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Creating Freedom: Power, Control and the Fight for Our Future
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Creating Freedom: Power, Control and the Fight for Our Future

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  362 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The idea of freedom is at the heart of our political and economic systems. It is foundational to our democracy, our way of life - our very conception of what it is to be human. But are we free in the way that we think we are?

In Creating Freedom, Raoul Martinez compellingly dismantles the sacred myth of freedom, showing that our belief that our institutions are free, even o
Kindle Edition, 513 pages
Published September 29th 2016 by Canongate Books
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Al Williams
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a colossal achievement. Martinez has pulled together so much great thinking and it's superbly researched. In fluid, clear prose he sets out the structural problems with modern society and how we might go about changing things for the better. The author argues eloquently for a more compassionate understanding society, by analyzing how imbalances of power, justice and wealth are maintained and questioning how we all contribute to them. I've never read something that managed to break d ...more
Here is an interesting example of a book that I agree wholeheartedly with the politics of, while having significant misgivings about its intellectual underpinnings. In fact, I initially found the sweeping generalisations disconcerting and off-putting. Conveniently, my critical response is in line with Raoul Martinez’s suggestion to always question what you read and your responses to it. He covers a very wide sweep of ideological, political, historical, and environmental material, which is both i ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While the book offered no new insight, it is brings together my understanding of the world. Raoul Martinez offers a coherent well articulated discourse on all that is wrong in our current society from the prison system to economics, climate change, the IMF and elections- from Obama's drones to Trudeau's arms trade! It is a book by a non-expert that draws from many books and authors, Daniel Kahneman to Naom Chomsky, and ends with a powerful note of hope, on why another way is possible. A must rea ...more
Tariq Mahmood
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
The book is a must read for liberals but will prove to be challenging read for all right wingers, nationalists and capitalists. Chapters on banking and politics were very interesting indeed.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is so misguided it's almost sad. But for quoting Dennett out of context you deserve a swift kick in the gonads. Another one for cherry picked examples and treating correlation as proof of causation.

It's like reading a stoner who just had this amazing epiphany that "dude, everything is made out of energy, like woah". And following along the same lines: "man, in this wholly deterministic (or not) world, none of us is responsible for anything, it's just atoms bouncing around, man, it's not us"
H.A. Leuschel
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a comprehensive and very well written book that had me thinking about so many aspects in our lives. The themes range from psychology to economics, politics and philosophy, suggesting a picture of society that has a lot of potential to be improved on, to say the least. It is not accusatory in tone though, leaving it to the different statistics, facts and background information to speak for themselves. 'Eyes can be opened to dimensions of value previously unseen' if only we took the courag ...more
Apr 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Perhaps if the author had spent time in the academy, he might have realized there is nothing particularly original or innovative in his thinking. This is "pop philosophy" and not likely to have any meaningful impact on the course of western thought.
Apr 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
Brain droppings. A shallow understanding of popular science gathered from blogs and magazines. Amusing. In a sad way.
Tadas Talaikis
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
'Hurt people hurt people."

Some policies are targeted at poor people, like banning to share food with homeless. When trying to defy this law, you're arrested.

2008 year crisis was accepted to be the pure fraud consequence, but Obama helped fraudsters to walk free with 700 billion dollars, and people were forced to cover their losses. (Not including widespread and false propaganda that blamed the poor, taking those fraudulent loans).

"Slaves do not write laws that enslave them."

If a person comes to
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. For me it was educational in so many areas - and not necessarily because of the direct content in the book... but because I side researched a massive number of references and examples he cited to ensure it was fairly described and presented.. along the way I learned a lot more about the world we operate and live in.

I don’t whole-heartedly agree with some of the opening philosophies - but that in no way diminished the book for me and it led me to begin to examine some of my internal be

It was raining heavily outside the other day. Me and my wife just opened the window widely so that we could look out and enjoy the view. Puddles were formed quickly here and there. All the trees were moving because of the heavy wind. It was crazy outside, but on the inside it felt so peaceful.

And out of nowhere a Deliveroo cyclist showed up with his order behind his back. We could just tell he was completely soaked from the rain and he was cycled through shortcuts ignoring all the road signs ju

A.M. Steiner
Jun 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Possibly the dumbest book I've ever read. To draw a science parallel - this book is a bit like listening to some bloke in the pub, who can't actually do the maths, holding forth on relativity and quantum mechanics.

The thing about it that's most mind-blowing, is that Mr Martinez has written a book on socio-economics seemingly completely unaware that the issues he discusses are the bread and butter of philosophical, social economic and political academia. So with total disregard for (and apparent
Abu-Isa Webb
Jun 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
With the promise of insight and intelligence, the book presents itself as a modern philosophical work for a new age, however it reads as a jumbled mess of ideologies and ideas that have been beaten to their death over the past 200 years, rather reminiscent of the God Delusion for its complete failure to bring modern arguments into focus. With little evidence of understanding the big names in philosophy, Martinez consistently makes assumptions without rigor to come to conclusions that are as vapi ...more
Frank Wheeler
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had my reservations buying this, mainly because of the praise lavished on the back cover by Susan Sarandon; I should have gone on my instinct.

His treatment of free will, was one of the worst I have read in a long while. Martinez starts out good, acknowledging the findings of neuroscience and psychology, he argues that we are not responsible for our actions, because we have a brain we didn't choose to have.

Fair enough, but the second he mentioned, and I'm paraphrasing, "We don't have free wil
Christopher McQuain
***1/2 The project is admirable but seemingly too lengthy and far-ranging to hold the gifted, very intelligent author's focus; by the end, the book starts to read like a fairly random series of undigested quotes, citations, and repetitive points (often made better, and more clearly, earlier on). ***** for part 1; **** for part 2; *** for part 3.
Derek Bridge
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This feels like an important book. Let's put aside the fundamental philosophical (and, to me, uncontroversial) issue that none of us is free: there is no free will. Instead, let's focus on the rest of the book, which shows that neo-liberal capitalism has failed us in this century as badly as soviet-style communism failed in the last.

Society is organised for short-term profit benefiting, for the most part, the already wealthy. Inequality grows; the environment we share with each other and other s
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good attempt to bring together economics, politics, environmentalism, behavourism and social policy in a coherent whole. It doesn't quite come off, which is unsurprising given the scope, but has many important sections. It was certainly the most convincing argument for Steady State Economics that I've seen. You will also see clearly why rewarding people for "their success" is not as obvious as you may think. It also pulls no punches about the seriousness of the environmental crisis and the tin ...more
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is imperative that in today's time you connect with the society in a different level. As humans that co-exist in a society we sometimes turn our eyes away on how our community functions and how sometimes it can be quite poisonous for its own integrants.

The power, the decisions, the shadow curtains, the deceit, the oppression, how we see our actions and how much the goverment and the powerful have a say in how opportunities are distributed. the book helps you see through the lies and secrets
Cameron S Dixon
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Creating Freedom was a highly introspective book. Placing together ideas we have had from birth and melting down our ideologies for what they typically are, our rose tinted glasses on every believe we carry and even though a vast majority of people would disagree with our conclusion both sides would wholeheartedly think they are right. Take for example the idea that America is the greatest country in the world or your religion is the one that is "real." Both of these statements the vast majority ...more
Graham Clark
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an inspiring, depressing and hopeful book. It's easy to read the first part as a slightly naive dip into the concept of determinism, but this is used as an effective framing for the rest of the topics. Martinez provides some signposts for how to change the world, whilst emphasising empathy and compassion.

The main problem with this book is the dust jacket, which is plastered with quotes from those who edge towards the lunatic fringe - Susan Sarandon, Paul Mason, Russell Brand. Fortunatel
Mark James
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a remarkable achievement, comprehensive enough to cover philosophy, politics, media, environment, society and a host of other topics that converge on a single, critically important thesis.

Martinez's prose is clear and unencumbered, and his ideas are all well-supported with statistics, research citations and expert testimony.

It was a true joy to read this.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Clearly lays out the problems facing the world and the people, corporations, and governments that are constricting our freedoms. While there is much in this book that will outrage the reader, the author does conclude the latter part of the book with a clear sense of compassion, and presents some very doable positive ways to increase our freedoms.
Mark Chilcott
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
My opinion is that this book explains the powerful forces at work in our society to keep us powerless so the rich can profit. The ideology of the liberal party is reflected in this book (again my opinion). Capitalism and pure greed are horrible, and have led us to self-destruction.
A compelling book for change and points to how we can make change happen.
Ian Durham
I think the premise of this book is correct but I found his argument to be weak. I also found the book, in general, to be a bit scattershot. Nevertheless, my copy is now dog-eared because there are a lot of good nuggets buried within it. So, I would say it is worth a read, but that it should be supplemented by other sources.
Laurie Allee
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've rarely been as deeply moved by a book as I was by this brilliant philosophical manifesto. This is a blueprint for a joyous egalitarian future, and a vision for true progressive thinkers worldwide to reach for and build. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It will radicalize you.
Jeff Stern
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book took me forever to read. The pages are dense and intimidating, but also the material itself is tough to stomach. Martinez's viewpoints, while they often fly in the face of modern economics and capitalism, is (sadly) not actually that radical. The hardest part is implementation.
Bichara Sahely
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring! A MUST READ!

A manifesto for humanity's upliftment from the clutches of despair, disenchantment and illusion to pave the way for a new cultural reaffirmation and transformation.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perfect delivery of the first part (pointing out all that needs to be changed), I was in complete agreement and the examples listed are great.
Unfortunately falls down on the solutions, they seem a bit un-developed.
Perhaps I was hoping for a better chance of making a change.
Edit: actually, read this book to get your emotions up, then expand into other books for explorations of solutions: eg. Small is Beautiful, Ernst Schumacher
Kim Willis
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nothing new, but nicely brought together.
Richard Hurst
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stunning book. Incredibly well researched. Makes you think!
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