Review: Utopia for Realists - Rutger Bregman

by @edent | #

Utopia for Realists - Rutger Bregman

A bright orange book cover.
Every milestone of civilisation – from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy – was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a fifteen-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime.

A curious book this. It recounts all the actions which *could* have worked – but never quite comes to a conclusion about what *should* be done.

It is almost identical to Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness” in its rosy assessment of human progress in the last few hundred years.

We get the stats on meaningful interventions to improve the world – where they’ve been successful and how they’ve been frustrated.

I agree with the conclusion. Pay more, tax more, target more, expect more. I want it to come true – but it would take an act of unimaginable bravery for any country to do it unilaterally.

Frustratingly, the central conclusion – pay Universal Basic Income – doesn’t come with any hard suggestions. No thoughts on how high it should be, or how to practically support it.

Yes, we need to be Utopians – but we need to be realistic about how we get there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *