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Out of the Wreckage

A New Politics for an Age of Crisis
Narrated by: George Monbiot
Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (310 ratings)

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Summary

A toxic ideology rules the world of extreme competition and individualism. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that reengages people in politics and lights a path to a better world.

George Monbiot shows how new findings in psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology cast human nature in a radically different light: as the supreme altruists and cooperators. He shows how we can build on these findings to create a new politics: a 'politics of belonging'.

Both democracy and economic life can be radically reorganized from the bottom up, enabling us to take back control and overthrow the forces that have thwarted our ambitions for a better society.

Urgent and passionate, Out of the Wreckage provides the hope and clarity required to change the world.

©2017 George Monbiot (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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A rather sketchy map towards a new political era

Monbiot starts with a neat and eloquent rant about where we are, how we got here, and seemingly, how doomed we are to remain. At first I didn’t feel as though we ever would get out of the wreckage at all, and for all the clever and stimulating analysis, it felt like he was going to leave us languishing.

In the end the books wraps up quite nicely and left this listener feeling at least a little bit inspired and much more able to diagnose and potentially treat the causes of his current political malaise. Of all the post-Brexit self help books I’ve consumed, this one is probably the most effective yet.

A good balance of political and economic analysis throughout. Though for all the talk of the person, the people, the commons; and the need to tell an engaging story; the book feels rather impersonal and doesn’t have a hero that draws the listener in. Maybe Monbiot sees himself filling that role - in that respect he makes a brave attempt, but I’m not quite convinced.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Comprehensive and inspiring

A succint yet rich in concrete proposals blueprint for a new society. Direct participation now appears irresistible.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Nice ideas but not the most thorough arguments.

Could have done with more in depth real world examples. Decent book though, but felt a bit lightweight, though I agree with most of the content.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A manifesto for hope

In a World where you feel so insignificant, a book comes along and empowers. A real joy, enlighting and from someone that sees themselves on the right side of politics, not a small endorsement. Modern political issues made simple and understandable, but unlike most books dissecting the current zeitgeist actually goes into steps ordinary people could do to make the difference. Great suggestions well argued. Interesting to anyone disillusioned with the current political quagmire.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a strong argument from Monbiot

In this highly engaging audio book Monbiot presents an informed and well supported explanation of how we have ended up at this current point of crisis and offers a way forward through some significant changes - highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a compelling and optimistic plan for change

the author offers a genuine alternative to the dog eat dog life we are living

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Smartest book on politics I've ever come across

This book is like a cross between Malcolm Gladwell, Naomi Klein and 12 Rules for Life. It has taught me so much about the current political situation, and I’ve found myself bringing up things I learnt in conversations all the time. Everyone I've recommended it to loved it.

It’s also incredibly engaging and readable. It’s a hopeful look at politics, and a smart perspective on the future – with amazing insight in to how to life your life well. The best current affairs book I’ve listened to!

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  • Trump
  • London United Kingdom
  • 01-02-19

World government? What could possibly go wrong?

This book is hilarious, I got it order to be challenged and there by given an opportunity to change my mind or have my ideas made stronger by being challenged. But if this is the state of the intellectual left it's no wonder that they resort to trying to silence and censor all opposition. Monbiot hasn't even read or understood the books and ideas he cites: Road to serfdom is about how big gov of any flavour will lead to tyranny. Cooperation in evolution arrives because it forwards your own survival too, excessive altruism is genetic suicide 'The Selfish Gene' bit of a givaway....no?. The invisible hand of the market is about how the trawler man, the fishmonger and the customer can decide the price of fish better than a bureaucrat in The Dept of Fish Price Central Planning. He also constantly rails against 'neo-liberalism' but completely misses that mass immigration: being able to import a cheap work force to undercut your current work force is a neo-liberal's wet dream. But you know they mainly vote left wing so all's good we can over look that.

He is oblivious to the fact that immigration has destroyed communities,massively inflated house prices and cut wages and opportunities and has created the ferocious competition among people he observes and instead blames cars, traffic jams and celebrities on TV (I kid you not) oh and of course 'neo liberalism'. Has no self awareness at all or of left wing populism and demagoguary: Corbyn's election success was not because of the free stuff he was offering and pandering to stereotype of the evil, greedy capitalist who just won't share his sweeties, no it wasn't the free stuff you were going to receive it was the free stuff someone else was going to receive and that makes you altruistic, noble and virtuous...just laughable.

And George's big solution?(because someone claiming there is a 'crisis' always seems to arrive just in the nick of time with the big, radical solution, funny that)
1. That we form village states where the aforementioned trawler man, fish monger and customer are taxed and it given to the non trawler man, non fish monger and non customer in the local vicinity because fish are commonly owned?! And now somehow we all feel empowered and communal and racism vanishes?! Sorry I don't know how it works either.

2. That we tax air??!! Seriously he suggests this as a 'sky tax': power companies compete for licences. Of course they will just end up passing the cost onto the customer so now you'll have pollution AND higher energy prices with the gov picking up some sweet tax money to waste, see yellow vests in France for consequences. No George doesn't understand the most basic economic principals, he also thinks unions demanding higher wages beyond what a job is worth is a good idea, not realizing that all that will do is create inflation and you'll be back where you started by the following week. Seriously George these ideas have be debunked many decades ago.

3. A world government (I was literally rolling around the floor in stitches at this, you could kinda see it coming but I didn't think he would actually say it). And as with most of this book George's tiny brainlet looked no further than congratulating himself on his brilliant Utopian vision. A world Government would likely be a coalition between China and India, they having the largest populations, and George (god bless him) insist on it being democratic, I mean what could possibly go wrong?

4. Referendums, of course not the Brexit referendum, because well you see the UK electorate aren't used to having referendums and were just venting their frustration at cars, celebrities on TV and being lonely it was nothing at all to do with people rejecting the EU. And how was George going to solve this problem: 'reasonable' discussion, of course he would decide what is 'reasonable' and not, and 'objective information supplied by the state'....no, seriously that's an exact quote.

Basically the Kalergi Plan: atomized, powerless small groups who are benevolently cared for but on a world wide scale.

George barley hides his communist leanings: Complains about the rail system charging more than it costs to run the system being 'unearned income' likewise receiving rent from a property, of course George's earnings for this book being beyond the price of a laptop and the 20k a year price increase on his Islington home due to increased housing demand through immigration? well 'no.....that's...a very, very very, very different thing....you....you...you just stop being a racist.' I imagine would be little George's reply. His advice being for the proletariat you see, he being intelligentsia naturally would not be expected to live by proletariat rules.

The worst government in the world?...yep, you guessed it USA and trump, UK coming a close second though. Saudi, Iran, Turkey, China, endless African 'people's republics', Venezuela....all fine not worth a mention.

'New politics' nope, same Utopian socialist bullshit that's been doing the rounds for over a century and that's failed wherever it's been attempted usually with the bodies piled high. Oh and the final hilarity 'There's no Jewish conspiracy, don't be silly' well I didn't think there was George but now I find it slightly suspicious you'd mention it....You don't a Mr Soros by any chance do you George?

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Highly Recommended

George has an insightful mind and is an excellent speaker. This book is both engaging and inspirational. Even if have never read/heard a book by George Monbiot before I recommend trying this one.

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Realistic critique of the current world order

George Monbiot is best known as an environmental campaigner, In this book he throws his net wider to assess the state of global geopolitics and the dichotomy of human nature (fundamentally altruistic) with neo-liberalism and the quest for self serving economic growth in a world with finite resources. The concept of the nation state is questioned and the democratic process that we cherish in the Western World is probed. Monbiot argues that the United States is a plutocracy where political power can be bought and sold and that only c0.8m of the c60m in the United Kingdom have any political influence due to the "first past the post" system. Much of this is stating the obvious and, as Monbiot rightly states, those who hold power are unlikely to relinquish it by changing the system to a fairer method where people really are able to influence policies such as the examples quoted in Switzerland and a few specific experiments in Brazil. What is clear it that our current system of politics is broken and it is only by reverting to a true representation of the electorate similar to Sortition that we will be able to achieve true collective decision making. The book ends on an optimistic note with the example of US Democrat Candidate Bernie Saunders who formed a grass roots movement to challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016 and narrowly failed despite crowd funding his campaign rather than relying on the sponsorship of large corporations.

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  • Layne Mostyn
  • 09-07-19

Riveting

I couldn't put it down. Not just a book about the environment, but how citizens can take control of government for much more equitable outcomes that actually align with our values of community, justice, and fairness.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ROBERT DRAZIN
  • 09-08-18

Inspiring.

A guidebook to a utopian future where we have cole.to love each other and our planet.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian Storrar
  • 13-07-18

A cornerstone of the democratic revolution

This short but powerful book provides a vision of the world as it should and could be, calling on real world examples that give us stars to navigate by. One of the most vital works of the 21st Century revolution to reclaim democracy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Magpie
  • 09-07-18

Perfect timing.

This excellent book is exactly what we need right now. Practical, inspirational, and perfectly timed. Don't give up on humans just yet!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin Mahoney
  • 03-04-18

An attempt at a new political story

More inspirational than practical, born of the post-Trump era. Monbiot hopes to inspire a new story for political change...sketching a horizon that progressives can orient Mass calls for change.