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The Capitalistic Religion: Old Questions, New Insights - Lecture by prof. Luigino Bruni

On September 18, 2018, 15:15-17:00, Het Kasteel, Melkweg 1, 9718 EP Groningen (room 1.04), Prof. Luigino Bruni will talk about The Capitalistic Religion: Old Questions, New Insights. His lecture is co-sponsored by SCOOP and UG's Center for Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE). The lecture will be followed by discussion and drinks.

We cannot understand today the extraordinary success that the capitalist market has had over the past three decades unless we pay close attention to its primary mechanism: the destruction of free non-market goods. These goods are increasingly replaced by merchandise, which try to compensate for the famine of free non-market goods – and, in their own way, they succeed. But this very success simultaneously fuels the sense of isolation. The share of income that families today spend on smartphones and internet fees has exceeded the portion spent on food. The consequences of this new form of “creative destruction” are seriously undervalued. The likely and gloomy scenario on the horizon of our civilization is a rapid growth of this new idolatry, which is gradually shifting from the economic sphere towards civil society, schools and health. There is no opposition in its path of expansion because it draws on those religious symbols that our culture no longer has the categories to understand. Those who want to understand and maybe control the economy and the world today  must study less business and more philosophy and anthropology.

Luigino Bruni (1966) is an Italian economist and philosopher and a strong promotor of the idea of a ‘civil economy’ and an ‘economy of communion’. He is professor of Microeconomics and History of Economic Thought at the LUMSA University in Rome. Before joining LUMSA, he taught Political Economy at the Bocconi University in Milan.