ONLINE TALK: Head, Hand, Heart with David Goodhart

recorded on Wednesday 17 March 2021

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David Goodhart discusses the status of work outside the knowledge economy & reviving the status of work by heart & hand.

Author and journalist David Goodhart discussed and presented the ideas from his latest book ‘Head, Hand, Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century’.

In this timely and original analysis, David Goodhart divides human aptitudes into three: Head (cognitive), Hand (manual and craft) and Heart (caring, emotional). It’s common sense that a good society needs to recognise the value of all three, but in recent decades they have got badly out of kilter. Cognitive ability has become the gold standard of human esteem. The cognitive class now shapes society largely in its own interests, by prioritising the knowledge economy, ever-expanding higher education and shaping the very idea of a successful life.

Head, Hand, Heart tells the story of the cognitive takeover that has gathered pace over the past forty years. As recently as the 1970s most people left school without qualifications, but now 40 per cent of all jobs are graduate-only. A good society must re-imagine the meaning of skilled work, so that people who work with their hands and hearts are valued.

David Goodhart is the founding editor of Prospect magazine and one of the most distinctive voices on politics today. He is currently head of the Demography Unit at the think tank Policy Exchange, and was previously director of the centre-left think tank Demos.

Book reviews:

‘Brilliant, will become a classic’ Daily Telegraph

“Utterly compelling … Goodhart is one of the most important intellectuals in the country, if not Europe. He has consistently been ahead of the curve, no doubt because of his willingness to point out flaws in our liberal consensus before it was fashionable to do so” Sunday Times