PODCAST | Festival of Democracy – Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy: Old Visions, New Realities

  • Time: 7 September 2016 6:30pm
  • Venue: Great Hall, The University of Sydney
  • Speaker: Professor Ross Garnaut, introduced by Professor Duncun Ivison

Co-hosted with Sydney Ideas

For several decades after the Second World War, capitalism regulated by democratic politics proved successful. Rapid growth and equitable distribution supported by open markets ended the pessimism about instability and inequality that permeated Joseph Schumpeter’s classic Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) written during the war against Fascism.

Now doubts are rising again: in the developed countries, incomes have stopped growing for most people. Inequality is increasing. Vested interests are blocking stabilising interventions. Democracies are rejecting international exchange. And all this is happening at the very moment market authoritarianism in China is breaking the link between high incomes and democratic government.

Economist Ross Garnaut’s public lecture probes these trends, and the new forces shaping the major global developments of our time. He notes how the abundance of capital, labour shortages and rising prosperity in parts of the global economy are elsewhere matched by political introversion, economic stagnation and rising inequality. The future attraction of democracy, he suggests, now depends on the capacity of democracies to come up with reforms that enable government for as well as by the people.

Read the paper here