Arnold Toynbee Quotes

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Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Of the twenty-two civilizations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese--and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Eric Hoffer
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The only real struggle in the history of the world...is between the vested interest and social justice.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
A life which does not go into action is a failure.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History)
Militarism has been by far the commonest cause of the breakdown of civilizations. The single art of war makes progress at the expense of all the arts of peace.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The human race’s prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenseless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenseless against ourselves.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
A city that outdistances man's walking powers is a trap for man.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Society is the total network of relations between human beings. The components of society are thus not human beings but relations between them.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Some historians hold that history is just one damned thing after another.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Schism in the soul, schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme to return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together again the deteriorating elements [of civilization]. Only birth can conquer death―the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The difference between a humanist and a lunatic is in fact one of degree
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Civilizations in decline are consistently characterized by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The weak spot of religion is its ridiculousness
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Here we are on top of the world. We have arrived at this peak to stay there forever. There is, of course, this thing called history. But history is something unpleasant that happens to other people. —Arnold Toynbee, recalling the 1897 diamond jubilee celebration of Queen Victoria   Like other practicing historians, I am often asked what the “lessons of history” are. I answer that the only lesson I have learnt from studying the past is that there are no permanent winners and losers. —Ramachandra Guha
Graham Allison (Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?)
The heart of so great a mystery cannot ever be reached by following one road only." Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (c. 345 – 402) was a Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters; from Augustine, in controversy with St. Ambrose. Quoted by Arnold Toynbee.
Quintus Aurelius Symmachus
The art of handling university students is to make oneself appear, and this almost ostentatiously, to be treating them as adults...
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (Experiences)
We are not doomed to make history repeat itself; it is open to us, through our own efforts, to give history, in our case, some new and unprecedented turn. As human beings, we are endowed with this freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is up to us.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Kulturen blühen auf, wenn auf Fragen von heute Antworten von Morgen gegeben werden. Kulturen zerfallen, wenn für Probleme von heute Antworten von gestern gegeben werden.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The historian Arnold Toynbee says of it, “The human race’s prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenseless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenseless against ourselves.
Joan D. Chittister (Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life)
Encounters taking the form of challenge-and-response are the most illuminating kind of events a for student of human affairs if he believes, as I believe, that one of the most distinctive characteristics of Man is the he is partially free to make choices.... Encounters are the occasions in human life on which freedom and creativity come into play and on which new things are brought into existence.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
They tried to substitute for Christianity a body of dogmas called “dialectical materialism.” As Orestes Brownson pointed out in 1849, and as Arnold Toynbee has also written, communism was really a kind of caricature of Christianity, borrowing certain of its moral affirmations, imitating its dogmas, and even appropriating some of its phrases. This made communism all the more dangerous: for the superficial similarities between Christian morality and the pretended Soviet morality sometimes deluded Americans and people in other free states into thinking that communism had high moral aspirations.
Russell Kirk (The American Cause)
Civilizations, I believe, come to birth and proceed to grow by successfully responding to successive challenges. They break down and go to pieces if and when a challenge confronts them which they fail to meet.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Mostly, though, students get what economist Bryan Caplan called narrow vocational training for jobs few of them will ever have. Three-quarters of American college graduates go on to a career unrelated to their major—a trend that includes math and science majors—after having become competent only with the tools of a single discipline. One good tool is rarely enough in a complex, interconnected, rapidly changing world. As the historian and philosopher Arnold Toynbee said when he described analyzing the world in an age of technological and social change, “No tool is omnicompetent.” •
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it.Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese--and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Eric Hoffer
No tool is omnicompetent. There is no such thing as a master-key that will unlock all doors. —Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
Broadly speaking, however, Christianity is a universal church originating in a germ that was alien to the society in which it played its part, while Islam originated in a germ that was indigenous.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
Human nature presents human minds with a puzzle which they have not yet solved and may never succeed in solving, for all that we can tell. The dichotomy of a human being into 'soul' and 'body' is not a datum of experience. No one has ever been, or ever met, a living human soul without a body... Someone who accepts—as I myself do, taking it on trust—the present-day scientific account of the Universe may find it impossible to believe that a living creature, once dead, can come to life again; but, if he did entertain this belief, he would be thinking more 'scientifically' if he thought in the Christian terms of a psychosomatic resurrection than if he thought in the shamanistic terms of a disembodied spirit.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (Experiences)
The problem with all of this, as historians advise us, is that the institutionalization of the systems that produce the values upon which a civilization depends, ultimately bring about the destruction of that civilization. Arnold Toynbee observed that a civilization begins to break down when there is “a loss of creative power in the souls of creative individuals,” and, in time, the “differentiation and diversity” that characterized a dynamic civilization, is replaced by “a tendency towards standardization and uniformity.” The emergence of a “universal state,” and increased militarism, represent later stages in the disintegration of a civilization.
Butler Shaffer (The Wizards of Ozymandias: Reflections on the Decline and Fall)
A society, we may say, is confronted in the course of its life by a succession of problems which each member has to solve for itself as best it may. The presentation of each problem is a challenge to undergo an ordeal, and through this series of ordeals the members of the society progressively differentiate themselves from one another.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
I do not know of anything in modern poetry as violently hostile to contemporary life as was the poetry of T. S. Eliot, which so perfectly fitted the mood of the young people between the two wars. I also find much more benevolence towards humanity in younger historians than there was in Spengler or in Toynbee. Still, it is not difficult to sense the disgust of the intellectuals at the new prosperous working class, 'with their eyes glued to the television screen,' who have become indifferent to radical ideas.
Dennis Gabor (Inventing The Future)
The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Societies, not states, are 'the social atoms' with which students of history have to deal.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Vol 1: Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations (A Study of History, #1))
All human work is imperfect, because human nature is and this intrinsic imperfection of human affairs cannot be overcome by procrastination.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
This book is an apt response to the wisdom of the great historian Arnold Toynbee, who said that you can pretty well summarize all of history—not only of society, but of institutions and of people—in four words: Nothing fails like success. In other words, when a challenge in life is met by a response that is equal to it, you have success. But when the challenge moves to a higher level, the old, once successful response no longer works—it fails; thus, nothing fails like success. The
Kerry Patterson (Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High)
When we Westerners call people 'natives' we implicitly take the colour out of our perception of them. We see them as wild animals infesting the country in which we happen to come across them, as part of the local flora and fauna and not as men of like passions with ourselves. So long as we think of them as 'natives' we may exterminate them or, as is more likely to-day, domesticate them and honestly (perhaps not altogether mistakenly) believe that we are improving the breed, but we do not begin to understand them.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
We have observed that the germ of creative power in Christianity was not of Hellenic but of alien origin (in fact of Syriac origin, as we can now identify it). By contrast we can observe that the creative germ of Islam was not alien from, but native to, the Syriac Society.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
The repeated deaths of civilizations from internal disintegration and outward assault, massively documented by Arnold Toynbee, underscores the fact that the evil elements in this amalgam largely cancelled the benefits and blessings. The one lasting contribution of the megamachine was the myth of the machine itself: the notion that this machine was, by its very nature, absolutely irresistible- and yet, provided one did not oppose it, ultimately beneficent. That magical spell still enthralls both the controllers and the mass victims of the megamachine today.
Lewis Mumford (Technics and Human Development (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 1))
In our unidentified society when it was united under the Achaemenian Empire we can trace the process of the peaceful ejection of the elements of culture intruded by Assyrian in the gradual replacement of the Akkadian language and cuneiform script by the Aramaic language and alphabet.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
During the deep sleep of the interval (circa A.D. 375-675) which, intervened between the break-up of the Roman Empire and the gradual emergence of our Western Society out of the chaos, a rib was taken, from the side of the older society and was fashioned into the backbone of a new creature of the same species.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
(Arnold) Toynbee bertanya-tanya: di mana peran dan kontribusi Inggris dalam sejarah manusia? Peran Inggris tidak lebih dari 250 tahun dan itu pun penuh dengan berbagai kesalahan. Kemudian sejak Perang Dunia II, Inggris mulai meredup dan surut dari percaturan sejarah dunia. Demikian halnya dengan Prancis, Jerman, Rusia, dan Amerika Serikat.
Yusri Abdul Ghani Abdullah (Historiografi Islam: Dari Klasik Hingga Modern)
the unity of history'-involving the assumption that there is only one river of civilization, our own, and that all others are either tributary to it or else lost in the desert sands- may be traced to three roots: the egocentric illusion, the illusion of the 'unchanging East', and the illusion of progress as a movement that proceeds in a straight line.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
Our researches have thus yielded us twenty societies, most of them related as parent or offspring to one or more of the others: namely the Western, the Orthodox, the Iranic, the Arabic (these last two being now united in the Islamic), the Hindu, the Far Eastern, the Hellenic, the Syriac, the Indic, the Sinic, the Minoan, the Indus Culture, the Sumeric, the Hittite, the Babylonic, the Egyptiac, the Andean, the Mexic, the Yucatec and the Mayan.......Indeed it is probably desirable to divide the Orthodox Christian Society into an Orthodox-Byzantine and an Orthodox-Russian society, and the Far Eastern into a Chinese and a Korean-Japanese Society. This would raise our numbers to twenty-two; and since this book was written, a twenty third has come to light: the Shang culture that preceded the Sinic civilization, in the Yellow River Valley.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
If we take the antiquity of Man to be something like 300,000 years, then the antiquity of civilizations, so far from being coeval with human history, will be found to cover less than 2 percent of its present span: less than 6,000 years out of 300,000 . On this time-scale , the lives of our twenty-one civilizations-distributed over not more than three generations of societies and concentrated within less than one-fiftieth part of the lifetime of Mankind- must be regarded, on a philosophic view, as contemporary with one another.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Vol 1: Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations (A Study of History, #1))
We might pursue the subject farther, but we have, perhaps, said enough to convince the reader that neither race nor environment, taken by itself, can be the positive factor which, within the last six thousand years, has shaken humanity out of its static repose on the level of primitive society and started it on the hazardous quest of civilization. In any case, neither race nor environment, as hitherto envisaged, has offered, or apparently can offer, any clue as to why this great transition in human history occurred not only in particular places but at particular dates.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
Athens reacted to the population problem in a different way again. She specialized her agricultural production for export, started manufactures also for export and then developed her political institutions so as to give a fair share of political power to the new classes which had been called into being by these economic innovations. In other words, Athenian statesmen averted a social revolution by successfully carrying through an economic and political revolution; and, discovering this solution of the common problem in so far as it affected themselves, they incidentally opened up a new avenue of advance for the whole of the Hellenic Society.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
The Sinic [Chinese] Civilization originated in the Yellow River Valley. The nature of the challenge which started it is unknown but it is clear that the conditions were severe rather than easy. The Mayan Civilization originated from the challenge of a tropical fores; the Andean from that of a bleak plateau.... The Indic Civilization in Ceylon flourished in the rainless half of the island..... New England, whose European colonists have played a predominant part in the history of North America, is one of the bleakest and most barren parts of the continent.... The natives of Nyasaland, where life is easy, remained primitive savages down to the advent of invaders from a distant and inclement Europe.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Sparta, for instance, satisfied the land-hunger of her citizens by attacking and conquering her nearest Greek neighbors. The consequence was that Sparta only obtained her additional lands at the cost of obstinate and repeated wars with neighbouring peoples of her own calibre. In order to meet this situation Spartan statesmen were compelled to militarize Spartan life from top to bottom, which they did by re-invigorating and adapting certain primitive social institutions, common to a number of Greek communities, at a moment when, at Sparta as elsewhere, these institutions were on the point of disappearance. Athens reacted to the population problem in a different way again. She specialized her agricultural production for export, started manufactures also for export, and then developed her political institutions so as to give a fair share of political power to the new classes which had been called into being by these economic innovations. In other words, Athenian statesmen averted a social revolution by successfully carrying through an economic and political revolution; and, discovering this solution of the common problem in so far as it affected themselves, they incidentally opened up a new avenue of advance for the whole of the Hellenic Society.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
Seeing small pieces of a larger jigsaw puzzle in isolation, no matter how hi-def the picture, is insufficient to grapple with humanity’s greatest challenges. We have long known the laws of thermodynamics, but struggle to predict the spread of a forest fire. We know how cells work, but can’t predict the poetry that will be written by a human made up of them. The frog’s-eye view of individual parts is not enough. A healthy ecosystem needs biodiversity. Even now, even in endeavors that engender specialization unprecedented in history, there are beacons of breadth. Individuals who live by historian Arnold Toynbee’s words that “no tool is omnicompetent. There is no such thing as a master-key that will unlock all doors.” Rather than wielding a single tool, they have managed to collect and protect an entire toolshed, and they show the power of range in a hyperspecialized world.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
In every case the story opens with a perfect state of Yin. Faust is perfect in knowledge; Job is perfect in goodness and prosperity; Adam and Eve are perfect in innocence and ease; the Virgins— Gretchen, Danae and the rest— are perfect in purity and beauty. In the astronomer’s universe the Sun, a perfect orb, travels on its course intact and whole. When Yin is thus complete, it is ready to pass over into Yang.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
For the historian, his ancestral standing ground is an accidental impediment to seeing the global panorama in its true proportions.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The conversion, which was really the beginning of all things in English history, was the direct antithesis of that; it was an act which merged half a dozen isolated communities of barbarians in the common weal of a nascent Western Society.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
We may express the historical function of the Abbassid Caliphate as a 'reintegration' or 'resumption' of the Achaemenian Empire-the reintegration of a political structure which had been broken up by the impact of an external force, and the resumption of a phase of social life which had been interrupted by an alien intrusion.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Vol 1: Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations (A Study of History, #1))
Arnold Toynbee has said that some twenty-six civilizations have risen upon the face of the earth. Almost all of them have descended into the junk heaps of destruction. The decline and fall of these civilizations, according to Toynbee, was not caused by external invasions but by internal decay. They failed to respond creatively to the challenges impinging upon them.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy))
the kind of minority we’re talking about here is what the historian Arnold Toynbee called a creative minority, which he described as a small but influential group of committed citizens who—motivated by love—bless the host culture, not from the center, but from the margins.27 Here’s Jon Tyson’s definition: A Christian community in a web of stubbornly loyal relationships, knotted together in a living network of persons, in a complex and challenging cultural setting, who are committed to practicing the way of Jesus together for the renewal of the world.
John Mark Comer (Live No Lies: Recognize and Resist the Three Enemies That Sabotage Your Peace)
An individual’s adherence to a certain faith is often determined by the geographical accident of the locality of his birth-place.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
...These intellectuals despise the general public for being non-professional and ignorant; the public ignores the intellectuals , because it finds them unintelligible and unpractical. This mutual alienation is bad for the two of them and bad for society All the great religions and philosophies declare that the proper goal for every living creature is to subdue and extinguish its natural self-centerness -to die unto itself. They also declare unanimously that this effort is difficult because it is contrary to nature ,but that it is at the same time ,the only true way of self- fulfillment and therefore ,the only true way of attaining self-satisfaction and happiness
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Ünlü İngiliz yazar, araştırmacı ve tarihçi Andrew Mango, 10 Mart 2005 tarihinde BBC Türkçe servisinde kendisiyle yapılan söyleşide, Mavi Kitap'ı şöyle değerlendirmiştir: “Mavi Kitap, harp sırasında hazırlanmış propaganda maksatlı bir kitaptır. Kitabı yazanların başında bir İngiliz diplomat vardı: Lord Bryce. Sonradan İngiltere'nin Washington D. C. elçisi olarak tayin edildi. ABD, o zaman daha savaşa girmemişti. Alman propagandası o dönemde ABD'de oldukça kuvvetliydi. Amerikan kamuoyunu müttefikler lehine çevirebilmek amacıyla, böyle bir kitap hazırlandı. Ünlü tarihçi Arnold Toynbee de bu çalışmaya katıldı. Ama, iyi bir tarihçi olduğu için, daha sonra bir kitabında bunun propaganda olduğunu itiraf etti. Aslında, bugünlerde hiçbir ciddi tarihçi Mavi Kitap'a önemli bir belge gözüyle bakmıyor. Gerçekte konuyu aydınlatmak İçin 'Soykırım' konusunu Ermeni ve Türk tarihçilerini bir araya toplamak için bazı teşebbüsler oldu. Ama, Ermeniler son zamanlarda böyle toplantılardan kaçınıyor. Çünkü, 'Soykırım' iddialarını tamamen siyasi maksatlarla kullanıyorlar.* * Ayça Aybakan, "BBC Türkçe Servisi Andrew Mango ile Söyleşi", 10 Mart 2005
İlker Başbuğ (Ermeni Suçlamaları ve Gerçekler)
Arnold Toynbee identified the two factors that were present in civilizations that failed, he cited extreme concentrations of wealth and the failure to change when change was called for.
Georgia Kelly (Uncivil Liberties: Deconstructing Libertarianism)
When President Eisenhower accepted the responsibility for the U-2 flights over the Soviet Union, no one would have questioned that he did this for correct and honorable reasons. National Aeronautics and Space Administrator (NASA) Keith Glennan had already made a public statement that the U-2 was operating out of Turkey as a NASA high-altitude, flight-research aircraft and had strayed over Russian territory inadvertently in high winds. Then, Nikita Khrushchev produced the wreckage of the U-2 deep in Russia near Sverdlovsk, it made a mockery of the NASA cover story; and when he produced the pilot alive and well, it demolished the rest of the plausible disclaimer. The CIA was caught without a plausible cover story, and the President had to choose. He could either discredit Allen Dulles and the CIA for operating that clandestine flight and a long series of flights without his knowledge, or he could, as Eisenhower did, stand up and take the blame himself on the basis that he knew of and had ordered the flights and was in complete control of everything done in the foreign arena by this Government. The latter choice would mean that the President of the United States is Commander in Chief during peacetime clandestine operations as he is in time of war. This is a totally new doctrine born of the vicissitudes of the Cold War. Many have considered this a very noble stand on the part of President Eisenhower, and it was. However, this public admission by the Chief of State that he had directed clandestine operations within another state is exactly the type of thing that reduces the prestige and credibility of United States in the family of nations to the condition described by Arnold Toynbee.
L. Fletcher Prouty (The Secret Team: The CIA & its Allies in Control of the United States & the World)
Aldous Huxley is known today primarily as the author of the novel Brave New World. He was one of the first prominent Americans to publicly endorse the use of psychedelic drugs. Controversial political theorist Lyndon Larourche called Huxley “the high priest for Britain’s opium war,” and claimed he played a conspicuous role in laying the groundwork for the Sixties counterculture. Huxley’s grandfather was Thomas H. Huxley, founder of the Rhodes Roundtable and a longtime collaborator with establishment British historian Arnold Toynbee. Toynbee headed the Research Division of British Intelligence during World War II, and was a briefing officer to Winston Churchill. Aldous Huxley was tutored at Oxford by novelist H. G. Wells, a well-known advocate of world government. Expounding in his “Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution,” Wells wrote, “The Open Conspiracy will appear first, I believe, as a conscious organization of intelligent and quite possibly in some cases, wealthy men, as a movement having distinct social and political aims. . . . In all sorts of ways they will be influencing and controlling the apparatus of the ostensible government.” Wells introduced Huxley to the notorious Satanist, Aleister Crowley.
Donald Jeffries (Hidden History: An Exposé of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups in American Politics)
As historian Arnold Toynbee (1889–1975) noted, civilizations rarely die simply from external assault; they are first hollowed out by internal moral decline. “Civilizations,” Toynbee wrote, “die from suicide, not by murder.”1 They are weakened from the inside out, like an old tree rotted to the core and knocked
Carrie Gress (The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis)
While the economic and political maps of the World have now been 'Westernized' almost out of recognition, the cultural map remains today substantially what it was before our Western Society ever started on its career of economic and political conquest. On this cultural plane, for those who have eyes to see, the lineaments of the four living non-Western civilizations are still clear. Even the fainter outlines of the frail primitive societies that are being ground to powder by the passage of the ponderous Western steam-roller have not quite ceased to be visible.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Vol 1: Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations (A Study of History, #1))
their feet, moving from place to place when the need arose, like a good boxer (of which there were more than a few Jews) who is able to dodge and deflect the full brunt of blows directed against him. The ceaseless mobility of the Jews led to a second key factor in enabling their survival—what we may call in shorthand “assimilation” (otherwise known as “acculturation”). In contemporary parlance, this word induces panic in Jewish community officials, who point to high intermarriage rates and weakening organizational affiliation as signs of the impending disappearance of the Jews. In historical terms, assimilation refers to the process by which Jews, in making their way to new locales, absorbed the linguistic and cultural norms of their Gentile neighbors—and then shared their own. This peculiar understanding follows the usage of historian Gerson Cohen, who argued in 1966 that assimilation as a means of cultural interaction was not only unavoidable in Jewish history, but also necessary to the survival of the Jews. Without the constant cultural encounters, enacted every day over the course of millennia, Jews would have become fossilized, as the British historian Arnold Toynbee famously and mistakenly claimed they had. In fact, it was the interaction with non-Jews that allowed for the explosive diversity of Jewish culture and the ongoing vitality of its practitioners.
David N. Myers (Jewish History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
On a stationary military frontier between a civilization and a barbarism, time always works in the barbarians' favour; and, besides this, the barbarians' advantages increases in geometrical progression at each arithmetical addition to the length of the line which the defenders of the civilization have to hold
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
As Berlin writes, in his reproach to the historians Edward Gibbon and Arnold Toynbee, “nations” and “civilizations,” while they exist, are not as “concrete” as the individuals who embody them.6 Individuals not only count morally to a greater extent than groups, but the very existence of the former is not inherently problematic like that of the latter. Groups, civilizations, and other mass human assemblages are either artificially constructed to some degree or other (by nationalist ideologues, for example), or in any case are not so clear-cut as they seem, owing to the subtle and not-so-subtle influences upon them of other groups and civilizations over considerable stretches of time. And yet
Robert D. Kaplan (In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond)
Altogether, the environment of Massachusetts proved to be perfectly suited for a Puritan experiment. The climate was rigorous but healthy and invigorating. The land was challenging but rewarding. For historian Arnold Toynbee, New England was the classical example of a “hard country” which stimulated its inhabitants to high achievements through a process of “challenge and response.” The vitality of this regional culture owed much to its physical setting.11
Anonymous
So far as the Syriac society was related to any older member of the species it was related to the Minoan, and this in the same degree as the Hellenic was related to the Minoan-neither more nor less.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
Thus three factors mark the transition from the old to the new society: a universal state as the final stage of the old society; a church developed in the old society and in turn developing the new; and the chaotic intrusion of a barbarian heroic age. Of these factors, the second is the most, and the third the least, significant.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
So far all is plain, but further search brings us up against complications. The first is that the predecessor of the Islamic society (not yet identified) proves to be the parent not of a single offspring but of twins, in this respect resembling the parental achievement of the Hellenic society. The conduct of the pairs of twins has been, however, strikingly dissimilar; for, whereas the Western and the Orthodox Society have survived for over a thousand years side by side, one of the offspring of the parent society which we are seeking to identify swallowed up and incorporated the other. We shall call these twin societies the Iranic and the Arabic.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
When we compare the pair of Islamic with our pair of Christian societies we see that the Islamic Society which emerged in what we may call the Perso-Turkish or Iranian zone bears a certain resemblance to our Western Society, while the other society, which emerged in what we may call the Arabic zone bears a certain resemblance to Orthodox Christendom. For example, the ghost of the Baghdad Caliphate which was evoked by the Mamluks at Cairo in the thirteenth century of the Christian Era reminds us of the ghost of the Roman Empire which was evoked by Leo the Syrian at Constantinople in the eighth century.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
Behind the 'Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad we find the Ummayad Caliphate of Damascus, and behind that a thousand years of Hellenic intrusion, beginning with the career of Alexander of Macedon in the latter half of the fourth century B.C., followed by the Greek Seleucid monarchy in Syria, Pompey's campaigns and the Roman conquest, and only ending with the Oriental revanche of the warriors of early Islam in the seventh century after Christ.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
As the Macedonian conquest, by breaking up the Achaemenian Empire (i.e. the Persian Empire of Cyrus and his successors), prepared the soil for the seed of Hellenism, so the Arab conquest opened the way for the Umayyads, and after them the 'Abbasids, to reconstruct a universal state which was the equivalent of the Achaemenian Empire.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
We may express the historical function of the 'Abbasid Caliphate by describing it as a reintegration and resumption of the Achaemenian Empire - a reintegration of a political structure which had been broken up by the impact of an external force and the resumption of a phase of social life which had been interrupted by an alien intrusion.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
On the whole the Aramaean or Syrian element, rather than the Iranian, may be regarded as the deeper influence, and, if we peer back behind the time of troubles, the Iranian element fades out and we catch a glimpse of a society in Syria, in the generation of King Solomon and his contemporary King Hiram, which was just discovering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and had already discovered the Alphabet. Here at last we have identified the society to which the twin Islamic societies (subsequently combined in one) were affiliated, and we call it the Syriac Society.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
On the political plane for example, the illusion, projected as 'patriotism', is still 'the last infirmity of noble minds' as well as 'the last refuge of a scoundrel'. In the Western World of our day, almost every Englishman, Frenchman, Czechoslovak, and Lithuanian is influenced in his political feelings, thoughts, and actions, by the irrational assumption that his own national state is a more precious institution than his neighbour's.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Vol 1: Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations (A Study of History, #1))
No collection of facts is ever complete, because the universe is without bounds. And no synthesis or interpretation is ever final, because there are always fresh facts to be found after the first collection has been provisionally arranged.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Vol 1: Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations (A Study of History, #1))
It is now plain that in tracing the life of our Western Society backwards behind 775 we begin to find it presented to us in terms of something other than itself-in terms of the Roman Empire and of the society to which that Empire belonged. It can also be shown that any elements which we can trace back from Western history into the history of that earlier society may have quite different functions in these two different associations.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
These societies have no common characteristic beyond the fact that all of them are "intelligible fields of study ", and this characteristic is so vague and general that it can be turned to no practical account.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6)
Compared with the life-span of a human being the time-span of a civilization is so vast that a human observer cannot hope to take the measure of its curve unless he is in a position to view it in a distant perspective; and he can only obtain this perspective vis-a-vis some society that is extinct. He can never stand back sufficiently far from the history of the society in which he himself lives and moves and has his being. In other words, to assert of any living society, at any moment in its life, that it is the consummation of human history is to hazard a guess which is intrinsically unsusceptible of immediate verification. When we find that a majority of the members of all societies at all times make this assertion about their own civilizations, it becomes evident that their guesses have really nothing to do with any objective calculation of probabilities but are pure expressions of the egocentric illusion.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (A Study of History, Vol 1: Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations (A Study of History, #1))
Experience has shown that the mass-armies of “democratic” states fight with greater zeal when they are animated by hatred and supported by a hate-crazed populace that fancies it is fighting a holy war. Lies have therefore become military equipment, a kind of mental logistics; but it is the essence of such propaganda that its spuriousness is known only to the persons who manufacture it. The model of such operations is the famous lie-factory managed by Lord Bryce during the First World War, in which a corps of expert technicians forged photographs, while expert liars, including Arnold Toynbee, concocted stories of “atrocities” to inspire the emotionally overwrought British with a fanatic’s hatred of the incredibly bestial Germans and with a noble Christian ardour to kill them.
Revilo Oliver
The human race’s prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenceless against tigers than they are today, when we have become defenceless against ourselves. —Arnold Toynbee
Toby Ord (The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity)
A través del ajuste de lo que se aprende a lo largo del camino, Toyota avanza como lo haría un científico. Con cada nueva constatación empírica, el científico ajusta el rumbo para aprovecharse de lo que ha aprendido. Aprendo cada día lo que necesito saber para hacer el trabajo de mañana. Explicación del historiador ARNOLD J. TOYNBEE relativa a su alta productividad Nada en el horizonte puede tener una
Mike Rother (TOYOTA KATA: El método que ayudó a miles de empresas a optimizar la gestión de sus negocios)
Civilizations don’t usually die from murder, to paraphrase the famous British historian Arnold Toynbee. Civilizations die from suicide. It is increasing dangers inside our organizations that threaten us most. And fortunately, those dangers are well within our control.
Simon Sinek (Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't)
Arnold Toynbee voit dans les événements qui vont suivre la preuve de la justesse de sa théorie du défi et de la réponse. Pour lui, la puissante pression exercée sur la Russie par le monde occidental au XVIIe siècle – qui devait amener l’armée polonaise à Moscou et donner aux Suédois le littoral de la Baltique – fut « le principal point de concentration des forces vitales russes ». À cette pression, écrit l’historien anglais, « Pierre le Grand allait répondre en construisant, en 1703, Saint-Pétersbourg, sur le territoire repris par les armes aux Suédois... »
Michel Heller (Histoire de la Russie et de son empire)
Or in the words of the famous British historian Arnold Toynbee, “History is just one damn thing after another.
Frans Johansson (The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World)
Compassion is the desire that moves the individual self to widen the scope of its self-concern to embrace the whole of the universe self.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The campaign of anti-Islamic slander was so successful that to this day some textbooks in European and American schools refer to Muhammad as having epilepsy, the Qur’an as being copied from Bible, Muslim armies forcing conversions on people (by the sword), and Islam as being against science and learning. All of these are quite untrue, and enlightened Western authors from Arnold Toynbee and Bertrand Russell to Yvonne Haddad and John Esposito have been dispelling these myths on book after book for decades; nevertheless, the message hasn’t reached the masses, who still believe numerous myths concerning Islam.
Yahiya Emerick (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam)
Türkiye ve Avrupa Rusya ise edebiyat, musiki, güzel sanatlar, matematik ve doğa bilimlerinde Avrupa medeniyeti denen kubbeyi taşıyan ana sütunlardan birini oluşturmasına rağmen Avrupalılar tarafından halen tam Avrupalı sayılmamaktadır. Nitekim Arnold Toynbee gibi çağdaş tarihçiliğin devi bir düşünür bu çelişkiye haklı olarak işaret etmiş ve Rusya ile Türkiye’yi, istedikleri kadar Avrupalı olsunlar, dışlanan iki güç olarak göstermiştir. Batılılar Rusya’yı ve Türkiye’yi ne olursa olsun siyasi, iktisadi, kültürel ittifaklarına almak istemezler. Sovyetler Birliği’nin bir kabus haline dönüştüğü İkinci Dünya Savaşı sonrasında ihmal edilmez bir değer olan Türk askeri yapısının NATO’ya kabulü dahi bir istisnadır. Kimse Türkiye’yi kalkındırmak için bir ittifak düşünemez, ama kalkınmış bir Türkiye’nin ihmal edilemeyeceği de açıktır. Bu ülke son 150 yıldaki yolculuğuyla ve başardıklarıyla hem istenen hem istenmeyen ama uzak durulamayan bir gerçekliktir.
İlber Ortaylı (Türkiye'nin Yakın Tarihi)