global civilization, violence, living conditions


This article inquires into the question of what is civilization. It considers that a sine qua non of a civilization is a non-violent culture. It investigates the concept of violence and extends the concept to cover examples of citizens who live in conditions of poverty, ill health, lack of food, lack of education, lack of adequate housing, and inadequate living conditions. The argument in the article is that a civilization that allows such conditions to exist perpetrates violence upon its citizens and therefore does not deserve the appellation, ‘civilization.’ Those citizens who do not protest against such violence are not mere bystanders but are accomplices to the violence. The article raises the question whether civilization can exist in the context of nations engaging in an arms race, especially a nuclear arms race. It raises the question whether civilization can exist in nations that enable climate crisis through endorsing and permitting the use of fossil fuels. It inquires into the question of the relationship between the philosophy of man and the kinds of nation states that exist. It argues that a better understanding of the nature of man would lend itself to the concept and construction of a viable global civilization. In order to achieve a global civilization, it is argued, one needs to construct a philosophy of man that incorporates insights from Rousseau, Mencius and Confucius.