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Civilization Or Barbarism: Which Is More Acceptable?

937 words - 4 pages

In Walter Benjamin’s “Thesis on the Philosophy of history”, he argued that civilization could not exist without barbarism. Civilization is the stage of human social development and organization that is considered most advanced. Barbarism is the absence of culture and civilization. Walter Benjamin feels that barbarism was not on document at the first stages of civilization. In many societies, there were always examples of barbarism and civilization. There is no actual evidence of civilization because many civilization documents contain barbaric rules, laws, and regulations. Therefore, in many civilizations they believed that they were civil but in actual reality, they depicted some actions of barbarism. Some examples of “civilizations” and documents that contained barbarism consisted of the Qin Dynasty, the pyramids of Egypt, the Hittite law code, the Huns, Rome, and the Greeks.
In the Qin dynasty, they were very structured and had many rules. In some ways, their civilization was barbaric. In the Qin Dynasty, they had something called legalism. In legalism, it required restraint and discipline. The people involved were evil. They were forced to obey Qin Shi Huang.They had an army called the terracotta army. When Qin Shi Huang died, he killed some soldiers to go with him in the afterlife and he forced artisans to make life size models of the soldiers. This showed that in this society, they called themselves a civilization but their actions were barbaric because they had a strong hold on their people and their society was not equal. They had slaves working hard and some died while performing labor on the Great Wall of China. In history books, they only give credit to those who were noble at the time but not the actual builders of the wall.
Secondly, millions of slaves built the pyramids of Egypt. Many consider the Egyptian “civilization” barbaric. In Egypt, many workers died during the building of the pyramids. They were forced to work endlessly to build these pyramids. Many of the pyramids were named after the famous people and the kings. In the Egyptian civilization to present day, they have over 138 pyramids. They had to carry tons and tons of brick to build these pyramids. The slaves who built these pyramids did not get credit. The pharaoh had a lot of power so he was able to set rules and force people to work until they finished the pyramids.
The document that many think to be barbaric is the Hittite law code. The Hittite law code was a document full of laws and punishments. For example, one of the laws says, “If anyone oppose the judgment of the king, his household shall become a ruin. If anyone oppose the judgment of a lord, his head shall be cut off”. Their society was very harsh. In a way, you could call it...

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