I am a Dek

“One of the leading big-picture thinkers of our day” (Utne Reader) delivers his boldest work in this erudite, tough-minded, and far-reaching manifesto. In this sweeping new interpretation of the history of civilization, bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin looks at the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it. TITLE: The Empathic Civilisation. Speakers: Jeremy Rifkin. Chaired by: Date: Venue: RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ. NB. This is an unedited.

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Moving rfkin hunting and gathering to farming, and then to industrial production, enabled humans to interact with one another as never before, but this increasing interconnection involved depleting the planet, a process that is reaching a climax just as civilisation is becoming planet-wide for the first time.


The book looks back in seeking to solve modern issues and provides an interesting perspective on historical events. Empthic argues that we are on the brink of another such revolution, the communications technology being the internet and the energy regime being various distributed forms of energy production.

By the way, we hit peak oil per capita in ; a function of declining oil reserves and an exploding population.

But the stirring conclusion after Rifkin’s survey of world everything psychology, history, economics, biology, etc.

The human-made environment is rapidly morphing into a global space, yet our existing modes of consciousness are structured for earlier eras of history, which are just as quickly fading away. A nicely supported rmpathic about how empathy has evolved over time.

So are we able to develop a biosphere consciousness and save our tiny world in time? This will entail a very different power structure from fossil fuel, financial capitalism.

Empathy is a delicate balancing act. Maybe among the humanists Rifkin hangs with, residual trust in Freud remains, but my jaded postmodern and neuroscientist friends dismissed Freud years ago. Nov 30, Wendy Capron rated it really liked it. Therefore, we should expect to still retain some forager mysticism, some Medieval monotheism, some Newton-era neutral objectivism, some Byron Romanticism, some 20th-century promotion of self-esteem, and some 21st-century multiculturalism.


Here is an analytical defense of ‘humanity’ that will not only provide you with material to convincingly present your belief in a better future being possible it will re-inspire you and remind you of why you believe this. He posits that human psychology is developed by human civilization; when your culture is based on a medieval hierarchy, you don’t necessarily have the same developed sense of individuality that a e,pathic century person does; and without individuality, there is only a limited capacity for empathy.

The most important lesson of this book is also cliche, but universally and eternally profound: Rifkin’s opening Part 1 seemed less necessary, somehow, since he spends the first few chapters taking apart Sigmund Freud. In order to reflect on our present civilization, Rifkin then goes back to explore human history and the major changes in energy regimes, which in turn bring about new communication regimes and new domains of consciousness and empathjc.

For all its inordinate length, The Empathic Civilization fails to substantiate its central thesis. Our empathic embrace emapthic our way of rooting for her and celebrating her life. A biologist, Wilson explains the biology of our global ecosystem in a way that this non-scientist easily understood it.

The Empathic Civilization: The Race To Global Consciousness In A World In Crisis

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I only regret that in the last few pages of the book, Rifkin returns to Goethe’s critique of the scientific method. A good portion of the chapter, The Emerging Era of Distributed Capitalism, is dated – turns out a lot’s happened in the last decade. As an excerpted chapter, I’d recommend Chapter 6: And the pleasure empathc men sought in each other’s company bore little resemblance to the superficial rendering of pleasure offered up by nineteenth- century utilitarians and even less to Freud’s pathological account of a human race preoccupied by the erotic impulse.

The Empathic Civilization: The Race To Global Consciousness In A World In Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin

As for escape- The Empathic Civilization removes readers from the specific minutiae of everyday life, encouraging them instead to focus on big, broad issues and consider themselves as part of a larger, extremely powerful whole. Feb 19, Zach S. While humans are more interdependent than ever before, they are at the same time destabilising the planet.


It is packed with invaluable information and insight about steering a relatively safe course through the sometimes rough seas of our rapidly changing, interconnected world. Rifkin’s argument in Part 3 that the dramaturgical self makes the issue of “self-authenticity” less relevant is an important one, and I applaud the way he has applied that to social networks. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Rifkin considers the latest phase of communication and energy regimes—that of electronic telecommunications and fossil fuel extraction—as bringing people together on the nation-state level based on democratic capitalismbut at the same time creating global problems, like climate changepandemics, and nuclear proliferation. The information alone makes The Empathic Civilization worth reading because of the insights the information brings.

Just ask Ezra Pound. The first child labor law was enacted in s in England, prohibiting children under age nine from working in factories and limiting work hours of older children to eight hours a day until the age of fourteen.

The message Rifkin has to tell is one of the most important in our social and cultural history, and the only aspect keeping me from giving the book a solid five stars is the slight caveat attached to any Rifkin books, which is related to the way he tells a story. Hydraulic power was labour-intensive, requiring large populations of subservient people. Retrieved December 27, It left me with a sense of both fear and wonder.

Foundation on Economic Trends. Rifkin extrapolates the observed trend into the future, predicting that Internet and mobile technology along with small-scale renewable energy commercialization will create an era of distributed capitalism necessary to manage the new energy regime and a heightened global empathy that can help solve global problems.

Jeremy Rifkin captures the currents of history and puts our current dilemmas as a global society into perspective.