The Crisis of Civilization is an Unprecedented Opportunity by Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian/UK, posted on CommonDreams.org, September 25, 2013
What is civilization by Will Durant – Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation… It begins where chaos and insecurity end.…A geological cataclysm or a profound climatic change…the failure of natural resources, either of fuels or of raw materials…a pathological concentration of wealth, leading to class wars, disruptive revolutions, and financial exhaustion: these are some of the ways in which a civilization may die….Man differs from the beast only by education, which may be defined as the technique of transmitting civilization……
The Values Question by David Brooks, New York Times, November 24, 2009 …like all great public issues, the health care debate is fundamentally a debate about values. It’s a debate about what kind of country we want America to be.
During the first many decades of this nation’s existence, the United States was a wide-open, dynamic country with a rapidly expanding economy. It was also a country that tolerated a large amount of cruelty and pain — poor people living in misery, workers suffering from exploitation. Over the years, Americans decided they wanted a little more safety and security. This is what happens as nations grow wealthier; they use money to buy civilization..
We are witnessing an epochal shift in our socio-political world. We are de-evolving…The Social Contract is the intellectual basis of all modern democratic republics, including ours…A system which – for all its flaws – often managed to protect the rights of the many, against the predatory power of the few… Republicans and Tea Partiers may be leading this retreat from reason, but they are unopposed by Democrats or the Press. And in the end, there is a special place in Hell for those who allow evil to prosper by doing nothing. Dark Ages Redux: American Politics and the End of the Enlightenment by John Atcheson, Common Dreams, June 18, 2012
5 Ways to Achieve World Peace and Prosperity — Yes, It’s Possible By J. Kirk Boyd, Alternet.org, May 11, 2010 – (The following is excerpted from 2048: Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together).…One of the most pernicious myths is that peace and prosperity are hopelessly complicated and unattainable…This is untrue. Peace and prosperity can be attained through the realization of five basic fundamental freedoms, for all people, everywhere in the world. They are: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom for the environment, and freedom from fear…If our international community remembers these Five Freedoms, and if they become a regular part of our daily lives, then collectively we will carry the core of 2048 in our minds and they will become our way of life……The truth is that there is enough funding for the realization of fundamental human rights, including economic and social rights. The problem is those who are presently profiting…have an interest in maintaining the status quo. It is time for the human rights community to have the strength and daring to band together so that we have the clout to stand up to this narrow-minded view…Awareness can be created with a small percentage of people…it will take only 1% of humanity to share the news…This 1% of humanity already exists within the arts and media, our nonprofit and for-profit businesses, our places of worship, our universities, and even our governments — now the Internet and 2048 are bringing all these communities together…
The Fate of Humanity Is at Stake — Why Are Romney and Obama Too Cowardly to Talk About What Really Matters? AlterNet By Noam Chomsky, October 5, 2012…There are two issues of overwhelming significance, because the fate of the species is at stake: environmental disaster, and nuclear war…governments have not responded to the change with any…urgency…This reaction demonstrates an extraordinary willingness to sacrifice the lives of our children and grandchildren for short-term gain. Or, perhaps, an equally remarkable willingness to shut our eyes so as not to see the impending peril… Passivity may be the easy course, but it is hardly the honorable one.
Dark Ages Redux: American Politics and the End of the Enlightenment by John Atcheson, Common Dreams, June 18, 2012 — We are witnessing an epochal shift in our socio-political world. We are de-evolving, hurtling headlong into a past that was defined by serfs and lords; by necromancy and superstition; by policies based on fiat, not facts.Much of what has made the modern world in general, and the United States in particular, a free and prosperous society comes directly from insights that arose during the Enlightenment. Too bad we’re chucking it all out and returning to the Dark Ages. …Now, we seek to operate by revealed truths, not reality. Decrees from on high – often issued by an unholy alliance of religious fundamentalists, self-interested corporations, and greedy fat cats – are offered up as reality by rightwing politicians…Second, the Enlightenment laid the groundwork for our form of government. The Social Contract is the intellectual basis of all modern democratic republics, including ours. John Locke and others argued that governments derived their authority from the governed, not from divine right. Governments could be legitimate, then, only with the consent of the governed. Jefferson acknowledged Locke’s influence on the Declaration of Independence and his ideas are evident in the Constitution. Here again, our founders used reason, empiricism and academic scholarship to cobble together one of the most enduring and influential documents in human history. For all its flaws, it has steered us steadily toward a more perfect union. Until recently…We are, indeed, at an epochal threshold. We can continue to discard the Enlightenment values which enabled both an untold increase in material wealth and a system of government which turned serfs into citizens. A system which – for all its flaws – often managed to protect the rights of the many, against the predatory power of the few. Or we can continue our abject surrender to myths, magical thinking, and self-delusion and the Medieval nation-state those forces are resurrecting. Republicans and Tea Partiers may be leading this retreat from reason, but they are unopposed by Democrats or the Press. And in the end, there is a special place in Hell for those who allow evil to prosper by doing nothing.
The Empathic Civilization by Jeremy Rifkin, Interview by Amanda Gefter, New Scientist.com, February 17, 2010 – The Empathic Civilization by Jeremy Rifkin, Interview by Amanda Gefter, New Scientist.com, February 17, 2010 -
…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…the premise of The Empathic Civilization…We have to think deeper, to think as a human family…Empathy goes hand-in-hand with selfhood; if you know you’re a self you can see yourself in relation to the other…Increasing individuation and selfhood is critical to increasing empathy… Empathy is the invisible social glue that allows a complex individuated society to remain integrated…
The Implosion of Capitalism by Chris Hedges – When civilizations start to die they go insane…When the most basic elements that sustain life are reduced to a cash product, life has no intrinsic value,,, as we race toward the collapse of the planet’s ecosystem we must restore this older vision of life if we are to survive.
Civilization - commentary by Phyllis Stenerson in Uptown Neighborhood News, Minneapolis September 2012
How Religion’s Demand for Obedience Keeps Us in the Dark Ages By Adam Lee, AlterNet, March 19, 2012
Third World America: Is Anyone Listening? by Jeremy Rifkin, Jeremy Rifkin is Author of ‘The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis Huffington Post, September 9, 2010
A New Axial Age – interview with Karen Armstrong by Jessica Roemischer, What is Enlightenment? December 2005–February 2006 issue
A New Consciousness For a World In Crisis by by Jessica Roemischer, EnlightenNext magazine, Geopolitical activist Dr. Don Beck shines new light on our greatest global challenges