Rutger Bregman Quotes About Life, Love, Philosophy, Evidence, Freedom

Rutger Bregman Quotes About Life, Love, Philosophy, Evidence, Freedom

Rutger Bregman Quotes
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Rutger Bregman Quotes:

Most bayonets throughout history have probably not been used because soldiers just can’t do it, something holds them backā€¦ the same goes for shooting the enemy. We’ve got this fascinating evidence from the Second World War, and also from other wars, that most soldiers couldn’t do it.

Rutger Bregman

My life philosophy is that you need a boring private life if you want to have a more exciting public life.

Rutger Bregman

If we assume the best in people, we can radically redesign our democracy and welfare states.

Rutger Bregman

We know from scientific studies that infants as young as six months old can distinguish right from wrong and have a preference for the good over the bad. I think it’s important to design our education and our schools around that insight, to bring out the best in our kids.

Rutger Bregman

From Scotland to India, and from Silicon Valley to Kenya, policymakers all over the world have become interested in basic income as an answer to poverty, unemployment and the bureaucratic behemoth of the modern welfare state.

Rutger Bregman

Basic income would give people the most important freedom: the freedom of deciding for themselves what they want to do with their lives.

Rutger Bregman

Employees have been worrying about the rising tide of automation for 200 years now, and for 200 years employers have been assuring them that new jobs will naturally materialize to take their place.

Rutger Bregman
Rutger Bregman
Source: SingularityU Benelux

Remember: real politics isn’t about figureheads and seats in parliament. Real politics is about ideas. And there can be no doubt regarding the extreme ideas that have been gaining ground in the Netherlands for decades.

Rutger Bregman

Children are born as emphatic and compassionate beings – so you don’t have to teach them generosity, it’s in their nature to be friendly.

Rutger Bregman

Believing in the good of humanity is a revolutionary act – it means that we don’t need all those managers and CEO’s, kings and generals. That we can trust people to govern themselves and make their own decisions.

Rutger Bregman

I think it’s rational to assume the best in other people because most people are pretty decent.

Rutger Bregman

The first thing we should acknowledge is that poverty is hugely expensive. It varies from country to country, but most of the time it’s around 3, 4 or 5% of GDP. If you look at what it would cost just to top up the income of all the poor people in a country, it would cost about 1% of GDP.

Rutger Bregman

True innovation takes at least 10 to 15 years, whereas the longest that private venture capitalists are routinely willing to wait is five years. They don’t join the game until all the riskiest plays have already been made – by governments.

Rutger Bregman

Almost no one raises the real issue of tax avoidance, right? And of the rich just not paying their fair share.

Rutger Bregman

Even if you don’t care about the environment whatsoever, solar panels are really cool, and are an investment because they save money in the long run.

Rutger Bregman

A universal basic income would be the best way to give everyone the opportunity to do more unpaid but incredibly important work, such as caring for children and the elderly.

Rutger Bregman

One of the basic lessons of history is that things can be different.

Rutger Bregman

The real ‘Lord of the Flies’ is a tale of friendship and loyalty; one that illustrates how much stronger we are if we can lean on each other.

Rutger Bregman

I first read ‘Lord of the Flies’ as a teenager. I remember feeling disillusioned afterwards, but not for a second did I think to doubt Golding’s view of human nature.

Rutger Bregman

A universal basic income means not only that millions of people would receive unconditional cash payments, but also that millions of people would have to cough up thousands more in taxes to fund it. This will make basic income politically a harder sell.

Rutger Bregman

Societies tend to presume that poor people are unable to handle money. If they had any, people reason, the poor and homeless would probably spend it on fast food and cheap beer, not on fruit or education.

Rutger Bregman

Poverty is not a lack of character. Poverty is a lack of cash.

Rutger Bregman

The greatest sin of the academic left is that it has become fundamentally aristocratic, writing in bizarre jargon that makes cliches seem abstruse. If you can’t explain your ideal to a fairly intelligent 12-year-old, it’s probably your own fault.

Rutger Bregman

My hope is that the corona crisis will help bring us into a new age of cooperation and solidarity and a realization that we’re in this together.

Rutger Bregman

Since long workdays lead to more errors, shorter workdays could reduce accidents. Overtime is deadly. Tired surgeons have been found to be more prone to slip’ups, and soldiers who get too little shuteye are more prone to miss targets.

Rutger Bregman

There’s always selfish behavior. There are lots of examples of people hoarding. But we’ve seen in this pandemic that the vast majority of behavior from normal citizens is actually pro-social in nature. People are willing to help their neighbors.

Rutger Bregman

Research suggests that someone who is constantly drawing on their creative abilities can, on average, be productive for no more than six hours a day.

Rutger Bregman

It’s actually more than 700 case studies that show that, especially in times of crisis, we show our best selves. And we get this explosion of altruism and cooperation. This happens again and again after natural disasters, after earthquakes and after floodings.

Rutger Bregman

I’ve solved my phone addiction by deleting all the apps I was addicted to – email, browser – and getting my wife to add parental controls, to limit access even further.

Rutger Bregman

We so often tend to think our democracies are ruled by procedures and laws, but they are also governed by implicit rules and assumptions and one of them is the ability to feel shame – that you can be shamed.

Rutger Bregman

As our farms and factories grew more efficient, they accounted for a shrinking share of our economy. And the more productive agriculture and manufacturing became, the fewer people they employed.

Rutger Bregman

So I think that good journalism helps you to zoom out, to focus on the structural forces that govern our lives. And I think that good journalism is also not only about the problems, but also about the solutions, and the people who are working on these solutions.

Rutger Bregman

While it won’t solve all the world’s ills – and ideas such as a rent cap and more social housing are necessary in places where housing is scarce – a basic income would work like venture capital for the people.

Rutger Bregman

Most people would say the meaning of life is to make the world a little more beautiful, or nicer, or more interesting. But how? These days, our main answer to that is: through work.

Rutger Bregman

We’ll all remember 2020 as an historic year. And for decades, people will be able to say, remember 2020. Remember when things were really tough. Who did we rely on? I think that could impact a whole generation.

Rutger Bregman

Maybe utopianism is my form of religion in a world without God.

Rutger Bregman

What the underdog socialist has forgotten is that the story of the left ought to be a narrative of hope and progress.

Rutger Bregman

The world view of the underdog socialist is encapsulated in the notion that the establishment has mastered the game of reason, judgment and statistics, leaving the left with emotion. Its heart is in the right place.

Rutger Bregman

Since the 70s and the 80s you see the rise of neoliberalism. The central dogma of neoliberalism was that most people are selfish. So, we started designing our institutions around that idea, our schools, our workplaces, our democracies. The government became less and less important.

Rutger Bregman

It matters so much that from a very early age we encounter different kinds of different people, because that’s what real life should be about as well.

Rutger Bregman

As a species of animal that evolved to make connections and work together, it feels strange to suppress our desire for contact. People enjoy touching each other, and find joy in seeing each other in person – but now we have to keep our physical distance.

Rutger Bregman

New ideas rarely come from the moderate parties in The Hague or Washington, in Brussels or Westminster. The world’s political centres are not the breeding ground for true change, but rather where it comes home to roost.

Rutger Bregman

One of my rules for life is: ‘When in doubt, assume the best,’ because in the end, most people are pretty decent.

Rutger Bregman

I’ve been thinking that school, or certainly the traditional English public school model, is like a prison, in that you can’t get out and it is hierarchical. As a result they have a lot of bullying. On the other hand if you mix ages and academic ability this is less of a problem.

Rutger Bregman

When I talk about ‘everyday communism’, I am teasing a little. It is a provocative idea. But then we all do a lot of sharing a lot of the time. We don’t draw up contracts for everything.

Rutger Bregman

I think one of the most important facts of basic income would be that it’s not only a redistribution of income, but also of power. So the cleaners and bin men would have a lot more bargaining power.

Rutger Bregman

I know that there are many excellent arguments for a universal form of basic income. Since everyone would get it, it would remove the stigma that dogs recipients of assistance and ‘entitlements’.

Rutger Bregman

Well, the news is mostly about things that go wrong, right? It’s about sensationalist incidents that happened today, instead of things that happen every day. So if you watch and follow a lot of the news, at the end of the day, you know exactly how the world is not working.

Rutger Bregman

Instead of a universal basic income, we could have a basic income guarantee. Or, as economists prefer to call it, a negative income tax.

Rutger Bregman

Contact is the best medicine against hate, racism and prejudice. It’s something that we should be very wary of, the more segregation we have, the more of a problem that’s going to be.

Rutger Bregman

Who is Rutger Bregman?

Rutger C. Bregman is a prominent historian and author from the Netherlands. Utopia for Realists: How We Can Construct the Ideal World, which has been translated into thirty-two languages, is one of his four books on history, philosophy, and economics.

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