Even while our two-year lecture series Capitalism on the Edge was running, the debate about capitalism was shifting. The Brexit referendum result and the election of President Trump gave rise to much debate about what people thought about capitalism, especially the global trading systems and its impact on jobs. Whether it was a voter age, geography or immigration concerns, what was clear was that in both countries large numbers of people feel disenfranchised. This is not only economic lack of power, it is also lack of voice and lack of ability to get their problems addressed. Both countries have huge inequalities of wealth and power, so the only surprise is that it has taken so long for that voice to come through.
There is a sense, both in the UK, with the results of the UK election, and in France with the overwhelming support for President Macron and ‘République En March’, that people do not want extreme left or right wing policies whatever these now mean. They do want something that delivers for people. Political systems and political parties are in flux.
With so much change and so much concern, we are running our series as ‘Just on the Edge’. We want to look at climate change, at economics, and whether the way it is understood now can deliver for all humanity; what will happen to work in future, especially for the 1.8bn young people in the world aged between 10-24 years old. Can we really provide jobs or even work for all of them, and if not, what happens?
We are facing huge issues. Students in Cambridge and young people everywhere will be the ones who will have to shape the future. Our new series is as before, open to everyone, not just students, but academics and people who want to take part in an informal discussion about these issues.
Please do join us. Meanwhile, have a look at the Capitalism on the Edge web book and keep an eye on this site for new information as we run up to the new series in January 2018.