I love reading books that explicitly encourage us to stretch our imaginations. You don’t have to be an optimist to think that the way we organize the world and live our lives isn’t the best possible way. People with very different views can often agree that things, in general, could be better.
And Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-hour Workweek pushes us to consider the possibilities for significant positive change at the social level by reflecting on some changes we’ve already made (and some opportunities that we missed out on). It is a welcome change of pace for me to see someone looking to the future with some excitement, and I’m betting that I wouldn’t be alone in feeling that.
One of the things I liked most about this book is how it brings to our attention various historical events that aren’t as well-known as they probably deserve to be. The author has clearly done his research, but the writing is still quite accessible and conversational. It would be an especially good starting place for folks who haven’t previously given much thought to the specific policies he advocates (universal basic income, shorter workweeks, and open borders).