Summary (Penguin Random House)
The book does make some very valid thought provoking points such as the number one cause of authoritarian figures rise is economic instability. I am significantly concerned with this factor for the future. With automation and artificial intelligence inevitably and increasingly becoming a predominate factor in our economy, the already dwindling middle class jobs will one day in the not so distant future be sparse. I don’t personally know how we’ll fix this issue. Progressives push for more government (which historically always leads to authoritarian control and abuse itself) with such policies as universal basic income, universal healthcare, etc. Conservatives push for a freer market, where competition is the answer to the growing price of everything. Of course capitalism also has its flaws; you cannot foresee someone’s heart and whether or not they will be money hungry and greedy. See what I just did? I look at both sides of the argument.
One of my biggest frustrations is that intellectuals, pundits, and politicians alike all seem to believe that the public as a whole is so persuaded by propaganda that we peons are incapably of seeing what is right, what is true, and what is in our own best interest. For this reason, you often hear me advocate for self-education. Read, and read more. Read the left and read the right. Read what you hate, as well as what you hold true. Watch CNN, watch MSNBC and watch Fox. Start conversations with people who you don’t agree with.
The authors are right about one thing, we used to all believe and hold some basic self-evident truths and values- the bill of rights, mutual respect and basic decencies; all of which held our Republic together and was/is the unsaid reason democracies work and last. All of which seem to be gone, at least for the time being. We have to bridge this gap or I’m afraid that the problems and tension we have now will continue to grow and God help us if we cannot open our hearts and eyes.
(This book was provided to me for review from Blogging for Books. Opinions as always are my own.)