Rutger Bregman


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Rutger Bregman

Goodreads Author


Born
in Westerschouwen, Netherlands
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Member Since
April 2017


Rutger Bregman is a Dutch historian, author and journalist. He studied at Utrecht University and the University of California, Los Angeles and is known for popularizing topics related to social and economic innovation measures and their history through, among others, universal basic income and shorter work weeks.

Rutger Bregman is a journalist at The Correspondent, and one of Europe's most prominent young thinkers. He has published four books on history, philosophy, and economics.

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Rutger Bregman studeerde aan de universiteit van Utrecht en Los Angeles, en doceerde aan de Universiteit van Utrecht. Hij schrijft voor nrc.next, Het Parool, de Volkskrant, Trouw en De Groene Amsterdammer.
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“The great milestones of civilization always have the whiff of utopia about them at first. According to renowned sociologist Albert Hirschman, utopias are initially attacked on three grounds: futility (it’s not possible), danger (the risks are too great), and perversity (it will degenerate into dystopia). But Hirschman also wrote that almost as soon as a utopia becomes a reality, it often comes to be seen as utterly commonplace. Not so very long ago, democracy still seemed a glorious utopia. Many a great mind, from the philosopher Plato (427–347 B.C.) to the statesman Edmund Burke (1729–97), warned that democracy was futile (the masses were too foolish to handle it), dangerous (majority rule would be akin to playing with fire), and perverse (the “general interest” would soon be corrupted by the interests of some crafty general or other). Compare this with the arguments against basic income. It’s supposedly futile because we can’t pay for it, dangerous because people would quit working, and perverse because ultimately a minority would end up having to toil harder to support the majority.”
Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There

“Poverty is fundamentally about a lack of cash. It’s not about stupidity,” stresses”
Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-hour Workweek

“Besides being blind to lots of good things, the GDP also benefits from all manner of human suffering. Gridlock, drug abuse, adultery? Goldmines for gas stations, rehab centers, and divorce attorneys. If you were the GDP, your ideal citizen would be a compulsive gambler with cancer who’s going through a drawn-out divorce that he copes with by popping fistfuls of Prozac and going berserk on Black Friday. Environmental pollution even does double duty: One company makes a mint by cutting corners while another is paid to clean up the mess. By contrast, a centuries-old tree doesn’t count until you chop it down and sell it as lumber.”
Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There

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