Consciousness is its tool.
Civilization (city-based society) is built by barbarian peoples. They are a different species from civilians. Though science might argue that they cannot be a different species because they can interbreed, I submit that this is not really the case. Any child born outside civilization, no matter the parents, is not capable of becoming a ‘civilian’ without extensive modification of its brain, and vice versa. We tend to think of human brains as we think of computers: hardware separate from software. This isn’t the case. Our language development coincides with neural development, and once a ‘program’ is learned, it is hard-coded into nerves. A civilian is not a natural human any more than a car is a tractor. Sure, you can use it to pull a wagon if you weld a hitch to the frame, but not a big one, and not far, and not through a field.
A civilian is a specially grown and programmed type of animal. It is a product of fantasy. Cities were built as a form of isolation from reality. The advantages are clear for the proliferation of civilians and their desires. Better food, better childcare, more power to acquire resources and protection from enemies. Unfortunately, these advantages led to overpopulation of the world by consumers and the trap of systemic dominance over resources. The more people have developed advantages over natural systems, the more those systems suffer.
The isolationism of cities allows humans to grow and develop generation after generation of children that are disconnected from their effects on the world. Their ‘risks’ became imagined risks that are realized only within the civilized systems exploiting them. In a system based solely on capital, a lack of capital can be just as deadly as a lack of water or clothes outside the city walls. Just as bands of people found ways to form tribes for self-protection and acquisition of resources from other tribes, bands of poor people form tribes to defend and fight over capital-based resources inside city walls. It is ludicrous to believe that people who grow rich by exploiting other people via scarcity will ever put serious effort toward preventing that exploitation of scarcity. The more ‘civilized’ society becomes, the higher the rewards for those who exploit the imaginary threats and scarcities of civilization. The better someone is in this competitive manipulation of systems, the more likely a ‘democratic’ majority will believe they should be in charge of all resources.
As each generation develops new ways to improve civilization, civilization itself becomes further isolated from responsibility for the natural systems it depends upon. New bureaucracies and new systems compete with each other to be the top dog of the pack, but it’s a pack running in a simulation of reality with immortal dogs (corporations and governments).
Money has become the primary isolation tool from reality, and all of these systems start on a premise of open-loop rapacity (converting all usefulness into proxy value), putting money between the human desires creating perceptions of morality and the physical world of water and earth.
It isn’t a question of whether the civilized species will survive. It’s a question of whether there are enough uncivilized peoples left to rebuild another society when this one eats itself inside the walls. Civilizations don’t fix themselves. They burn out and new ones are born, usually without leaving behind enough wisdom to prevent the same trap from happening again. Once money gets reinvented, all bets are off and the race to self-destruction jumps out the gates: until there are no more gates and nothing but sand.