Will Business End or Revive Western Civilization? from Malthusian Trap to Business Growth Trap from Paranoia to Metanoia

Article excerpt

Introduction

According to several authors, Western Civilization has been at the crossroads since the 20th century, developing vastly in the process of industrialization and as a result, it has passed through negative cultural challenges. Among them one can notice issues of war and peace, income inequalities, governmental indifference, social autism and isolation, and so forth. Very rarely is the role of business in these issues is analyzed. This is ironic, since business in capitalism is religion, of which the first commandment is profit through growth by any means. But business is the most powerful social institution in the world and its role in civilizational development must be analyzed. This investigation aims to evaluate the role of business in finishing or reviving Western Civilization.

Civilizations are born, rise, grow, decline, and transform. As does the Western Civilization, whose business system plays a key role as a world-system, which is copied by other civilizations as the supposedly best pattern to follow. This pattern has been designed by the strategy of growth, which will be reviewed through its 6,000 years of civilization. Its current stage will be exemplified, with the conclusion that commercial capitalism transformed in the second part of the 20l century into Managerial Capitalism, Global Capitalism, and Super Capitalism. In effect, Western Civilization is instantly (quickly?) transforming into the Global Civilization, with all consequences for transformation of values, symbols, and patterned behaviors of its habitants.

The Global Civilization is at this moment in the "War for Wealth," which rapidly depletes strategic resources to satisfy the fast growth of the world population. These two factors, population growth and business growth, are leading the planet to the brink of disaster. If civilization wants to survive, it must apply the strategy of sustainable development to get out from the Death Triangle of Civilization. This will be more obvious to humans around 2050, although its symptoms, e.g., rising shortages of strategic resources, declining ecology, and foot-print of the growing population, are presently evident at the dawn of the 21st century.

Knowledge about the declining potential of Earth is rising among intellectuals, NGOs, and the United Nations, but governments and politicians are less involved in the process of protecting the well-being of the planet. Instead of blaming others, this investigation argues that college faculty members teaches and research business according to the wrong paradigms, and they should be changed urgently to be sure that future professionals will know what kind of decisions they should make in order to support sustainable development of common, Universal Civilization.

Civilizations Rise, Grow, Decline, and Transform

The first humans, with brains of 500 cc, populated the Earth about six million years ago, However, only 6,000 years ago they begun to live as civilized people with a much bigger brains of 1350 cc. In these six millennia the humans developed about 26 natural civilizations (Toynbee 1995) and two planned civilizations, such as Soviet and Nazis (Targowski 2009). We currently experience eight religion-oriented civilizations (Western, Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, African) and 1 economy-oriented civilization, the newly emerging Global Civilization.

The process of civilizing humans passes through cycles of genesis, growth, breakdown, and disintegration (Toynbee 1995). Such pioneers of Civilization Study as Spengler (1962), Kroeber (1944, 1957), Coulborn (1954, 1966), Grey (1958), Quigley (1961), Melko (1969), Sanderson (1995), Snyder (1999), and Blaha (2002) agree that civilizations rise, grow, and decline. However, each of these authors uses their specific terms for each phase or stage, varying from a few to several. But Sorokin (1957) criticizes the "death of civilization" idea, since there is much continuity in cultural behavior from the dying civilization to the emerging one. …