The Civilization that we know and its developementBy Manojj Dhinakaran
January 21, 2019
Everyone who comes across the Greek or the Roman literature can find this statement in different voices, “They all are barbaric! Uncivilized! …” and much more. This was even seen in the western history quoted as such by conquerors like the Brits and the French during the mid- 16th century to the late 20th century. But, today the entire scenario has changed leaving most of us civilized and the barbarians to be the primitive ones living in the forests and caves. If this is so, How did the so-called Barbarians of the ancient world become civilized suddenly in the modern world? How did the civilization that we know of today was born?
The early Civilization :
The best example to reply is to look into the characteristics of ancient society. Before there were any proper settlements people were usually hunters and gatherers and did not have any common ruler of sorts, but followed the strongest men of their tribe as their leader. Many small tribes existed and the most powerful ones overtook these small groups and this went for some time until there were none to conquer in their region. Thus, monarchy came into existence and lasted for a very long time (awfully long). There were pros and cons to this but more of cons faced thought the history, leading to distress among the common folks. Later, a group of people wanted a fair and a square game leading to the formation of the model democracy of the civilized. The first group of this so-called civilized people was that of Athenians and the Romans following them. This was due to the premiere presence of the democratic process in their system, that was flourishing so much that it bought the attention of the world to their side. Their dream was utopian but they were achieving it through unity, hard work, and excellence. This was a mystery until when the first trade began between the Athenians and the western world. Their culture was so attractive that it was exchanged at large and so was their philosophy. The Athenians and the Romans now having an upper hand in trade and conquests enforced their culture where ever they went. Either through their wits or through wars. All who opposed their philosophy were barbaric as it was a contradiction to their system. Even the word barbaric was derived from the Greek word Barbaros which meant non-speakers of Greek. Their cultural exchange was inevitable under any circumstances. This was the case for one civilization. Many others like Indian, Persian, and other powerful nations started their conquests slowly over the years spreading their ideologies.
Myths, Gods, and Legends through civilization:
This cultural exchange was mostly made easy through two things, one being the stories and the other through their belief system. These played a vital role, as immortal heroes and gods for different things were born. It was like an ecstasy to everyone! Every religion wanted their own gods for different things, every civilization wanted their own immortal heroes and epic battles! Some were even copied with slight variations. Examples include, Medusa from Greek myths can be seen as a deity in African myth. Great epic battles like the Trojan War and the Mahabharata has similar figures. Gods of the Greek, Indian, Roman and Nordic elements are strikingly the same! Thoughts and cultures were exchanged so much between the other cultures around the world that it became intertwined. Philosophies of the world became laws and customs of the world became morals.
The Modern Society:
Influence and cultural exchange over many years made these customs and the way of life a gaining momentum, as almost everyone was following them. Dressing, eating habits, and other such things were more refined and were noticed. All primitive habits were frowned upon (like in the case of Indian dressing and food habits were pretty simple and not exuberant compared to their western counterparts) leading to the term uncivilized. The actual word civil means belonging or to be a part of. This sense of belonging to the western culture became the actual base for the current society that we live in. We are nothing but the reflection of the ideas and thoughts of a larger society than our own individuality. But, nothing in this world could be perfect, isn’t it? Despite their utopian nature and their high sense of civic senses, they were brutal. Despite their power and might, they became the fallen. All these pieces of evidence beg us with the question, “Is there any actual codes of civic sense or moral? That is absolute”
The actual utopian dream:
The need for the actual utopian dream began long, long ago in the ancient Rome under the great scholars like Aristotle, Hepatica (one of the best and the greatest must read), Plato, Socrates and much more. A similar system of life thought adapted by Thomas more in his book the utopia is profound by nature in the modern society. They all wanted to have a society where there was no corruption, where justice, peace and of all wisdom alone resided. But, such a system can never truly exist. It was a system that was adopted and not accepted by wholeheartedness making it faltered. If it were so then why were there so many Roman conquest and plunder? Why was there so much bloodshed?. Even the system that which we live in is nothing but a facade that is the remanence of the past. Yes! It is flawed but we all are striving to get there. But we all tend to forget the most important thing of all. All cultures are unique in their own way having its own sense of pride in it. We are being infatuated by these new customs and are losing our identity. Worse killing them I every way possible. Some change is good from the bad like cannibalism. But that shouldn’t force us to sacrifice our identity and culture as to who we are. Benefits like having rice porridge, eating in plantain leaves and other healthy habits are replaced with unhealthy ones under the pretext of urbanization and civic development.
The sense of modern life:
Thus, the civilization is nothing but the accumulation of thoughts of people that benefits a certain group at large but being followed by all as a fantasy to me. There is development constantly and the customs that we live by keeps changing constantly. What is accepted now may never be accepted later and what was rejected then may be accepted now. This is all but a temporary setting that we all keep up with just to please the globe at large. In my perspective, a true civilization is achieved when its entire people are treated as equals and the world at large is accepted as to what they are without changing them.
Let me know your thoughts below! Let’s discuss…
Fun question: Having in abundance a better solution than availability in optimal amounts is good for scarcity problems?