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Head of Zeus
Progress Vs Parasites
Progress Vs Parasites: A Brief History of the Conflict that's Shaped our World by Douglas Carswell

The change in our ancestors' behaviour was barely perceptible at first. Only a few clues in the archaeological record – sea shells, ochre and stone tools exchanged over long distances – hint at what was to come. Today, a network of interdependence and trade spans the planet – lifting most of our species out of the grinding poverty of the past.

But for much of history this engine of human progress stalled, with societies rigged in the interests of small parasitic elites. From the Greeks and Romans in antiquity, to China, India and Europe in the Middle Ages, the history of the world can be written as the constant struggle between the productive and the parasitic.

Progress Vs Parasites charts this struggle. States rise and empires fall as the balance between the two shifts. It is the idea of freedom, Carswell argues, that ultimately allows the productive to escape the parasitic – and thus decides whether a society flourishes or flounders.

A robust defence of classical liberalism, Progress Vs Parasites shows that the greatest threat to human progress today – as it has been in every age – is the idea that human affairs need to be ordered by top down design.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * History
13 Jun 2019 * 384pp * £0.99 * 9781789542783
'There is remarkable breadth of history in this book, ranging from ancient Greece to the present day'
'A passionately expressed set of arguments about why our current political arrangements do not work'
Daily Telegraph
'As a revolutionary text, Carswell's is right up there with the Communist Manifesto'
Sunday Times
'[Carswell] is as genuine a rebel as parliament contains ... So when the revolution comes, metaphorically at least, I will join Douglas at the barricades'
The Times
'Unusual and fascinating'
Irish Times
'Mr Carswell makes his case well'
The Economist
'The big twist is that Carswell thinks that the populist challengers to the status quo [...] are just as bad as the elite that they are trying to replace'
Money Week
Douglas Carswell
Douglas Carswell
Douglas Carswell grew up in Uganda. Elected to Parliament four times, for two different parties, he ended up as an independent MP. He stood down from Parliament in 2017, having accomplished what he went into politics to achieve. He is the author of The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain (with Daniel Hannan) and The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy.
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Shooting Victoria
Isaac's Army
They Eat Horses, Don't They?
How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters
Peace and War
Journey to Britannia
Magna Carta
The Year of Waterloo
Battle Royal
1916: The Mornings After
Providence Lost
So Great a Prince
The Twelve Apostles
The Lives of Tudor Women
The British Museum
The Hitler Years, Volume 1: Triumph 1933-1939
Heaven's Empires
The Book of Kells
Battle of the Four Courts
Progress Vs Parasites
The French Revolution
Hitler's Secret Bankers
The Crew
We Don't Know Ourselves
The Arms Crisis of 1970
Mountain Republic