Book review: Utopia For Realists: And How We Can Get There

MUCH of the world’s population has seen dramatic positive change over the past few centuries; our diseases get treated and many of us have enough to live comfortable lives. 

Book review: Utopia For Realists: And How We Can Get There

Rutger Bregman

Bloomsbury, £16.99;

ebook, £8.99

We are living in the ‘Land of Plenty’; a place people before us could only imagine.

But where do we go from here? Rutger Bregman, the 28-year-old Dutch historian, wants universal basic income, a 15-hour working week, and open borders.

These are the goalposts for his new utopia. Bregman has many tightly-spun arguments, case studies, and statistics to support giving people free money.

In 2009, 13 homeless men in London were each given £3,000 as part of an experiment.

After a year and a half, all of them had used the money in positive ways, ultimately saving social services money.

The arguments for shorter work weeks and open borders are less developed, but Bregman’s account of global economic history is impressive.

He treats his topic with an accessible style and touch of humour.

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