Sorry, sweetie<br><br>for all practical purposes, when<br>once mighty --->EMPIRES<--- not countries<br>are sitting on top of the world, and within 3 generations<br>don't have the proverbial pot to pee in, nor window to throw it out of<br>IMHO, that constitutes one defunct'in' CIVILIZATION! <br><br>[color:green]"...or am I a butterfly that's dreaming she's a woman?"</font color=green> [color:green]. . . _ _ _ . . .</font color=green><br>
I was and am stuck on the definition of Civilization, thus the discussion. After a sudden failure here (the electricity went off, stayed off, the dogs drove me to early drink), I'm reduced to something like ~<br><br>Civilization is huge, huger than us ~ Our empires, countries and governments, our conceits and religions and, yes, our economies. <br><br>See. I told you I'm reduced. <br><br><br><br><br><br>[color:blue]I always deserve it. Really.</font color=blue><br><br>
_________________________ I always deserve it. Really.
Certainly not clear cut that an economic policy kills a civilization. Jared Diamond in writing Guns, Germs, and Steel would argue it is all written in where you live that underlines how your civilization is going to make out and whether you have access to certain things like domesticatible animals etc.<br><br>But once something is built I could see economic decisions which drives every act of war I can think of to bring down a civilization. Yes, the definition of destroy can be a semantic argument. The Roman nose is alive and well throughout the Mediterranean. But the civilization really has vanished. As really has the British Empire although there are Brits living on an island somewhere. That one is debatable although Queen Victoria would not recognize her borders if she were alive today.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
But the civilization is not the empire, is it? I mean, I don't really swallow the notion that Britain was founded by Brut, who was one of the survivors of the fall of Troy, as was Aeneas who founded Rome, so that Trojan "civilization" had its second flowering in Rome and its third flowering in Britain, and that the US is a continuation of Britain, so a fourth flowering of Troy. But the "civilization" we inhabit deploys the imagery of that historical myth pretty effectively, and in many ways sees itself as a continuation of Troy-Rome-Britain. A basis for the complaints about the wave of Latino immigrants is that we are destroying that lineage (ignoring the obvious irony that "Latino" means "Latin," means Roman--but the complaint is really about the native-American descendants who happen to speak Spanish by the spread of the Spanish branch of Roman "civilization").<br><br>Anyway, can you really assert that Roman "civilization" dies in the fifth century? Or that British "civilization," to the extent that it's distinct from the Roman, dies in the inter-war period last century? I just don't see it that way. Let me put it in a very silly, personal way: I can read Aristophanes, Virgil, the Chanson de Roland, the letters of Abelard and Eloise, the history by Geoffrfey of Monmouth . . . all the way up to Italo Calvin, Vaclav Havel, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and understand the fundamental issues that those authors raise in ways that I just cannot do with writers from Africa or the Islamic world or Asia. What I consider a continuous development from the 15th century BCE to the 21st Century CE in the Mediterranean Basin-Europe-North/South America-Australia is what I call "civilization." Incidentally, to the extent that African literature responds to the influence of European colonization, it becomes partially part of that civilization as well, so I can very easily read Chinua Achebe or Ngugi wa Thiongo, although there are elements of their writing that are completely alien to the "civilization" with which I'm familiar, and those elements are associated with a very different "civilization."<br><br>The problem in this kind of discussion, I think, is what Lea is getting at: what the heck is a "civilization." Since the 18th century, and increasingly so through the present, an equal problem is the hegemonic expansion of "the West" into the rest of the world, so that other civilizations have had to respond to it and, in some measure, become part of it. Postcolonial theory addresses those kinds of problems in interesting ways. Anyways, I'm not a historiographer, not by a long shot, but I do know something about the complications that historiography has elaborated in regards to all this kind of stuff, generally under the rubric of periodization, and am a real partisan of the ideas of Michel Foucault in this regard. Foucault pays attention to the continuation of and inventive interrelations among what he calls "discourses," which I can't define without making this not just a long but a hyperlong post.<br><br>So I'll stop here. <br><br>You're welcome. <br><br>   
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
Lovely<br><br>Another conversation gone through the floor<br>by splitting hairs over a simple statement<br>rather than exploring the core concept.<br><br>[color:green]"...or am I a butterfly that's dreaming she's a woman?"</font color=green> [color:green]. . . _ _ _ . . .</font color=green><br>
That's what fora such as these are like, and that's what they are for. Someone brings up something, and someone else talks about what ever comes to his/her mind about it, off topic or on, or splitting hairs or whatever; and the thread gets longer and we keep reading and all is well.<br><br>We are what we repeatedly do. -Aristotle
_________________________ We are what we repeatedly do - Aristotle
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