La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition)


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Chamberlain has resigned, and Churchill, now 65, has formed his government. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind.

We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? This is our policy. You ask, what is our aim?

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I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory, there is no survival. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. Churchill stands tall in the face of an impending onslaught, and inspires the pilots of the RAF to victory in the Battle of Britain.

I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin.

European symbolism

Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned upon us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. Churchill warns about the threat of Soviet Russia. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere. Their will was resolute and remorseless and, as it proved, unconquerable.

It fell to me to express it, and if I found the right words you must remember that I have always earned my living by my pen and by my tongue. It was the nation and race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion heart. We noted above that the word civilisation triumphed and won a place for itself during the years of torment and hope experienced by France, and along with France, by the whole of Europe from onwards.

It was not just a matter of chance. The Revolutionary movement was necessarily a movement of optimism entirely orientated towards the future. Behind this optimism there was, supporting it and justifying it, a certain philosophy — the philosophy of progress and of the infinite perfectibility of human beings and the creatures that depended upon them — each stage along this path marking some new piece of progress as it was completed.

But little by little the Revolution evolved and produced its effects. It founded a new order — but only on the ruins of the ancient order; and an enterprise of that sort cannot fail to produce a marked state of anxiety and instability in a good many men. A journey of that kind is a sort of practical and living analysis of the origin of peoples and states… One seems to be travelling backwards through the history of the progress of the human spirit.

If we open the conversations between Le Vieillard et le jeune homme by Ballanche, which have already provided us with a valuable text, we will find certain lines at the very beginning which are highly illuminating on this point. You say all the time: Here let us leave the inflated, whining prose of Ballanche; we shall not quote any more of it. The men who lived through the Revolution and the Empire learned one thing which their predecessors had not known when they brought the word civilisation into circulation about the year They learned that civilization could die.

And they did not learn this simply from books. But they were all aristocrats and isolated individuals. You are great in blindness… for having thought that civilization was the social destiny of the human race…? Who is this belated orator lending his rather superfluous assistance to Rousseau? All you learned men [he goes on] behold your towns peopled by beggars, your citizens struggling against hunger, your battlefields and all your social infamies.

Do you think, when you have seen that, that civilization is the destiny of the human race, or that J. And, with the combined efforts of the scientists, travellers, linguists and all those whom we have to call, for want of a more precise name, the philosophers, the concept of civilization which had been so simple when it had first appeared, had taken on a good many new features and shown some quite unexpected facets.

A more precise definition then became necessary. It was not sought by one party alone.

In the Restoration, which was in essence a period of reconstruction and reconstitution, theories of civilization which varied in precision and scope sprang up on all sides. We need only mention a few names and works. He wants to be seen as a historian and does not want to be called an ideologist simply because he intends to deal with general and not with particular facts.

From these prolegomena at least we can draw two conclusions.

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One is that Guizot chose the nation or rather, as he puts it, the people as the framework of his studies. True, he does talk of European civilization. But what is Europe other than a people to the power two? And does not Guizot study European civilization via France, that superlative creator and propagandist?


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There are such things as civilizations. And they need to be studied, analyzed and dissected, in themselves and on their own. But above these there is indeed such a thing as civilization with its continuous movement onwards, though perhaps not in a straight line. Civilization then, and progress.

But progress of what, exactly? Guizot said on this point that civilization was basically the product of man and a certain development in the social condition of man and a certain development in his intellectual condition. These are rather vague terms, and he endeavored to give them a more precise definition.

On the one hand we have the development of the general external condition of man, and on the other hand the development of the internal and personal nature of man, in a word, we have the perfecting of society and the perfecting of humanity. Guizot in fact insists that these two factors are not merely added to one another and placed in juxtaposition, but that both elements, social and intellectual, occur simultaneously, are intimately and swiftly bound together, and act upon one another reciprocally in a process which is indispensable to the perfection of civilization.

If the one shows too much advance on the other, there is unrest and anxiety. The two main elements of civilization are, then, intellectual development and social development and they are intimately linked together. Perfect civilization is achieved where the two elements join together and take effect simultaneously.

Was it not true to say that ideas and facts, intellectual order and material order were almost entirely separate in that same Germany where the human spirit had for so long prospered to a far greater degree than the human condition?

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On the other hand, there was a country, the only one, able to pursue the harmonious development of ideas and facts, of the intellectual and the material order — that country was of course France, the France in which man had never lacked individual greatness, and where individual greatness had never failed to bring consequences that contributed to the public weal.

Here too, the synthesis was skillfully engineered. Difficulties vanished without a trace. No work has been done on the concept of culture in France. But however little I may know about the history of the concept of culture I can at least say that it does exist, that it would be well worth while retracing it and that it is a subject of considerable importance. Let us stick to the essential points. The Lost Tribes George A. All on the Irish Shqre E. A Tale of Two Cities. The Mill on the Floss. Last Days of Pompeii.

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Cloister and the Hearth. Children of the New Forest.

Book of Golden Deeds. Two Years before the Mast. Tom Brown at Oxford. The Essays of Elia. The Adventures of Don Quixote of la Mancha - 2 volumes. Based on Motteux's translation. With various chapters omitted.

La civilisation antédiluvienne (partie 1) – Les traces archéologiques
La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition) La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition)
La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition) La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition)
La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition) La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition)
La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition) La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition)
La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition) La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition)
La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition) La Civilisation des abysses (HORS COLLECTION) (French Edition)

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