Books Magazine

Utopia for Realists

By Ajfitz @theajwriter

“The inability to imagine a world in which things are different is evidence only of a poor imagination, not of the impossibility of change. In the 1950s we couldn’t conceive that the advent of refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and, above all, washing machines would help prompt women to enter the workplace in record numbers, and yet they did.”

Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There.

Not just white goods that have revolutionised our lives but also big things like the universal right to vote. Big ideas like these were all once considered a utopian ideal, a nice idea but impossible to achieve. But Rutger Bregman asks the question are utopian ideas so difficult to achieve?

This incredible textbook is like Dr Who’s Tardis – the book has so much more inside than you would expect! Rutger looks at the concept of utopia and how important it is in politics, to keep striving for something better in society and how we can get there! It was very interesting to re-think the normal ideas we are brought up with about what work is and why we have work in a society. The importance and relevance of non-traditional or unpaid work. How we have grown up with the acceptance and depressing plight of the homeless.

I was recommended this book at the same time as I was swept along with the emotional vigour of the recent anti-Trump protests in London on his controversial visit to the UK. This experience really made me think about why so many individuals from so many different backgrounds had come together to say things are not ok with the world, that something needs to change! And the best thing is that people are really listening.

Utopia for Realists

Rutger Bregman’s book delves into history and how we have come to the state of politics we are in now and what we can do to make very real and practical changes in the world. In the past the idea of everyone having the right to a vote was a utopian idea now the idea of a minimum wage is a utopian ideal. This book makes you believe that in the near future we could see this idea as the norm. Rutger shows us that we have come to a point in western countries that we could finally make these changes happen.

This is a very uplifting book giving detailed political ideas of the utopian ideal of a basic income for all. It is a very well thought out and researched book and you are left feeling more positive that there really is a solution to the horrific problems of homelessness and poverty.


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