This is a discussion of the book "The Emphatic Civilization: The race to global consciousness in a world in crisis" by Jeremy Rifkin.
Best-selling social critic Jeremy Rifkin has figured it out brilliantly: the disconnect between our vision for the world and our ability to realize that vision lies in the current state of human consciousness. The very way in which our brains are structured disposes us to a way of feeling, thinking and acting in the world that is no longer entirely relevant to the new environments we have created for ourselves. This very idea is the foundation on which we intend to build THNK: the complex challenges on a broad range of topics that we are faced with in today's world require an entirely different kind of leadership that builds on the notion of empathy.
At a time when we find our world in crisis—economically, financially, climate- and otherwise—the real crisis, Rifkin argues, lies in the set of assumptions about human nature that governs the behavior of world leaders. We assume that human beings, and nation states alike, are rational, detached, autonomous, acquisitive, utilitarian, self-centered and materialistic.
If this holds true, then we are likely doomed since it is hard to imagine that we would be capable of creating a sustainable global economy and revitalizing the biosphere. Nevertheless, there is hope. There is growing scientific evidence that we are the most social of animals and a fundamentally empathic species, which profound and far-reaching consequences may well turn out to be the saving grace for world society.