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Sunday, May 06, 2007


Civilisation requires a modicum of material prosperity--enough to provide a little leisure. But, far more, it requires confidence--confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws, and confidence in one's own mental powers....Vigour, energy, vitality: all the great civilisations--or civilising epochs--have had a weight of energy behind them. People sometimes think that civilisation consists in fine sensibilities and good conversation and all that. These can be among the agreeable results of civilisations, but they are not what make a civilisation. and a society can have these amenities and yet be dead and rigid.

from Kenneth Clark's CIVILISATION

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