Chapter 9: Western Civilization’s Evolution

The evolution of western civilization has been a very turbulent process since its start about 7,000 years ago. Our history includes the development of Judeo-Christian values, the fall of the Greek and Roman worlds, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the African slave trade, the Enlightenment, American Revolution, US Civil War, World Wars, our consumer society, the Civil Rights Movement, to the present development of globalization. Our present society seems to be focused on the creation of wealth for the individual. This wealth is consolidating in the hands of an elite class of powerful business interests.

The Hebrews develop a male dominated system of rules to govern its growing urban population, the Ten Commandments. Jesus Christ comes along and says we need to be move caring and loving to each other, a more female integrative perspective.

When western civilization discovered the Americas, it conquered the indigenous populations in the name of God, country and wealth. Ultimately decimating these cultures. These native societies had developed cultures that were in much greater harmony with their environment, than western man. However, we forced them to conform to our value system. No wonder these cultures have had such problems, their cultures did not easily fit into our aggressive male dominated society.

One of the changes in our society that has had major ramifications is the fact that mothers have left the home and entered the workforce. During World War II, the men were at war, so the women left their homes and filled the vacant jobs in their communities. When the war was over many women stayed in the workforce.

With women at work, who was at home taking care of the children? The female qualities of caring and integration are now largely absent for many families. This is a major structural change in the family unit. I believe this is one of the major causes that has led to the breakdown of the family, and the community.

In today’s society, a powerful class of wealthy elites are taking greater control of the global economy. With globalization, the power of community has been greatly diminished. Many of the decisions that impact our daily lives are being made by outside forces. These forces, in many cases, are serving their own needs at the expense of the communities that they were originally created to serve.

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