Ruben Mersch / Ruben Mersch – Why Everyone is Always Right

Ruben Mersch – Why Everyone is Always Right

Ruben Mersch – Why Everyone is Always Right

Read our sample translation of Why Everyone is Always Right


About the book

Whether it’s a matter of the role of Islam in terrorist attacks, the safety of pesticides or the skin colour of St. Nicholas’ little helpers: why do two camps so often emerge that are both convinced they have a monopoly on wisdom? Why do we so love to dig ourselves into the trenches of our own rightness? In Why Everyone is Always Right Ruben Mersch tries to answer these questions through the connection between cockroaches and ethics, the low-hanging trousers of hiphoppers and the mystery of the clean student kitchen. In doing so he makes eager reference to the latest insights of psychologists, anthropologists, biologists, philosophers and eighteenth-century preachers with a predilection for billiards. His conclusion is sobering: not our reason but our emotions hold sway over our thinking.

Fortunately, Mersch adds, there are ways to counteract this. He presents these means to the reader captivatingly and with hilarious examples. Why Everyone is Always Right is the ideal book to give us more insight into the eccentricities of the human spirit.


'One of the most memorable rows between me and my wife was about basil. More specifically about the question of whether or not my wife has asked me to keep half te basil plant for het tomato soup. I'd stirred that little plant into my salsa verde to the very last leaf and I was certain she hadn't made any objection. Unfortunately she was no less certain of her case. The quarrel escalated. Soon our argument was not just about who had said what concerning the kitchen herb but about our characters and, ultimately, the chances of our relationship succeeding. This is a pattern not confined to marital disputes. Do we need more or less Europe? Is the earth warming up beacause of human activities or is that a myth invented by deep-green tree-huggers? These too are debates in which two camps quickly emerge, both absolutely convinced that the facts manifestly point to only one conclusion: that they are perfectly right.'


Ruben Mersch (b. 1976) studied biology and philosophy. By a stroke of fate he found himself in the pharmaceutical industry after graduating. Then he decided to be a writer and became a columnist for De Standaard. His first book, Blinkerthinking (2012) was published in German translation by Goldmann Verlag (2014).

© Lieve Blancquaert

Additional book information

  • popular science
  • ISBN 9789023438045
  • Number of pages: 271
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 19,99
  • For more English material get in touch with Marijke Nagtegaal or Uta Matten