The British economy has become one of rentier capitalism; it is not a ‘free market’ economy. More and more of the income and wealth is flowing to the owners of property – financial, physical and so-called intellectual – while the growing precariat is sinking into more insecurity and loss of the rights of citizenship. The new class structure is allowing the plutocracy to accelerate the corruption of our democracy, and the upper echelons of the civil service and government politicians are plundering the commons, depriving the commoners of public wealth. The Covid pandemic has made all this much worse, and there must be a high probability that in its wake social tensions will become intense.
Professor Guy Standing is Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London. An economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, he is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, and the Royal Society of Arts, co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), and member of the Progressive Economy Forum. In 2016-19, he was an adviser to Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell.
He was professor in SOAS, Bath and Monash Universities, and Director of the ILO’s Socio-Economic Security Programme. He has been a consultant for many international bodies, was Research Director for President Mandela, and has implemented several basic income pilots. His books include The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, published in 23 languages; The Corruption of Capitalism; Basic Income: And how we can make it happen; and Plunder of the Commons.
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28 Apr 2021
Wednesday Lecture - online