The Great Reversal:
How Neoliberalism turned the Economic Aspirations of Liberalism Upside Down
This event is free and open to the public, but please register to attend here.
Abstract: Before the Industrial Revolution, liberals advanced ideals of private property and free markets explicitly designed to vindicate the claims of workers against passive private property owners. Today, neoliberal policymakers, purportedly invoking the same liberal ideals, place the interests of capital owners ahead of the interests of workers. I discuss why this reversal took place, expose the contradictions in neoliberal ideology, and make sense of the current "populist" political crises facing modern Western liberal democracy by showing how they arise from these contradictions.
Professor Elizabeth Anderson is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Earlier this summer she was named a Progress Medal Laureate by the Society for Progress. She teaches courses in ethics, social and political philosophy, political economy, philosophy of the social sciences, and feminist theory. Her research focuses on democratic theory, equality in political philosophy and American law, racial integration, the ethical limits of markets, theories of value and rational choice (alternatives to consequentialism and economic theories of rational choice), the philosophies of John Stuart Mill and John Dewey, social epistemology, and feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. Professor Anderson is currently working on the history of egalitarianism, with a special focus on the social epistemology of moral learning, taking the history of abolitionism as a central case study. She designed and was the first Director of the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.