The 2010 TASC Annual Lecture, delivered by Professor Kathleen Lynch


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On the 17th of June last Professor Kathleen Lynch, Professor of Equality Studies at the School of Social Justice at UCD, gave the 2010 TASC Annual Lecture at the Royal Irish Academy. It was called From a Neo-Liberal to an Egalitarian State: Imagining a different Future and it provides not only an excellent analysis of the current political, social and cultural situation in Ireland, which everyone with a left-wing point of view should read, it also develops an alternative. In the current crisis ‘fairness’ is a term that is being used with increasing regularity by Irish politicians, although what ‘fairness’ means is never defined. In contrast to the liberal understanding of egalitarianism, ‘equality of opportunity’, Professor Lynch shows how Ireland could become a genuinely egalitarian society by changing the structurally-generated inequalities and developing an ‘equality of condition’.

A video of the conference is embedded below. A PDF of the talk is available from the TASC website, as is an easy to view digital version.

TASC AGM 2010, with professor Kathleen Lynch (UCD) from TASC on Vimeo.


2 Responses

  1. LeftAtTheCross

    June 28, 2010 2:51 pm

    “Populism is a cloak for conservatism”. Great quote from one section of the lecture where Prof Lynch discusses the absense of left / right ideological content in the public discourse of this state.

  2. Pope Epopt

    June 28, 2010 9:59 pm

    I appreciated the clarity, sincerity and the usefulness of these ideas in this lecture – it’s the first time I’ve come across the work of Prof. Lynch and her group; which is evidence for one of her theses – that any critical thought it simply selected out by Irish media. Kudos is due to TASC and ILR for exposing it on the web.

    As she notes in her section on education, it is a deliberate lack of exposure of tools for critical thinking, even at third level in the republic, that is a major factor in the maintenance of the neo-liberal hegemony in politics and the media. It’s heartening that somewhere in a university in the republic this kind of work is going on.

    How this hegemony is overcome, is another question. I’m not sure what her analysis means tactically for socialist and feminist egalitarianism.

    [Note to TASC geeks, the audio encoding was not particularly friendly to free software combinations of Linux and Firefox. I had to dust off a Mac to hear it properly.]