UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Fred Block public lecture on Capitalism: The Future of an Illusion

22 October 2018, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

Fred Block: Capitalism: The future of an illusion, book cover

Fred L. Block gives a lecture for UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) on new book 'Capitalism: The Future of an Illusion', chaired by IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato.

Event Information

Open to





UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP)


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
Wilkins Building
University College London, Gower St

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Virtually everyone—left, right, and centre—believes that capitalist economies are autonomous, coherent, and regulated by their own internal laws. This view is an illusion.

In 'Capitalism: The Future of an Illusion', leading economic sociologist Fred L. Block argues that the concept of capitalism was stolen by the Right in the 1970s and redefined as something that is unchanging, unchangeable, and with an inner logic that must be obeyed no matter the social or environmental consequences. This redefinition has taken hold because we have all learned a false history of capitalism in which the state’s role in finance, infrastructure and innovation has been glossed over or completely ignored. The reality is that dynamic market economies have been sustained over time because significant reforms, sometimes quite radical, have been successfully implemented against the resistance of market fundamentalists.


Watch the talk:

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About the Speakers

Fred Block

Professor at UC Davis

Fred L. Block is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. He is the coauthor, with Margaret Somers, of The Power of Market Fundamentalism. 

More about Fred Block

Mariana Mazzucato

Director at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Mariana Mazzucato is Professor of Innovation and Public Value at UCL and the Director of IIPP.

More about Mariana Mazzucato