Rifkin, released a new books tilted The Empathic
Civilization. He also posted an article on the Huffington Post about the
how empathy relates to the Earthquake in Haiti.
I just went to his talk in Sonoma, CA
on January 24th and video taped it. It's about 1 hour and 20 minutes
with Q and A. See below.
I had a few minutes to talk with
Jeremy while I was miking him for audio. He was quite interested in the empathy
documentary project and I'm contacting his staff to see how we can collaborate.
He also mentioned that HuffingtonPost will be doing a month of empathy
discussions based on his book. So keep an eye out for that.
I think this will be a
significant book in helping to generate a national dialog about empathy. The
book is huge with over 600 pages. It took him 4 and half years to put it
together and it covers a lot and pulls many threads together, from history,
philosophy, science, child education, etc. etc. The research is amazing. I just
started chapter seven and have nine more to go.
Jeremy Rifkin argues that a new
science of human nature is emerging that demonstrates that humans are not as
aggressive, materialistic, and self-interested as once believed. He says humans
are driven by empathy and cooperation.
00:13:32 their own. so if we are
wired or predisposes for empathy is it possible we could extend empathic
00:20:23 and become impact it. this
changes the range of empathy very genetically. hunter gatherer cultures...
00:21:09 Muslims and Muslims. the
extension of empathy and the process. and the 19th century when...
00:21:19 industrial revolution, print
technology had empathy extend itself? to the nation state. broader...
00:22:56 and at the far reaches we now
can extend our empathy to the globe. when the first video showed up...
00:23:09 bear and backup isolated on
the ice floe the empathy of the human race exhibited itself we can now...
00:56:27 and Jonathan was on c-span
this week extending empathy to animals will also help solve the problem...
00:58:03 at our core and impacting
creature. we do seek empathy with each other. that is the game plan. when...
Rifkin - The Empathic Civilisation
Bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy
Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has
shaped our development and our society. @ Royal Society for the encouragement of
Krasny - KQED
January 25, 2010 "European adviser and author
Jeremy Rifkin challenges the notion that people are innately selfish and
materialistic. In his new book, "The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global
Consciousness in a World in Crisis," he alleges that our future rests on our
ability to function as an empathic society. We talk with Rifkin about his call
for a "third Industrial Revolution."
The Bob Edwards Show - XMradio
January 31, 2010 "Social thinker and author Jeremy Rifkin’s
book The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World
in Crisis looks at emerging scientific studies that show humans are not
naturally aggressive and self-interested, but fundamentally empathetic.
Rifkin’s book is a new interpretation of the history of civilization, focusing
on the development of human empathy through the present time. "
Story of WW1 -
Church - We
are born in sin
- We are born tabla rasa, self interested, seek pleasure
wired to feel empathy
Empathicus - wired to be social
at pathological/power and not the daily empathy
How do you
explain, greed, me decade, Bernie Madoff, etc.?
connection, if empathy not met then other forces come in.
Oil is running
out, This industrial revolution is coming to an end.
extending to a global empathy consciousness
-can't absorb being overloaded with others pain in war zone
needed for empathy - if overwhelmed can respond
Need to go to
3rd industrial revolution - distributed energy and communication
drill baby drill
need a global
consciousness and extend empathy
Start a global
conversation about empathy.
Where to pursue happiness
About the nature of culture and how culture needs to be reclaimed from commerce
and it's reliance on selfishness and greed. A good explanation for why we need
to reclaim our culture and build a Culture of Empathy.
Empathic Civilization: Why Have We Become So Uncivil? by Jeremy Rifkin on Feb 09, 2010
"In the past two weeks, President Obama has made an unprecedented plea for
civility in public discourse. Washington insiders say they can’t ever recall a
period in American public life as full of anger and polarization as now. TV
and radio talk show hosts, in particular, have fanned the flames of hatred
with occasional outrageous personal attacks on public figures and advocates of
policy agendas with which they disagree. If we continue along this toxic road,
it could lead to unfathomable damage to the American psyche. The question is
“Why is The United States becoming so uncivil”?"
"For this month's HuffPost Book Club, I have chosen a big book -- both
figuratively and literally. Jeremy Rifkin's The Empathic Civilization
clocks in at close to 700 pages and sets out to present nothing less than -- as
Rifkin puts it -- "a new rendering of human history and the meaning of human
Please read The Empathic Civilization and join in our
month-long discussion about it. Not only will Jeremy Rifkin be regularly
blogging about the issues his book raises, we will also be featuring posts from
over 30 of the world's leading scientists, scholars, and public policy
intellectuals in a many fields, which will allow us to have a robust and
informed discussion on what it will take to create and nurture a truly empathic
Will We Heed President Obama's Call for a More Empathic Society? In a memorial service held in Tucson, Arizona for
victims of the recent tragedy, President Obama called on Americans to "sharpen
our instincts for empathy" so that we can become a more civil people.The
President's call for a more empathic culture and civil society raises the
troubling question of "What has gone so terribly wrong with America?"
The Empathic Civilization: Rethinking Human Nature in the Biosphere Era
Self interest versus empathy and the
development of empathetic consciousness. "Two
spectacular failures, separated by only 18 months, marked the end of the modern
era. In July 2008, the price of oil on world markets peaked at $147/ barrel,
inflation soared, the price of everything from food to gasoline skyrocketed, and
the global economic engine shut off."
The following is an excerpt from the HuffPost book club pick for February,
Jeremy Rifkin's "The Empathic Civilization".
Historians, by and large, write about social conflict and wars, great heroes
and evil wrongdoers, technological progress and the exercise of power,
economic injustices and the redress of social grievances. When historians
touch on philosophy, it is usually in relationship to the disposition of
power. Rarely do we hear of the other side of the human experience that
speaks to our deeply social nature and the evolution and extension of human
affection and its impact on culture and society.
At the dawn of the modern market economy and nation-state era, the
philosophers of the Enlightenment challenged the Age of Faith that governed over
the feudal economy with the Age of Reason. Theologians and philosophers have
continued to battle over faith vs. reason ever since, their debates often
spilling over into the cultural and political arenas, with profound consequences
Today, however, at the outset of a global economy and the biosphere era, a
new generation of scientists, scholars, and social reformers are beginning to
challenge some of the underlying assumptions of both the Age of Faith and the
Age of Reason, taking us into the Age of Empathy.
The empathic advocates argue that, for the most part, both earlier narratives
about human nature fail to plumb the depths of what makes us human and therefore
leave us with cosmologies that are incomplete stories--that is, they fail to
touch the deepest realities of existence. That's not to dismiss the critical
elements that make the stories of faith and reason so compelling. It's only that
something essential is missing--and that something is "embodied experience."
News Service Review of Book
A book review.
"Rifkin's simple thesis, souped up
unnecessarily with the laws of thermodynamics, is as follows: human beings are
"wired for empathy," contrary to the teachings of centuries of philosophy,
religion and psychology. This capacity for empathy has always been countered,
however, by the "entropic bill" of civilization; that is, the harnessing of
energy (wood, coal, steam, oil) to maintain centres of power which, as they
grow, become unsustainable. "
Jade Keller -
on the nature of being human The story we are told about human nature is that
man is inherently self-interested, pleasure-seeking, sinning and utilitarian –
doing the minimum to get the maximum benefits for oneself, and that this nature
is driven by a life that is nasty, brutish and short. Indeed, all we have to do
is take a cursory glance over history, and we’ll see the world stricken with
crime, wars, genocide, power games, and greedy, greedy people taking advantage
for themselves, to the detriment of everyone else (*cough* Bernie Madoff
But maybe we are
overlooking something. I heard an interview with Jeremy Rifkin, which you can
here, in which he discusses his new book The
Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis
2010-02-19 - Mr. Cool Weather -
Game For The Modern Age - interview In The
Empathic Civilization, Jeremy Rifkin argues that before we can save ourselves
from climate change we have to break a vicious circle and embrace a new model of
society based on scientists’ new understanding of human nature. I asked him how
we can do it.
What is the premise of The Empathic Civilization? My sense is that we’re nearing an endgame for the modern age.
I think we had two singular events in the last 18 months that signal the end.
First, in July 2008 the price of oil hit $147/barrel. Food riots broke out in 30
countries, the price of basic items shot up and purchasing power plummeted. That
was the earthquake; the market crash 60 days later was the aftershock. It
signaled the beginning of the endgame of a great industrial era based on fossil
fuels. The second event, in December 2009, was the breakdown in Copenhagen, when
world leaders tried to deal with our entropy problem and failed.
One need not be a hardened cynic to find this Rousseauesque tale implausible.
Humans may be more moved by empathy than is sometimes allowed, but empathy for
the feelings of others is not only expressed in compassion. It is equally the
basis of cruelty, a trait that is also distinctively human.
2010-05-10 - Jeremy Rifkin - You Were Right the First Time, Mr. President: The Supreme
Court Needs Empathy
President Obama has nominated Elena Kagen to be the 112th
Justice of the Supreme Court. Strangely, in introducing his new nominee the
President made no mention of the 'E' word. Apparently the word been banned at
the White House. The mere utterance of the word empathy sends shivers down the
spine of the most seasoned political operatives in the Obama administration.
Here is a President who for years claimed that empathy was the guiding
philosophical principle of his public and private life, who now apparently has
taken an oath of silence, for fear that the mention of the term might compromise
the prospects for his Supreme Court nominee and, perhaps, other aspects of his
foreign and domestic policies.
Empathy has suddenly become a four letter word, and the reason
goes far beyond the question of the way a Supreme Court nominee should approach
a legal question. At the root of the matter is a sea change in our thinking
about what constitutes human nature and the socialization process.
2010-05-03 - Jeremy Rifkin -The Coming of the Third Industrial Revolution
In a world marred by a profound crisis, how can we advance? According to Jeremy
Rifkin, author of "The Empathic Civilization," the approaching Third Industrial
Revolution and the new era of distributed capitalism allow us to sculpt a new
approach to globalization, this time emphasizing continentalization from the
2010-05-03 - Troy Williams -
Empathic Civilization Rifkin argues that empathy
has the potential to unite humanity through a mass networked biospheric
consciousness. The downside however is that the technology that could unite the
global family may just destroy us first.Troy Williams: You begin with a
discussion on “the great paradox.” The systems that bring about the potential of
global connectivity are also threatening the survival of our species.