What’s Missing In The Empathic Civilization?

January 16, 2013 |  by

Well…you are.

But first, what is The Empathic Civilization? It’s a book by economist Jeremy Rifkin and also a YouTube video that’s drawn over 2 million viewers (watch it below). Want to hear about the discovery of mirror neurons and how the empathic nature of humanity formed religious and national groups throughout history? The video does a great job summarizing.

To solve the world’s problems, it says, we all just need to empathize. To be one happy family. One group. All of humanity.

Sounds great, right?

There’s only one little problem. What makes human beings human is our individuality—not the ability to form larger and larger groups. Of course, social bonds are important, but what makes humanity unique is that we are all…unique. Individuality is our forté. Think of all the great discoveries and works of art made by individuals. A one world future is a worthy goal, but not at the expense of what makes us human.

In a group, what’s always most important is the group—not you. That’s why the video doesn’t once mention individual development.

Sometimes we get an idea 99% right.

But it’s the last 1% that counts.


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