You know every once in a while, I'll pick up a book so good that I find it hard to put it down. This has happened with a few books, and the most recent one to join the ranks is "A Fair Country" by John Ralston Saul. I'm only through 7 chapters of it, but damn is it a good read so far. Very insightful observations into the Canadian psyche, and he draws some really interesting conclusions about why we settle for less than number one. It's a very well written book so far, and I am excited about finishing it have finished it. Amazing. Recommended reading! Some great quotes from this book:
We take an idea such as sustainable development and parse it into the narrowest possible interpretation; there is no reconsideration of the nineteenth-century industrial and managerial idea of development, which has dominated the world since then and which makes humans the purpose of the planet. [...] After a reasonable period of experience, sensible people reconsider the whole in order to build on what works and get rid of what doesn't. Instead, sustainable development is seen as scarcely more than modified industrial planning. But if sustainable development is merely an attempt to inject a slightly modified utilitarianism into a managed nature, then it does nothing at all.
Wherever you look in the world you will find that those obsessed by order require disorder to fulfill their inner fears. They live the Hobbesian nightmare. They fear the other, a profoundly anti-democratic characteristic. They desperately seek certainty and clarity, all the while asserting that clarity is a sign of toughness. Actually, the need for clarity reveals a childlike and romantic character. They don't have the self-confidence to live with complexity and uncertainty.
A successful society is able to subdue the natural fear of men and women sufficiently to release our positive and creative characteristics. The power of populism is that it brings an atmosphere of insecurity to the fore and so causes even the most stable of societies to be consumed by that fear and so become obsessed by order.