Carroll Quigley (9 November 1910 – 3 January 1977) was a noted American historian, polymath, and theorist of the evolution of civilizations, best known for his book Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966)
Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966)
- The West believes that man and the universe are both complex and that the apparently discordant parts of each can be put into a reasonably workable arrangement with a little good will, patience, and experimentation.
- p. 1227
- The problem of meaning today is the problem of how the diverse and superficially self-contradictory experiences of men can be put into a consistent picture that will provide contemporary man with a convincing basis from which to live and to act.
- p. 1278
Oscar Iden Lecture Series, Lecture 3: "The State of Individuals" (1976)
- ...a state is not the same thing as a society, although the Greeks and Romans thought it was. A state is an organization of power on a territorial basis.
- The link between a society, whether it be made up of communities or individuals, and a state is this: Power rests on the ability to satisfy human needs.
- ...the levels of culture, the aspects of society: military, political, economic, social, emotional, religious, and intellectual. Those are your basic human needs. ...they are arranged in evolutionary sequence.
- Men have social needs. They have a need for other people; they have a need to love and be loved.
- The basis of social relationships is reciprocity: if you cooperate with others, others will cooperate with you.
- Our society has so cluttered our lives with artifacts [man-made things]... and organizational structures that [our] moment to moment relationships with nature are almost impossible.
- ...human beings have religious needs. They have a need for a feeling of certitude in their minds about things they cannot control and they do not fully understand, and with humility, they admit they do not understand...
- When you destroy people's religious expression, they will establish secularized religions like Marxism.
- ...empires and civilizations do not collapse because of deficiencies on the military or the political levels.
- Persons, personalities if you wish, can only be made in communities.
- A community is made up of intimate relationships among diversified types of individuals--a kinship group, a local group, a neighborhood, a village, a large family.
- Without communities, no infant will be sufficiently socialized... and that occurs in the first four or five years of life. ...The first two years are important. ...of vital importance. He has to be loved, above all he has to be talked to.
- A state of individuals, such as we now have reached in Western Civilization, will not create persons, and the atomized individuals who make it up will be motivated by desires that do not necessarily reflect needs. Instead of needing other people they need a shot of heroin; instead of some kind of religious conviction, they have to be with the winning team.
- ...we no longer have intellectually satisfying arrangements in our educational system, in our arts, humanities or anything else; instead we have slogans and ideologies. An ideology is a religious or emotional expression; it is not an intellectual expression.
- ...when a society is reaching its end, in the last couple of centuries you have... a misplacement of satisfactions. You find your emotional satisfaction in making a lot of money... or in proving to the poor, half-naked people in Southeast Asia that you can kill them in large numbers.
- ...in the last thousand years. If we go back before [AD] 976... the main core of people's life and experience... was in the religious, emotional and social levels. They had religious beliefs, they had social and emotional relationships with people they saw every day. ...controls and rewards were internalized. ...This is why they could get along without a state in 976: all the significant controls were internalized.
- ...Western Civilization began to expand in 976. ...The economic expansion was achieved chiefly by specialization and exchange... commercialization.
- ...today everything is commercialized--politics, religion, education, ideology, belief, the armed services. ...Everything has its price.
- [Increasing] politicization means the [economic] expansion is slowing up and you are no longer attempting to achieve increased output per capita, or increased wealth, or increased satisfactions... but you are doing so by mobilizing power. We have seen this going on for almost a century. ...increased militarization.
- ...increasing remoteness of desires from needs. ...increasing confusion between means and ends. The ends are human needs... Instead they want the means they have been brainwashed to accept... Never was any society in human history as rich and as powerful as Western Civilization and the United States, and it is not a happy society.
- ...controls on behavior shift from the intermediate levels of human experience (social, emotional and religious) to the lower (military and political) or to the upper (ideological). They become the externalized controls of a mature society: weapons, bureaucracies, material rewards, or ideology.
- In its final stages the civilization becomes a dualism of almost totalitarian imperial power and an amorphous mass culture of atomized individuals.
- ...1776 is a very significant year. and this is not just because the American Revolution began. Watt's patent of the steam engine... Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations... the failure of the French to reorganize their political system occurred in 1776, and so forth. ...The destruction of communities, the destruction of religion and the frustration of emotions were greatly intensified by the Industrial Revolution: railroads, factories, growth of cities, technological revolution in the countryside and in the growing of food and so forth.
- ...the nineteenth century Age of Expansion... brought on an acceleration of the main focus of the activities of society... from the areas of internal controls to the areas of external controls. ...the increasing role of propaganda... helped create an impression of stability.
- ...I offended some of you by saying you had been brainwashed. This is not an insult; it's a simple statement of fact. When any infant is born and socialized in a society, even if he is to become a very mature individual, he has been brainwashed. ...given a structure for categorizing his experience and a system of values applied to the structure of categories.
- ...in our society... this has now become a propagandist system in which emphasis is put on the future... the ideology against which the young people of the 1950's and 1960's rebelled. Future preference: plan; study hard; save.
- Another aspect of the nineteenth century propaganda system is the increasing emphasis upon material desires.
- ...we were brainwashed into believing... that the only important thing was individualism. They called it freedom. There is no such thing as freedom. There is something called liberty; it's quite different. ...read [Guido de] Ruggiero's History of European Liberalism... Freedom is freedom from restraints. We're always under restraints.
- The difference between a stable society and an unstable one is that the restraints in an unstable one are external. In a stable society government ultimately becomes unnecessary; the restraints on people's actions are internal, they're self-disciplined...
- ...they have brainwashed us into believing in the last 150 years... that quantitative change is superior to qualitative attributes. If we can turn out more... it doesn't matter if they're half as good. ...We're quantifying everything, and that is why we're trying to put everything on computers. Governments will no longer have to make decisions; computers will do it.
- ...they give us vicarious satisfactions for many of our frustrations. ...People need exercise; they do not need to watch other people exercise... Another vicarious satisfaction is sexy magazines; this is vicarious sex. To anyone rushing to buy one, I'd like to say, "The real thing is better."
- The brainwashing which has been going on for 150 years has also resulted in the replacement of intellectual activities and religion by ideologies and science. ...I have nothing against Marx, except that his theories do not explain what happened.
- The very idea that there is some kind of conflict between science and religion is completely mistaken. Science is a method for investigating experience... Religion is the fundamental, necessary internalization of our system of more permanent values.
- Another thing that they have tried to get us to believe in the last 150 years... is that the nation as the repository of sovereignty can be both a state and a community. ...Why did the English, the French, the Castilians, the Hohenzollerns, and others become the repository of sovereignty as nations... They did so because... weapons made it possible to compel obedience over areas which were approximately the size of these national groups... nationalism is an episode in history, and it fit a certain power structure and a certain configuration in human life in our civilization. Now... They all want autonomy. ...The nation or the state, as we now have it as the structure of power, cannot be a community.
- We have now done what the Romans did when they started to commit suicide. We have shifted from an army of citizens to an army of mercenaries...
- The appearance of stability from 1840 to about 1900 was superficial, temporary and destructive in the long run... because communities and societies must rest upon cooperation and not upon competition. Anyone who says that society can be run on the basis of everyone's trying to maximize his own greed is talking total nonsense. And to teach it in schools, and to go on television and call it the American way of life still doesn't make it true. Competition and envy cannot become the basis of any society or any community.
- The economic and technological achievements of industrialization in this period were fundamentally mistaken. ...based upon plundering the natural capital of the globe that was created over millions of years: the plundering of the soils and their fertility; the plundering of human communities whether they were our own or someone else's.
- The fundamental, all-pervasive cause of world instability is the destruction of communities by the commercialization of all human relationships and the resulting neuroses and psychoses. The technological acceleration of transportation, communication and weapons systems is now creating power areas wider than existing political structures.
- ...another cause of today’s instability is that we now have a society in America, Europe and much of the world which is totally dominated by the two elements of sovereignty that are not included in the state structure: control of credit and banking, and the corporation. These are free of political controls and social responsibility and have largely monopolized power in Western Civilization and in American society. They are ruthlessly going forward to eliminate land, labor, entrepreneurial-managerial skills, and everything else the economists once told us were the chief elements of production. The only element of production they are concerned with is the one they can control: capital.
- The final result will be that the American people will ultimately prefer communities. They will cop out or opt out of the system. Today everything is a bureaucratic structure, and brainwashed people who are not personalities are trained to fit into this bureaucratic structure and say it is a great life--although I would assume that many on their death beds must feel otherwise. The process of copping out will take a long time, but notice: we are already copping out of military service on a wholesale basis; we are already copping out of voting on a large scale basis. ...People are also copping out by refusing to pay any attention to newspapers or to what’s going on in the world, and by increasing emphasis on the growth of localism, what is happening in their own neighborhoods.
- When Rome fell, the Christian answer was, "Create our own communities."