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Tangentially Speaking

448 – Rutger Bregman (Historian and Author of Humankind)

By November 9, 20203 Comments

Rutger Bregman is a historian and author. He has published five books on history, philosophy, and economics. His books Humankind (2020) and Utopia for Realists (2017) were both New York Times Bestsellers and have been translated into more than 40 languages. He also dared to speak truth to billionaires at Davos and provoked Tucker Carlson to melt down into a pool of frustration and rage.

Rutger’s site and Twitter feed.

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Music: “Brightside of the Sun,” by Basin and Range, “Son of a Preacher Man,” cover by Menno Roymans.


  • An intellectual honest enough to change his mind is rarer than a Bigfoot sighting nowadays ;P

  • jandojando says:

    Ha, nice to hear Rutger Bregman on the show. My personal theory about the open windows in the Netherlands is that people like to show off to their neighbours that they are doing well in life, that they’ve also got a flat screen TV just like anyone else.

    Good you could both laugh about the attack on Rutger’s line in Civilized to Death 🙂

  • Leonardo says:

    i wanted yesterday to contact u to tell u to invite R. Bregman to your podcast and then i saw that u just had talked to him 🙂 i am almost through with listening to the audio version of his book. This is definitely one of the most inspiring books i’ve read in my whole life. what a fantastic read! this guy is the best example of true enlightment values

    “…“Man never regards what he possesses as so much his own, as what he does, and the laborer who tends the garden is perhaps in a truer sense its owner than the listless voluptuary who enjoys its fruits. And since truly human action is that which flows from inner impulse, it seems as if all peasants and craftsmen might be elevated into artists, that is men who love their labor for its own sake, improve it by their own plastic genius and invented skill, and thereby cultivate their intellect, ennoble their character and exult and refine their pleasures, and so humanity would be ennobled by the very things which now, though beautiful in themselves, so often tend to be degraded. Freedom is undoubtedly the indispensable condition without which even the pursuits most congenial to individual human nature can never succeed in producing such salutary influences. Whatever does not spring from a man’s free choice, or is only the result of instruction and guidance, does not enter into his very being but remains alien to his true nature. He does not perform it with truly human energies, but merely with mechanical exactness. And if a man acts in a mechanical way, reacting to external demands or instruction, rather than in ways determined by his own interests and energies and power, we may admire what he does, but we despise what he is.”…”

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