Rutger C. Bregman
Bregman in 2015
|Education||Master of Arts in History (2010–2012) at Utrecht University and the University of California|
|Occupation||Journalist and author|
|Known for||Basic income, working hours and open borders|
|Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World|
|Spouse(s)||Maartje ter Horst|
Rutger C. Bregman (born 26 April 1988) is a Dutch popular historian and author. He has published four books on history, philosophy, and economics, including Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World, which has been translated into thirty-two languages. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Guardian and the BBC. He has been described by The Guardian as the "Dutch wunderkind of new ideas" and by TED Talks as "one of Europe's most prominent young thinkers". His TED Talk, "Poverty Isn't a Lack of Character; It's a Lack of Cash", was chosen by TED curator Chris Anderson as one of the top ten of 2017.
Bregman earned his Bachelor of Arts in history at Utrecht University in 2009. He earned his Master of Arts in history in 2012, partly at Utrecht and partly at the University of California, Los Angeles. His graduate studies were concentrated on cities, states and citizenship.
Bregman thought of becoming an academic historian, but instead he began working as a journalist. He is the author of Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders and a Fifteen-Hour Workweek. He writes regularly for the online journal De Correspondent, and was twice nominated for the European Press Prize for his work there. In 2013 he received the annual book award from the think tank Liberales for the most remarkable Dutch-language non-fiction book, The History of Progress. In 2015 he wrote the essay for the Month of Philosophy together with Jesse Frederik. In his student days he was a member of Christian student association SSR-NU.
Utopia for Realists
Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World promotes a more productive and equitable life based on three core ideas which include a universal and unconditional basic income paid to everybody, a short workweek of fifteen hours, and open borders worldwide with the free exchange of citizens between all nations. It was originally written as articles in Dutch for the online journal De Correspondent.
In an interview with the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir in September 2017, Bregman said that "to move forward, a society needs dreams, not nightmares. Yet people are caught in the logic of fear. Whether it is Trump, Brexit or the last elections in Germany, they vote against the future and instead for solutions to replace it, believing the past was better based on a thoroughly mistaken view of the world: the world was worse before … Humanity is improving, conditions of life, work and health too. And it's time to open the windows of our minds to see it."
Prior to the release of Utopia for Realists, Bregman had already published several books, including History of Progress, for which he was awarded the Belgian Liberales prize for best nonfiction book of 2013.
In 2020, Bregman published Humankind: A Hopeful History, where he argues that humans are fundamentally mostly decent, and that more recognition of this view would likely be beneficial to everyone, partly as it would reduce excessive cynicism. For example, if society was less adamant on the view that humans are naturally lazy, there would be less reason to oppose the widespread introduction of poverty mitigation measures like basic income. The book takes a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing from the findings of history, economics, psychology, biology, anthropology and archaeology. Bregman's arguments include the assertion that in the state of nature debate, Rousseau, rather than Hobbes, was more correct about humanity's essential goodness.
"The Real Lord of the Flies"
In an article for The Guardian, published in May 2020, Bregman describes the true story of a group of schoolboys from Tonga who were shipwrecked on the deserted island of ʻAta with few resources and no adult supervision. Bregman draws a parallel with the classic fiction novel Lord of the Flies; however, he highlights how much the real-life story does not turn out the same way as Lord of the Flies. Bregman was able to track down the captain of the fishing boat who rescued the boys in 1966; Peter Warner, son of Australian businessman Arthur Warner; and also one of the rescued individuals, Mano Totau. He interviewed Warner and got the full story of the boys' ordeal and their rescue, including the fact that Warner hired all of them as crew members for his fishing boat. In the case of the Tongan schoolboys, they immediately came up with a set of rules to govern their conduct and to ensure full cooperation. When one boy fell from a height and broke his leg, the others rushed to provide him with medical care; after they were rescued, medical professionals were impressed by the quality of the healed leg.
In January 2019, Bregman took part in a panel debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he criticised the event for its focus on philanthropy rather than tax avoidance and the need for fair taxation. His intervention was widely reported and followed on social media.
According to a 20 February 2019 article in The Guardian, during a February 2019 interview in Amsterdam with Fox News anchor and journalist, Tucker Carlson after Davos, Bregman told Carlson that the United States "could easily crack down on tax paradises" if they wanted to and that Fox News would not cover stories about tax evasion by the wealthy. He said that Carlson himself, had been taking "dirty money" for years from the CATO Institute where he was senior fellow and which is "funded by Koch billionaires"—Charles Koch and David Koch. He said that Carlson and other Fox News anchors are "millionaires paid by billionaires"—referring to the Murdochs and, in Carlson's case, the Koch brothers. Bregman told Carlson that "what the Murdochs want you to do [on Fox News] is scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance". Carlson was angered by Bregman's comments. Bregman posted a video of his unaired interview with Carlson on NowThis News on YouTube on 20 February 2019. By July the video had received 2,349,846 views.
The major themes of Bregman's works include basic income, the workweek and open borders.
Bregman approvingly cites a 1968 US proposal for a guaranteed minimum income, put forward by President Richard Nixon, among others. He also cites a 1974–1979 Canadian federal government project in Dauphin, Manitoba, that temporarily eradicated poverty. "The most popular study on the effects of basic income took place in Manitoba between 1974 and 1979 where everyone received a “Mincome” (minimum income) of $9,000 a year (by today's standards) from the government, no strings attached. Evelyn Forget, an economist and professor at the University of Manitoba, who looked over the data from the study says there was a 9 percent reduction in working hours among two main groups of citizens. But the reasons why give insight into how basic income can dramatically change the course of someone's life."
- Met de kennis van toen : actuele problemen in het licht van de geschiedenis (With the knowledge of back then : current problems in a historical light). Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2012, ISBN 978-90-2347212-4.
- De geschiedenis van de vooruitgang (The history of progress). Amsterdam, De Bezige Bij, 2013, ISBN 978-90-2347754-9.
- Gratis geld voor iedereen : en nog vijf grote ideeën die de wereld kunnen veranderen. Amsterdam: De Correspondent, 2014, ISBN 978 90 822 5630 7. English translation: Utopia for realists, and how we can get there (2014).
- Waarom vuilnismannen meer verdienen dan bankiers (Why dustmen deserve more than bankers), with Jesse Frederik. Rotterdam: Maand van de Filosofie, 2015, ISBN 9789047706830.
- De meeste mensen deugen, een nieuwe geschiedenis van de mens. Amsterdam: De Correspondent, 2019, ISBN 9789082942187. English translation: Humankind : a new history of human nature (2020).
- Het water komt : een brief aan alle Nederlanders (The water is coming : a letter to all Netherlanders). Amsterdam: De Correspondent, 2020, ISBN 9789083017761.
- Disclosing New Worlds
- Social justice
- Distribution of wealth
- Income distribution
- Utopian socialism
- Ethical socialism
- Rutger Bregman: 'Soms dreigt het een grote egoshow te worden' (in Dutch). de Volkskrant.
- "Inside the 17 March edition". The Guardian. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
Books casts an eye over a theory of modern utopia by the Dutch wunderkind of new ideas, Rutger Bregman
- "Biography: Rutger Bregman, author of Utopia for Realists". TED Talks. 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
He has published four books on history, philosophy and economics. His book Utopia for Realists -- on universal basic income and other radical ideas -- has been translated in more than 20 languages. His work has been featured in The Washington Post and The Guardian and on the BBC.
- "Curator's Picks: Top 10 TED Talks of 2017". TED Talks. nd. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
The most notable talks of 2017, chosen by TED Curator Chris Anderson
- "I Want the State to Think like an Anarchist: Dutch Historian Rutger Bregman on Why the Left Must Reclaim Utopianism". The New Statesman. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- "Rutger Bregman: 'We could cut the working week by a third'". 26 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- Bregman, Rutger C. (17 March 2018). "Look at the phone in your hand – you can thank the state for that". The Guardian.
- "Utopia for Realists: This book originated on De Correspondent". De Correspondent. nd. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- Bregman, Rutger C. (2013). The History of Progress. de Bezige Bij. ISBN 978-90-2347754-9.
- Rutger C. Bregman. With the knowledge of then, Current problems in the light of history , ed. de Bezige Bij, 2012, ISBN 978-90-2347212-4
- Rutger C. Bregman. Free money for everyone, and five big ideas that can change the world . de Correspondent, Amsterdam, 2014, ISBN 978 90 822 5630 7
- "Profile". TED2017. July 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- Rutger Bregman (14 March 2017). Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World. Translated by Elizabeth Manton. Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group USA. ISBN 978-0316471893.
- Rutger Bregman (14 March 2017). Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World. Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group USA. ISBN 978-0316471893.
- "Utopia for Realists - The case for a universal basic income, open borders and a 15-hour workweek". The Correspondent. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- Deglise, Fabien (27 September 2017). "Rutger Bregman et son rêve de faire de l'utopie un pays". Le Devoir. Translated by Google Translate.
Pour avancer, une société a besoin de rêves, pas de cauchemars, lance Rutger Bregman, joint cette semaine aux Pays-Bas par Le Devoir. Or, quand on regarde autour de nous, on constate que ces rêves n’arrivent pas à émerger. Les gens sont pris dans la logique du pire, de la peur, de la crainte. Qu’il s’agisse de Trump, du Brexit ou des dernières élections en Allemagne, ils votent contre une perspective d’avenir plutôt que pour des solutions de remplacement, en pensant que le passé était meilleur, ce qui repose sur une vision du monde totalement erronée. Le monde était pire avant. L’humanité ne va qu’en s’améliorant, les conditions de vie, de travail, de santé aussi. Et il est temps d’ouvrir les fenêtres de nos esprits pour le voir.
- Martin Bentham (7 May 2020). "Book review: Humankind by Rutger Bregman". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- Jonathan Freedland (3 May 2020). "Rutger Bregman: 'Our secret superpower is our ability to cooperate'". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- Rutger Bregman: the Dutch historian who rocked Davos and unearthed the real Lord of the Flies, May 9, 2020, theguardian.com.
- Bregman, Rutger C. "Rutger Bregman: 'We could cut the working week by a third'". The Guardian.
"Could this young Dutchman, hailed as a visionary, galvanise the left with his radical plan for a borderless future in which we are all paid for working less?
- "Why Society's Biggest Freeloaders Are at the Top: No, wealth isn't created at the top. It is merely devoured there". 15 April 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- Bregman, Rutger C.; Frederik, Jesse (21 April 2016). "Why garbage men should earn more than bankers". Essay of the Month of Philosophy 2015. Translated by Elizabeth Manton. Lemniscate. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- Heinze, Aleksej (4 September 2015). "Business will suffer if border crossings between European neighbours are shut". The Conversation. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- Bregman, Rutger (9 May 2020). "The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months". The Guardian.
- "Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash". TED2017. April 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- "Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash". TED2017. nd. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- "'It's like the 'T' word is forbidden'". BBC News. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- on YouTube |date=20 February 2019 NowThis News
- Wolfson, Sam (20 February 2019), Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant, The Guardian, retrieved 22 July 2019
- "Cato Institute: Immigration". Cato Institute. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- Jacobin:Nixon’s Basic Income Plan.
- "A Canadian City Once Eliminated Poverty And Nearly Everyone Forgot About It". HuffPost Canada. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- Shoemaker, Natalie (19 April 2016). "Rutger Bregman's 'Utopia for Realists' Shows Us Why We Deserve Universal Basic Income". Big Think.
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Rutger Bregman|
- Kingsley, Patrick (March 2, 2019). "He Took Down the Elite at Davos. Then He Came for Fox News". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.