The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness by Jeremy Rifkin

By Jeremy Rifkin

"One of the prime big-picture thinkers of our day" (Utne Reader) offers his boldest paintings during this erudite, tough-minded, and far-reaching manifesto.

by no means has the realm appeared so thoroughly united-in the shape of verbal exchange, trade, and culture-and so savagely torn apart-in the shape of struggle, monetary meltdown, worldwide warming, or even the migration of illnesses.

regardless of how a lot we placed our minds to the duty of assembly the demanding situations of a speedily globalizing global, the human race turns out to continually arise brief, not able to muster the collective psychological assets to actually "think globally and act locally." In his so much formidable e-book up to now, bestselling social critic Jeremy Rifkin exhibits that this disconnect among our imaginative and prescient for the area and our skill to gain that imaginative and prescient lies within the present kingdom of human awareness. The very means our brains are established disposes us to a fashion of feeling, considering, and performing on the planet that's not fullyyt appropriate to the hot environments we've created for ourselves.

The human-made setting is quickly morphing right into a worldwide house, but our present modes of attention are established for past eras of background, that are simply as speedy fading away. Humanity, Rifkin argues, unearths itself at the cusp of its maximum test to this point: refashioning human cognizance in order that people can collectively reside and flourish within the new globalizing society.

In essence, this shift in attention relies upon attaining out to others. yet to withstand this alteration in human relatives and modes of pondering, Rifkin contends, might spell ineptness and catastrophe in dealing with the hot demanding situations round us. because the forces of globalization speed up, deepen, and develop into ever extra complicated, the older faith-based and rational different types of awareness are inclined to turn into under pressure, or even risky, as they try to navigate an international more and more past their achieve and keep watch over. certainly, the emergence of this empathetic awareness has implications for the long run that would most probably be as profound and far-reaching as whilst Enlightenment philosophers upended faith-based recognition with the canon of cause.

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Extra info for The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis

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While no energy has been lost in the conversion process, we can never reburn the original piece of coal again and get useful work out of it. The second law states that whenever energy is transformed, some amount of available energy is lost in the process: that is, it is no longer able to perform useful work. This loss of usable energy is called “entropy,” a term coined by the German physicist Rudolf Clausius in 1868. Clausius observed that in order for energy to be converted into work, there must be a difference in energy concentration (namely a difference in temperature) in different parts of the system.

The creation of what Lewis Mumford called the human “mega-machine” ushered in a radical restructuring of human society. Matriarchal forms of familial relations gave way to new patriarchal forms of power. Governance, which traditionally had been structured around cohort groups, marking the passage of life from infancy to old age, made way for abstract rule in the hands of a single ruler who exercised absolute power. That power was administered by centralized bureaucratic authority designed to rein in and regiment the lives of tens of thousands of people to the task of exploiting the Earth’s largesse and creating ever-greater surpluses to extend the bounds of human empire.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission instituted in South Africa in the 1990s after the end of apartheid was the first of several such bodies established in the aftermath of mass violence in various countries. Similar commissions have been established in Ireland, Argentina, and East Timor. Reconciliation commissions bring together those who have committed the crimes and their victims. The victims bear public witness to the atrocities committed and talk openly about the physical and emotional suffering they experienced at the hands of the perpetrators.

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