Summary of The New Political Story that Could Change Everything

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Journalist George Monbiot offers an energetic, entertaining yet earnest solution to the world’s problems: better stories. Monbiot noticed how “restoration stories” are a common thread running through the most popular works of fiction, as well as through the economic narratives that shape societies. Such stories take place in times of turmoil. They pit an evil villain against a plucky hero, who strives to restore order and harmony. Alas, the current age lacks such a cohesive story. Monbiot outlines a tale that can fill that narrative vacuum, offering a hopeful blueprint for the future.

About the Speaker

Investigative journalist George Monbiot writes a column for The Guardian.

 

Summary

Humans make sense of the world through stories.

Stories help humans decipher a complex world. When people try to make sense of a situation, they search for “narrative fidelity” rather than scientific facts. Facts alone will never inspire change, and only a new story can dislodge an old story.

In politics, one plot in particular – “the restoration story” – has always been powerful and persuasive. It tells the tale of an evil force that causes disorder and threatens the people. A hero rebels against the evil force and, despite the odds, prevails to re-establish harmony.

Keynesian and neoliberal economics are both modeled on the “restoration story.”

Following the devastation of the Great Depression, British economist John Maynard Keynes devised a restorative story whereby the workers and an “enabling state” fought and prevailed...


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