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The worth of men consists in their liability to persuasion. . . . Civilisation is the maintenance of social order, by its own inherent persuasiveness as embodying the nobler alternative. The recourse to force, however unavoidable, is a disclosure of the failure of civilisation, either in the general society or in a remnant of individuals. Thus in a live civilisation there is always an element of unrest. For sensitiveness to ideas means curiosity, adventure, change. Civilised order survives on its merits, and is transformed by its power of Recognizing its imperfections.
-Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas