My preface to *Stubborn Attachments*, and why this book is especially important
Here it is:
One theme of Stubborn Attachments is that economic growth in the wealthier countries has positive spillover effects for poorer individuals around the world. If you think of the publication of this book as a form of economic growth/gdp enhancement, I want to boost its positive global effects. I also argue in Stubborn Attachments that we should be more charitable and altruistic at the margin. That includes me!
So having written Stubborn Attachments, I now wish to live the book, so to speak. I am donating the royalties from the book to a man I met in Ethiopia on a factfinding trip earlier this year, I shall call him Yonas [not his real name].
He is a man of modest means, but he aspires to open his own travel business. He has a young and growing family, and also a mother to support. He is also hoping to buy a larger house to accommodate his growing family. In his life, he faces stresses – financial and otherwise — that I have never had to confront. When I visited his home, his wife had just had a new baby girl, but Yonas’s income depends on the vicissitudes of tourist demand, and by American standards it is in any case low.
I met Yonas when he served as my travel guide around Lalibela. I spent a full day with him, touring the underground, rock-hewn stone churches of that city. He struck me as reliable, conscientious, well-informed, and I was impressed by the quality of his English, which he had acquired on his own. He also took me by his village to meet his family, and they performed a coffee ceremony for me, cooking freshly ground coffee beans (it was delicious, something I had never imagined). Based on my impressions from that day, I believe an investment in Yonas will help his entire family and perhaps his broader community as well. Since then, he and I have kept in touch by email.
As another way of “living the content” of my book, I will be sending the funds via Stripe, Stripe Press being the publisher of this book. Stripe, a payments company, really has made it easy to send money across borders, thereby helping to knit the whole world together. I hope someday Yonas is able to apply for incorporation through Atlas, a Stripe service that helps entrepreneurs incorporate in Delaware, with his travel business, or with whatever else he may do.
I suppose this means I will remain stubbornly attached to Yonas. And with the publication of this book, Stripe Press is now stubbornly attached to me.
Think of this book — due out in October — as my attempt to defend and explain why a free society is objectively better in terms of ethics, political philosophy, and economics. No punches are pulled, this is my account of what I strongly believe you should believe too. My bottom lines, so to speak.
But today I’d like to focus upon Yonas, in Ethiopia, rather than the content of the book. All of my share of the income from the book goes to him and his family, I get nothing. So if you order Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals, you are very directly contributing to economic development and human betterment and the multiplication of possibilities. And perhaps you are also expressing some faith in the quality of my judgment as to who would put the money to good use.
I would like to see that you pre-order the book to make a difference for Yonas and his family. And the earlier you order, the more attention the book will receive, the greater the chance of reviews and a further print run and further sales, and so on.
You can pre-order here. By the way, what is your stubborn attachment?