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Progress Vs Parasites: A Brief History of the Conflict that's Shaped our World

Douglas Carswell



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Head of Zeus
05 August 2019
Politics & government; Political ideologies; Political activism
From Ancient Athens the modern day, a radical look at how world history has been shaped by the constant struggle between the productive and the parasitic.

The change in our ancestors' behaviour was barely perceptible at first. Only a few clues in the archaeological record - sea shells, ochre and stone tools exchanged over long distances - hint at what was to come. Today, a network of interdependence and trade spans the planet - lifting most of our species out of the grinding poverty of the past. But for much of history this engine of human progress stalled, with societies rigged in the interests of small parasitic elites. From the Greeks and Romans in antiquity, to China, India and Europe in the Middle Ages, the history of the world can be written as the constant struggle between the productive and the parasitic.

Progress Vs Parasites charts this struggle. States rise and empires fall as the balance between the two shifts. It is the idea of freedom, Carswell argues, that ultimately allows the productive to escape the parasitic - and thus decides whether a society flourishes or flounders. A robust defence of classical liberalism, Progress Vs Parasites shows that the greatest threat to human progress today - as it has been in every age - is the idea that human affairs need to be ordered by top down design.
By:   Douglas Carswell
Imprint:   Head of Zeus
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
ISBN:   9781786691569
ISBN 10:   1786691566
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   05 August 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:

Douglas Carswell grew up in Uganda. Elected to Parliament four times, for two different parties, he ended up as an independent MP. He stood down from Parliament in 2017, having accomplished what he went into politics to achieve. He is the author of The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain (with Daniel Hannan) and The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy.

Reviews for Progress Vs Parasites: A Brief History of the Conflict that's Shaped our World

'As a revolutionary text, Carswell's is right up there with the Communist Manifesto' Sunday Times. 'A passionately expressed set of arguments about why our current political arrangements do not work' Daily Telegraph. 'Carswell is as genuine a rebel as parliament contains' The Times. 'Unusual and fascinating' Irish Independent. 'Mr Carswell makes his case well' The Economist. 'There is remarkable breadth of history in this book, ranging from ancient Greece to the present day' Guardian. 'The big twist is that Carswell thinks that the populist challengers to the status quo [...] are just as bad as the elite that they are trying to replace' Money Week.

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