What is a civilization?

What is a civilization? One definition is a society or culture that has developed knowledge of farming, trade, government, and art and science.

We’re going to go a little bit farther. In fact, I’m going to give you the five things without which, no civilization can survive.

1. Food Surplus (Having more food than you need to survive)
2. Job Specialization (Having jobs other than those that produce food)
3. A Written Language
4. Cities
5. Government (a leader, laws, etc…)

If any one of these things falls apart, the civilization also falls apart. Now, lets look at each of these in more detail…

If you have a surpulus of food...
• Your population grows. Now you have more people to do work other than gathering food.
• You can stay in one place. Ever seen a city that moves?
• You have domesticated plants and animals (farming and raising animals for food and to help do work)

If you have job specialization
• People in your group will learn to do different things to contribute to the society.
• Your group develops new technologies and begins to study the surroundings (science, philosophy, medicing, astronomy, etc...)
• With these new technologies and a surplus of food, your people can live together in cities.
• Your group will develop a system of writing the language (for keeping records, conducting business, etc...)

If you have a written language...
• You can keep records
• Developing technologies becomes easier (it's nice to keep records of your trials, experiments, etc...)
• You can write laws

If you have laws/government...
• You can keep your cities and civilizations together (hopefully)
• With the central control of a government, your civilization can expand

If any of these elements breakdown, so does the civilization. History proves so far that all civilizations eventually come to an end in one way or another. The fall of a civilzation can almost always be traced to one of these 5 crucial elements of a civilization.

Here is a shorter definition of civilization

No comments:

Post a Comment