The Crisis of Civilization is an Unprecedented Opportunity by Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian/UK, posted on, 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 oursA 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,, 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, February 17, 2010 – The Empathic Civilization by Jeremy Rifkin, Interview by Amanda Gefter, New, 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.

Civilizationcommentary 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



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