Book Reviews

The Lessons Of History by Will & Ariel Durant -Book Notes, Summary, and Review

13. The Lessons Of History - Will & Ariel Durant

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Rating: 10/10

Date of reading: 20th – 22nd of March, 2018

Description: You think history is boring, dull, and filled with endless descriptions of stupid things nobody needs? Well, this book will change even the most skeptical person who thinks that about history. The Lessons of History is a short book (100 pages) but it packs an atomic punch. I marked and commented on around 70% of the book and couldn’t believe how someone was able to describe our history in such a concise, effective, pragmatical, and highly entertaining way. A masterpiece of history. 

My notes:

I. Hesitations

“Have you learned more about human nature than the man in the street can learn without so much as opening a book?” ( :8)

“In 1909 Charles Peguy thought that “the world changed less since Jesus Christ than in the last thirty years”;'” ( :9)

“We are no longer confident that atoms, much less organisms, will respond in the future as we think they have responded in the past.” ( :9)

“”The present is the past rolled up for action, and the past is the present unrolled for understanding” II–or so we believe and hope.” ( :9)

“We must operate with partial knowledge, and be provisionally content with probabilities; in history, as in science and politics, relativity rules, and all formulas should be suspect.” ( :10)

II. History and the Earth

“words of Pascal: “When the universe has crushed him man will still be nobler than that which kills him, because he knows that he is dying, and of its victory the universe knows nothing.” T” ( :11)

“But a tornado can ruin in an hour the city that took a century build; an iceberg can overturn or bisect the floating to palace and send a thousand merrymakers gurgling to the Great Certainty. Let rain become too rare, and civilization disappears under sand, as in Central Asia; let it fall too furiously, and civilization will be choked with jungle, as in Central America.” ( :12)

“The influence of geographic factors diminishes as technology grows.” ( :13)

“but only the imagination and initiative of leaders, and the hardy industry of followers, can transform the possibilities into fact; and only a similar combination (as in Israel today) can make a culture take form over a thousand natural obstacles. Man, not the earth, makes civilization.” ( :14)

III. Biology and History

“So the first biological lesson of history is that life is competition. Competition is not only the life of trade, it is the trade of life peaceful when food abounds, violent when the mouths outrun the food.” ( :16)

“we co-operate in our group-our family, community, club, church, party, “race,” or nation in order to strengthen our group in its competition with other groups.” ( :16)

“Until our states become members of a large and effectively protective group they will continue to act like individuals and families in the hunting stage.” ( :16)

“The second biological lesson of history is that life is selection.” ( :16)

“Since Nature (here meaning total reality and its processes) has not read very carefully the American Declaration of Independence or the French Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man, we are all born unfree” ( :16)

“and unequal: subject our physical and psychological heredity, and to to the customs and traditions of our group; diversely endowed in health and strength, in mental capacity and qualities of character.” ( :17)

“Inequality is not only natural and inborn, it grows with the complexity of civilization.” ( :17)

“If we knew our fellow men thoroughly we could select thirty per cent of them whose combined ability would equal that of all the rest.” ( :17)

“Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire.” ( :17)

“Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917.” ( :17)

“only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way.” ( :17)

“The third biological lesson of history is that life must breed.” ( :18)

“The recent spectacle of Canada and the United States exporting millions of bushels of wheat while avoiding famine and pestilence at home seemed to provide a living answer to Malthus.” ( :19)

“There is a limit to the fertility of the soil; every advance in agricultural technology is sooner or later canceled by the excess of births over deaths; and meanwhile medicine, sanitation, and charity nullify selection by keeping the unfit alive multito ply their like.” ( :19)

“Ideally parentage should be a privilege of health, not a by-product of sexual agitation.” ( :19)

“But much of what we call intelligence is the result of individual education, opportunity, and experience; and there is no evidence that such intellectual acquirements are transmitted in the genes.” ( :20)

“Augustus renewed this campaign some forty years later, with like futility. Birth control continued to spread in the upper classes while immigrant stocks from the Germanic North and the Greek or Semitic East replenished and altered the population of Italy.9” ( :20)

“Koran, so the superior organization, discipline, morality, fidelity, and fertility of Catholics may cancel the Protestant Reformation and the French Enlightenment. There is no humorist like history.” ( :21)

IV. Race and History

“Comte Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau, in an Essai sur l’inegalite des races humaines (1853-55), announced that the species man is composed of distinct races inherently different (like individuals) in physical structure, mental capacity, and qualities of character; and that one race, the “Aryan,” was by nature superior to all the rest.” ( :22)

“Environmental advantages (argued Gobineau) cannot explain the rise of civilization, for the same kind of environment (e.g., soil-fertilizing rivers) that watered the civilizations of Egypt and the Near East produced no civilization among the Indians of North America,” ( :22)

“fertile soil along magnificent streams. Nor do institutions make a civilization, for this has risen under a diversity, even a contrariety, of institutions, as in monarchical Egypt and “democratic” Athens. The rise, success, decline, and fall of a civilization depend upon the inherent quality of the race.” ( :23)

“Usually this comes through intermarriage of the vigorous race with those whom it has conquered. Hence the superiority of the whites in the United States and Canada (who did not intermarry \vith the Indians) to the whites in Latin America (who did).” ( :23)

“In 1899 Houston Stewart Chamberlain, an Englishman who had made Germany his home, published Die Grundlagen des neunzebnten Jahrhunderts (The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century), \yhich narrowed the creative race from Aryans to Teutons: “True history begins from the moment when the German with mighty hand seizes the inheritance of antiquity.”” ( :23)

“of civilization to that branch of the Aryans which he called “N ordics”-Scandinavians, Scythians, Baltic Germans, Englishmen, and Anglo-Saxon Americans.” ( :24)

“According to Grant the “Sacae” (Scythians?) invaded India, developed Sanskrit as an “IndoEuropean” language, and established the caste system to prevent their deterioration through intermarriage with dark native stocks.” ( :24)

“the intermediate quiet and acquiescent “Alpine” stocks to produce the Athenians of the Periclean apogee and the Romans of the Republic.” ( :24)

“The Dorians intermarried least, and became the Spartans, a martial Nordic caste ruling “Mediterranean” helots.” ( :24)

“Nordic stock in Attica, and led to the defeat of Athens by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, and the subjugation of Greece by the purer Nordics of Macedonia and Republican Rome.” ( :24)

“He wisely conceded that the Mediterranean “race,” while inferior in bodily stamina to both the Nordics and the Alpines, has proved superior in intellectual and artistic attainments; to it must go the credit for the classic flowering of Greece and Rome; however, it may have owed much to intermarriage with Nordic blood.” ( :25)

“obvious. A Chinese scholar would remind us that his people created the most enduring civilization in history-statesmen, inventors, artists, poets, scientists, philosophers, saints from to our own time. A Mexican scholar 2000 B.C. could point to the lordly structures of Mayan, Aztec, and Incan cultures in pre-Columbian America. A Hindu scholar, while acknowledging “Aryan” infiltration into north India some sixteen hundred years before Christ, would recall that the black Dravidic peoples of south India produced great builders and poets of their” ( :25)

“own; the temples of Madras, Madura, and Trichinopoly are among the most impressive structures on earth. Even more startling is the towering shrine of the Khmers at Angkor Wat. History is color-blind, and can develop a civilization (in any favorable environment) under almost any skin.” ( :26)

“The South creates the civilizations, the North conquers them, ruins them, borrmvs from them, spreads them: this is one summary of history.” ( :27)

“If the of Africa have produced no great civilization it is probably ~egroes because climatic and geographical conditions frustrated them; would any of the white “races” have done better in those environments?” ( :27)

“Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, and Normans fused to produce Englishmen. When the new type takes form its cultural expressions are unique, and constitute a new civilization-a new physiognomy, character, language, literature, religion, morality, and art. It is not the race that makes the civilization, it is the civilization that politimakes the people: circumstances geographical, economic, and cal create a culture, and the culture creates a human type.” ( :27)

“Viewed from this point, American civilization is still in the stage of racial mixture. Between and 1848 white Americans north of 1700 Florida were mainly Anglo-Saxon, and their literature was a flowering of old England on New England’s soil.” ( :28)

V. Character and History

“motives and ends remain the same: to act or rest, to acquire or give, to fight or retreat, to seek association or privacy, to mate or reject, to offer or resent parental care” ( :31)

“Nothing is clearer in history than the adoption by successful rebels of the methods they were accustomed to condemn in the forces they deposed.” ( :31)

“So the conservative who resists change is as valuable as the radical who proposes it-perhaps as much more valuable as roots are more vital than grafts.” ( :33)

VI. Morals and History

“If we divide economic history into three stages-hunting, agriculture, industry-we may expect that the moral code of one stage will be changed in the next.” ( :34)

“insecurity is the mother of greed,” ( :34)

“some men had to take several women, and every man was expected to help women to frequent pregnancy.” ( :35)

“Pugnacity, brutality, greed, and sexual readiness were advantages in the struggle for existence. Probably every vice was once a virtue-i.e., a quality making for the survival of the individual, the family, or the group. Man’s sins may be the relics of his rise rather than the stigmata of his fall.” ( :35)

“Industriousness became more vital than bravery, regularity and thrift more profitable than violence, peace more victorious than war.” ( :35)

“The city offered every discouragement to marriage, but it provided every stimulus and facility for sex.” ( :36)

“History offers some consolation by reminding us that sin has flourished in every age.” ( :37)

“In the University of Wittenberg in 1544, according to Luther, “the race of girls is getting bold, and run after the fellows into their rooms and chambers and wherever they can, and offer them their free love.” 18″ ( :37)

“men and women have gambled in every age. In every age men have been dishonest and governments have been corrupt; probably less now than generally before.” ( :37)

“We must remind ourselves again that history as usually written is quite different from history as usually lived: (peccavimus)” ( :38)

“How many times, even in our sketchy narratives, we have seen men helping one another-Farinelli providing for the children of Domenico Scarlatti, divers people succoring young Haydn, Conte Litta paying for Johann Christian Bach’s studies at Bologna, Joseph Black advancing money repeatedly to James Watt, Puchberg patiently lending and lending to Mozart. Who will dare write a history of human goodness? to” ( :38)

“So we cannot be sure that the morallaxitv of our times is a herald -‘ of decay rather than a painful or delightful transition between a moral code that has lost its agricultural basis and another that our industrial civilization has yet to forge into social order and normality.” ( :38)

“individualism will diminish in America and England as geographical protection ceases.” ( :39)

VII. Religion and History

“It has kept the poor (said Napoleon) from murdering the rich.” ( :40)

“Heaven and utopia are buckets in a well: when one goes down the other goes up; when religion declines Communism grows.” ( :40)

“If history supports any theology this would be a dualism like the Zoroastrian or Manichaean: a good spirit and an evil spirit battling for control of the universe and men’s souls.” ( :43)

“Nature and history do not agree with our conceptions of good and bad; they define good as that which survives, and bad as that which goes under; and the universe has no prejudice in favor of Christ as against GenghisKhan” ( :43)

“Holydays give way to holidays.” ( :45)

“Atheism ran wild in the India of Buddha’s youth, and Buddha himself founded a religion without a god; after his death Buddhism developed a complex theology including gods, saints, and hell.29” ( :46)

“Joseph de Maistre answered: “I do not know what the heart of a rascal may be; I know what is in the heart of an honest man; it is horrible.”” ( :48)

“There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.” ( :48)

“If the socialist regime should fail in its efforts to destroy relative poverty among the masses, this new religion may lose its fervor and efficacy, and the state may wink at the restoration of supernatural beliefs as an aid in quieting discontent” ( :48)

“”As long as there is poverty there will be gods.” 32″ ( :48)

VIII. Economics and History

“Rome with Persia, were attempts of the West to capture trade routes to the East; the discovery of America was a result of the failure of the Crusades. The banking house of the Medici financed the Florentine Renaissance; the trade and industry of Nuremberg made Durer possible. The French Revolution came not because Voltaire wrote brilliant satires and Rousseau sentimental romances, but because the middle classes had risen to economic leadership, needed legislative freedom for their enterprise and trade, and itched for social acceptance and political power.” ( :50)

“In these cases the poor proved stronger than the rich; military victory gave political ascendancy, which brought economic control. The generals could write a military interpretation of history.” ( :50)

“We observe that the invading barbarians found Rome weak because the agriculuual population which had formerly supplied the legions with hardy and patriotic warriors fighting for land had been replaced by slaves laboring listlessly on vast farms owned by one man or a few.” ( :51)

“It was once said that “civilization is a parasite on the man with the hoe,”” ( :51)

“It was once said that “civilization is a parasite on the man with the hoe,” but the man with the hoe no longer exists; 33 he is now a “hand” at the wheel of a tractor or a combine.” ( :51)

“”the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all.” 34″ ( :51)

“are judged by their ability to produce-except in war, when they are ranked according to their ability to destroy.” ( :52)

“in nearly all societies, is gathered in a minority of men. The concentration of wealth is a natural result of this concentration of ability, and regularly recurs in history. The rate of concentration varies (other factors being equal) with the economic freedom permitted by morals and the laws.” ( :52)

“In progressive societies the concentration may reach a point where the strength of number in the many poor rivals the strength of ability in the few rich; then the unstable equilibrium generates a critical situation, which history has diversely met by legislation redistributing wealth or by revolution distributing poverty.” ( :52)

“Good sense prevailed; moderate elements secured the election of Solon, a businessman of aristocratic lineage, to the supreme archonship.” ( :52)

“The rich protested that his measures were outright confiscation; the radicals complained that he had not redivided the land; but within a generation almost all agreed that his reforms had saved Athens from revolution. 36” ( :53)

“The Senate rejected his proposals as confiscatory. He appealed to the people, telling them, “You fight and die to give \vealth and luxury to others; you are called the masters of the world, but there is not a foot of ground that you can call your own.”” ( :53)

“The French Revolution attempted a violent redistribution of wealth by Jacqueries in the countryside and massacres in the cities, but the chief result was a transfer of property and privilege from the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie.” ( :54)

“The government of the United States, in 1933-52 and 1960-65, followed Solon’s peaceful methods, and accomplished a moderate and pacifying redistribution; perhaps someone had studied history. The upper classes in America cursed, complied, and resumed the concentration of wealth.” ( :54)

IX. Socialism and History

“vVhen businessmen predicted ruin, Diocletian explained that the barbarians were at the gate, and that individual liberty had to be shelved until collective liberty could be made secure. The socialism of Diocletian was a war economy, made possible by fear of foreign attack. Other factors equal, internal liberty varies inversely as external danger.” ( :58)

“”The state,” he held, “should take the entire management of commerce, industry, and agriculture into its own hands, with a view to succoring the working classes and preventing them from being ground into the dust by the rich.”” ( :59)

“The longest-lasting regime of socialism yet known to history was set up by the Incas in \vhat we now call Peru, at some time in the thirteenth century.” ( :60)

“in a Portuguese colony along the Uruguay River, Jesuits organized Indians into IS0 200,000 another socialistic society (c. 1620-175 0).” ( :61)

“In I7 50 Portugal ceded to Spain territory including seven of the Jesuit settlements. A rumor having spread that the lands of these colonies contained gold, the Spanish in America insisted on immediate occupation; the Portuguese government under Pombal (then at odds with the Jesuits) ordered the priests and the natives to leave the settlements; and after some resistance by the Indians the experiment carne to an end. 50” ( :61)

“Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels gave the movement its Magna Carta in the Communist Manifesto of 1847, and its Bible in Das Kapital (r867-95).” ( :62)

“challenged by internal disorder and external attack; the people reacted as any nation will react under siege-it put aside all individual freedom until order and security could be restored.” ( :63)

“Meanwhile capitalism undergoes a correlative process of limiting individualistic acquisition by semisocialistic legislation and the redistribution of wealth through the “welfare state.”” ( :63)

“Hegelian formula of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis is applied to the Industrial Revolution as thesis, and to capitalism versus socialism as antithesis, the third condition would be a synthesis of capitalism and socialism; and to this reconciliation the Western world visibly moves.” ( :63)

“cation, health, and recreation. The fear of capitalism has compelled socialism to widen freedom, and the fear of socialism has compelled capitalism to increase equality. East is \Vest and West is East, and soon the twain will meet.” ( :64)

X. Government and History

“the first condition of freedom is its limitation; make it absolute and it dies in chaos.” ( :65)

“If we \vere to judge forms of government from their prevalence and duration in history we should have to give the palm to monarchy; democracies, by contrast, have been hectic interludes.” ( :66)

“After him monarchy disgraced itself under Caligula, Nero, and Domitian; but after them came Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius-“the finest succession of good and great sovereigns,”” ( :66)

“If,” said Gibbon, “a man were called upon to fix the period during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would without hesitation name that which elapsed from the accession of N erva the death of Marcus Aurelius. to” ( :66)

“monarchy was adoptive: the emperor transmitted his authority not to his offspring but to the ablest man he could find; he adopted this man as his son, trained him in the functions of government, and gradually surrendered to him the reins of power.” ( :66)

“pardy because neither Trajan nor Hadrian had a son, and the sons of Antoninus Pius died in childhood. Marcus Aurelius had a son, Commodus, who succeeded him because the phi- * losopher failed to name another heir; soon chaos was king.” ( :66)

“Hence most governments have been oligarchies-ruled by a minority, chosen either by birth, as in aristocracies, or by a religious organization, as in theocracies, or by wealth, as in democracies.” ( :67)

“But in most instances the effects achieved by the revolution would apparently have come without it through the gradual compulsion of economic developments.” ( :68)

“The French Revolution replaced the landowning aristocracy with the money-controlling business class as the ruling power; but a similar” ( :68)

“result occurred in nineteenth-century England without bloodshed, and without disturbing the public peace.” ( :69)

“There may be a redivision of the land, but the natural inequality of men soon re-creates an inequality of possessions and privileges, and raises to power a new minority with essentially the same instincts as in the old.” ( :69)

“The only real revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionists are philosophers and saints.” ( :69)

“the demos, or lower class of citizens, rose to power, much to the disgust of Socrates and Plato.” ( :70)

“At Corcyra (now Corfu), in 427 B.C., the ruling oligarchy assassinated sixty leaders of the popular party; the democrats overturned the oligarchs, tried fifty of them before a kind of Committee of Public Safety, executed all fifty, and starved hundreds of aristocratic prisoners to death.” ( :70)

“In his Republic Plato made his mouthpiece, Socrates, condemn the triumphant democracy of Athens as a chaos of class violence, cultural decadence, and moral degeneration.” ( :70)

“The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction;” ( :71)

“Athens recovered wealth, but this was now commercial rather than landed wealth; industrialists, merchants, and bankers were at the top of the reshuffled heap. The change produced a feverish struggle for money, a pleonexia, as the Greeks called it-an appetite for more and more.” ( :71)

“The gap between the rich and the poor widened; Athens was divided, as Plato put it, into “two cities: . . . one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, the one at war with the other.”” ( :71)

“The middle classes, as well as the rich, began to distrust democracy as empowered envy, and the poor distrusted it as a sham equality of votes nullified by a gaping inequality of wealth.” ( :72)

“and many rich Greeks welcomed his corning as preferable to revolution. Athenian democracy disappeared under Macedonian dictatorship.61” ( :72)

“Plato’s reduction of political evolution to a sequence of monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, and dictatorship found another illustration in the history of Rome.” ( :72)

“Generals and proconsuls returned from the provinces loaded with spoils for themselves and the ruling class; millionaires multiplied; mobile money replaced land as the source or instrument of political power; rival factions competed in the wholesale purchase of candidates and votes; in 53 B.C. one group of voters received ten million sesterces for its support. 62” ( :73)

“Democracy ended, monarchy was restored; the Platonic wheel had come full turn.” ( :73)

“presidentJefferson who was as skeptical as Voltaire and as revolutionary as Rousseau.” ( :74)

“These and a hundred other conditions gave to America a democracy more basic and universal than history had ever seen.” ( :74)

“And all this has come about not (as we thought in our hot youth) through the perversity of the rich, but through the impersonal fatality of economic development, and through the nature of man.” ( :74)

“A cynic remarked that “you mustn’t enthrone ignorance just because there is so much of it.”” ( :75)

“All deductions having been made, democracy has done less harm, and more good, than any other form of government.” ( :75)

“If equality of educational opportunity can be established, democracy will be real and justified.” ( :76)

“he rights of man are not rights to office and power, but the rights of entry into every avenue that may nourish and test a man’s fitness for office and power.” ( :76)

XI. History and War

“In the last 3,42 years of recorded history I only have seen no war. 268” ( :78)

“Peace is an unstable equilibrium, which can be preserved only by acknowledged supremacy or equal power.” ( :78)

“In every century the generals and the rulers (with rare exceptions like Ashoka and Augustus) have smiled at the philosophers’ timid dislike of war.” ( :79)

“vVe laugh at generals who die in bed (forgetting that they are more valuable alive than dead), but we build statues to them when they turn back a Hitler or a Genghis Khan.” ( :80)

“The Ten Commandments must be silent when self-preservation is at stake.” ( :80)

“Some\vhere, sometime, in the name of humanity, we must challenge a thousand evil precedents, and dare to apply the Golden Rule to nations, as the Buddhist King Ashoka did (262 or at least do what Augustus did when he bade B.C.),64” ( :81)

“A world order will come not by a gentlemen’s agreement, but through so decisive a victory by one of the great powers that it will be able to dictate and enforce international law, as Rome did from Augustus to Aurelius.” ( :83)

“States will unite in basic co-operation only when they are in common attacked from without.” ( :83)

XII. Growth and Decay

“History repeats itself, but only in outline and in the large.” ( :85)

“In organic periods men are busy building; in critical periods they are busy destroying. 69” ( :86)

“On one point all are agreed: civilizations begin, flourish, decline, and disappear-or linger on as stagnant pools left by once life-giving streams. What are the causes of development, and what are the causes of decay?” ( :87)

“Since inequality grows in an expanding economy, a society may find itself divided between a cultured minority and a majority of men and women too unfortunate by nature or circumstance into herit or develop standards of excellence and taste.” ( :89)

“and thought spread upward, and internal barbarization by the majority is part of the price that the minority pays for its control of educational and economic opportunity.” ( :89)

“As education spreads, theologies lose credence, and receive an external conformity without influence upon conduct or hope. Life and ideas become increasingly secular, ignoring supernatural explana-” ( :89)

“tions and fears.” ( :90)

“In ancient Greece the philosophers destroyed the old faith among the educated classes; in many nations of modern Europe the philosophers achieved similar results. Protagoras became Voltaire, Diogenes Rousseau, Democritus Hobbes, Plato Kant, Thrasymachus Nietzsche, Aristotle Spencer, Epicurus Diderot.” ( :90)

“The Greek poets and philosophers are in every library and college; at this moment Plato is being studied by a hundred thousand discoverers of the “dear delight” of philosophy overspreading life with understanding thought. This selective survival of creative minds is the most real and beneficent of immortalities.” ( :91)

“Nations die. Old regions grow arid, or suffer other change” ( :91)

XIII. Is Progress Real?

“How inadequate now seems the proud motto of Francis Bacon, “Knowledge is power”! Sometimes we feel that the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which stressed mythology and art rather than science and power, may have been wiser than we, who repeatedly enlarge our instrumentalities without improving our purposes.” ( :92)

“the same trousered apes at two thousand miles an hour as when we had legs.” ( :93)

“is History so indifferently rich that a case for almost any conclusion from it can be made by a selection of instances.” ( :94)

“vVe may presume that at almost any time in history some nations were progressing and some were declining, as Russia progresses and England loses ground today. The same nation may be progressing in one field of human activity and retrogressing in another, as America is now progressing in technology and receding in the graphic arts.” ( :95)

“Our problem is whether the average man has increased his ability to control the conditions of his life.” ( :95)

“If we take a long-range view and compare our modern existence, precarious, chaotic, and murderous as it is, with the ignorance, superstition, violence, and diseases of primitive peoples, we do not come off quite forlorn.” ( :95)

“If we take a long-range view and compare our modern existence, precarious, chaotic, and murderous as it is, with the ignorance, superstition, violence, and diseases of primitive peoples, we do not come off quite forlorn. The lowliest strata in civilized states may still differ only slightly from barbarians, but above those levels thousands, millions have reached mental and moral levels rarely found among primitive men.” ( :95)

“imitated Pericles, who lived with a learned courtesan?” ( :97)

“We may not have excelled the selected geniuses of antiquity, but we have raised the level and average of knowledge beyond any age in history.” ( :98)


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