April 17, 2012

Society, Community, and Civilization

Which word works best to complete this sentence? "I am pro-..."

If I'm pro-society, does that make me a socialist?

If I'm pro-community, does that make me a communist?

Saying "I'm pro-civilization" makes me sound as if I either want to cover the earth with factories and parking lots, or else hate spending time out in nature away from flush toilets and coffee makers. Neither of these is true.

Lately I've heard a lot of politicians and pundits question the need for any of these three. That's why I want to state for the record that 
  • I am glad to be part of a community, a group of people living together and supporting each other. 
  • I am also glad to be part of society, an organized structure of communities that has laws and solutions for dealing with big problems. 
  • I am glad to be part of civilization, to have access to the scientific and cultural advances of the last few millennia. 
The motto of my alma mater, the University of the South, is "Ecce quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum," or "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." (Taken from Psalm 133) Perhaps that says it best.

Ecce Quam Bonum

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