The best book I have read this year and why you should read it

I am unashamedly addicted to reading non fiction books. I usually purchase and read a book once each week. Self development, business and innovation would top the list of the types of books I love to read.

Last month I discovered a book while browsing through a small country bookstore in Armidale while on a short holiday in NSW. The book is called Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman.

The book was so good I read it within a day and this was while I was looking after my four children. I just could not put the book down.

Rutger is a young dutch Philosopher, economist, historian and author and has the ability to reduce complex problems and offer simple solutions. His ideas are very similar to Buckminster Fuller with the central idea that humans were not designed to work for a living and we all have the power to create a better future not just for ourselves but for everyone.

This book not only brings to light the problems our society faces presently in relation to the end of work as we know it (due to technology and innovation) but also offers radical solutions to many of these problems. Some of the radical ideas Rutger proposes are:

  • A fifteen hour work week for everyone
  • A minimum global base income for anyone who is unemployed
  • Transactional tax to replace all income tax
  • Free trade for all of humanity (a controlled opening of most borders to allow free immigration)

Rutger is not some ‘head in the clouds’ philosopher dreamer, he bases all his ideas on historical and economic evidence and data to demonstrate that many of  his ideas have actually been tested before and have proven to work in most cases.

He does not suggest that change towards a better world will be easy but clearly demonstrates that it is possible if more individuals are educated about the current dysfunctional ‘system’ and focus on creating a better future for themselves and humanity together.

The book is not depressing. It is a fascinating read that offers hope and a blueprint for each individual to choose how their own future, and the future of the planet, will look.

As quoted towards the end of the book, ‘The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones’ John Maynard Keynes(1883-1946).

The book offers new ideas and if you’re interested in improving your own life and you dream of creating a better world, then it is a must-read.

It can be purchased from from Amazon in print or ebook version here. 

More about Rutger Bregman: Rutger is one of Europe’s most prominent young thinkers. The 27-year-old historian and author has published four books on history, philosophy, and economics. His “History of Progress” was awarded the Belgian Liberales prize for best nonfiction book of 2013. The Dutch edition of “Utopia for Realists” became a national bestseller and sparked a basic income movement that soon made international headlines. Bregman has twice been nominated for the prestigious European Press Prize for his journalism work at The Correspondent. His work has been featured in The Washington Post and on the BBC.

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