Rutger Bregman: Despite Everything, Humans Aren't the Worst

Historians in the News
tags: Big History, Rutger Bregman, Human History

In 2019, when Rutger Bregman published his book “Humankind: A Hopeful History” and made a case for the decency of human nature, the world had yet to experience a deadly pandemic. But what does the historian think of humanity now, amid protests against coronavirus lockdowns as well as the climate crisis and the rampant spread of misinformation?

“What I see is a world where billions of people radically adjusted their lifestyle to stop the virus from spreading further,” he says.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher invites Bregman to make a case for taking our capacity for goodness more seriously, even in anxious and uncertain times. But she stress-tests the theory, using examples that range from atrocities like the Holocaust to widespread apathy about the climate crisis. And they discuss what Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook got wrong about human behavior, Bregman’s case for societies’ moving toward a 15-hour workweek and why he decided to publish a clip of Tucker Carlson blowing up at him.


Read entire article at New York Times

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