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Friday 22 March, Rob Lyons

From robots to UBI: is capitalism digging its own grave?

Listen to the debate from the Battle of Ideas Festival 2018.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, a broad political consensus emerged that ‘there is no alternative’ to capitalism, which even the 2008 financial crash did little to disturb. But now things appear to be changing, with support for politicians like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders who call for a new way of organising the economy. A slew of recent books, epitomised by Paul Mason’s Post-Capitalism, argue that technological innovations have opened up ways to transcend capitalism from within. Are we now seeing the arrival of capitalism’s ‘undertaker’ in the shape of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation? Could it be true - is capitalism’s time nearly up?

AARON BASTANI
co-founder, Novara Media; author, Fully Automated Luxury Communism: a manifesto

ROBERT HARRIES
membership coordinator, education trade association

WENDY LIU
software developer; editor, economics section, New Socialist

NIKOS SOTIRAKOPOULOS
lecturer in sociology, York St John University; author, The Rise of Lifestyle Activism: from new left to Occupy

PROFESSOR GUY STANDING
professorial research associate, SOAS, University of London; author, Basic Income: and how we can make it happen

CHAIR: ROB LYONS
convenor, Academy of Ideas Economy Forum

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