Platform for City Culture and Public Debate


How Rich is Too Rich?

with Ingrid Robeyns & Guido Alfani

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Date: Monday 24 June 2024
Time: 20:00 (drinks from 19:30)
Location: Arminius, Museumpark 3 Rotterdam
Admission: €10,- (regular), €6,- (reduced)
Language: English

What if we could make the super-rich contribute their fair share? On Monday 24 June we welcome Ingrid Robeyns (Limitarianism: The Case Against Extreme Wealth) and Guido Alfani (As Gods Among Men: A History of the Rich in the West).

How much money is too much? Is it ethical, and democratic, for an individual to amass a limitless amount of wealth, and then spend it however they choose? Many of us feel that the answer to that is no—but what can we do about it? And why did we allow this to happen?

In As Gods Among Men: A History of the Rich in the West economic historian Guido Alfani powerfully identifies the current concentration of wealth as a historical anomaly. Over the course of centuries, he illustrates, the super-rich have always shown a sense of responsibility. They would contribute to central spending, for instance, in times of war and famine.

In her book Limitariansm: The Case Against Extreme Wealth philosopher Ingrid Robeyns offers a thought-provoking perspective. She investigates the moral, ethical, political and economic arguments against the limitless accumulation of wealth and comes up with a solution that is as clear as it is radical.

“Guido Alfani has, more than anyone, expanded our knowledge of inequality trends to encompass preindustrial times. In this masterly book, he offers an insightful long-run perspective and fascinating lessons for the future. A must-read!”

– Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)


Guido Alfani

Guido Alfani is a professor of Economic History at Bocconi University, Milan. He is specialized in economic and social history and the author of the highly praised ‘As Gods Among Men: A History of the Rich in the West’ (2023) and ‘The Lion’s Share: Inequality and the Rise of the Fiscal State in Preindustrial Europe’ (2019).

Ingrid Robeyns

Ingrid Robeyns is a professor of Ethics of Institutions at Utrecht University. Trained as an economist and a philosopher, she writes on contemporary political philosophy and applied ethics. Her book ‘Limitarianism: The Case Against Extreme Wealth’ (2024) is on its way to becoming a global best seller.

Geert Maarse

Geert Maarse is a journalist and programme-maker. Having worked for Erasmus University for over five years, he is specialized in connecting scientific research to public debate. He has a background in Business Administration and Cultural Studies. He is the founder and regular host of Studio Erasmus, a monthly science magazine broadcasted by OPEN Rotterdam. He worked on a documentary and published in a number of online and offline media (de Volkskrant, Vers Beton, Erasmus Magazine).

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