The progressive apologists of capitalism claim that their system is helping the global poor.
In the UK, Theresa May has been compelled to mount a defence of capitalism, lauding the free market as “the greatest agent of collective progress in our history” along with claims that when countries adopt free-market policies, “absolute poverty shrinks and disposable income grows”. Beneficent billionaires like Bill Gates assure us, “Trust me, the world is really getting better”.
Major news outlets like The Economist report that “the number of people in extreme poverty fell by 137,000 since yesterday” whilst lamenting the lack of media coverage for this incredible achievement.
Liberals and figures from the alt-right such as Jordan Peterson are united in chorus: “Between 2000 and 2012, the level of absolute poverty in the world was cut by 50 percent. That was the fastest rate of improvement by a large margin in human history.”
An entire industry has arisen out of simply telling people how good the status quo is – another marvel of the free market.
So if things are going so well, why are most people convinced of the opposite? Join us UCL Marxists as we demystify those statistics about “absolute poverty”, and explain why the capitalist system is condemning billions to a life with no future.