Rutger Bregman spent four years working on his new book, "Most People Are Good. (De meeste mensen deugen)". And it comes in at number 1 on the bestseller list in the Netherlands. That it is not (all) because we ordered his book 10 times this week. It is because the book describes a fascinating new perspective. The perspective that most people are good.
He does not write that people are angels. Nor does he write that people are incapable of doing terrible things. What he writes is that when the Twintowers are on fire, people don't throw each other down the stairs to get out of the building as soon as possible, but let each other out. That if a group of boys accidentally end up on an uninhabited island, they will not kill each other, but rather live together peacefully. That way he writes 501 pages full of examples and evidence of a perspective that we have believed for years, but that is very often contested: people are intrinsically good.
If that is correct (and it is, as far as Rutger and we are concerned), this has enormous consequences. Living together based on trust instead of mistrust. Do not check the work, but facilitate. The brightside above the darkside.
We read the book in one breath. And would like it if there is a part 2. To increase the support for part 2, we ask you: if Rutger's theory is correct, what do you see as the greatest opportunity for change? Send us your answer (via the field below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will make sure it reaches Rutger. We will send the book to ten inspiring perspectives.
A few sources:
A very nice interview at DWDD:
The Lord of the Flies and te reality:
An extensive podcast with Rutger Bregman about the book:
The obvious (and quite ordinary, especially if you don't even bother to read the book) opposition: