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Thomas Piketty on History, Ideology and a Manifesto for Social Justice

One of the world’s most influential thinkers shares his re-evaluation of global history, his scathing critique of contemporary politics, and an optimistic vision for a more just and equal future.

Thomas Piketty caused a sensation in early 2014 with his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which sparked a global debate about inequality and contributed to a revived wave of interest in socialism across the world. Now Piketty is back with an audacious follow-up, Capital and Ideology, in which he urges us to radically reappraise everything we think we know about politics, ideology, and history. And on 14th May 2020 he returns to the Intelligence Squared stage to discuss the themes of his new book.

Piketty will argue that our market economy is not an inevitable feature of human nature, but an historical construct that arose out of countless choices and decisions people have made over time. Such decisions gave rise to slavery, serfdom and colonialism. Piketty will lay bare the ideologies that sustained not only the unjust and unequal societies of pre-modern times, but those that are used today to justify the deepening inequality of what he calls our hyper-capitalist system. And he will set out his manifesto for how we can build a new participatory form of socialism.



Thomas Piketty

French economist and author of 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century'

Director of Studies at L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Professor at the Paris School of Economics. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century.


Speakers are subject to change.


Linda Yueh

Economist, broadcaster, and writer

Economist, broadcaster, and writer. She is Fellow in Economics, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford; Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School; and Visiting Professor, IDEAS, London School of Economics. Her latest book is The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today, which was one of The Times’ Business Books of the Year.