5 Books That Explain Why It Seems the World Is So Messed Up

Pocket | 10/19/2019 | Staff
tanikaki (Posted by) Level 3
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If you aren’t freaking out about something, then… well, then I’m freaking out that you’re not freaking out. Tell the rest of us: what’s your secret? Because the rest of us are pretty sure the world is going to **** in a flaming handbasket. And not only do we not know why, but we don’t know what to do.

We live in a strange and contradictory time. On the one hand, the economies of the world are doing great! On the other, unless you’re wearing $2,000 Prada shoes and brush your teeth with truffle toothpaste, you’re not benefiting much from that growth. On the one hand, there’s less war than ever before. On the other, pretty much everyone seems to hate their own government and is actively working towards their own demise.

**** - Well - Reading - Time - Out

So, what the **** is going on? Well, I spent most of my reading time trying to figure that out. And here are five of the best explanations I’ve come across:

Democracy for Realists

Elevator - Summary - Democracy - Realists - Look

The Elevator Summary: Democracy for Realists is an eye-opening and sober look at the data on democracy and what makes it effective/ineffective. Hint: people are stupid. Or as my favorite Winston Churchill quotes goes: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Its Explanation for the World Being Fucked: We romanticize democracy. We like to blame politicians and bureaucrats and argue that if the people were just more engaged, more educated, had more direct say in their government, things would be better. Unfortunately, the data show pretty much all of this to be untrue. People regularly vote against their own interests, are ignorant of the issues, and even when they are well-informed, they are easily swayed by group identities and emotion. Yes, that includes me and you.

Democracies

The best-functioning democracies are those that have...
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