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How Did We Get into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature

Where we have gone wrong, and what to do about it
“Without countervailing voices, naming and challenging power, political freedom withers and dies. Without countervailing voices, a better world can never materialise. Without countervailing voices, wells will still be dug and bridges will still be built, but only for the few. Food will still be grown, but it will not reach the mouths of the poor. New medicines will be developed, but they will be inaccessible to many of those in need.”

George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess?, based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do. 

While his diagnosis of the problems in front of us is clear-sighted and reasonable, he also develops solutions to challenge the politics of fear. How do we stand up to the powerful when they seem to have all the weapons? What can we do to prepare our children for an uncertain future? Controversial, clear but always rigorously argued, How Did We Get into this Mess? makes a persuasive case for change in our everyday lives, our politics and economics, the ways we treat each other and the natural world.

George Monbiot in conversation with Verso: watch all the videos here 

Reviews

  • “A dazzling command of science and relentless faith in people … I never miss reading him.”
  • “George Monbiot is always original—both in the intelligence of his opinions and the depth and rigour of his research.”
  • “His passion for social and ecological justice is undimmed by twenty-first-century cynicism. His desire for knowledge across the widest gamut of subjects (scientific, historical, political and cultural) enables him to reach places which are foreign territory to many of us.”
  • “What most impresses in Monbiot’s clever, elegant writing is the way he strives to think beyond protest towards realistic, representative solutions to the problems of world politics and trade.”
  • “A writer of eloquence and passion.”
  • “An excellent critique of much that is wrong with modern society.”

Blog

  • Mélenchon: a vote to prompt the future

    Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon’s campaign is now at an impasse, because he couldn’t see that the neoliberal fox would refuse to accommodate to the socialist hen, while Mélenchon takes an opposing strategy, write Cédric Durand and Razmig Keucheyan. First published in Libération. Translated by David Broder.



    Elections were for long time rather boring. Carried forth by a liberal wind, there was a seamless exchange of office between the self-assured Right and the lightweight Left — these wholehearted converts to market modernisation — in the eternal present of capitalism. Capitalism had been made master of a globalised space and a financialised time. Endemic unemployment, consumerist exultation and terrorist/criminal horror made up the three dramatic extremes of a little game buzzing along, spiced up only by the candidates’ antics or the scenes made by betrayed friends.

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  • George Monbiot: "we have sixty years of harvest left"

    "According to the UN Food and Agriculture organisation, we have sixty years of harvest left at current rates of soil loss and degradation... 

    Yet this is a marginal issue. Doesn’t feature in politics. Doesn’t feature in debate. It’s not on the news. No one is talking about this. Yet it is the most fundamental issue of all" - watch the full video below or here.

    George Monbiot's bestselling book How Did We Get Into This Mess? is now out in paperback and 40% off until Mar 19 (midnight UTC), with free shipping and bundled ebook.

    Watch the full interview with George - where he discusses Trump, Brexit, migration, grassroots political community building, climate change, and more - here.


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  • "In many parts of the world there will simply be nothing there for people" - George Monbiot on Migration

    “There is no question that immigration is going to remain a huge live issue for a very long time, not least because very large numbers of people are going to be driven to immigrate through the massive disruptions taking place in their lives… In many parts of the world there will simply be nothing there for people” - George Monbiot discusses migration and community building in this video.

    George Monbiot's bestselling book How Did We Get Into This Mess? is now out in paperback and 40% off until Mar 19 (midnight UTC), with free shipping and bundled ebook.

    Watch the full interview with George - where he discusses neoliberalism, Trump, Brexit, climate change, and more - here.


    Continue Reading

Other books by George Monbiot