Gareth Dale – Encontros de Sociologia & Antropologia
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ENCONTROS DE SOCIOLOGIA & ANTROPOLOGIA
Título: ‘A rising tide lifts us all; don’t rock the boat!’ Economic growth and the legitimation of inequality.
Resumo: This paper kicks off with reflections on the aphorism ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’ It connotes, inter alia, the view that economic growth overcomes poverty and ameliorates inequality. The metaphor is peculiarly modern, in its envisioning of ‘the economy’ as a law-governed natural phenomenon. The paper then identifies the late eighteenth century as a critical moment in the linking of economic growth, welfare, and poverty reduction, developing the point through analysis of the work of British political economists and philosophers (e.g. A Smith, W Paley). It traces this ideological nexus through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on the ‘growth/poverty-reduction’ couplet in Western European social democracy. In a penultimate section we return to the ‘rising tide’ idiom. It entered popular discourse following to a speech by John F. Kennedy in which he laid out his Smithian-Keynesian version of the growth paradigm. The JFK speech and its context are examined, before a conclusion that reflects on what this tells us of capitalism and growth, and what strategic challenges it poses.
Mini-bio: Gareth Dale teaches politics and history at Brunel University. He has published books on Karl Polanyi, green growth, the GDR, Eastern Europe, international migration, and revolutions. His articles have appeared in The Ecologist, Viewpoint, Jacobin, Otra Economía, Encrucijadas, and <http://rebelion.org>.
Local: Sala 109 (Evaristo de Moraes Filho)