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Property rights do not drive progress, but struggle for equality does – Piketty

29 June 2020 7:37 PM

Politics of the left and right are failing argues Thomas Piketty in his latest New York Times Best Seller, "Capital and Ideology".

Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield asks a great business mind to review a trending business book.

This week Whitfield interviewed Ed Stoddard, a journalist at Business Maverick.

Stoddard spoke about famed economist Thomas Piketty’s latest New York Times Best Seller, “Capital and Ideology”.

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The description on ExclusiveBooks.co.za:

The epic successor to one of the most important books of the century: at once a retelling of global history, a scathing critique of contemporary politics, and a bold proposal for a new and fairer economic system.

Thomas Piketty's bestselling “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” galvanised global debate about inequality.

In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionise how we think about politics, ideology, and history.

He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system.

Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact.

Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices.

Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions.

He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability.

The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialisation, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity.

Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics.

Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power.

“Capital and Ideology” is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it.

Listen to the detailed review in the audio below.


29 June 2020 7:37 PM

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