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Daily Inspiration — Utopia for Realists

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That's the title of Rutger Bregman's new book. It's not just optimism; it's full of fresh thinking that challenges the picture in which we have been schooled.

  • Open borders, allowing people to live where they please, would double the world's economic product.
  • Radicals attract more votes than centrists.
  • Most people can be trusted to work productively toward worthwhile ends if they have the freedom to choose.
  • Capitalism, by contrast, forces the great majority of people into unproductive work--"bullshit jobs", he calls them.
  • Countries that wage war for access to resources on foreign soil become poorer.
  • Countries that give away a large portion of their productive output in foreign aid become richer.

"People are always yearning for a bigger story to be part of, it's not enough to live our own private lives. If you offer people ideals, they'll rise to meet them."

We're already richer, healthier, and safer than at any time in human history. If many of us are still miserable, it's because our perspectives have lagged behind the reality. When perspective gets ahead of reality, it's called "imagination".

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Book review in the New Statesman
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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)
 

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