- "Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions."
“culture” was often opposed to “civilization.” Civilization, the thinking went, was a homogenizing system of efficient, rational rules, designed to encourage discipline and “progress.” Culture was the opposite: an unpredictable expression of human potential for its own sake. (It’s for this reason that a term like “the culture industry” has an oxymoronic ring.) Today, we don’t often use the word “civilization”— we prefer to talk, more democratically, in terms of culture—but we’re still conflicted. We can’t help but notice how “civilized” life seems both to facilitate culture and to deaden it. Museums make it easy to see art, but they also weigh it down.'