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Reading Rutger Bregman’s new book “Humanking: a hopeful history”, here is the opening of chapter one:

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This is a book about a radical idea.
An idea that's long been known to make rulers nervous. An idea denied by religions and ideologies, ignored by the news media and erased from the annals of world history.
At the same time, it's an idea that's legitimised by virtually every branch of science. One that's corroborated by evolution and confirmed by everyday life. An idea so intrinsic to human nature that it goes unnoticed and gets overlooked.
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If only we had the courage to take it more seriously, it's an idea that might just start a revolution. Turn society on its head. Because once you grasp what it really means, it's nothing less than a mind-bending drug that ensures you'll never look at the world the same again
So what is this radical idea?
That most people, deep down, are pretty decent.
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“A company with intrinsically motivated employees has no need of managers; a democracy with engaged citizens has no need of career politicians.“ (p. 19)

Finished this book today. It is a badly needed corrective to the Hobbesian assumptions that permeate most of the world. I generally dislike popular non-fiction (too much anecdote, not enough documentation); but this one is okay, only occasionally going in that direction — I still would have liked to see at least two independent sources for every claim. Also not as uplifting as initially suspected. Many delightful tales of humanity are present however. Ultimately: Recommended and edifying.

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