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Book Review – Drinking Molotov Cocktails With Gandhi by Mark Boyle

September 15, 2015

 

less-is-more-manifesto

Mark Boyle is an interesting and pioneering character who took the big step of trying to ‘live without money’ for a year (and ended up doing it for 3 years). He shares his fascinating story here and has also written about it in a great book entitled ‘The Moneyless Man

Drinking Molotov Cocktails With Gandhi is his latest book which moves beyond his personal story into exploring the challenges and opportunities in challenging and exploring the systems by which our societies operate in.

The book attacks the very roots of the world’s crises and reframes our understanding of how to solve them. It is eloquent, visionary and beautifully wrought – a turning point in our journey towards an ecological society.

More than ever, people across the planet want deep and meaningful change. From those campaigning for social justice and ecological sustainability, to those who want to protect animals, indigenous cultures and those in poverty, millions are realising that another world is not only possible, but absolutely essential. Yet despite the creative and determined efforts of so many, our crises deepen. A politico-economic system, increasingly benefiting a small elite, has brought us to the brink of climate catastrophe, ransacking ecosystems and unravelling communities, forcing us into unhealthy ways of life that conflict with our deepest yearnings. The problem may no longer be a lack of will – but a dogmatic adherence to laws and cultural narratives designed to keep things just the way they are.

In this incendiary book, best-selling author Mark Boyle explores, with terrible beauty, the uncharted depths of these challenges, and how we might face them with dignity, great heart and potency. Drawing on inspiration from the natural world, he sets out the case for the rewilding of our political landscapes, calling for solidarity between reformers, revolutionaries and resisters for the creation of a world worth sustaining. His uncompromising and surprising conclusions could revolutionise the way we face the challenges of our time.

We may not agree with everything he writes, and for me personally I am also left with questions about the aspect of  our current systems that do encourage generosity and giving, genuine innovation for good and pragmatic realism in the midst of ideology, however I remain challenged, fascinated, inspired and hopeful about the issues that Mark is raising through his story and in this latest work. We may not all be able to live the way he did, or indeed subscribe to his world view, but his work does bring challenge and echoes a lot with the idea of Breathe on ‘Less Stuff, More Life and with the promise of life and also the ‘Less is More Manifesto’ that Brian Draper wrote as part of his great work ‘Less is More‘.

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