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The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast

Mar 10, 2019

Rutger Bregman is a historian and author, best known for his bestselling book, Utopia for Realists: and how we can get there. Arguing for new utopian ideas such as a fifteen-hour work week and universal basic income, Utopia for Realists has been translated into over 30 different languages, making headlines and sparking movements across the world.

Despite the fact we’ve never had it better, says Bregman, here in the Land of Plenty, we lack the desire and vision to improve society. The crisis of our times, of our generation “is not that we have it good, or even that we might be worse of later, but that we can’t come up with anything better… Notching up purchasing power another percentage point, or shaving off our carbon emissions; perhaps a new gadget – that’s about the extent of our vision.”

At best, Bregman provides us with a desirable and achievable vision of human progress; a world with no borders, 15-hour work weeks and a universal basic income for everybody. At worst, Bregman wakes us up from our dogmatic slumber, encouraging us to ask important questions about 21st-century life. In his own words:

“Why have we been working harder and harder since the 1980s despite being richer than ever? Why are millions of people still living in poverty when we are more than rich enough to put an end to it once and for all? And why is more than 60% of your income dependent on the country where you just so happen to have been born?”

Part I. Utopia for Realists.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.