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Is Civilization Just A Thin Veneer?

March 17, 2016, by Ken Jorgustin


The veneer of civilization is in my estimation, truly thin. If (when) the thin veneer layers are peeled back like an onion, the fragility combined with today’s modern dependence’s and apparent socioeconomic frustrations – will be a recipe for disaster… Civil breakdown.

Note: I have updated this article from its original post date in order to reflect today’s additional and evident risks surrounding the political climate we’re facing – a climate of revolution…

What is civilization?

The root of the word ‘Civilization’ is ‘Civ’ which comes from the Latin civis (CITIZEN).
‘Civil’, which is also derived from the same latin word, relates to citizens that are ‘trained’, ‘refined’. It is considered the cultural development of man from barbarism.

Are we as humans, naturally civilized? No, we are ‘trained’ to be civil.

Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) said, “Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work.”

Is civilized society but a formula by design – of what we are supposed to be? A thin veneer wrapped around us and held in place by training, indoctrination, and fear of punishment?

Is the bigger picture and construct of our modern civilization actually an imposition by a smaller authority who understands how to posses the systemic means to power?

If you look closely, the veneer of civilization appears to be remarkably thin.

How many would behave badly if they thought there would be no penalties for bad behavior? Would the ugly side of human nature emerge?

Are there triggers of man’s ‘savage’ nature that could cause a break out of this thin veneer, wicked and barbaric as ever?

How quickly might we transition from civil to barbaric, and what events could cause it?


Triggers of civil breakdown

The normalcy bias of a ‘civilized’ people results in the assumption that things (life) will always be civilized. However civil breakdown is never far around the corner…

It is my estimation that in our modern civilization (society), if man’s creature comforts, entertainment, and distractions were to be removed, this itself would likely be enough to trigger civil breakdown to an extent.

It also makes sense that there is a high risk of civil breakdown when the vast majority are so extremely dependent upon external systems for survival. For example if systems of distribution were to disrupt, it would hamper the means to easily acquire food, consumables, and other ‘necessities’ – and would result in a peeling away of civilization’s veneer.

Most of you are also fully aware of today’s ‘bubble’ economic climate and the mathematical certainty that it WILL break down and collapse. When this happens there will quite certainly be civil breakdown and a major change in ‘life as we know it’.

Additionally my observations within today’s ‘climate’ reveal a very evident and current risk of civil breakdown – a revolution of sorts. It has been occurring all around the world, and is quite evident today in the United States. In short, it is the culmination of a political socioeconomic system which is apparently reaching a major crossroads (the end?). The frogs are threatening to jump out of the pan. Many of ‘the people’ are angry and fed up with what has been, and have become increasingly angry, vocal, and ‘done’ with the way it is… Seemingly a recipe for civil unrest and/or breakdown as forces butt heads… The stakes could not be higher for ‘the powers that be’.

What are your thoughts on the so called, ‘thin veneer’?
What are the risks today which may affect this veneer?
Are we headed towards civil breakdown (this year)?