Yuval Noah Harari: Brexit will not halt drive to 'human unification'

Historians in the News
tags: Yuval Noah Harari, Brexit

Brexit could prove to be a mere bump on the road toward “human unification”, according to a new book by bestselling historian Yuval Noah Harari, which warns politicians against becoming distracted by the rise of nationalism in the world.

The Israeli academic, whose first book, Sapiens, became a surprise publishing sensation by charting the rise of the human species, turns his attention to current affairs for the first time with a swipe at what he argues is a short-sighted response to global challenges in countries such as the UK, US, Russia and Israel.

“Brexit may well initiate the simultaneous unravelling of both the UK and the EU. But in the long run, history’s direction is clear cut,” he writes. “In recent generations the few remaining civilisations have been blending into a single global civilisation.”

The new book, 21 lessons for the 21st Century, is published in August and comes amid a period of unprecedented introspection in British politics over how to leave the European Union. Yet Harari argues the coming challenges of global warming, technological disruption and nuclear proliferation will make us “ever more interdependent” and in need of cooperative projects such as the EU.

“In a different century and different situation, I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong about Brexit,” he added in an interview. “If you want to be a completely independent country and not part of a bigger organisation, then fine. The problem is that given the kind of challenges we face today, the opportunity costs of being very self absorbed are becoming higher and higher all the time.” ...

Read entire article at The Guardian

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