Course overview

Dr Stephen Wilkinson will discuss the ideas of three seminal thinkers in the history of Political Economic thought. In the first lecture Steve will explain Marx's dissection of the Capitalist mode of production in his masterwork Capital Volume 1 and lay to rest many misperceptions about his critique of the system. In the second, he will discuss the ideas of free market advocate, economist Friedrich Hayek, as expressed in his book, The Road to Serfdom, which Margaret Thatcher is said to have carried with her everywhere in her handbag. Finally, Steve will present the criticism of the free market conceptualisation by Karl Polanyi, whose masterwork, The Great Transformation, was conceived very much as an answer to Hayek. Students attending these lectures will obtain a greater understanding of economics and philosophical thought and how these works of the late 19th and mid-twentieth century deal with ideas that are still relevant to the world of today

Course description

Dr. Stephen Wilkinson will delve into the ideologies of three pivotal figures in the history of Political Economic thought in a series of enlightening lectures. In the initial session, Dr. Wilkinson will elucidate Karl Marx's profound analysis of the Capitalist mode of production, meticulously unravelling the intricacies of his magnum opus, Capital Volume 1. Dispelling prevalent misconceptions surrounding Marx's critique of the system will be a focal point of this discourse.

Moving on to the second lecture, Dr. Wilkinson will explore the perspectives of the free market proponent and economist, Friedrich Hayek. Examining Hayek's seminal work, The Road to Serfdom, known to be a constant companion in Margaret Thatcher's handbag, the discussion will shed light on the intricacies of advocating for a free-market economy.

Concluding the series, Dr. Wilkinson will present Karl Polanyi's critique of the conceptualization of a free market. Polanyi's seminal work, The Great Transformation, conceived as a response to Hayek's ideas, will be dissected to reveal its significance in challenging prevalent notions. Attendees of these lectures can anticipate gaining a comprehensive understanding of economic and philosophical thought, discovering how these late 19th and mid-twentieth-century works remain pertinent to contemporary global realities.

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