According to the history of humanity, civilization has been increasing at an alarming rate while it is still arguable whether or not civilization has been done in a consistent manner or if there were differences experienced. The concept of civilization is best understood by comparing and contrasting it other concepts. Civilization, in the ordinary, parlance, is defined as the opposite of the barbaric behavior of human beings. The concept of civilization, therefore, can be defined as being in rebellion to the barbarism that is a common characteristic of animals. Civilization is associated with positive ideas such as; development of urban set-up, stratification of the society, ability to read and write, and being in control of nature. The characteristics of civilization fully contrast the primitive cultures; thus creating significant differences in the manner in which the influence of civilization is spreading.
Equating the status of a nation with civilization is a wrong idea as history is not associated with the recognition of national boundaries. According to the historian Arnold Toynbee, civilizations during the nineteenth century emerged from very primitive cultures where people could not develop due to the numerous challenges experienced. Critically, a lot of difficulties could lead to the failure of the already achieved civilization while reluctance could cause less or stagnant development. Again, for civilization to push forward, there have to be challenges incurred along the way. The industrial conditions of England in 1760 and the industrial England of today can be contrasted to both external conditions and the social system. During the 1760 the industrialization of the social system was quite simple as opposed to the industrialization experienced today (Toynbee, 1884, p. 1). The variations in the environment of the eras in history, as well as the kind of approaches adopted to overcome the challenges, are the reason for the differences. In many circumstances, growth in the society is stimulated by the creative minority group while the majority follows the lead.
Physical environment, social environment or other external factors are not often responsible for the failure of civilization in the society. The factors that take the lead in destabilizing civilization are; the decay and fall of the creative minority members of the society. The groups in the society fail to concentrate constantly on matters that promote civilization when they get influenced by the minority to lose the merit and authority. The resourceful community members are prejudiced and filled with empty pride that lead to their failure in taking up the several challenges they face. Experts note that history is a continuous process; thus the happenings that are a challenge to civilization appear in a cycle of seasons.
A broken down civilization is also depicted when the dormant minority comes up with a finding that tends to be against political activities in a nation. Since the minority still put into use their inherited powers that do not carry merit any longer, the masses of the majority are compelled to be bitter, fearful, and full of hatred. The result, therefore, is resorting to violence. From the view that the seeds of creation are sawed in the same destruction created by the masses of the majority, the same destruction of civilization continues to emerge out of the ashes.
Taking the example of Christianity, the Roman civilization was degenerated as it can be noted in Nero and Caligula. The Roman civilization was, therefore, replaced by the Christian civilization where the Church started being unenthusiastic till it became apathetic. The selling of indulgences in Christianity resulted in a lot of anger that also created the rebellion that was noted in the Protestant movement led by Martin Luther. The decay of the Roman Church commenced upon the expulsion of Martin Luther from the Church. In his statement, Martin Luther mentioned that Christians were not tied to maintaining public brothels even thou they all took a vow of chastity during baptism (Luther, 1520, p.1). The whole incidence was because of the changes in civilization in the Church. Martin Luther was motivated to fight against the Orthodox Church, a war that he was profoundly influenced to begin.
Marx, who lived from 1818 to 1883, can also be used as an example of historical civilizations. During the era, industrial revolution led to the creation of capitalist powers where other few powers dominated over the others. Marx, for instance, was fully against a situation that could not continue being in existence. Keynes, who lived from 1883 to 1946, is another perfect example to be used. He noted that it is a common trend for the same people who are placed in a comfortable position in the society to become habitual to the behavior. Keynes’ statement was later confirmed to be right after the First World War in Germany. The war was characterized by a lot of labor unrest as well as the influence of capitalist powers. Eventually, the capitalist powers were weakened because the economic depression experienced disadvantaged nations such as Germany to import large amounts of raw materials from abroad. The economic depression resulted from the loss of the colonies of Germany, the commercial fleet, and the country’s foreign investments (Keynes, 1920, p.1). The World War I led to the rising of radical power to replace capitalists as it had been foreseen by Marx and the Nazi party.
The fundamental methods used in the development of civilizations tend to be the same globally. In the family set up, it is the physical attraction between a man and a woman that leads to the formation of a union where the instincts of the woman dominate. The responsibility of a man to provide shelter and food to the family pushes him to look for more comfortable places where the family can peacefully exist. Historically, as men looked for greener pastures for their families, they tamed the geographical flora and fauna even as they followed river routes for search of water. The overwhelming family needs resulted in the breaking of new grounds. In the contemporary society, the new grounds that were broken are evident on the internet that is now a primary component of the world. On the contrary, there are groups of people who are striving to prevent the less privileged from accessing the internet. It is clear that knowledge cannot be held back or even replaced by the rising lines between the rich and the poor. In the real sense, when a violent tribe from the desert gets access to a kingdom that is overflowing with honey and milk, they will ascend the throne to be rich. Moreover, they will also lose the difficulty at the desert and sooner or later surrender the crown.
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