28 February 2011

Review: Evil Plans and The New Capitalist Manifesto

Ever since the financial collapse of 2008, I've sensed a groundswell of an emerging new vision for our economy.

I'm not talking about specific, quick fixes or big government interventions, but a wholesale rebooting away from an economy based upon free credit, cheap oil, and toxic assets.

I'm talking about a new, values-based and highly creative way of doing business, living our lives, and building our world. A better way that unleashes the power of human creativity to do what our species does best: adapt and innovate.

Two new books exemplify this new vision of the world: Hugh MacLeod's Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination and Umair Haque's The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business.

On the surface, these two books appear to have little in common: Haque's is "covered" in crinkled brown paper wrapper, as if the reader should hide this dangerous book; MacLeod's is bright yellow with one of Hugh's trademark purple cartoon monsters practically shouting its subversiveness to the world.

Inside, despite very different writing styles and design, the two authors reveal much more in common.

MacLeod's premise is we should "unify work and love," do what we love and we will create real, lasting value. He believes "we are here to find meaning. We are here to help other people do the same. Everything else is secondary."

Haque asks "What are the wellsprings, deep and true, of a more enduring, meaningful, authentic prosperity?" He believes the future of capitalism requires a "more authentic, sustainable, meaningful value for every dollar, rupee, or renminbi spent."

Neither author delivers a blueprint for the future for readers to follow. Rather, they challenge all of us to create our own "evil plan," our own vision of the world we want to live in.

As Haque suggests, "to destroy less, to create more."

Or as MacLeod puts it in one of his chapter titles, "The 'Creative Life' Is No Longer One of Many Economic Options; It's Now the Only Option We've Got."

Buy these books and read them and go create your own future.

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