Prelude to Civilization, Victor Brauner

They civilize what’s pretty
By puttin’ up a city
Where nothin’ that’s
Pretty can grow….
They civilize left
They civilize right
Till nothing is left
Till nothing is right…

— Alan Jay Lerner, “The First Thing You Know,” Paint Your Wagon, 1969

We are born princes and the civilizing process makes us frogs. — Syrus

“No man who is in a hurry is quite civilized” — Will Durant

“I believe I found the missing link between animal and civilized man. It is us.” — Konrad Lorenz, ethologist, Nobel laureate (1903-1989)

“It is a curious thing… that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.” -– Evelyn Waugh

“A civilization that is really strong fills man to the brim, though he never stir. What are we worth when motionless, is the question.” -– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“America may be unique in being a country which has leapt from barbarism to decadence without touching civilization.”–- John O’Hara

“What leaders have to remember is that somewhere under the somnolent surface is the creature that builds civilizations, the dreamer of dreams, the risk taker. And remembering that, the leader must reach down to the springs that never dry up, the ever-fresh springs of the human spirit.” — John W. Gardner

“A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity.” — Robert Frost

“What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power” — Henry George

‘Barbarism is needed every four or five hundred years to bring the world back to life. Otherwise it would die of civilization.” — Edmond and Jules de Goncourt, Journal, 3 September 1855

“One… gets an impression that civilization is something which was imposed on a resisting majority by a minority which understood how to obtain possession of the means to power and coercion.” — Sigmund Freud

“If the Aborigine drafted an I.Q. test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it.” — Stanley Garn

“What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.” — Mohandas Gandhi

Gotta agree with Gandhi myself…