Costas Lapavitsas on Neoliberalism & Coronavirus

How will the coronavirus impact the economy? Will neoliberalism develop an authoritarian and punitive responses to the virus? In this first lecture, former Syriza MP Costas Lapavitsas will discuss the central fault-lines facing the system today, elite responses, and the role of the left.

Costas Lapavitsas is a professor of economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He was elected as a member of the Greek parliament for Syriza in 2015. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Crisis in the Eurozone, Political Economy of Money and Finance, and Beyond Market Driven Development.

The coronavirus is generating a crisis in global capitalism that puts us in uncharted territory. The international lockdown is exposing the system, and revealing who the real wealth creators are: the working class. 

It overlaps on to pre-existing geopolitical tensions between the major powers and within trade blocs like the EU. And it is possible that we are on the verge of a global depression deeper than the 1930s. Once again the powerful will seek to maintain their system by punishing millions of people through new rounds of austerity, authoritarianism and scapegoating. 

Navigating this situation is not easy. And the left has been disarmed at an institutional level with the demise of Syriza, Corbyn and Sanders. But there is among this the potential for a new society to emerge – one that puts people and planet ahead of the corporations and the banks. 

This lecture series will look at the key issues the virus raises: the economy, globalisation, imperialism, class, oppression and organisation. 

“Conter vs Corona: Forums On The Capitalist crisis” will begin with a look at neoliberalism and the virus. Professor Costas Lapavitsas, who recently wrote in Jacobin on the ways in which neoliberalism might develop authoritarian and punitive responses to the virus, will take us through the central faultlines facing the system today, how the ruling class might recover the economy and the role of the left.

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