When, late in life, T.H. Huxley returned to the themes of evolution and religion, he did so with a focus on ethics. But his audience was puzzled (and Herbert Spencer dismissive): how could morality be explained in Darwinian terms if man’s destiny was to combat the amoral laws of the “cosmic process”? These issues are still with us. While Huxley payed little attention to political and economic institutions, this lecture will consider the historical materialism of that era and arguments for socialism (rejected by the liberal Huxley). How can human societies evolve a healthy balance between private and collective property, market and redistribution, efficiency and equity, economic maximization and ethics? The difficulties will be illustrated with reference to the rise and fall of a State Farm in the western zone of the Great Hungarian Plain (Danube-Tisza interfluve).
Source and further information: MPI for Social Anthropology, Link (16 January 2020)