"We have masses of capital and masses of labor, unemployed, side by side in a world full of social need. How stupid is that?"
In this film Mr. Harvey comments on the importance of bringing together a mental conception of the world that includes understanding our relations to each other, the technology we use and the natural world order. He suggests we consider how these correlate and form an evolutionary theory of social change. Mr. Harvey, a scholar of economic history, notes that Marx understood these connections, and if we want to imagine a way out of the current crisis we need to investigate this "dialectical configuration".
Don't be put off by his academic rhetoric. You'll hear some very important concepts brilliantly woven together.
"Nature changes in its own way. We have to cope with that, even as we see that the natural things that seem to be occurring are partly a consequence of what we do."For a much more granular look at human history and the progression of consciousness and social organization, listen to Rifkin's lecture. He lays out this chronology in terms of how humanity has evolved socially in ever increasing levels of awareness. For example, during the time of foragers, hunters, and centralized agriculture, theologic consciousness formed the bonds of family through religious affiliation. When a greater convergence of communication came about through the invention of the printing press, an idealogical consciousness emerged. This in turn brought about a fictional domain known as the nation state. Presumably, the connection with a larger social identity known as my country, my nation, is more powerful than the limits of family. However, the key ingredient to Rifkin's talk is empathy and he asks if we are capable of evolving to a level of biosphere consciousness within the next 25 years. In other words, can we care about ourselves and each other enough to extend that empathy to the earth.
"When energy and communication revolutions come together they change consciousness, they change temporal/spatial orientation, they change dwelling habitats."
I occasionally find Mr. Rifkin hyperbolic, or over extended in his reasoning, but I can not argue with how he characterizes how we got here and the ways in which it may still be possible to get "there".