The Limits of Civilization

Andrew Targowski
Western Michigan University, MI, USA
President Emeritus of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations (2009-2013)

Series: Focus on Civilizations and Cultures
BISAC: SOC026000


Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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This book has been inspired by Dennis Meadows’s (et al.) The Limits to Growth, published 41 years ago, in 1972. It forewarned the general public about the exhaustion of strategic resources of the planet as known at that time, unless economic and population expansions were halted.

This resulted in the world becoming aware of the crisis of civilization. Measures were taken to reduce the consumption of the strategic resources, including the promotion of recycling resources used. Efforts were made internationally to introduce the practice of climate and environmental protection, to little avail.

The present book has a wider scope of analysis and synthesis, and even gloomier conclusions than those found in the two pioneering books.

This author has arrived at the following conclusions:

• The plight of civilization is doomed by the sun expiring within 4.5 billion years. It is also determined by the exhaustion of the known and the potential resources of the small planet Earth around the year 5,000. The future of civilization (considered in the time frame imaginable to man) is swayed by its current crisis, which results from the Triangle of Civilization Death (the combination of the “bombs” of population, ecology and depletion of strategic resources), which will be felt around 2050.
• The future of civilization is dependent on its capability of entering the phase of Wise and Universal Civilization in the years to come. This is conditioned upon the abandonment of the known socio-political and economic systems: capitalism, socialism, communism and their hybrids. These systems are based on the constant growth of population and the economy, which is unsustainable any longer.
• Democratic Ecologism ought to be the new system, securing a wise and sustainable functioning of civilization; it would prioritize the ecosystem in the choices made by man and societies. What must be observed, too, is tolerance based on Spirituality 2.0. It is based on the Decalogue of Complementary Values derived from the main religions 1.0, which the world is now practicing.

Is it possible to introduce these solutions to practical life? This is up to people becoming wiser. Alas, so far people do not even know what wisdom is since wisdom is not taught at school or college. And without wisdom, no civilization stands any chance of success in the universe of systemic chaos. (Imprint: Nova)


Author Contact Information

Part I: Introduction to Civilization

Chapter 1. The Nature of Civilzation

Chapter 2. How Civilizations Perish

Chapter 3. The Second Great Crisis of Civilization in History

Chapter 4. The Global Civilization Development and Its Repercussions

Part II: Civilization in Crisis

Chapter 5. The Death Triangle of Civilization in the 21st Century

Chapter 6. Capitalism and the 21st Century Limits of Civilization

Chapter 7. Superconsumerism and the 21st Century

Chapter 8. Technology and the Limits of Civilization in the 21st Century

Chapter 9. Climate and the 21st Century Limits of Civilization

Chapter 10. Culture and the 21st Century Limits of Civilization

Part III: End of Civilization?

Chapter 11. The Power of Crisis Relations and the Limits of Civilization in the 21st Century

Chapter 12. Can Civilization Survive?

Chapter 13. Where Are We Heading?




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Chapter 1

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Chapter 2

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Chapter 3

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Chapter 4

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Chapter 5

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Chapter 6

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[5] Targowski, A. (2009). Information technology and societal development. Hershey-New York: IGI Global. p. 388.
[6] Fukuyama, F. (1992). The end of history and the Last Man. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Chapter 7

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Chapter 8

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[16] Targowski, A. & V. Modrák. (2011). Targowski and I.V. Modrak. „Is Advance Automation Consistent with Sustainable Economic Growth in Developed World?” Communications in Computer and Information Science Series, Springer, 2011, vol. 221.
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Chapter 9

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[9] Owen, D. (2011). The conundrum. New York: Riverhead Books.
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Chapter 10

[1] Targowski, A. (2009). Information technology and societal development. Hershey-New York: IGI Global.p. 15.
[2] Huntington, S. (1996). The clash of civilizations. Remaking of world order. New York: Simon & Schuster.
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Chapter 11

[1] The Brundtland Commission at the UN defined sustainable development as “meeting the present needs without adversely affecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” The discussion of sustainability follows three criteria: economic vitality, environmental responsibility and social responsibility.
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[8] The source is the former student of this course, Agnieszka Couderq, the author's daughter.
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[11] Meadows, D. et al. (1972). The limits to growth. Washington, D.C.: A POTOMAC ASSOCIATES BOOK.

Chapter 12

[1] Targowski, A. (2009). Information technology and societal development. Hershey-New York: IGI Global.
[2] Targowski, A. (2011). Information technology and wisdom development. Hershey-New York: IGI Global.
[3] Targowski, A. (2012). “Spirituality 2.0. a condition for a Wise Civilization.” Dialog and Universalism. Vol. XXII, no. 2.
[4] The model of the triple bottom line of sustainable development was adopted by the UN.
[5] Zakaria, F. (2013). “Can America be fixed?” Foreign Affairs, January-February, p. 32-33.

Chapter 13

[1] Wilson, E. O. (2012). The Social conquest of Earth. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation.
[2] Gore, Al. (2013). The Future, six drivers of global change. New York: Random House.

This book is written in a style of the New York Times best-selling books, which means is written for a general reader engaged in the current issue of his/her existence living in the declining Western civilization.

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