Barbarism Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 62 quotes )
Barbarism? Hah! When we kills people we do it there and then, lookin' 'em in the eye, and we'd be happy to buy 'em a drink in the next world, no harm done. I never knew a barbarian who cut up people slowly in little rooms, or tortured women to make 'em look pretty, or put poison in people's grub. Civilization? If that's civilization, you can shove it where the sun don't shine!
Because he let the entire world press upon him. For instance? Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organized power. Subject to tremendous controls. In a condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person.Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who have discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do.
The future of humanity is uncertain, even in the most prosperous countries, and the quality of life deteriorates; and yet I believe that what is being discovered about the infinitely large and infinitely small is sufficient to absolve this end of the century and millennium. What a very few are acquiring in knowledge of the physical world will perhaps cause this period not to be judged as a pure return of barbarism.
When you are young, you think that the old lament the deterioration of life because this makes it easier for them to die without regret. When you are old, you become impatient with the way in which the young applaud the most insignificant improvements … while remaining heedless of the world’s barbarism. I don’t say things have got worse; I merely say the young wouldn’t notice if they had. The old times were good because then we were young, and ignorant of how ignorant the young can be.
We all have that heritage, no matter what old land our fathers left. All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It's a breed - selected out by accident. And so we're overbrave and overfearful - we're kind and cruel as children. We're overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers. We boast and are impressed. We're oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic - and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture.
Parent power is not a sign of democracy, it is a sign of barbarism. We are to regard education as a service industry, like a laundry, parents are the customers, teachers the washers, children the dirty linen. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. And what in the name of boiling hell do parents know about education? How many educated people are there in the world? I could name seventeen or eighteen.
Even at that time the hope of leaving behind messages in bottles on the flood of barbarism bursting on Europe was an amiable illusion: the desperate letters stuck in the mud of the spirit of rejuvenesence and were worked up by a band of Noble Human-Beings and other riff-raff into highly artistic but inexpensive wall-adornments. Only since then has progress in communications really got into its stride. Who, in the end, is to take it amiss if even the freest of free spirits no longer write for an imaginary posterity, more trusting, if possible, than even their contemporaries, but only for the dead God?
Human history, like all great movements, was cyclical, and returned to the point of beginning. The idea of indefinite progress in a right line was a chimera of the imagination, with no analogue in nature. The parabola of a comet was perhaps a yet better illustration of the career of humanity. Tending upward and sunward from the aphelion of barbarism, the race attained the perihelion of civilization only to plunge downward once more to its nether goal in the regions of chaos.
Nature is pitiless; she never withdraws her flowers, her music, her fragrance and her sunlight, from before human cruelty or suffering. She overwhelms man by the contrast between divine beauty and social hideousness. She spares him nothing of her loveliness, neither wing or butterfly, nor song of bird; in the midst of murder, vengeance, barbarism, he must feel himself watched by holy things; he cannot escape the immense reproach of universal nature and the implacable serenity of the sky. The deformity of human laws is forced to exhibit itself naked amidst the dazzling rays of eternal beauty. Man breaks and destroys; man lays waste; man kills; but the summer remains summer; the lily remains the lily; and the star remains the star....As though it said to man, 'Behold my work. and yours.
On the whole I’m glad; you can’t mourn for unborn grandchildren when there never was a hope of them. This planet is doomed anyway. Eventually the sun will explode or cool and one small insignificant particle of the universe will disappear with only a tremble. If man is doomed to perish, then universal infertility is as painless a way as any. And there are, after all, personal compensations. For the last sixty years we have sycophantically pandered to the most ignorant, the most criminal and the most selfish section of society. Now, for the rest of our lives, we’re going to be spared the intrusive barbarism of the young, their noise, their pounding, repetitive, computer-produced so-called music, their violence, their egotism disguised as idealism. My God, we might even succeed in getting rid of Christmas, that annual celebration of parental guilt and juvenile greed. I intend that my life shall be comfortable, and, when it no longer is, then I shall wash down my final pill with a bottle of claret.
We hear a great deal about the rudeness of the ris- ing generation. I am an oldster myself and might be expected to take the oldsters' side, but in fact I have been far more impressed by the bad manners of par- ents to children than by those of children to parents. Who has not been the embarrassed guest at family meals where the father or mother treated their grown-up offspring with an incivility which, offered to any other young people, would simply have termi- nated the acquaintance? Dogmatic assertions on mat- ters which the children understand and their elders don't, ruthless interruptions, flat contradictions, ridicule of things the young take seriously some- times of their religion insulting references to their friends, all provide an easy answer to the question "Why are they always out? Why do they like every house better than their home?" Who does not prefer civility to barbarism?
Another savage trait of our time is the disposition to talk about material substances instead of about ideas. The old civilisation talked about the sin of gluttony or excess. We talk about the Problem of Drink--as if drink could be a problem. When people have come to call the problem of human intemperance the Problem of Drink, and to talk about curing it by attacking the drink traffic, they have reached quite a dim stage of barbarism. The thing is an inverted form of fetish worship; it is no sillier to say that a bottle is a god than to say that a bottle is a devil. The people who talk about the curse of drink will probably progress down that dark hill. In a little while we shall have them calling the practice of wife-beating the Problem of Pokers; the habit of housebreaking will be called the Problem of the Skeleton-Key Trade; and for all I know they may try to prevent forgery by shutting up all the stationers' shops by Act of Parliament.