“When in 1969 nearly half a million young Americans streamed to and crowded into a “festival” near Woodstock, New York, slews of disquisitions and articles declared this, breathlessly, as a revolution without precedent, with tremendous unforeseeable social and political consequences. In reality it resulted in nothing. What endured after the sixties were the mutations of behaviour, ranging from clothes to habits, of manners as much as morals. I am not writing this out of nostalgia for the America of the 1940s or 1950s: for the germinating symptoms of these changes had already been there. Then, latest in the 1960s, the bourgeois and urban chapter in the history of the United States of America came to its very end.
As in so many instances this was (and still is) obscured by the falseness of the words categorizing it―with the result of problems wrongly stated. The enduring changes involved not “culture” but civilization. Civilization is a word that appears in English only in 1601, with its definition: “an emergence from barbarism.” The intellectualization of the word culture, mostly of German origin, came much later. The elevation of its prestige over civilization has caused enormous harm, especially in the history of Germany. When civilization is strong and widespread enough, “culture” will appear and take care of itself.” Last Rites, Copyright ©2009 by John Lukacs, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, Page 58.