James C. Scott: Seeing Like a State

published in: 1998
read on:2023-06-10

On authoritarian high modernism.

This is the classic text on legibility, but if you want to learn about that, start by reading the Ribbonfarm blog post.

The book catalogues the various failures of authoritarian high modernism, studying e.g. the urban design of Brasília and the failure of soviet union kolkhoz farms. It’s a bit long-winded but if that sounds fascinating, you’re in for a good time.