Book Review: How To Change The World

How To Change The World:  Social Entrepreneurs And The Power Of New Ideas, by David Bornstein

This book is a highly revealing one, but not necessarily in the way that the author of this book likely intends.  When I started to read this book I got angry so I had to let it lie low for a few days until I could read it in a calmer mood.  Ultimately, I did learn from this book so it is not one I feel I could view as one of the worst books ever.  But what I learned from the book put me in stark opposition to the author and his intents and demonstrated the corruption of the social entrepreneurship that we see among tech billionaires that has shown itself in corrupt lefist bias on a part of companies like Google and Amazon, among many others.  This book actively encourages people to seek to start businesses in order to help agitate for harmful social change, and this book features a lot of looks at people with false messianic worldviews that involve corrupt political dealings around the world in places like India and Brazil and the United States.  The NYT shows its typical idiocy by calling this book a bible in the field, but those who actually know something about the Bible will view this book far more negatively.

This book is about 300 pages long and is divided into just more than 20 chapters.  The preface begins this book with some messianic ideas that social entrepreneurs attempt to put into place.  After that the author includes a chapter on restless people (1) and another one on planting trees (2).  There is a chapter on rural electrification in Brazil (3) and the search for subsidies, and one on Florence Nightingale’s efforts (4) in the Crimean War.  There is a chapter on Bill Drayton’s work in the United States (5) as a social entrepreneur as well as a discussion on the building of Ashoka (6).  Then there is a discussion about child protection in India (7), as well as the role of a social entrepreneur in the author’s view (8) and a discussion of orphanages in Hungary (9) and people being demon-possessed by leftist ideologies (10).  There are chapters on health care in Brazil (11), the search for social excellence (12), the desire to get mediocre poor people in the US to do more college (13), new opportunities and challenges (14), the care for AIDS patients in South Africa (15), four practices of innovative organizations (16), disability rights in India (17), six qualities of successful social entrepreneurs (18), concerns about “morality” and “capacity” (19), blueprint copying, and the author’s hopes for the emergence of a social sector, after which the book concludes with an epilogue, afterword, notes, selected readings, and a resource guide.

Ultimately, the failure of this book is a failure in terms of the worldview of its author as well as the sort of people who would be attracted to this book.  Despite all of the evidence going back hundreds of years about the failure of leftist messianic crusades to save the world and the fact that they tended to create a hell on earth instead of a heaven on earth, the author seems to believe that social entrepreneurs can solve problems without making them worse.  There are all kinds of dreams about what can be done for various privileged subaltern groups without thinking of how much things cost and who is going to be expected to pay for them.  If the book is not anti-business, it certainly has a business model that is more crony capitalism than anything that will ultimately bring better life to people even if we cannot expect entrepreneurs of any kind to rid the world of the evil that lies within the heart of human beings.  This is a book that fails on fundamental theological reasons for failing to recognize the extent of evil within human nature that is present within reformers as much as anyone else, and on those grounds all it presents is noble ideals that will inevitably turn dark and evil once someone tries to put them into practice through the coercive power of the state.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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