A Fundamental Mistake resonates with widespread disillusionment about free-market capitalism following the financial crash; it addresses public cynicism about political leadership; it explains the apparent ineffectiveness of law enforcement; and, given the riots so fresh in our memory, it couldn’t be more timely.
Graham Cliff has written a book for everyone who despairs of the way the world’s going. Does it puzzle you that, despite ever-increasing rules, controls and counter-measures, the amount of antisocial behaviour is seemingly spiralling out of control? Why have there been riots in Britain? What’s wrong with our society?
A Fundamental Mistake offers an explanation that goes deeper than mere political slogans and platitudes. Even in a ‘free’ society we are controlled at every turn, sometimes in obvious ways, but also by subtle yet extremely powerful forces which are part and parcel of everyday life. Does this sound like conspiracy theory to you? Well actually, it’s not: it’s basic behavioural science. And the trouble is that we are contrary beings; the more we are made to fall into line, the stronger is our urge to rebel.
In this book you will learn some of what it is that makes up human nature; why we do the things we do; and how that translates into the way we live together, for good or ill. You will also be challenged to reflect on the reasons for having certain things that we take for granted – government, laws, and punishment, for example. Be prepared to have your mind changed
What’s needed is not so much a revolution as a sea-change in the way we think about getting people to behave themselves. For those who lead us, the message in this book is blunt: ‘When it comes to tackling antisocial behaviour, don’t simply get tough: get clever.’