Dictionary of the Undoing: forays into the shared language of our civic life

Book review: John Freeman uses language as the needle in an ethical compass to navigate the uncertain terrain of modern citizenship

Jofn Freeman: he warns that societies need informed and educated citizens to function healthily as  an undereducated society is  more willing to overthrow facts and can be easily manipulated

Jofn Freeman: he warns that societies need informed and educated citizens to function healthily as an undereducated society is more willing to overthrow facts and can be easily manipulated

No one likes being told what to do, but when you are in a burning building and the fire officer advises you to vacate immediately and forsake your belongings – however personally valuable – you know deep down that it is not in your best interest to ignore the ambient smoke or disregard the officer’s stern direction.

Yet this is what John Freeman suggests we are doing in our civil society today. The “building” in question, our world – which includes our planetary ecosystem, our global capital markets and, above all, our political environment – is all on fire, and we are ignoring the virtually incontrovertible evidence.

The Irish Times
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