Creating Freedom

The Lottery of Birth, the Illusion of Consent, and the Fight for Our Future

Publisher: Allen Lane
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 our economic, political, and criminal justice systems, calling for a profound transformation in the way we think about democracy, equality, and our own identities.    



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.

PRAISE FOR

“Exceptional . . . this year’s essential text for thinking radicals” The Guardian (UK)

“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.” —Brian Eno

“I’ve been working my way through, highlighter in hand, at times thinking, ‘Just highlight the whole thing.’” —David Byrne

“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.” —Susan Sarandon

“This discussion of the impossibility of ultimate moral responsibility is extremely well written, aphoristic in places, and philosophically right on target.” —Galen Strawson

“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, journalist Bob Herbert, and activist Ralph Nader: inequality, injustice, greed, and entrenched power have undermined democracy and threaten the common good and the future of our planet . . . An intelligent, rigorous manifesto.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Thought-provoking . . . sound and persuasive . . . Eminently readable with 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.” New Internationalist (UK)