The Faith Centre took a group of LSE students to hear Paul Mason, Economics Editor for Channel 4 News, discuss his new book “PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future” at St Paul’s Institute.
Anton Jarrod, LSE postgraduate student in Social Policy, shares his thoughts on a panel discussion between Paul Mason, Ann Pettifor (Director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics) and Phillip Blond (Director of ResPublica), chaired by Elizabeth Oldfield (Director of Theos).
“What will come after capitalism? Such a brave person, the one who would attempt to answer it. There are, I think, so many views about it and certainly here at LSE you hear quite a few of them and from across the political spectrum.
So I was glad to get a ticket through the Faith Centre to attend a talk on this subject led by Paul Mason under the dome of St Paul’s cathedral, with contributions from Ann Pettifor, Phillip Blond and Elizabeth Oldfield. In a place that has been witness to many kinds of change over many centuries, and has seen political ideologies come and go, it was interesting to consider here what shape future changes to western capitalism could consist of.
It seemed to me that the main postcapitalist project, as proposed by Paul Mason, would involve a transition to a wider form of gift economy, a reformation of production and distribution based on new kinds of networks driven by digital revolution, which would undermine neoliberal forms of usurpation of resources, and place a new emphasis on community. Criticisms from Ann Pettifor and Phillip Blond focused on the so-called utopian aspects of this kind of socialism and the problem of moral development respectively. Of course, there is nothing so new here, but the main point is that the conversation or the dialogue is happening. And people are interested in this subject – the place was packed out!!
However, rather than review or get into the subject issues here (and it would be very tempting to), I have to say that it was very welcome to hear another aspect of the discourse of economic and social wellbeing, in this case from the perspective of Blond, but from religio-theological discourse more generally. It is so often left out of the debate, marginalised, and I think this misses many opportunities. So fair play to the Faith Centre for facilitating an opening-up to other perspectives than the sometimes introspective, narrowly post-secular ones that so often get the stage.”
You can watch the video of this discussion on St Paul’s Institute site.