The Empathic Civilization. The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis.

by Jeremy Rifkin

Penguin Books Ltd., 2009
ISBN: 1-101-17042-5


Title and key messages of this book by Jeremy Rifkin could not be more current and relevant these days. Much more so - it is a clear affordance to think deeply, think differenly and to act.


The sociologist, economist and thought leader Rifkin starts with the humanly innate ability to empathize with others as the basis for human community. The feeling of belongingness has been extended to increasingly larger groups - from the early tribal community, to religious group affiliation, to e.g. the founding of the national states in the 19th century, to name a few stages.


The enlargement of the empathetic belongingness was supported by the respectice societal, economic and technological developments, such as, for example, the introduction of administrative processes to organize larger communities of people and the division of labor, or the use of machine power. For our time now, being globally connected using new technology, Rifkin demands a new global consciousness and a feeling of responsibility for the world and all people and creatures - simply in the sense of an "extended family". With the mirror neurons in our brains are capable of these feelings of empathy...

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