campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College Hosts Loyola University Professor for Discussion of Economic Democracy - an Alternative to Capitalism

NEW LONDON, N.H. – Colby-Sawyer College will host Loyola University Philosophy Professor David Schweickart for a discussion of “economic democracy,” a form of market socialism that advocates workplace democracy and social control of investment as an alternative to advanced capitalism. A leading theorist of economic democracy, Professor Schweickart will frame his discussion around philosopher Jurgen Habermas's 1973 book Legitimation Crisis and will present his own argument that advanced capitalism has led to the current international economic crisis.

Professor Schweickart's discussion “Habermas's Legitimation Crisis During the Meltdown” will take place Monday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Schweickart's theories of how to create economic democracy evolved from his study of Habermas's earlier work. Through his analysis of Habermas's Legitimation Crisis, he seeks to understand the current economic crisis, which he believes is much more serious than most critics realize. While Schweickart believes that Habermas's analysis falls short in offering viable solutions for the economic crisis, he has used the book as a foundation for developing his alternative theory of economic democracy. Economic democracy, he says, is a socioeconomic philosophy that promotes the transfer of decision-making authority from a small minority of corporate shareholders to the larger majority of public stakeholders. Professor Schweickart maintains that a society structured as an economic democracy would not be vulnerable to the kinds of financial crises we are experiencing today.

“Professor Schweickart's work is timely because it analyzes the capitalist system and proposes an alternative, 'Economic Democracy,' which combines what he considers the best element of capitalism – the market – with the best elements of socialism,” says Craig Greenman, assistant professor of Humanities and a former graduate student of Schweickart. “The result is 'market socialism,' a hybrid of socialism and capitalism. It's timely for obvious reasons: the capitalist system as we know it has broken down in a rather significant way; and this is one of a number of serious breakdowns historically. So, the system needs to be reevaluated.”

Professor Schweickart, who holds doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Virginia and philosophy from Ohio State University, has published three books on alternative ideas to capitalism. Two of them have been translated into Chinese, and one into Spanish. He has also published numerous articles that have been translated into Spanish, Catalan, French, Farsi and Chinese. He has given presentations on his research in Canada, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, the Philippines, and most recently, in China.

For more information about Professor Schweickart, visit his web site at Loyola University.

-Michelle L. Buser '09

Michelle L. Buser is a Communications Studies major and an intern in College Communications at Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with -professional experience. Visit us on the World Wide Web at Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000