These tokens indicate elements of the self left behind or buried deep by the forces of civilization--or as Edward Abbey was fond of calling it, "syphilization
." (11) In a famously pre-Darwinian reference to evolution, Whitman imagines himself "stucco'd with quadrupeds and birds all over"; he says he has "distanced what is behind me for good reasons" but can "call any thing back" when he desires it (PP, 217).
Pipes notes that the Iranian commentator Kalim Siddiqui, who lives in Britain, has deemed Western civilization "not a civilization but a sickness," while Belhajd, an Algerian politician, "ridicules Western civilization as syphilization
It was Baudelaire that called French civilization "syphilization
," and whose great Paris Spleen prose poems included this one, called "The Mirror":</p> <pre> A man of horrifying aspect enters the room and looks at himself in the glass.