Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis
Mainstream politics is stuck, torn between the redundant doctrines of Keynesianism and neoliberalism. Neither have much to offer a world facing environmental collapse, civic breakdown and a gathering crisis of permanent unemployment. A toxic ideology of extreme competition and individualism currently rules supreme. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Dismal, managerial politics fail to articulate a vision of a better world, driving people towards the anti-politics offered by Donald Trump and others. What is urgently needed is a positive, propositional vision that can re-engage people in politics.
Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis, written by George Monbiot, seeks out the best new ideas and streamlines them into a coherent, inspiring story that describes the present and shows the way to a better future. He explains how communities can be rebuilt, how economies can be recharged without destroying the living planet and how politics can once more inspire and thrill. By developing the new narrative we seek, the book helps to provide political movements with the focus and direction required to change the world.
In this talk, George Monbiot explained how new findings in psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology cast human nature in a radically different light: as the supreme altruists and co-operators. He showed how we can build on these findings to create a new politics: a ‘politics of belonging’ and how both democracy and economic life can be radically reorganized from the bottom up, enabling communities to take back control and overthrow the forces that have thwarted ambitions for a better society.
George Monbiot writes a weekly column for the Guardian and is the author of a number of books, including How Did We Get Into This Mess?; Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning; The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order; Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain and Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life. He recently helped to found Rewilding Britain, which seeks to redefine people’s relationship to the living world.
Image: George Monbiot © Dave Stelfox