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By Carroll Quigley

A finished and perceptive examine the criteria in the back of the increase and fall of civilizations. Quigley defines a civilization as ''a generating society with an device of expansion''. A civilization's decline isn't really inevitable yet happens while its device of growth is reworked into an institution-that is, while social preparations that meet actual social wishes are remodeled into social associations serving their very own reasons despite genuine social wishes.

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Extra resources for EVOLUTION OF CIVILIZATIONS, THE

Sample text

The fact that such theories "work" and permit us to manipulate and even Scientific Method and the Social Sciences 41 transform the physical world is no proof that these theories are true. Many theories that were clearly untrue have "worked" and continue to work for long periods. The belief that the world is a flat surface did not prevent men from moving about on its surface successfully. The acceptance of "Aristotelian" beliefs about falling bodies did not keep people from dealing with such bodies, and doing so with considerable success.

The cultures in Europe adapted themselves to these changes. Similarly, culture adapts itself to changing biologic conditions. When the herring swarmed in the North Sea in the late Middle Ages or the buffalo swarmed on the North American plains in the early nineteenth century, the people living in these areas had cultures adapted to these conditions. But when the herring disappeared or the buffalo were largely exterminated, the people of northern Europe or the Man and Culture •61 Indians of the Great Plains had to adapt their cultures to such changing biologic environment.

The members of a collection, coming casually together in time and place, have no established relationships. The members of a group do have relationships sufficiently established to be able to identify who is or who is not a member of the group, but they have the major portion of their total relationships with persons who are not members of the group. A society, on the other hand, is made up of persons who have the major part of their relationships with one another. It may be either parasitic or producing, and if it is a producing society it may or may not be a civilization.

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