The Value of Civilization

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr:

“… the chief worth of civilization is just that it makes the means of living more complex; that it calls for great and combined intellectual efforts, instead of simple, uncoordinated ones, in order that the crowd may be fed and clothed and housed and moved from place to place. Because more complex and intense intellectual efforts mean a fuller and richer life. They mean more life. Life is an end in itself, and the only question as to whether it is worth living is whether you have enough of it.”

Quoted by Jane Jacobs, The Death and Live of Great American Cities, opposite the first page of the Introduction.