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Free markets, free elections, free media, free thought, free speech, free will--the language of freedom pervades our lives, framing the most urgent issues of our time and the deepest questions about who we are and who we want to be. It is a foundational concept at the heart of our civilization, but it has long been distorted to justify its opposite: soaring inequality, the erosion of democracy, an irrational criminal justice system, and a dehumanizing foreign policy. Raoul Martinez argues that the more we understand the limits on our freedom, the better placed we are to transcend them.
Drawing together findings and ideas from neuroscience, criminology, psychology, politics, climate science, economics, and philosophy, Creating Freedom constructs a radical framework to make sense of the world and empower us to change it. This is a wide-ranging analysis of power, control, and freedom, which asks us to question our inherited identity, question our society, and turn the power to choose into the freedom to create.
A manifesto for deep and radical change, Creating Freedom explores the limits placed on freedom by human nature and society. It explodes myths at the heart of the systems that dominate our lives, calling for a profound transformation in the way we think about democracy, equality, and our own identities.
"Exceptional. This year's essential text for thinking radicals."
"Creating Freedom is quite magnificent in its intelligence, acuity, scope, human warmth and - most importantly - hope! My book of the year."
"If you believe you are free, think again. Strong arguments . . . epic in scope . . . [A] manifesto to enlighten citizens stuck in an illusion of democracy."
"Creating Freedom presents a stunning treatise; the freedoms within our society are illusory or entirely antithetical to actual liberty... The author, and the arguments within his book, have a tendency to leave a reader feeling enlivened, stirred and provoked... Martinez has arguments to make your head spin... The difficulty of imagining this new moral landscape seems daunting, but in the company of Raoul Martinez it seems a tiny bit more likely."
"Thought-provoking . . . sound and persuasive . . . Eminently readable with a an elegance of style not often found in theoretical works. It is no less than a rallying cry to take back the substance rather than the illusions of our freedoms."
"Martinez speaks for a generation living through a profound mismatch between their aspirations for freedom and creativity and the thudding conformity a society, driven by the market, demands."
"Provocative, powerful and important, Creating Freedom is a rigorous exploration of what's gone wrong with our society and how to make it right. A book for our time, this radical manifesto exposes the myths at the heart of our system and shows what the ideal of freedom truly demands from us, individually and collectively."
"In this stunning and lucid book, Raoul Martinez re-assesses our past, re-examines our present, and re-imagines our future. It's such an exciting and compelling read that you almost don't notice at first how radical it is. Creating Freedom makes me think that we humans are on the cusp of our next big step - and it's this kind of thinking that will carry us over."
"Lucid and bright, Creating Freedom is a light to guide us onwards. Please read it."
"Everyone trying to puzzle through how to deal with the madness of the world - and the forces destroying it - should read this book."
"Comes the moment; comes the book. A manifesto for real and radical change. This is a brilliant and timely analysis of our political landscape and the ideals which should inform how we reshape the world."
"I've been working my way through, highlighter in hand, at times thinking "why bother! Just highight the whole thing". Super impressive."
"This discussion of the impossibility of ultimate moral responsibility is extremely well written, aphoristic in places, and philosophically right on target."
"A superb book; it is not only beautifully written, vigorously argued and remarkably researched, it is a unique contribution to a subject — discussed for more than two millennia — where unique contributions are rare indeed. There is nothing in the literature that places the issues of freedom and responsibility in such a broad and enlightening context, enriching familiar debates surrounding punishment and the justice system but also going far beyond. No one has examined the issues of freedom and moral responsibility in such an extensive and fascinating context, or done more to show that these issues are not ivory tower debates but absolutely life and death issues for individuals and quite possibly for our species."
"An impassioned social and political critique with glimmers of hope for change. British artist and documentarian Martinez makes his literary debut writing on a theme taken up recently by writers such as economists Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz: inequality, injustice, greed, and entrenched power have undermined democracy and threaten the common good and the future of our planet. An intelligent, rigorous manifesto."
An award-winning documentary to complement the book is available to order in numerous countries and languages. The Lottery of Birth begins with the idea that from birth onwards our minds are a battleground of competing forces, and that the outcome of this battle determines the lives we lead and the society we create.
The Film →