Book Review: Artemes
Artemes by Joel Beverly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I approached this book with more than a little skepticism. I’m generally wary of this genre of literature (as most of it is self-serving, disingenuous garbage). However, I found Artemes to be a refreshingly honest critique of modern capitalism and it has left me more hopeful, not less.
With extraordinary dexterity, Beverly takes the reader on an educated tour of the trends that are redefining the way we work and do business and provides the tools and methodologies needed to help kick-start these changes. Acknowledging along the way both the significant good and deep-seated pain the capitalist economic system has created for its citizens.
Put another way, too little has been done in recent decades in too many societies to address the human impact of technological disruption, international economic integration, domestic deregulation and privatization, and migration. Artemes, conversely, wonderfully articulates these concerns, shared by so many the world over, and does so in a manner that is at once informed and highly readable. Making the book both practical and inspiring.
Written in a style that is both conversational in feel and a pleasure to read. The book is alive with fresh, insightful, thought-provoking pearls of wisdom and practical paradigm shifting ideas concerning how the average citizen can react to these broader social changes. Ideas which are based on Beverly’s own extensive experience being on the frontlines of innovation and cultural development. As a consequence we are treated to a profoundly pragmatic and nuanced approach to retaining the best of capitalism while reforming its current shortcomings. Along the way Beverly also paints a vision that to some may seem unrealistically optimistic but then ably supports that vision with academic rigor and a keen insight into the latest social innovations. His criticisms are incisive and fair, while the solutions he offers are sensible and clear. A lot of the points he addresses should be commonsense, although, and unfortunately, it’s plain to see that this isn’t the case in today’s political climate.
Yet, while Beverly can be fierce in what he is calling out, throughout it all, he brings a lot of love. Yes, economics/politics is a core theme, but it also has a lot of compassion and is really a roadmap for our collective lives as people who share a common humanity. It also speaks to much deeper themes about what it means to be alive and in relationship with one another. I got misty eyed several times and felt the elation of possibility for what we can all truly accomplish together. And this book offers a workable blueprint for how we can make not only tangible changes, but how we can (and should!) be working together in deeper and more loving ways as we implement these changes.
Nevertheless, if you are someone who is feeling hopeless about the state of politics and current affairs or worried about how we are all getting along in these precarious times; there is so much in this book for you worth exploring. I was pretty blown away by it actually and really can't speak highly enough about it. I found myself stopping after almost every page in order to reflect on what was being communicated and how my feelings and thoughts were affected by what I was reading. Which is a mindfulness exercise in and of itself. This approach, I believe, was the correct one as it helped me get right to the very heart of the book, and in particular, Beverly’s message. Which was both well-argued and well-presented. The ideas within offer a powerful prescription for America and the world as a whole. As nations continue to grapple with notions of equality and its many dimensions, Beverly has made a seminal contribution to what economic equality might look like and how societies may reform themselves to more fully resemble the ideals we all profess to hold.
Where John Mackey’s Conscious Capitalism may have left us all pondering; Artemes offers solutions we can all live with. A truly monumental achievement.