There are numerous definitions of the word civilisation. in order for the reader to understand what I am talking about, i have to give one as well. Please be aware that, whenever i use the term, I mean it exactly this way.
As a base I would use one of the most common working definitions, as it is used by contemporary archeologists and historians in order to distinguish civilisation from other forms of social structures such as tribalism.
For a start, Steve Blaha’s 2002 definition works quite well:
“a grouping of at least several thousand people with a common culture, usually a common language, usually a geographic locale, some significant (usually monumental) buildings and architecture, and a political structure that is not necessarily unified”
This definition was made for the “International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations”, http://wmich.edu/iscsc/civilization.html
However i find it important to elaborate on the last sentence, saying that the political system is not necessarily unified. I believe this to be only partially true, because so far, be it ancient or contemporary societies, all have always been organized as pyramidical hirarchies. wether or not the political system was called monarchy, democracy or sozialism does not change that fact. therefore, besides having a common culture and often (I would not say usually) a common language, the political structure is actually quite unified, while only the ways of how to appoint political power to individuals differs. While monarchies and dictatorships have different ways of how to appoint their rulers, the facts remain that they a) all have rulers and b) are organized as pyramidical hirarchies.
In other definitions we learn that civilizations can also be defined by their productiveness, meaning specifically that a civilisation usually produces all of its food and any other products necessary for survival of the group and its individuals out of its own power. therefore, all civilisations are 100% product-based, economically speaking. This includes the fact that all civilisations are 100% agricultural systems.
Therefore my definition, which will be meant whenever i use the word civilisation is as follows:
A civilisation is a grouping of at least several thousand people with a common culture, often a common language and geagraphic locale, who produce 100% of their food and other essential items themselves. It is organized in pyramidical hierarchies while the means of appointing political or economical power to individuals is not necessarily unified.
I understand that some of these things seem like assumptions that need further explanation. I will get back to those in due time. For now it should be sufficient to say that when i speak about the term civilisation I mean exactly the above.
When I speak about the present global civilisation i will most likely call it ‘our civilisation’.
In further posts I will also elaborate how exactly our civilisation fits into the definition and which other characteristics have to be added that are not consistent traits of all civilisations that ever existed.
As always please comment, critisize ask questions, give additional information, if you have any.