In Search of the Good Society
Love, Hope and Art as Political Economy
Compelling reading, this book both reinforces and elevates the role of art in the exploration and analysis of the concepts of democracy, globalization and capitalism. In the book, the author describes a post-human world, a state we have already entered. But how should we think about it, given we have already been co-opted? Can we articulate the future outside the false discipline that the market often dictates, beyond the clutches of a few social media companies, and maintain our rich diversities while holding on to those things that make life possible and worthwhile: love, hope and art?
Running throughout the book is the central theme of uncertainty and divergence. It is uncompromising in asking the question about the need for a new global creation story, which has at its core not the certainties of one defined creation myth but the need to feel comfortable with the uncertainty principle both in physics and the political economy. It is up to artists, scientists and philosophers to articulate this wonder and to help us write a new global creation story based on art (the arts), uncertainty, diversity, risk and wonder – and of course knowledge. This book has the capacity to both clarify and re-shape your thinking.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Reflective Observer
1. This Century’s New Creation Myth
1.1 Time, Nothing and God
1.2 Relativity, Faure and Human Fallibility
1.4 Tolerance and Utopia
2. Good Capitalism: Love, Hope, Art and Social Progress
2.1 The Fertile Twentieth Century
2.2 Different Political Economies
2.3 The Good Societies
2.4. Sewage and Social Progress
2.5 Brief Encounter
2.6 Europe Dreaming
2.7 Red Geraniums and Poppies
2.8 The Greek Legacy
2.9 Flatpack Sweden
2.10 A United Kingdom?
2.11 The Ja panese Conundrum
2.13 The Chinese Ascendency
2.14 The Rise and Fall of the American Century
3. Health and Wealth
3.1 Lessons for Longevity
3.2 The Somme, Beveridge and Public Health Care
3.3 Near Death
4. The Good Society and the Post Human Future
4.1 Bombs, Climate Change and Men
4.2 The Good Society: Theory and Practise
4.3 What Is Needed Now: Public Reasoning and the Public Intellectual
Appendix: How to Live Healthily
MALCOLM MCINTOSH is former Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at Griffith University. He is Founding Editor of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship and was Special Adviser to the UN Global Compact.
'This book is an outstanding reflection on the crucial challenges of our time and a path toward a positive future. How can the good life be delivered? The author argues that decisions made through deliberate public policy can enhance and promote health, social care, education, equality and social mobility, all keys to a good society. Yet we must advance public policy with public reasoning. We must win the argument with reason. The author fears that voters today, especially in the UK and the USA, have shot themselves in the foot, like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you only read one book this year, this should be the one.'
Oliver F. Williams, Director, Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame, USA
'This book is TRULY BRILLIANT. I feel as if I have travelled with the author to far-flung places, back in time and close to death. It conjures up pictures of extraordinarily diverse places, yet subtly reminds us how similar, frail and yet strong we are. It weaves together such different themes so seamlessly. The text cleverly connects major world events and issues, the context of all our lives. With amazing clarity, it is a perfect balance of reflection and positivity, leaving me with a sense of connection to the world and hope.'
Carol Adams, Professor of Accountancy, University of Durham, UK
'In this illuminating book, In Search of the Good Society, Malcolm McIntosh engages in a wide-ranging contemplation of the theory and practice of the good society. With McIntosh’s background and experience, he is ideally suited to craft such a quest. Using optics of love, hope and art, he envisions the good life being delivered within a global society and economy. This thoughtful, well-written and insightful essay will be appealing both to optimists and realists. I strongly recommend this book for academics, practitioners and concerned citizens.'
Archie B Carroll, Professor Emeritus, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, USA
'Malcolm McIntosh's latest book is a true gem. It gives all of us pause as we consider the dark realities of the world we face today, then offers hope through glimpses of what creating a good society really means. Read this book. You will be glad you did! It is brilliant. I am blown away and hope the book has great success. The last three chapters in particular are stunning in their scope and impact.'
Sandra Waddock, Professor of Management, Galligan School of Management, Boston College, USA
'The chapter on health is both refreshing and inspiring. Whilst acknowledging that some diseases are incurable, it takes a very positive approach as to how we can maximise our chances for being around for as long as possible, with some very practical and achievable suggestions. The chapter very clearly highlights the uncertainty over prognosis and, as a medical community, our inability to be accurate in our predictions. It outlines a number of lifestyle steps that as individuals we can all take to improve our chances of defying the odds and being long-term survivors. More than that, it shows the power of positive thinking and of living life to the full.'
Mark Beresford, Consultant Oncologist and Clinical Lead for Oncology and Haematology, Royal United Hospital, Bath
'Centred on his courageous story of surviving and thriving terminal cancer over six years, Malcolm takes us on an insightful, enlightening, and sometimes painful, experiential journey. It’s compelling reading. Don’t miss it…'
Bimal Arora, Chairperson, Centre for Responsible Business, India