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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government - 'Eric Liu',  'Nick Hanauer' A brief and inspiring proposal for a new kind of polity in America. I don't hold out much hope for it coming to pass, because all Republicans, most Democrats, and their paymasters at Goldman Sachs have no interest in seeing it happen. Most interesting was the way it posited a systems-theory "Gardenbrain" as the (new) appropriate representation of the way the world works, as opposed to the reductionist and mechanistic "Machinebrain" model which seemed to explain things for so long, and which both major parties are still completely beholden to. That's the kind of thing I was getting from the Whole Systems Design program at Antioch 13+ years ago; it's great to see it here, but has it really taken that long to filter into even this tiny little tributary of the public debate?The authors' takedown of libertarianism is entertaining: "Libertarianism is Machinebrain thinking at its worst. It rests on a linear understanding of social and economic systems and on the falsehood that humans are reliably and inherently rational, calculating, and selfish."But, yeah, it's a pretty dry, sorta preachy book about what we're doing wrong and how we can fix it. It's nicely designed and reasonably priced ($12.95 for a small paper-over-board hardcover), but it's just not the sort of thing that's going to find a huge audience. (I spotted it on the new-books shelf at the library, and we probably only got it here because it's published by Seattle-based Sasquatch Books.) Still, some of the ideas here will be new to some people who might actually read the book, and that's to be applauded. Maybe they're just paving the way for the next book, which will make the ideas irresistibly sexy.