You've obviously hit a never and a silly bone at the same time.
It;s an important topic. A good place to start might be with
Eliot's own NOTES TOWARDS THE DEFINITION OF CULTURE, for civil;isation
and culture have seruious overlaps.
My mentor and hero, Marshall MclUhan in his BUTENBERG GALAXY
defined a civilization as having a serious literacy element. A
significant number of people, besides the priestly elite can read.
Non-literate cultures are tribal, some very sophisticated
but basically dependent on oral communication. So you could say
that modern western civilisation started with the european
Renaissance especially through the invention of the printing
press. The printing press was the first mass production machine,
and as such became the model for the high technological development.
It has been easy for modern civilisation/culture to identify
with the greek because of the common literacy element. Still
for the greeks that came out of a transformation of their
oral/tribal cultures. I remeber reading somewhere that in fact
there was a hindu/vedanta influence in the development of
What is curious is that Soctates/Buddha/Confucius all arrived
on the scene at the same time, roughly 500BC with a really significant
amount in common. Beyond that I'm just not knowledgable enough
As for cynics who find modern culture destructive, if they acknowldege
themselves to be cynics, they should look up the Greek etymology
of the term. I believe it means dog-like.
From: Vishvesh Obla
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2004-Nov-13 8:55 AM
Subject: (OT) Roots of Western Civilization
I am sorry if I have been making too many 'OT'
postings, but this will be my last. I am very much
curious to know the origins attributed to Western
Civilization. I am told that the school books would
ascribe it as back as the Sumerian, Akkadian and the
Egyptian, but what I have read points only as far as
the Greek, if not the later Christian origins. An
Irish friend, for that matter, would never imagine
herself to think of the Celts as her ancestors. (That
the Greek would have influences of the earlier
civilizations is possible, but I haven‚EUR(tm)t observed it
conspicuous in what I have read). Would someone throw
light on it, Please?
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