The Empathic Civilization

January 25th, 2010

The health care debate is but one example of the difficulty of enacting any kind of social or political change.  The Supreme Court saw to it last week that corporate money will continue to define our political agenda.  The only good news was that the outpouring of support and relief for Haiti still shows a deep well of human compassion, in spite of a year in which Ayn Rand was resurrected and selfishness was once again put up as a virtue.  With the institutions of democracy broken, globalization increasing, climate change continuing and increasing energy demands, it seems we need to find whole new ways of addressing critical problems.  Author, scholar and public intellectual Jeremy Rifkin, in his new book The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis contends that we are at a seminal turning point in human history and that the coming decades could well determine our future survival on this planet.  My conversation with Jeremy Rifkin:

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