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The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis Hardcover – December 31, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
resonates throughout this book, but we're not discussing an isolated island, but the future of at least the developed world and maybe mankind. Unlike many pundits and politicians, Mr Rifkin first delves deeply and broadly into underlying assumptions, historical context, and cultural issues, which while seeming maybe extraneous are the very essence from which we must fashion the future.
Businesses, organizations and civilizations fail mainly because they continue to operate on assumptions which a no longer valid...things have changed. The case is strong that we are at one of those massive inflection points in history where old assumptions are no longer holding true. With the pending sunset of the " second industrial revolution", Mr Rifkin then posits the framework for a "Third Industrial Revolution" which is as remarkably different from today's centralized carbon powered society, as is the IPhone, Amazon, internet world from the mom and pop grocery stores and wire based telephones of our parents. This is a compelling vision and is one which potentially puts mankind on a positive course for the future, taking "the world is flat" to it's logical conclusion with a highly distributed, more equitable form of capitalism, as opposed to the punitive, fine based approach we have so recently seen in evidence in Copenhagen.
One way to test proposition is to check it's sensitivity to the underlying assumptions. The vision presented still seems to remain vaild even when/if some of the assumptions presented turn out in the end to not be true.Read more ›
I carefully read every page of this book (616 pages, not counting footnotes). I marked it up extensively. I re-read some sections. My bottom line recommendation: IF YOU ONLY READ ONE BOOK THIS YEAR, MAKE IT THIS ONE! I have read hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books in my 51 years of life on this planet. I must honestly say that I consider Jemery Rifkin's The Empathic Civilization to be one of the 5 most significant and important (and realistically hopeful) books I've ever read. I cannot recommend this book too highly. The history of cosmic, biological, and human evolution understood meaningfully is my field of expertise. This book does it all. It integrates humanity's best collective intelligence regarding human nature and human history and does so in a way that is a pure delight to read. Mid-way through the book I thought to myself, "How can one person know all this?!" That's when I went back and re-read the acknowledgements. Rifkin had a director of research working on this project for 4 years, with two dozen interns. No wonder it's so complete! I promise that if you give this book a good reading (it's worth taking the time to truly do so!), you will never see human nature, human history, or our prospects for a healthy future in the same way again.Read more ›
This is a magnum opus from a very specific point of view that overlooks both major consciousness figures and major biosphere figures. Herman Daly gets one note, Tom Atlee, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Steve McIntosh are not in this book. Buckminster Fuller, Paul Hawken, the Meadows, E. O. Wilson on Consilience, J. F Rischard on HIGH NOON, etcetera, are not in this book. My review begins after the Table of Contents, which the publisher failed to provide using standard Amazon tools for publishers.
Table of Contents
I The Hidden Paradox of Human History
2 The New View of Human Nature
3 A Sentient Interpretation of Biological Evolution
4 Becoming Human
5 Rethinking the Meaning of the Human Journey
EMPATHY AND CIVILIZATION
6 The Ancient Theological Brain and Patriarchal Economy
7 Cosmopolitan Rome and the Rise of Urban Christianity
8 The Soft Industrial Revolution of the Late Medieval era and the Birth of Humanism
9 Ideological Thinking in a Modern Market Economy
10 Psychological Consciousness in a postmodern Existential world
THE AGE OF EMPATHY
11 The Climb to Global Peak Empathy
12 The Planetary Entropic Abyss
13 The Emerging Era of Distributed Capitalism
14 The Theatrical Self in an Improvisational Society
15 Biosphere Consciousness in a Climax Economy
- - - - - - - -
If this book is reprinted, it should be single-spaced. The massive bulk (675 pages) is pretentious and not necessary, especially for those of us that read when traveling, and for students having to carry books around.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very detailed and thought provoking. I needed a thesaurus by my side while reading itPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Absolute masterwork by one of the most prolific bug thinkers of our lifetimePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great vision, though a bit over optimistic. His later works consider resistance to change.Published 6 months ago by Rev David Froemming
Couldn't recommend more strongly to anyone willing to grapple with its ideas. I'm going to have to recommend this to my former university professorsPublished 6 months ago by lortega
Although i think the length of the book can be shorter, I really liked the insights on empathy and building our society around it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Alfonso Mendoza
Rifkin presents the story of humanity in terms of the evolution of empathy. He compiles mountains of evidence that empathy has always been the driving force of social development. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Brian Griffith