Evolution might seem an untouchable subject on the American political scene—or is it? Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer are civic entrepreneurs with a passion for creating a new political narrative based on the work of evolutionary thinkers such as Eric Beinhocker, Samuel Bowles, Robin Dunbar, Herbert Gintis, Elinor Ostrom, and Rafe Sagarin (TVOL’s ENVIRONMENT editor). Their elegant book titled The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government does a remarkably good job of distilling the science into powerful and appealing metaphors, such as the economy as like a garden that requires tending, rather than a machine that runs itself. The book is beautifully produced, can be read in a couple of hours, and provides a helpful reading list of more authoritative sources. It’s the perfect short introduction to the evolutionary paradigm, oriented toward politics and the economy. As they put it, “The great challenge of our age is to change the way that we see, and by so doing improve our ability to adapt.”

Dare we hope that their new narrative might even influence the next election? View my interviews with Eric and Nick to learn more…

Published On: February 10, 2012

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson is president of Prosocial World and SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life, through Prosocial World and in his own research and writing.  A complete archive of his work is available at www.David SloanWilson.world. His most recent books include his first novel, Atlas Hugged: The Autobiography of John Galt III, and a memoir, A Life Informed by Evolution.

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