What's the Point of Civilization?
What’s the point of fighting for civil rights and justice if it’s all going to be the same? Watch animation video inspired by Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice
Biography of one of the
world's most popular yet
Gauguin is best known for
his gorgeous paintings of
Tahiti in which beautiful
native girls disport
themselves enticingly on
perfect South Pacific beaches. But have these celebrated portrayals of an earthly paradise been misunderstood and blinded us to the bigger truth about his achievements? The movie features a stunning collection of Gauguin's masterpieces shot in museums and galleries around the world.
Discourse on Inequality
was written in 1754 in
response to a competition
of the Academy of Dijon,
France, that Rousseau
did not win. Rousseau sets
out to demonstrate how
the growth of civilization
corrupts man’s natural happiness and freedom by creating artificial inequalities of wealth, power and social rivilege.
Rousseau’s political and social arguments in the Discourse were a hugely influential denunciation of the social conditions of his time and one of the most revolutionary documents of the eighteenth-century.
The soundtrack was created by mixing the national anthems of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Councils, i.e. China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.
"Here’s the truth: luxury always comes at someone else’s expense. One of the many advantages of civilization is that one doesn’t generally have to see that, if one doesn’t wish" Ann Leckie
All texts and visuals were selected and edited by SpareTag.com to animate the following sequences of our original 90-second-short video:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's story retraces the origin of society and the laws, from the introduction of private property to the destruction of natural liberty.
I conceive that there are two kinds of inequality among the human species; one, which I call natural or physical, because it is established by nature, and consists in a difference of age, health, bodily strength, and the qualities of the mind or of the soul: and another, which may be called moral or political inequality, because it depends on a kind of convention, and is established, or at least authorized by the consent of men. This latter consists of the different privileges, which some men enjoy to the prejudice of others; such as that of being more rich, more honored, more powerful or even in a position to exact obedience. […]
The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody." […]
Before they arrived at this last point of the state of nature […] man's first feeling was that of his own existence, and his first care that of self-preservation. […] But from the moment one man began to stand in need of the help of another; from the moment it appeared advantageous to any one man to have enough provisions for two, equality disappeared, property was introduced, work became indispensable, and vast forests became smiling fields, which man had to water with the sweat of his brow, and where slavery and misery were soon seen to germinate and grow up with the crops. […]
Besides, however speciously [the rich] might disguise their usurpations, they knew that they were founded on precarious and false titles; so that, if others took from them by force what they themselves had gained by force, they would have no reason to complain. […] [The rich] readily devised plausible arguments to make them close with his design. "Let us join," said he, "to guard the weak from oppression, to restrain the ambitious, and secure to every man the possession of what belongs to him: let us institute rules of justice and peace, to which all without exception may be obliged to conform." […]
Such was, or may well have been, the origin of society and law, which bound new fetters on the poor, and gave new powers to the rich; which irretrievably destroyed natural liberty, eternally fixed the law of property and inequality, converted clever usurpation into unalterable right, and, for the advantage of a few ambitious individuals, subjected all mankind to perpetual labor, slavery and wretchedness. […]
Societies soon multiplied and spread over the face of the earth, till hardly a corner of the world was left in which a man could escape the yoke, and withdraw his head from beneath the sword which he saw perpetually hanging over him by a thread. Civil right having thus become the common rule among the members of each community, the law of nature maintained its place only between different communities, where, under the name of the right of nations, it was qualified by certain tacit conventions, in order to make commerce practicable, and serve as a substitute for natural compassion. […]
Sigmund Freud: “The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization"