Thursday, 23 August 2012
The twentieth century will be chiefly remembered by future generations not as an era of political conflicts or technical inventions, but as an age in which human society dared to think of the welfare of the whole human race as a practical objective.
Arnold J. Toynbee, English historian (1889 – 1975)
In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech on December 11, 1957, former Prime Minister of Canada, Lester Pearson quoted historian, Arnold Toynbee, author of the book A Study of History. The main thesis of Toynbee’s work is that the well being of a civilization depends on its ability to respond creatively to challenges, human and the environment.
Pearson was optimistic about the twentieth century. He believed that the cycle of rise and decline was not inevitable and that a civilization could choose and act wisely in the face of recurring hardships. However, civilization was proven to overcomes the dangerous aggressivity of the individual, by weakening him, disarming him and setting up an internal authority to watch over him, like a garrison in a conquered town.
It is impossible to resist the impression that human beings commonly apply false standards and thoughts, seeking power, success and wealth for themselves and admiring them in others, while underrating what is truly valuable in life. “One of the most remarkable characteristics of human nature”, writes Hermann Lotze (1817 – 1881), a German philosopher, “is, alongside so much selfishness in specific instances, the freedom from envy which the present displays toward the future”.
The concept of the spectacle brings together a wide range of phenomena. Diversities and contrasts among such phenomena are the appearance of a social organization. This social organization is part of a class struggle, which according to Karl Marx (1818 – 1883), is a fight for social justice in the living age of the modern society. Like modern society itself, is at once united and divided, struggles between forces.
These struggles have been established for the purpose of running the similar socio-economic and political system. The globalization phenomena, which is more likely is the capitalism invasion towards the world had caused social justice being left at a dilapidated condition. This phenomenon does greatly affects the built environment, which automatically will affect the social system we live in. (to be continued)
 Lotze, Hermann, Microcosmus: An Essay Concerning Man and His Relation to the World (4th edition), (trans. E. Hamilton and E. E. C. Jones), T&T Clark, Edinburgh, 1899.
 Marx, Karl, Dispatches for the New York Tribune, (eds. James Ledbetter), Penguin Books, London, 2007.