Utopia and the critique of political economy

Posted: 31 May 2016 in Uncategorized
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2016 - Ruccio Web

I’m honored to have been invited to deliver the 9th Annual E. L. Wheelwright Memorial Lecture at the University of Sydney in October.

The title of my lecture will be “Utopia and the Critique of Political Economy”:

In my 2016 E. L. Wheelwright Memorial Lecture paper, I want to present for discussion the thesis that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had a much more positive assessment and appreciation of “utopian socialism,” especially the work of Robert Owen, than we find in traditional, “scientific” interpretations of Marxism (emanating from both inside and outside the Marxian tradition).

I also intend to connect that debate over utopian socialism to the rich, long history of intentional communities in Australia, beginning with Herrnhut in 1853. Finally, I plan to argue that, while Marxian theory is not a utopianism (unlike, for example, neoclassical economics), it does have what I consider to be a “utopian moment,” which is based on the idea of ruthless criticism.

In my view, it is the twofold critique of political economy—the critique of capitalism and of mainstream economic theory—that needs to be recaptured and rethought, since it is particularly relevant to the debate about the causes and consequences of the crash of 2007-08 and the ongoing crises of capitalism in the world today.

  1. rafalghul says:

    Boa noite, prof. Do you know if this event will be open to the public/students of other universities? I have a friend, a recent graduate of UTS, and currently living in Sydney, who would love to attend if she is allowed to.

  2. David F. Ruccio says:

    To the best of my knowledge, the event at the University of Sydney is open to any all, inside and outside the academy. The more the merrier. . .

  3. […] the talk at the University of Sydney and a new book, tentatively titled “Utopia and […]

  4. […] Acts in Political Economy with my friend Kath Gibson, in Australia—to go with my lectures at the University of Sydney and the University of […]

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