This month, the Night Watchman Book Club took on Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson’s “The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty”. The meeting was held online given the travel restrictions in the country but distance did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the participants.
The meeting began with a video of Acemoglu introducing the key points in The Narrow Corridor, where he offered a different perspective on how liberty is achieved, focusing on two main actors: the state and the society.
Members brought a plethora of contrasting ideas to the discussion, some agreeing with the author’s red queen effect and others questioning its real-world relevance. There was much discussion on Acemoglu and Robinson’s “Shackled Leviathan”. Questions were raised on whether the book reached such a balance at the end or if a clear path towards a shackled leviathan had been identified, and if the shackled leviathan was a necessary component to the equation for liberty at all.
Another interesting point discussed was the place of violence in finding the narrow corridor. Apart from this, many more questions and themes were explored throughout the session which included the influence of factors such as international relations as well as religion, how norms of societies play an important role in determining the success of a system, the necessity of a society to be a homogenous unit to effectively keep the state in check and if the book postulated only an anecdotal solution to discovering and remaining within the narrow corridor.
The session raised a great deal of thought-provoking insights! If you’d like to join our book club sessions and become a regular member, just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.