How can we build a “civilized” human society?

Zsolt Hermann
3 min readApr 1, 2023

Question from the Internet:

“What are the characteristics of an uncivilized society?”

We exist in an uncivilized society, and up to this point, humanity has been building only “uncivilized” societies.

Here is a definition of the notion “civil” from a Google search:

What is the full meaning of civil?

Civil. Adjective. civ·​il ˈsi-vəl. : concerning, befitting, or applying to individual citizens or to citizens as a whole.

This means that a society is “civilized” when its members and concerned about one another, when they fit each other and complement each other, creating a single whole that functions and safeguards the existence of everybody that exists in that society.

We never ever had a human society that functioned that way, and we still do not have one.

And the cause is very simple.

We are not born with qualities; we are not born with an inner program that would enable us to build a civil society. We are all born with an inherent self-serving, self-justifying, egocentric, and individualistic nature and calculations. We care only about ourselves, and we care about others only to the extent that we benefit from that “care.”

Even when we “love,” we do so only as long as we benefit from that “love.”

This is neither “good nor bad”; this is not “evil or sinful.” This is simply how we are born; this is how nature’s evolution programmed us.

Without the insatiable driving power of the selfish and individualistic human ego, we would have never reached the social, cultural, and technological development we have reached.

But, just as we observe through the growth of a child, the seemingly “reckless,” irrepressible quantitative growth that is necessary to develop an adult from a child has a limit. And beyond that limit, the development has to change and turn into a qualitative development. Otherwise, the unabated quantitative growth, internal strife, and ruthless competition lead to disease and death within the biological body.

And similarly, if humanity does not learn and practice how to turn the previous and present quantitative growth and development based on ruthless competition at the expense of others and nature into something different, we will self-destruct as cancer.

We have to learn — following nature’s finely balanced and mutually integrated template — how to build a single, mutually integrated, and mutually complementing human system or society, where each individual cares for the well-being and most optimal state of others at least as much as one cares for one’s own well-being and optimal state.

This has nothing to do with any of our arbitrary and misguided ideologies, philosophies, or religions — which are all the products of the selfish human ego. We have to switch to this qualitative development and growth — where the growth concerns only the strength and quality of the mutual interconnection and cooperation between individuals — based on the laws of the natural system we are born from and still exist in.

A truly “civilized” society is a natural society where individuals selflessly and unconditionally serve each other. In such a society, each individual searches for and finds one’s most optimal, unique, and irreplaceable role and purpose for the sake of the whole while also — justly and proportionately — receiving everything one needs and deserve in order to maintain that crucially important mutual contribution for the well-being and most optimal development of the whole.

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Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.