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Is Civilization a Thin Veneer of Civilized Modern Man?


The veneer of civilization is in my estimation, truly thin, and its slim fragility combined with today’s modern dependence by so many densely packed people – is a recipe for disaster – should the thin veneer layer be peeled back like an onion…

What is civilization?

The root of the word ‘Civilization’ is ‘Civ’ which comes from the Latin civis (CITIZEN). ‘Civil’, which is also derived from the same latin word, relates to citizens that are ‘trained’, ‘refined’. It is considered the cultural development of man from barbarism.

Are we as humans, naturally civilized? No, we are ‘trained’ to be civil.

Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) said, “Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work.”

Is civilized society but a formula by design – of what we are supposed to be? A thin veneer wrapped around us and held in place by training, indoctrination, and fear of punishment?

Is the bigger picture and construct of our modern civilization actually an imposition by a smaller authority (than the majority) who understands how to posses the systemic means to power?
If you look closely, the veneer of civilization appears to be remarkably thin.

Is it a ‘front’ that’s put on in front of others?

How many would behave badly if they thought there would be no penalties for such behavior? Would the ugly side of human nature emerge?

Can man’s savage nature still break out of this thin veneer, wicked and barbaric as ever?

How quickly could we transition from civil to barbaric, and what could cause it?
Most who are ‘civilized’ assume that people are going to act civilized, but we’re never far from trouble. Take away a few things, and all bets are off…

It is my estimation that in our modern civilization, if man’s creature comforts and distractions were to be removed, and if modern ‘civilized’ man were to struggle just to obtain food, water, and the basic necessities of life, the veneer would melt away rapidly. Even simply removing creature comforts and distractions will peel away a layer…

Corruption and greed will undermine a civilization, and if trust is lost, the onion begins to peel.

It seems to make sense that there is a higher risk of collapsing a civilization whose vast majority is so hideously dependent upon external systems for survival. If some or many of those ‘key’ systems were to collapse, the veneer would be stripped away right quick…
What are your thoughts on the so called, ‘thin veneer’?
What are the risks today which may affect this veneer?

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Is Civilization a Thin Veneer of Civilized Modern Man?


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