The Long View: Essays on Policy, Philanthropy, and the Long-term Future

London: FIRST (2021)

Abstract

Enclosed is a guidebook for philanthropists, advocates, and policymakers who want to do the most good possible. This book introduces the philosophy of “longtermism,” the idea that it is particularly important that we act now to safeguard future generations. The future is vast in scale: depending on our choices in the coming centuries, the future could stretch for eons or it could dwindle into oblivion, and be inordinately good or inordinately bad. And yet future generations are utterly disenfranchised in the world today: they cannot participate in our markets, our movements, or our civil society. This presents 21st Century philanthropists with a historically unprecedented opportunity to do good by protecting the long-term future. The essays within are from the pioneers who have developed the intellectual foundations of longtermism, as well as the experts and advocates who are now putting it into practice. Readers will hear the case for longtermism from professors at the University of Oxford and Longview’s own founders; longtermist policy proposals from political philosophers, members of the House of Lords, and the All-party Parliamentary Group for Future Generations; the case for work on biosecurity, artificial intelligence, and climate change from leading experts; and the first ever essay on longtermist cultural change from the former Chief of Cabinet to the Finnish President. Together, these essays chart the path forward toward maximising the good that we do for our grandchildren, our grandchildren’s grandchildren, and every generation beyond.

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