Conversation on Value6/006

Prof. Jacob Soll in conversation with Valeria Maltoni

Value in History

How did we get to where we are? We’re generally pretty good at knowing the big things that happened in the past, but we tend to lose much of the nuance of how ideas formed and developed historically. A notion that has become central dogma in economics is due for serious reappraisal – the Free market ideology. Jacob Soll is a University Professor of philosophy, history, and accounting at the University of Southern California. In this conversation on value, Soll and Valeria Maltoni take a stroll down history lane.

Understanding how scale/standardization in the form of tariffs, subsidies, and state-monopolies lead to political repression, the role of the church in laying the foundation for the modern state, tracing the historical roots of “money” and “capital” and significance in our current narrative and the commons’ role in building infrastructure, cultural origins of commerce, and the origins of industrial reform and birth of capitalism can help us find a way out of the current predicament.

Jacob Soll received a B.A. from the University of Iowa, a D.E.A. from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France, and a Ph.D. from Magdalene College, Cambridge University. He has been awarded numerous prestigious prizes including two NEH Fellowships, the Jacques Barzun Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and, in 2011, the MacArthur Fellowship. Free Market: The History of an Idea (Basic Books, 2022) is an analysis of classical philosophy, natural law, history and contemporary economic culture. Soll has been a correspondent for the Boston Globe, and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Politico, the New Republic, PBS, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He’s currently meeting with political and financial leaders across the globe to promote accounting standards and financial transparency.
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