A Study of History

By Arnold J. Toynbee; D. C. Somervell | Go to book overview

XXII. STANDARDIZATION THROUGH
DISINTEGRATION

WE have now arrived at the close of our inquiry into the process of the disintegrations of civilizations, but before we leave the subject there is one more question to be considered. We must ask whether, as we look back over the ground we have traversed, we can discern any master-tendency at work, and we do in fact unmistakably descry a tendency towards standardization and uniformity: a tendency which is the correlative and opposite of the tendency towards differentiation and diversity which we have found to be the mark of the growth stage of civilizations. We have recently noted, on a superficial plane, the tendency towards a uniformity of three-and-a-half beats in the rhythm of disintegration. A much more significant symptom of uniformity is the uniform schism of a disintegrating society into three sharply divided classes and the uniform works of creation performed by each of them. We have seen dominant minorities uniformly working out philosophies and producing universal states; internal proletariats uniformly discovering 'higher religions' which aim at embodying themselves in universal churches; and external proletariats uniformly mustering war-bands which find vent in 'heroic ages'. The uniformity with which these several institutions are generated is indeed so far-reaching that we are able to present this aspect of the disintegration-process in the tabular form in which it is displayed at the conclusion of this chapter. Even more remarkable is the uniformity of ways of behaviour, feeling and life that is revealed by the study of schism in the Soul.

This contrast between the diversity of growth and the uniformity of disintegration is what we might have expected from the consideration of simple analogies, such as the parable of Penelope's web. When the faithful wife of the absent Odysseus had promised her importunate suitors that she would give herself in marriage to one of them so soon as she had finished weaving a winding-sheet for old Laertes, she used to weave away at her loom in the day-time day by day and then spend the night watches night by night in unpicking her last day's work. When the webster set up her warp and began to weave her weft each morning she had at her command an unlimited choice of patterns, and might, if she chose, weave a different pattern every day. But her night-work was monotonously uniform, for, when it came to unravelling the web, the pattern made no difference. However complicated the set of movements

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Study of History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • A Study of History *
  • Plan of the Book *
  • Preface *
  • Note by the Editor of the Abridgement *
  • Table of Contents *
  • I- Introduction *
  • I. the Unit of Historical Study *
  • Ii. the Comparative Study of Civilizations *
  • Iii. the Comparability of Societies *
  • II- The Geneses of Civilizations *
  • Iv. the Problem and How Not to Solve It *
  • V. Challenge and Response *
  • Vi. the Virtues of Adversity *
  • Vii. the Challenge of the Environment *
  • Viii. the Golden Mean *
  • III- The Growths of Civilizations *
  • Ix. the Arrested Civilizations *
  • X. the Nature of the Growths of Civilizations *
  • Xi. an Analysis of Growth *
  • Xii. Differentiation through Growth *
  • IV- The Breakdowns of Civilizations *
  • Xiii. the Nature of the Problem *
  • Xiv. Deterministic Solutions *
  • Xv. Loss of Command over the Environment *
  • Xvi. Failure of Self-Determination *
  • V- The Disintegrations of Civilizations *
  • Xvii. the Nature of Disintegration *
  • Xviii. Schism in the Body Social *
  • Xix. Schism in the Soul *
  • Xx. the Relation between Disintegrating Societies and Individuals *
  • Xxi. the Rhythm of Disintegration *
  • Xxii. Standardization through Disintegration *
  • Editor''s Note *
  • Argument *
  • Index *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 617

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.