I am currently a really important book called HumanKind by Rutger Bregman that addresses an essential question I have debated with many people for a long time: Are human beings kind, good, benevolent and collaborative by nature, or not? This book answers this debate, once and for all, for me: contrary to popular believe, we are basically kind, collaborative and social.
This is an essential question, as ‘we are what we believe' and ‘we become what we believe is possible'. This book is my top-read for this month (others are here). I will add new morsels from this book next week – for now, have a look at these, below!
Here is a review by the Guardian “Although one of the most contested concepts in political philosophy, human nature is something on which most people seem to agree. By and large, according to Rutger Bregman in his new book Humankind, we have a rather pessimistic view – not of ourselves exactly, but of everyone else.
We see other people as selfish, untrustworthy and dangerous and therefore we behave towards them with defensiveness and suspicion. This was how the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes conceived our natural state to be, believing that all that stood between us and violent anarchy was a strong state and firm leadership …But in following Hobbes, argues Bregman, we ensure that the negative view we have of human nature is reflected back at us. He instead puts his faith in Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the 18th-century French thinker, who famously declared that man was born free and it was civilisation – with its coercive powers, social classes and restrictive laws – that put him in chains…” More.