Patriarchy, The Root of Civilization

Two concepts that have shaped the brunt of human existence are civilization and patriarchy, the former being discussed much more frequently than the latter. The two are intertwined however, in a death-spiral that gains velocity with every painful moment they persist in our world. For a concept as prominent as civilization, people have trouble defining what it is. ” An advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.”, this is a common yet biased definition. ‘Advanced’ and ‘high level’ indicate that the institution of civilization as we know it is on a positive course. I see much evidence to the contrary.

Modern human civilization can be summed up in one word, domination. Domination over our environment, our neighbors, friends, family, and selves. This culture of dominance is taught to us as children, by our family. The patriarchal system is present in the home, it often emerges as a Hegelian master and slave relationship between mother and father. This behavior is absorbed by children, no matter how subtle, and sets the mold for how the individual relates to others. It leads to our society’s unhealthy obsession with competition and aggressiveness. It manifests itself as war, exploitation, and egotism.

I want to emphasize that I do not suggest that the solution is matriarchy, that system is also characterized by dominance only with the genders reversed in terms of power. What we need is a balance. We need to learn the meaning of partnership. When we do this we will recognize that we must respect the liberty of others in order to achieve freedom for ourselves. We will understand the complex relationships that exist within and without. When we finally learn these lessons, which we knew to be true all along, we can at last end the relentless destruction present in the world. In its place will emerge celebration of life and a deep happiness that we can not even begin to comprehend in our present state.