Seeing Like a State


Why do well-meaning schemes for improving the human condition fail? In his book Seeing Like a State, James C. Scott examines grand utopian plans that tragically misfired, such as the “Great Leap Forward” in China, collectivization in Russia, and Le Corbusier’s urban planning theory actualized in Brasilia, among others. Scott dissects the four conditions common to all authoritarian state planning fiascoes in this fascinating read that is all too pertinent to the modern welfare state.