Civilization and the myth of progress

Civilization according to wiki:

A civilization (British English: civilisation) is any complex society characterized by the development of the state, social stratification, urbanization, and symbolic systems of communication beyond natural spoken language (namely, a writing system).[2][3][4][5][6]

Civilizations are often characterized by additional features as well, including agriculture, architecture, infrastructure, technological advancement, a currency, taxation, regulation, and specialization of labour.[5][6][7]

Historically, a civilization has often been understood as a larger and "more advanced" culture, in implied contrast to smaller, supposedly less advanced cultures.[8][9][10][11] In this broad sense, a civilization contrasts with non-centralized tribal societies, including the cultures of nomadic pastoralists, Neolithic societies, or hunter-gatherers; however, sometimes it also contrasts with the cultures found within civilizations themselves. Civilizations are organized densely-populated settlements divided into hierarchical social classes with a ruling elite and subordinate urban and rural populations, which engage in intensive agriculture, mining, small-scale manufacture and trade. Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest of nature, including over other human beings.[12]

The word civilization relates to the Latin civitas or 'city'. As the National Geographic Society has explained it: "This is why the most basic definition of the word civilization is 'a society made up of cities.'"[13] The earliest emergence of civilizations is generally connected with the final stages of the Neolithic Revolution in West Asia, culminating in the relatively rapid process of urban revolution and state formation, a political development associated with the appearance of a governing elite.

The bolded passages are how an establishment organ like Wikipedia glosses over the ugly side of "progress." In the comfortable halls of the modern Empire, human "control" is a measure of "progress" from less civilized to more so. Likewise, the emergence of a governing elite is a sign of progress.

This Establishment gloss on oppression is deeply ingrained in our culture. Progress is defined as Europeans seizing control of North and South America, almost all of Africa, much of Asia, all of Australia, while extermenating millions of luckless "natives."

The latest example of this kind of "progress" is the current campaign by Israel to bring this kind of progress to Gaza.

By committing genocide, I contend that Israel is simply following the example of Europe over the last 500 years.

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progressed over millennia without the aid of 'cities'

villages and councils perhaps, a wee bit of agriculture

but living within the constraints of their environment

without the exploitation of colonial powers, may have

progressed to become more civilized than the oppressors

using 'civilized' in a more universal context here

ie: becoming one with the natural world order

7 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

“No universal history leads from savagery to humanitarianism, but there is one leading from the slingshot to the megaton bomb.”
Theodor Adorno

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"The war on Gaza, backed by the West, is a demonstration that the West is willing to cross all lines. That it will discard any nuance of humanity. That it is willing to commit genocide" -- Moon of Alabama