The Concept of Civilization
A civilization is an advanced society that has advanced beyond primitive or barbaric living. It is characterized by reasonable levels of organization, art and education, and standardized measurement. Other secondary components of a civilization include a developed transportation system, writing, standardized measurement, currency, and political structures. A civilization is generally considered advanced if its people have a government and are able to conduct inquests. The term civilization is sometimes used as an euphemism for primitive societies.
Ancient civilizations could have been located in the Indus Valley, the Andes, and Neolithic Old Europe. These civilizations would have needed a number of key components to survive. The first of these components would be the ability to tax agriculture. This ability would allow the development of complex societies with hierarchies, division of labor, and specialist jobs. A civilization would have also tended to be centralized, with an elite ruling the society.
The word civilization is related to the Latin word civitas. Traditionally, civilization refers to urban state-level societies, but it may also refer to regional traditions or settlements that did not have state-level organizations. Earlier, anthropologists used the term “civilization” to refer to complex human societies, including both primitive and advanced civilizations. Civilizations developed rapidly, and were characterized by the appearance of governing elites.
The concept of civilization is increasingly used to discuss human progress, as well as the nature of society. This emergence of modernity is often accompanied by the demise of more primitive societies. Some societies view civilization as a burden, and a means to conquer and exploit them. While this is a legitimate way to think of civilization, many other societies do not. The very concept of civilization is often misused. In addition to its negative impacts, the concept has negative ramifications in the world, including the destruction of natural resources.
Humans have long relied on hunting and gathering to survive before developing agricultural practices. The Neolithic Revolution, which began crop cultivation and animal domestication, provided a reliable food supply that helped humans stay in one place. Settlements grew into cities. Urban civilizations tended to have larger populations, unique architecture and art, and divisions of labor. However, the process of civilization does not necessarily lead to a better society. There is still room for improvements in human behavior, but we cannot be sure how far we can go before civilization.
The cycle of consumption is no longer sustainable. The consequences of this overconsumption include environmental degradation, climate change, and a number of extreme weather events. In terms of life expectancy, a person who lives through the nineteenth century should live to a relatively old age. This is in contrast to today’s life expectancy, which is mid to late sixties. In many parts of the world, people have longer life spans than any other time in history.