism operated
through minority political parties organized in each nation, but linked
together internationally in loose federations, except during the brief
existence of the Communist International from 1919 to 1943.

Beginning with the Russian Revolution of 1917, Marxism became a basic
state doctrine, first in the Soviet Union and subsequently in more than
a dozen other nations of East Europe and Asia. The area of Marxist
influence, as expressed in socialist construction, spread slowly from
1917 to 1943 and rapidly during and immediately after the war of

Today about a billion human beings live in countries of East Europe and
Asia calling themselves socialist-communist. A second billion human
beings live chiefly in West Europe, the Americas and Australasia calling
themselves capitalist. A third billion, the remaining segment of
mankind, living chiefly in Africa, Asia and Latin America make up the
"Third World," most of which consists of former colonies and
dependencies of the 19th century empires.

At the beginning of the great revolution in 1750 the planet was occupied
by the European empires, their colonies and dependencies, with a segment
under the control of the crumbling Chinese and Turkish empires. The
ensuing two centuries witnessed a political, economic and social
transformation that reached across every continent.

The revolutionary process is far from complete in 1975. Capitalism and
Marxism are still pitted against each other--ideologically, politically,
culturally. The Marxians form a revolutionary front. Capitalists retort
with counter-revolution. Nation by nation the third world is taking

The capitalist world is suffering from the rise and fall of the business
cycle, from inflation and unemployment, from the scourge of militarism;
from the exhaustion of two general wars in one generation; from absence
of any positive common program or commonly accepted means of
administering public affairs; from its failure to provide its young
people with a satisfactory reason for existence, and from the fatal
malady of fragmentation which is the logical counterpart of every major
effort at coordination, consolidation and unification. Western
civilization, despite repeated efforts, was never able to establish the
kind of superficial unity that marked the high point in the Egyptian and
Roman civilizations. The stresses and strains of the current great
revolution have introduced into western civilization new disintegrative
forces of which the capitalist-Marxist confrontation is the most
extensive, divisive and decisive.

The Marxist world, in its spectacular rise during less than a century,
offers the only workable alternative to declining and disintegrating
western civilization. It presents an alternative theoretical program for
dealing with the transition from the built-in competitiveness of western
civilization to the built-in cooperativeness of a planned, coordinated,
federated socialist-communist world order.

The Soviet Union and its East European socialist neighbors have survived
the wars of 1914 and 1936; have survived the capitalist conspiracy to
strangle infant Marxism in its cradle. In a remarkably brief period the
Soviet Union has moved from a position of cultural backwardness to
become the number two nation in productivity and perhaps even number one
in fire power.

Today Asia's active development of several variants of Marxism is
defended against any repetition of Hitler's 1941 drive to the East by
the massive land barrier of the Soviet Union and its East European
Marxist associates.

On the west, Asia is protected by the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean
against the determined efforts of the Washington government to check the
spread of Marxism. Washington's current effort to become _The_ Pacific
power and also _The_ Asian power have been blocked and perhaps thwarted
by the defeat of General MacArthur and his international forces in the
Korean War of 1950-53, and by the unanticipated and unbelievable
resistance mounted by the peoples of South East Asia against the
repeated efforts made by Washington to replace the French imperial
presence there after its overwhelming defeat in 1954.

The decisive political developments in South and East Asia following
war's end in 1945 were first, the expulsion of the British, French and
Dutch from their military strongholds in the area; second, the
spectacular unification of China and its rapid advance from inferiority
and political inconsequence to a place among the three major world
powers; third, the meteoric comeback of Japan after its unconditional
surrender in 1945; and fourth, the failure of the costly effort mounted
by Washington after 1954 to establish itself in a position from which it
could dominate the Pacific Ocean and East Asia.

So much we may learn from history. Turning from the past and looking at
the trends of the immediate future, it seems likely that Marxism will
continue for at least some years to be the dominant force in Asia.
Furthermore, the Marxian presence in Asia will include both the Soviet
Union in Northern Asia and China in South Asia. Both countries are
unquestionably stabilized economically and viable politically. Both are
headed away from capitalist imperialism. Both are moving toward Marxian
forms of socialism-communism.

The wars in South East Asia after the expulsion of the French in 1954
were organized, financed and armed primarily by the Washington
government. They were avowedly aimed at the up-rooting of Marxism from
the area. They not only failed in their main objective but they gave
the Soviet Union and the Chinese a chance to pit their advisers,
technicians and military equipment against that of the United States as
the major capitalist contender in the area. This phase of the
counter-revolutionary drive to reestablish monopoly capitalism and
imperialism in the Far East thus far has met with decisive and
humiliating defeat.

This defeat marks the end of the capitalist occupation of Far Asia. It
also opens the way for the Marxists to demonstrate the workability of
socialism-communism as a lifestyle for Asians and, presumably, for other
segments of the Third World.

Success of the Marxists in maintaining and extending their presence in
Asia will make it politically and culturally possible for them to take
five essential steps:

_First_, to extend the developing pattern of collective responsibility
and collective action around the earth as rapidly as possible. If such
an extension proves feasible, it should give Marxism a real priority in
stabilizing the economy and building up the political vigor of the Far

_Second_, organized counter-revolution could be liquidated and
revolutionaries, willing to take on the responsibility, could be
provided with necessary authority, leadership and equipment.

_Third_, moving along with the formulation and fulfillment of carefully
developed plans for socialist construction in all of its ramifications,
to close the door gradually, step by considered step, on exploitation
and profiteering. In their places, well-laid plans could be drawn up for
developing a people's socialist-communist economy in the more backward
areas of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

_Fourth_, the new economy could be federated as it was established and
stabilized, with special attention to the need for a maximum of local
self help to balance against pressures toward bureaucracy and the
development of overhead costs.

_Fifth_, with one eye on its need for integration into a
socialist-communist collective planetary economy, the other eye must be
kept on the planetary chain of which the earth is an essential part.

Life is a process operating through the linking of causes and their
effects. This is as true of social life as it is of individual life.
Reviewing history we check man's past actions and learn by so doing.
Turning to the future we plan and prepare to set in motion that
conglomerate of causes (plans) best calculated to assure a good life
individually, socially, cosmically--with a strong emphasis on the time
honored sequence: good, better, best.

It is our opportunity, our destiny, and our responsibility to keep on
living, constructing, creating. We must live, not die. We must not stop.
We must go on.

By such steps we humans could by-pass the restrictions and limitations
imposed on human creative genius by the structure and function of
civilization. In its place we could elaborate a substitute
inter-planetary culture in which a chastened, improved, rejuvenated
humanity could play a creative role, in accordance with our capacities
and our destiny as an integral part of the joint enterprise to which our
sun furnishes light, warmth and vibrant energy. We have latent among us
the talent and genius necessary to play such a part. Do we also have the
imagination, courage and daring to accept the challenge and take our
post of duty in the team that is directing the expansion of our
expanding universe?


Among the books consulted in preparation of this essay on civilization
as a social institution, UNESCO _History of Mankind_ holds first place.
The authors describe the work as "the first global history, planned and
executed from an international viewpoint". The subtitle of the six
volumes is "Cultural and Scientific Development".

The work is published under the auspices of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization by an International
Commission presided over by Professor Pauls E. deBerredo Carneiro of
Brazil. The Commission consists of 23 members, mostly academicians from
23 countries. The commission also has a corresponding membership of 93
drawn chiefly from the academic personnel of 42 countries.

Textual material for the _History of Mankind _was prepared and edited by
hundreds of experts in the widely ranging fields covered by the
_History_. Final approval of the text came from the Commission. In cases
where there were differences of opinion or of interpretation, varying
and opposing points of view are presented.

_The History of Mankind _is in six volumes.

I. Prehistory and The Beginnings of Civilization.

II. The Ancient World.

III. The World A.D. 400 to A.D. 1300.

IV. The World A.D. 1300 to the End of the Eighteenth Century.

V. The World in the Nineteenth Century.

VI. The Twentieth Century. All but the first volume of the _History_
deal with the epoch during which civilization has played a fateful role
in world affairs.

Professor Arnold J. Toynbee's ten volume _Study of History_ is concerned
chiefly with the rise and decline of those civilizations which have left
a noteworthy historical record. His emphasis is geographical and
political rather than cultural and social. The same thing may be said of
other histories of civilization. They stress personalities, nations and

There are few books which approach the study of civilization as a stage
or level of human culture. Among them are:

   Abbott, Wilbur C, _The Expansion of Europe_, N.Y.: Holt, 1918.
   2 vols.

   Adams, Brooks, _The Law of Civilization and Decay_, N.Y.: Knopf,

   Adams, Brooks, _The New Empire_, N.Y.: MacMillian, 1902.

   Adams, George B., _Civilization During the Middle Ages_, N.Y.:
   Scribners, 1914.

   Albanes, Ricardo C, _La Civilizacion y el Communismo Marxista_,
   Habana: Cultural S.A., 1937.

   Ashley, Percy W., _Europe from Waterloo to Sarajero_, N.Y.:
   Knopf, 1926.

   Baikie, James, _The Life of the Ancient East_, N.Y.: MacMillan,

   Ballester Escalas, Rafael, _Historia de la Civilizaciones_,
   Barcelona: Gasso, 1961.

   Balmes, Jaime Luciano, _La Civilizacion_, Barcelona: Lopez Lansas,

   Barnes, Harry E., _A Social History of the Western World_, N.Y.:
   Appleton, 1921.

   ----, _A Survey of Western Civilization_, N.Y.: Crowall, 1947.

   Bell, Clive, _Civilization, an Essay_, London: Chatto and Windus,

   Blackmar, Frank W., _History of Human Society_, N.Y.: Scribners,

   Bornet-Perrier, Paul, _L'Unité Humaine_, Paris: Alcan, 1931.

   Bose, Pramatha, _Epochs of Civilization_, Calcutta: Newman, 1913.

   Breasted, James H., _A History of Egypt_, London: Hodder and
   Stoughten, 1921.

   Brier, Royce, _Western World_, Garden City: Doubleday, 1946.

   Briere, Yves de la, _Grands Imperialismes Contemporaires_, Anvers:
   Association des Licencées de St. Ignace, 1925.

   Brodeur, Arthur G., _The Pageant of Civilization_, N.Y.:
   McBride, 1931.

   Brown, Lawrence R., _The Might of the West_, NY.: Obolensky,

   Bruce, Maurice, _The Shaping of the Modern World 1870-1914_,
   N.Y.: Random House, 1958.

   Brugmans, Hendrik, _Les Origines de la Civilization_, Liege:
   Georges Thone, 1958.

   Bryce, James, _Holy Roman Empire_, London: MacMillan, 1903.

   Burns, Edward M., _Western Civilizations, Their History and
   Their Culture_, N.Y.: Norton, 1968. 2 vols.

   Burns, Emile, _Imperialism_, London: Labor Research Department,

   Callot, Emile, _Civilization et Civilizations_, Paris: Berger-Levrault,

   Casson, Stanley, _Progress and Catastrophe_, London: Hamilton,

   Chapot, Victor, _The Roman World_, London: Paul, 1928.

   Childe, V. Gordon, _New Light on the Most Ancient East_, London:
   Kegan Paul, 1934.

   Clough, Shepard B., _Basic Values of Western Civilization_, N.Y.:
   Columbia University Press, 1960.

   Clough, Shepard B., _Rise and Fall of Civilization_, N.Y.: Columbia
   University Press, 1957.

   Crozier, John B., _Civilization and Progress_, London: Longmans,

   Cunningham, William, _Western Civilization_, Cambridge: University
   Press, 1900.

   Demangeon, Albert, _Le Declin de l'Europe_, Paris: Payot, 1920.

   Dorpsch, Alfons, _Economic and Social Foundations of Western
   Civilization_, N.Y.: Harcourt, 1937.

   Douglas, Sholto O.G., _A Theory of Civilization_, N.Y.: MacMillan,

   Elias, Norbert, _Uber den Prozess der Zivilisation_, Basel: Falken,

   Farrington, Benjamin, _Science and Politics in the Ancient World_,
   London: Allen and Unwin, 1939.

   Fischer, Eric, _Passing of the European Age_, Cambridge: Harvard
   University Press, 1943.

   Fleiweiling, Ralph T., _The Survival of Western Culture_, N.Y.:
   Harper, 1943.

   Forrest, J.D., _Development of Western Civilization_, Chicago:
   University of Chicago Press, 1907.

   Fougeres, Gustav and others, _Les Premiers Civilisations_, Paris:
   Alcan, 1926.

   Frank, Tenney, _Economic History of Rome_, Baltimore: John
   Hopkins Press, 1927. 2nd ed.

   Frank, Tenney, _Roman Imperialism_, N.Y.: MacMillan, 1914.

   Freud, Sigmund, _Civilization and its Discontents_, N.Y.: Norton,

   Friedell, Egon, _A Culture History of the Modern World_, N.Y.:
   Knopf, 1930.

   Friedjung, Heinrich, _Das Zeitalter des Imperialismus_, Berlin:
   Neufeld und Henius, 1914. 3 vols.

   Georg, Eugen, _The Adventure of Mankind_, N.Y.: Dutton, 1931.

   Glotz, Gustav, _Aegean Civilization_, N.Y.: Knopf, 1925.

   Goddard, Edward H. and Gibbons, P.A., _Civilization or Civilizations_,
   London: Constable, 1926.

   Gollwitzer, Heinz, _Europe in the Age of Imperialism_, N.Y.:
   Harcourt, Brace, 1969.

   Goshal, Kumar, _People in Colonies_, N.Y.: Sheridan House, 1948.

   Grigg, Edward W.M., _The Greatest Experiment in History_,
   New Haven: Yale University Press, 1924.

   Guizot, F.P., _Histoire de la Civilisation en Europe_, N.Y.: Appleton,

   Gupta, N.K., _The March of Civilization_, Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo
   Ashram, 1959.

   Haas, William, _What Is Civilization_, London: Oxford University
   Press, 1929.

   Hankins, Frank H., _The Racial Basis of Civilization_, N.Y.: Knopf,

   Harris, George, _Civilization Considered as a Science_, London:
   Bell and Daldy, 1872.

   Heard, Gerald, _The Source of Civilization_, London: Cape, 1935.

   Hertzler, G.O., _The Social Thought of the Ancient Civilizations_,
   N.Y.: McGraw Hill, 1938.

   Hubbard, Arthur J., _The Fate of Empires_, London: Longmans,

   Innes, Harold B., _Empire and Communication_, Oxford: Clarendon,

   Louis, Paul, _Ancient Rome at Work_, N.Y.: Knopf, 1927.

   Lowie, Robert H., _Are We Civilized?_ N.Y.: Harcourt Brace,

   Lubbock, John, _The Origin of Civilization_, London: Longmans,

   McCabe, Joseph, _The Evolution of Civilization_, London: Watts,

   Majewski, Erasme de, _La Theorie de l'Homme et de la Civilisation_,
   Paris: Le Soudier, 1911.

   ------, _La Science de la Civilisation_, Paris: Alcan, 1908.

   Maritain, Jacques, _Twilight of Civilization_, N.Y.: Sheed and
   Ward, 1943.

   Marshak, Alexander, _The Roots of Civilization_, N.Y.: McGraw
   Hill, 1972.

   Marvin, F.S. ed., _The Unity of Western Civilization_, London:
   Oxford University Press, 1929.

   Means, Philip A., _Ancient Civilizations of the Andes_, N.Y.:
   Scribners, 1931.

   Moraze, Charles, _Essai sur la Civilisation d'Occident_, Paris:
   Colin, 1950.

   Moret, A. and Davy, G., _From Tribe to Empire_, N.Y.: Knopf,

   Morgan, L.H., _Ancient Society_, N.Y.: Holt, 1907.

   Morris, Charles, _Civilization: An Historical Review of Its Elements_,
   Chicago: Griggs, 1890.

   Mumford, Lewis, _Technics and Civilization_, N.Y.: Harcourt
   Brace, 1934.

   Pendell, Elmer, _The Next Civilization_, Dallas: Royal, 1970.

   Quigley, Carroll, _The Evolution of Civilizations_, N.Y.:
   MacMillan, 1961.

   Randall, Henry J., _The Creative Centuries_, N.Y.: Longmans, 1944.

   Rod, Edouard, _L'Imperialisme_, Paris: Revue des Deux Mondes, 1907.

   Rostovtzeff, Mikhail I., _Economic and Social History of the
   Roman Empire_, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1926.

   Schneider, Hermann, _The History of World Civilization_, N.Y.:
   Harcourt Brace, 1932. 2 vols.

   Schumpter, Joseph, _Zur Soziologiedes Imperialismus_, Tubingen:
   Mohr, 1919.

   Schrecker, Paul, _Work and History_, Princeton:
   University of Princeton Press, 1948.

   Schweitzer, Albert, _The Philosophy of Civilization_, N.Y.:
   MacMillan, 1949.

   Seignobos, Charles, _The Rise of European Civilization_, N.Y.:
   Knopf, 1938.

   Sellery, George C., _The Founding of Western Civilization_, N.Y.:
   Harper, 1929.

   Spengler, Oswald, _Decline of the West_, N.Y.: Knopf, 1928.

   Swain, Edgar S., _A History of World Civilization_, N.Y.:
   McGraw Hill, 1938.

   Toynbee, Arnold J., _A Study of History_, N.Y.: Oxford, 10 vols.

   UNESCO, _Scientific and Cultural History of Mankind_, N.Y.:
   Harper and Row, 6 vols.

   Walker, C.C., _The Biology of Civilization_, N.Y.: MacMillan, 1930.

   Walsh, Correa Moylan, _The Climax of Civilization_, N.Y.:
   Sturgis, 1917.

   Wells, H.G., _The Salvaging of Civilization_, N.Y.: MacMillan,

   Widney, Joseph, _Civilizations, their Diseases and Rebuilding_,
   Los Angeles: Pacific Publishing Co., 1937.

   Zimmern, Alfred E., _Greek Commonwealth_, Oxford, Clarendon
   Press, 1911.

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