4 July 2018

Philosophical Quintet with Bas van Bavel

“The growing inequality is a fault in our system.”

© iStockphoto.com/C_Fernandes

How will we look back at our current society in 2050? That is the central question for this season in the tv show Het Filosofisch Kwintet (The Philosophical Quintet). In the second episode, the theme 'Growing inequality' will be discussed. Professor Dr Bas van Bavel (Economic and Social History) is among the guests. On 8 July, the episode on ‘Growing inequality’ was broadcasted.

He fears that the gap between the poor and the rich will have become unbridgeable by 2050. This is mostly because of the widening gap between income from labour and income from property. According to him, this trend has been going on for forty years. "And there's no indication that this process is going to stop, also because it's accelerated by robotisation. That makes the capital even more gainful and profitable, and labour more redundant." He fears this will eventually mean the end of democracy. History has shown that possible solutions can be found in collaborations such as cooperations and associations. But that is not so easy in the current fragmented society where individualisation reigns supreme.

Prof. dr. Bas van Bavel. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk
Professor Bas van Bavel

Bas van Bavel

Bas van Bavel is a historian affiliated with Institutions for Open Societies, an interdisciplinary research field of Utrecht University aiming to develop and extend healthy open societies anywhere in the world.