Age of Discovery –
Navigating the Storms of Our Second Renaissance
By Ian Goldin & Chris Kutarna
Bloomsbury – £10.99
The new maps and media have also transformed financial connections. Finance is always a good place to look for evidence of social change, because it plays a fundamental role in society. We don’t always recognise that role: ‘finance’ is one of those concepts that get used so much, we have a hard time sorting out what it’s really about.
In the big picture, the most important wealth gains happen not among the rich but among the poor, for whom increased income assets yield a dramatically different quality of life and powers of choice.
Are the above quotes audacious and far-sighted? Or utterly fraudulent and seemingly bonkers? Well if nothing else, many might interpret this book is a testimony to both sides of said argument, and definitely give people a run for their money – fyu pardon ye much used expression.
After all, haven’t a few of us been (t)here before?
The initial Renaissance, governed by the seminal likes of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and numerous others, redrew the lateral diagnosis of the world, whereby Western civilization shifted from the medieval to the early modern era. Even if such profound change, did came at a tumultuous price: primarily that of social division, political extremism, pandemics and economic turmoil.
Hmm, sounds like the social trajectory of today’s Tory Party – continuing to make people even poorer than they already are. Or ought to be.
Either way, Age of Discovery – Navigating the Storms of Our Second Renaissance is a tempestuous read of the highest order.
Take the following declaration from chapter eight: ”Donald Trump, prophet and doomsayer. He may shock contemporary norms with the seeming originality of his power-taking, but through a Renaissance lens he is an obvious plagiarist. Ever since descending a gold-plated escalator to declare his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump has stolen his lines and stage directions from a populist play-book that is as old as print” (‘Prophets and Bonfires’).
Let it be said that ”lines and stage directions” are not the only thing that Donald Trump has stolen. Other than holding the world to ransom, he has stolen much of America’s future – but far be it for me to misinterpret the intrepid deeds of such a vile human being.
Tread carefully and digest with caution.