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Gardeners vs. Designers

One of Canada's most original thinkers shows us how to work from the bottom up.
Genres: Politics

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“A stunning exposition on the benefits of liberal democracy. Gardeners vs. Designers plants the seeds for Canada’s future—a vision that is convincing, powerful, and persuasive.”
– FRED LITWIN, author of Conservative Confidential: Inside the Fabulous Blue Tent

Brian Lee Crowley, one of Canada’s most original political thinkers, has produced a stunning road map for how we can steer Canada into a brighter political future. He claims that we can divide political culture into two categories: designers and gardeners. Designers believe that they have sufficient knowledge to impose their will on others, without any unintended consequences, while gardeners are more modest and are content to work with what already exists, especially where whatever already exists has virtues or beauties.

Crowley argues that we need fewer designers making top-down pronouncements, and more gardeners who are willing to work from the bottom up, cultivating instead of engineering. We should all aspire to be gardeners: planting, growing, appreciating the results, and building something that will thrive in the ideal political, social, and cultural soil.

Brian Lee Crowley

Brian Lee Crowley is founder and managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa and also founded the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies in Halifax. He is the author or co-author of two Canadian national bestsellers: Fearful Symmetry: The Fall and Rise of Canada’s Founding Values and The Canadian Century: Moving Out of America’s Shadow.

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