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Why Capitalists need Communists: In Conversation with Charles Seaford

This event has now passed.

15/10/2019 | 5 – 6.30pm
SG1, Alison Richard Building

Event timings:

  • 5.00 – 6.00pm talk
  • 6.00 – 6.30pm drinks reception

Charles Seaford will be speaking on his new book Why Capitalists need Communists
Britain faces huge challenges: inequality, public services under constant pressure, climate change – and in the long term, the impacts of automation and artificial intelligence. At the same time, the political and economic elite seem to have reached an impasse: there is a sense that things can only get worse.

In Why Capitalists Need Communists, Charles Seaford demonstrates that this need not be, that radical, progressive change is perfectly possible and that the polarisation and nostalgia afflicting us is not inevitable. 

On his upcoming talk in Cambridge Charles wrote: “Market liberalism is the view that government intervention should be limited to correcting clearly defined market failures and injustices, and that these interventions should be incremental rather than structural. This approach, successful for a while, has now failed, leading to populism and a continuing environmental crisis. The alternative is a more active state, working more closely with the private sector to plan the economy. This requires entirely feasible changes in the investment industry and to corporate governance, but also a new moral foundation for the associated politics, sufficient to bind together the alliance between insiders and outsiders that history shows is always needed for radical change – and the other main condition for which (discontent in part of the elite) also now exists. This morality will replace the utilitarianism that underpins market liberalism: it holds that the good life is one where the individual has good relationships (with people, work, nature etc) as opposed to good experiences. Such an individual may be said to flourish. “
Charles is Director of An Economy that Works, an alliance of businesses promoting polices to advance sustainability, social justice and wellbeing, and a consultant to the World Future Council. He was formerly Head of the Centre for Wellbeing at NEF where he led projects on wellbeing, indicators, housing and industrial policy. Before that he was an advisor at the Sustainable Development Commission and an organisational change consultant. He co-founded Prospect magazine, has an MBA from London Business School and a BA from Oxford. 

Image: CC-BY-NC 2.0 :: Rumena Zlatkova /

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