Πικεττύ: Κριτική της Απολιτικής Οικονομίας

The Books’ Journal, 1/1/2015

Μπορεί να σωθεί ο καπιταλισμός από τον εαυτό του; Τον τελευταίο αιώνα έχουν γίνει τρεις εκτενείς προσπάθειες να δοθεί καταφατική απάντηση σε αυτό το ερώτημα. Η πρώτη συνοψίζεται στις προγραμματικές δεσμεύσεις του Φράνκλιν Ρούσβελτ όταν ανέλαβε το χρίσμα των Δημοκρατικών για τη προεδρεία των ΗΠΑ (1932), στις ιδέες δηλαδή που συγκρότησαν το New Deal. Η δεύτερη προσπάθεια ήταν η Γενική Θεωρία της Εργασίας, του Τόκου και του Χρήματος του Τζον Μέιναρντ Κέυνς (1936). Η τρίτη είναι Το Κεφάλαιο τον 21ο Αιώνα του Τομά Πικετύ (2014). Η κριτική της ανισότητας που αναπτύσσει ο Πικεττύ δεν είναι πρωτότυπη. Παρόμοιες θέσεις έχουν αναπτύξει μαρξιστές οικονομολόγοι, όπως ο Έρνεστ Μαντέλ και ο Ρόμπερτ Ρόουθορν, και φιλελεύθεροι όπως ο Τζον Κένεθ Γκάλμπρειθ και ο Ρόμπερτ Σόλοου. Ωστόσο ο Πικεττύ επιστρατεύει μια εντυπωσιακή δύναμη στατιστικού πυρός για να υπερασπιστεί τη θέση του, ενώ ταυτόχρονα ρίχνει μια βόμβα βαθιά μέσα στα τείχη της σύγχρονης οικονομικής ορθοδοξίας. Αυτά είναι προτερήματα του βιβλίου. Όμως πίσω από το θεωρητικό οπλοστάσιο του Πικετύ κρύβεται ένα σημαντικό δίλημμα, ένα δίλημμα ανάμεσα στον καπιταλισμό και τη δημοκρατία. Και παρόλο που ο Πικετύ κάνει ό,τι μπορεί για να υποστηρίξει ότι αυτό το δίλημμα δεν είναι εξαντλητικό όλων των πολιτικών δυνατοτήτων, οι προσπάθειές του είναι ανεπιτυχείς.

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On Piketty: Gravediggers wanted

New Left Project, 12/08/2014

This post summarizes my longer review of Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, forthcoming in Capital & Class.

Social democratic lamentation about rising inequality is often clouded in nostalgia for the mid-twentieth century ‘golden age’ of capitalism, which combined low unemployment and increasing wages with falling inequality. Thomas Piketty, author of the explosive Capital in the 21st Century (2014), does not share the optimism of garden-variety social democrats. The ‘golden age’, he argues, was an anomaly made possible by very specific historical conditions—conditions that no one would wish to see return (notably, the two world wars, which destroyed vast amounts of capital and set the stage for accelerated ‘catch-up’ growth between 1945 and 1970). But if we cannot simply return to twentieth century social democracy, how are we to halt the seemingly inexorable rise of inequality?

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LSE exploitation debate

Details and podcast here.

What is Domination? Workshop

3 May 2013
Leslie Stephen Room
Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Morning session: Domination and Unfreedom

Chair: Hallvard Lillehammer

10.20 – 11.40 David Blunt (Cambridge)
Conceptualizing Domination

Respondent: Amanda Cawston

11.40 – 1.00 Laura Valentini (UCL)
Freedom as Independence

Respondent: Neal Carrier

Afternoon session: Domination and Inequality

Chair: Chris Thompson

2 – 3.20 Stuart White (Oxford)
The Relevance of Republicanisms

Respondent: Claire Benn

3.20 – 4.40 Nicholas Vrousalis (Cambridge)
What domination is (and what it is not)

Respondent: Sebastian Nye

Cambridge Anti-Fascism Teach-in

Fascism: what it is and how to fight it

Sunday 17th February
Keynes Hall
King’s College, Cambridge

Session 1: Fascism in History
Chair: Dr Lorna Finlayson

10.00 – 10.50am Dr John Pollard on Italy
10.50 – 11.40am Dr Martin Ruehl on Germany
11.40 – 12.30pm Dr David Renton on the UK

Session 2: The Politics of Fascism and Anti-Fascism
Chair: Amy Gilligan

1.30 – 2.15pm Joseph Choonara on the United Front
2.15 – 3pm Dr Nicholas Vrousalis on Fascism and the State (and a note on no-platform)

Session 3: Fighting Fascism Today
Chair: Laura Kilbride

3.10 – 3.50pm Mitch Mitchell on the UK
3.50 – 4.30pm Elisabeth Mantzari on Greece
4.30 – 5.10pm Dr Clement Mouhot on France

No-Platform & Hate Speech Workshop

17 May 2013

Coleridge Room
Jesus College, Cambridge

Should fascists and/or racists be given a platform? Does denial of platform deprive racists of freedom of speech? Should that freedom be protected? Liberal conventional wisdom tends to answer most, or all, of these and related questions in the affirmative. This workshop will critically engage with the liberal conventional wisdom and challenge the assumptions underpinning it.

Morning session

Chair: Priya Gopal

10.30 – 11.30am Caleb Yong (Oxford)
Liberal Rights, Free Speech, and Hate Speech

11.30 – 12.30am Nicholas Vrousalis (Cambridge)
Hate Speech and Inequality

Afternoon session

Chair: Chris Thompson

2 – 3.00pm Lorna Finlayson (Cambridge)
Free Speech as Liberal Fiction

3 – 4.00pm Sebastian Nye (Cambridge)
No-platform, Speech and Speech Acts

Cambridge Political Philosophy Workshop

The Political Philosophy Workshop is a forum for discussing work in progress by Cambridge political philosophers at the doctoral level and above.

Papers are pre-circulated on the Workshop mailing list and must be read in advance: there will be no presentation of the paper at the Workshop.

The Workshop is open to senior members and graduate students in Political Philosophy and is not limited to members of the Faculty of Philosophy. More details here.

Leuven Global Justice Workshop

Details here.

Lovanium Seminar in Ethics and Public Policy

Exploitation, Exclusion and Discrimination

Lovanium Seminar in Ethics and Public Policy 2011-12

Toon Vandevelde (KULeuven), Philippe Van Parijs (UCL), Nicholas Vrousalis (KULeuven)

Thursday October 13, 2011 (10.30 – 17.00, Dupriez 144, 3 Place Montesquieu, LLN)

10.30 – 11.00: Toon Vandevelde, Philippe Van Parijs, Nicholas Vrousalis: practical organization
11.00 – 13.00: Philippe Van Parijs: An Overview of Contemporary Political Philosophy
13.00 – 14.00: lunch
14.00 – 15.30: Nicholas Vrousalis: Exploitation: Concepts and Theories, Part I
15.30 – 17.00: General discussion introduced by Toon Vandevelde and Philippe Van Parijs

Thursday November 10, 2011 (10.30 – 17.00, Room S, Institute of Philosophy, Kard. Mercierplein, 2, Leuven)

10.30 – 12.30: Nicholas Vrousalis (KULeuven): Exploitation: Concepts and Theories, Part II
12.30 – 13.30: lunch
13.30 – 15.00: Gijs van Donselaar (Universiteit van Amsterdam): Social policy and the right to exploit
15.30 – 17.00: General discussion introduced by Philippe Van Parijs and Nicholas Vrousalis

Thursday November 24, 2011 (10.30 – 17.00, Room S, Institute of Philosophy, Kard. Mercierplein, 2, Leuven)

10.30 – 12.30: Axel Gosseries (UCL): An egalitarian assessment of anti-discrimination law
12.30 – 13.30: lunch
13.30 – 15.00: Bea Cantillon (Universiteit Antwerpen): Social policy and the duty of insertion
15.30 – 17.00: General discussion introduced by Yannick Vanderborght (tbc) and Nicholas Vrousalis

Thursday December 8, 2011 (10.30 – 17.00, Dupriez 144, 3 Place Montesquieu, LLN)

10.30 – 12.30: Filip Dorssemont (UCL): Non-discrimination versus worker protection
12.30 – 13.30: lunch
13.30 – 15.00: Isabelle Ferreras (UCL): Exploitation and alienation at work in post-industrial capitalism – and what to do about it
15.30 – 17.00: General discussion introduced by Toon Vandevelde and Nicholas Vrousalis

Exploitation Workshop: Programme

Manchester workshops in Political Theory
August 31 – September 2, 2011

Convened by Adina Preda and Nicholas Vrousalis

Session 1, 31/08: What is exploitation?

Chair: Nicholas Vrousalis

14.00 – 15.10
Exploitation in the Liberal Capitalist State (abstract)
Mark Reiff (Manchester)

15.10 – 16.20
What is Exploitation? (abstract)
Roberto Veneziani (Queen Mary, London)

16.20 – 17.30
Liberal vs. Marxian Perspectives on Exploitation (abstract)
Paul Warren (Florida)

Session 2, 01/09: Exploitation and Fairness

Chair: Adina Preda

9.00 – 10.10
Exploitation and Unfairness (abstract)
Wendy van der Neyt (Edinburgh)

10.10 – 11.20
Marxism, Equality and Exploitation (abstract)
John Filling (St John’s, Oxford)

11.20 – 12.30
Exploitation, Equality and the Structure of Proletarian Unfreedom (abstract)
Nicholas Vrousalis (Louvain)

Session 3, 01/09: Who Exploits?

Chair: John Filling

14.00 – 15.10
Who is responsible for exploitation? (abstract)
Benjamin Ferguson (LSE)

15.10 – 16.20
Is exploitation voluntary? (abstract)
Adina Preda (Montreal)

16.20 – 17.30
On Duty (abstract)
Karl Widerquist (Georgetown-Qatar)

Session 4, 02/09: Exploitation and the Virtues

Chair: Karl Widerquist

9.00 – 10.10
Exploiting an Individual’s Virtue (abstract)
Rob Lawlor (Leeds)

11.20 – 12.30
Exploiting Gift Givers (abstract)
Sara Belfrage (Stockholm)

Roundtable discussion