An excerpt from the forthcoming Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking People Made the Modern World (Broadside).
Detail of Stand With Brittania poster, 1918
There are few words which are used more loosely than the word “Civilization.” What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained. That is Civilization—and in its soil grow continually freedom, comfort, and culture. When Civilization reigns, in any country, a wider and less harassed life is afforded to the masses of the people. The traditions of the past are cherished, and the inheritance bequeathed to us by former ...
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 32 October 2013, on page 23
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