Homo Deus, the latest book by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, is part of the tradition of liberal pessimism. The liberal qualifier may be surprising, applied to a thinker for whom globalized capitalism leads to disaster and who is alarmed by the fact that humanity “yields authority to the market and to the wisdom of the crowds”.
But if one deviates from a purely ‘economic’ conception of liberalism – or “neoliberal”, in the language of today’s left – Harari is indeed a liberal. At the center of his reflection is the idea that the modern world, having replaced the divine authority with that of men, has given birth to three forms of humanism. The Enlightenment first sanctified the autonomous individual..
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