Mon, 24 April 2023

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

How Extreme Capitalists Are Destroying Democracy

Quinn Slobodian In Conversation With Hannah MacInnes

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Join us for the jaw-dropping story of the market radicals – from Milton Friedman to Peter Thiel – who dream of creating a world without democracy.

Look at a map of the world and you’ll see a neat patchwork of nation-states. But this is not where power actually resides. From the 1990s onwards, globalization has shattered the map, leading to an explosion of new legal entities: tax havens, free ports, city-states, gated enclaves and special economic zones. These new spaces are freed from ordinary forms of regulation, taxation and mutual obligation – and with them, ultracapitalists believe that it is possible to escape the bonds of democratic government and oversight altogether.

Historian Quinn Slobodian follows the most notorious radical libertarians around the globe as they carve out the perfect homes for their free market fantasies. The hunt leads from Hong Kong to apartheid South Africa, from the neo-Confederate South to the embers of the former Yugoslavia, from the medieval City of London to ‘Singapore-on-Thames’ Canary Wharf, to the uncanny miracle of Singapore itself, and finally into the world’s oceans and war zones.

Charting their relentless quest for where capitalism and democracy will finally be prised apart, Crack-Up Capitalism is a propulsive and jaw-dropping history of the recent past, and an alarming view of our near future.

Praise for Quinn Slobodian’s Crack-Up Capitalism:

‘Revelatory reading’ — Adam Tooze

‘Fascinating and important … brings to the surface some of the deepest political undercurrents of our times’ — Hari Kunzru

‘Very convincing. Get ready to throw out all previous maps’ — Rana Dasgupta

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Quinn Slobodian

Historian of Ideas

Quinn Slobodian is Professor of the History of Ideas at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. He has been a residential fellow at Harvard University, the University of Hong Kong, the Free University Berlin and the University of Bologna. Slobodian is the author of the award-winning Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism, described as ‘intellectual history at its best’ (Foreign Affairs). A frequent contributor to the Guardian, New Statesman and The New York Times, and associate fellow at Chatham House, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Hannah MacInnes

Presenter, Podcaster and Host of How To Academy’s live programmes.

Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.