ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Colloquial Rants and Reasoning: End Civilization as we know it Part 1

Updated on May 6, 2015

Introduction

Words cannot express the enormous love I feel for Earth and all her inhabitants. I want it to be clear that I deeply want what’s best for us all. The world is filled with senseless suffering. The more I trace these tribulations, the clearer it is to me that civilization almost always lies at their root. I think civilization as we know it should end. Please don’t get me wrong. Please hear me out. I do not want people to suffer or die. In fact, I would like to argue that the vast majority of destruction, murder and premature death in the world are caused by civilization. This flies in the face of common perceptions I know, but as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

An ever increasing number of people are coming to the same conclusion; this raging, dog-eat-dog and anything else in its path monstrosity of an idea must be stopped. For those of you who agree with what little I have said so far, reading on will only solidify your view and perhaps offer some tidbits for your own arguments. This is my case against civilization as we know it for the dwindling majority who still sing its praises or at least believe in it. The piece will be in several parts, as it is a work in progress with no end in sight. There will be links at the bottom of each one to lead you to the next. I should also add that I am not an authority on much of anything; I am just another human being who started questioning my reality.

I guess I should begin with what people are led to believe civilization is.

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 11th Edition defines civilization as: “a relatively high level of cultural and technological development; specifically : the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained” Gotta love those written records. And I have no misgivings toward technological development (within reason) either. But we all know civilization is more than that.

Collins English Dictionary defines civilization as: “a human society that has highly developed material and spiritual resources and a complex cultural, political, and legal organization; an advanced state in social development”. I can’t speak for y’all, but I’m not feeling this “advanced state of social development”. “Spiritual resources”? What does that mean?

Anyway, Macmillan Dictionary defines civilization as: “the state of having developed an advanced culture and institutions”. Hmmm, there’s that “advanced” word again. Many indigenous the world over would beg to differ with the notion that civilization as we know it is more advanced than their own worldviews. But let us continue.

Maybe some antonyms will help explain civilization. Let’s see, barbarous, uncivilized, oafish, vulgar, unsophisticated, crude, and extremely cruel. Wow, these are dreadful words. Let’s check Wikipedia.

“The word civilization comes from the Latin civilis, meaning civil, related to the Latin civis, meaning citizen, and civitas, meaning city or city-state.

“In the sixth century, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian oversaw the consolidation of Roman civil law. The resulting collection is called the Corpus Juris Civilis. In the 11th century, professors at the University of Bologna, Western Europe's first university, rediscovered the Corpus Juris Civilis, and its influence began to be felt across Europe. In 1388, the word civil appeared in English meaning "of or related to citizens." In 1704, civilization was used to mean "a law which makes a criminal process into a civil case." Civilization was not used in its modern sense to mean "the opposite of barbarism"—as contrasted to civility, meaning politeness or civil virtue—until the second half of the 18th century.”

Hmmm, now we’re getting somewhere. The Romans referred to anyone who wasn’t a Roman as barbarian. All aspects of non-Roman culture were considered barbarous or barbarism. Isn’t it funny how the meanings of words change over time? It is widely known that Roman civilization was a warmongering, greedy and tyrannical juggernaut. They conquered a vast chunk of the known world at the time enslaving or murdering anyone who stood in their way. They seized control of and put a price on the resources that people needed to survive. Those who didn’t resist were assigned paid positions that served the empire with which they could pay to survive and pay the taxes they were forced to pay. Those who resisted were exiled, imprisoned, enslaved or murdered. The people the Romans encountered were not any more or less oafish or cruel than the average Roman. They were just not Romans. In many ways the Roman model of civilization is the same as the one we know today, which is one of many reasons I think it should end. While it can be argued that the Roman Empire lives on through the church and modern ideology, that is another story. Rome as it was historically known fell! It fell long and it fell hard. Shouldn’t we be distancing ourselves from this behavior?

Part 1 Hunger and Homelessness

Hunger

I think civilization as we know it should end because according to theUnited Nations Food and Agriculture Organization or the FAO the world currently produces enough food for all 7 billion people in it to eat at least 2,720 kilocalories per person per day, but an estimated 925 million people are starving to death. Nearly 1 in 7 people on Earth are starving to death! FAO also reports that roughly 1 third of all this food, well over 1 billion tons of it is sent to rot in landfills! Well over half of this waste is generated by industrialized civilizations. Hunger Notes, a world hunger education service states that “Harmful economic systems are the principal cause of poverty and hunger.” And “…the principal underlying cause of poverty and hunger is the ordinary operation of the economic and political systems in the world. Essentially control over resources and income is based on military, political and economic power…” Did you catch it? “…ordinary operation of the economic and political systems in the world”? What this says to me is civilization causes hunger and I see it. These people are not just hard luck cases; they are victims of a slow mass manslaughter. They have been sentenced to death for the crime of being uncivilized or ill adjusted to civilization.

This is not to say that this gross imbalance in distribution has necessarily served developed nations well. In addition to the developed world wasting more food than anyone else, apparently we consume more too. According to the World Health Organization, 2011, over one-third of the U.S. adult population is considered to be overweight; over 72 million American adults are considered to be medically obese. Furthermore, one and a half billion adults worldwide are overweight and 500 million are considered clinically obese. Psychologist Don H. Hockenbury states that, “An environment characterized by ample and easily obtainable high-fat, high-calorie, palatable food constitutes a high risk environment for obesity. As countries develop stable economies and food supplies, the prevalence of obesity rapidly escalates.” Health care costs directly attributable to obesity exceed $60 billion a year and annually 300,000 adult deaths are directly attributable to obesity in the United States alone. Civilization starves some while stuffing others to death!

Homelessness

I think civilization as we know it should end because according to U.S. government census figures, 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless and there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country. More often than not these homes are “owned” by banks that would sooner bulldoze them than play landlord to the unfortunate. As of 2005 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights estimated there were over 100 million homeless people worldwide. I know it’s an old statistic, but with all the world has been through as of late, I doubt it’s in decline.

Modern civilization causes and enables homelessness. Civilization has turned people into specialist. While every member of pre-colonized, nature based cultures were at least competent at every task necessary to their way of life, members of modern civilizations are usually only proficient in one or a handful. Think about it. Do you know how to make everything you own? This cumbersome association of specialists’ works fine for the sake of itself; if the school crossing guard gets hit by a truck and killed, a new one is hired and all is right with the machine again. But, how does it work for people?

If a specialist loses their job they can’t really take care of their selves or their families until they find another job. They must often resort to a finite amount of savings or severance, unskilled lower paying jobs, welfare or crime to survive. Civilization turns people into disposable specific components. Of course, many manage to re-purpose themselves and appease the establishment, but others don’t. The latter, of no use to civilization is discharged with no real knowledge or means. As long as you have the money to pay the house building specialist or a landlord it’s all good, but if you don’t you are just screwed.

In modern civilization you can’t just go build your own house. You must pay for property to build it on. You must pay to go to school to learn the “proper” way to design and build, have your own designs scrutinized, revised and rejected over and over or you have to buy approved designs. These “proper” houses must be built with approved materials and the less money you have the crappier your house will be. If you want electricity or plumbing in your house you must pay to be certified in these trades or hire specialists. Oh and you’re gonna want those utilities because you can’t carry home owners insurance without em. Oh and you must have home owners insurance. Oh and you must pay property tax. Oh and you have to cut your grass or pay a fine. Oh and you can’t just kill your grass or plant unapproved ground cover etc. etc. The establishment cites health and safety issues for these measures, but if civilization would rather see you on the streets than in an unapproved shelter, does it really care about your health or safety?


Works Cited

"An Underground Education." Randomhouse.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2012. <http://www.randomhouse.com/book/195374/an-underground-education-by-richard-zacks/>.

Kawagley, Oscar. "A Yupiaq Worldview: A Pathway to Ecology and Spirit [Paperback]." Amazon.com: A Yupiaq Worldview: A Pathway to Ecology and Spirit (9781577663843): Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2012. <http://www.amazon.com/Yupiaq-Worldview-Pathway-Ecology-Spirit/dp/1577663845>.

"The Original Affluent Society--Marshall Sahlins." The Original Affluent Society--Marshall Sahlins. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2012. <http://www.primitivism.com/original-affluent.htm>.

http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/thousands-indigenous-farmers-chased-their-land-biofuels-companies.html

http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/74192/icode/

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/07/11/255172.htm

http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-background-02-01.htm


http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/us-natives-alcohol-lawsuit-idUSTRE8191JJ20120210

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/us/next-to-tribe-with-alcohol-ban-a-hub-of-beer.html?pagewanted=1&_r=4

http://www.npr.org/2011/10/25/141672992/native-foster-care-lost-children-shattered-families

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/Lakota_Indians_cancel_treaties_with_U_S_gov_t_4297.shtml

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443931404577553082044623996.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-51841/Why-mowing-lawn-bad-you.ht

http://www.indiaresource.org/campaigns/coke/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Rod Rainey profile imageAUTHOR

      RodneyBlaec Rainey 

      5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Oh, and I forgot to mention that these books are free online.

    • Rod Rainey profile imageAUTHOR

      RodneyBlaec Rainey 

      5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Thanks, I hope to hear your thoughts on the rest of the series. I'm planning another series on alternatives, but I have a lot of research to do and you know, the stuff of life, so it might be a while. I would like to have some hands on experience with some of these things before I write about them. I've been reading The Moneyless Manifesto by Mark Boyle which is packed with ways to live without money. I also recommend anything by Charles Eisenstein.

    • TheBudness profile image

      TheBudness 

      5 years ago from Appalachia

      I definitely can't argue any of your points, they are all certainly true. I like the way you've set up your argument as well. I will read on in the series to see if you have any alternative suggestions. I personally believe that the modern banking system is what has made civilization so dreadfully hopeless. But like anything else, there is a much larger backstory to all of this. And it is probably much longer than mainstream scholars would have us people believe.

    • Rod Rainey profile imageAUTHOR

      RodneyBlaec Rainey 

      5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Thank You, snakeslane! I hope to hear your thoughts on the rest of the series.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Rod Rainey, I am intrigued with your eloquent 'rant' on civilization as we know it. Looking forward to reading the whole series. It does seem that our society is hurtling head long into a strange dystopia. The statistics and scenerios you present are alarming. Thank you. Regards, snakeslane

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)