Economic Update: What Brexit Means

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On this week's episode of Economic Update, Prof. Wolff provides updates on new Puerto Rico deal, French street battles, German leaders' need humility, fake Cleveland revitalization, selling out national parks. Major analysis of Brexit in changing world economy.

 


Showing 24 comments

  • followed this page 2016-10-12 10:02:52 -0400
  • commented 2016-08-12 17:03:11 -0400
    Lisa my perception is that Professor Wolff sees things from the eyes of a reform economist. His political analysis of the capitalist state is a bit naive and weak and therefore his solutions like coops are an unrealistic method of transforming this society to s society free from exploitation. the movement for Brexit definitely had it racist component, blaming immigrants for the economic plight of impoverished workers in Wales, northern England, and other pockets of poverty in the UK. UKIP was the main proponent of Brexit and it has a long racist history. However it would be a mistake to see the vote as purely racist. The European Parliament and EU in general is not controlled by workers but by the bankers of finance capital justas the US is. The labor movement in the EU has grown weaker over the years as a result of the loss of revolutionary communist leadership among labor. Most of the benefits workersd cherish in the EU like 6 week vacations, free quality healthcare and education are all under attack as rivalry with the US, China, and other capitalists has led to a downward spiral for workers. Reformist leadership that is happy to coexist with the capitalists run the trade unions and other mass organizations. Many workers not seeing a viable alternative on the LEFT ( corrupt Labour and other social democratic parties) turned to Brexit as a way to express their frustration at mass unemployment and deteriorating wages. Teh working class can be a revolutionary force if it is organized by a party that will rise to the challenge of promoting bigger and more militant class struggles such as massive open-ended general strikes and rebellion on the streets against racist repression. Electoral politics will never change the opressive nature of the capitalist state, which uses it money and control of the cops, military, and media to exercise class dictatorship over the working class. Only an rgalitarian communist movement can do that.
  • commented 2016-08-12 04:06:59 -0400
    Is rather disappointing Richard talked about Brexit without talking about the racism that was being used by those wishing to leave the EU. And just to respond to his shows generally, while i love Richard i would prefer interviews guests on a specific subject like regular radio shows. I am not a big fan of radio where people talk at you for an hour often talking about issues on the surface and jumping around subjects and not getting into any real rigorous analysis. You know more than that Richard and would also be informative and more edifying to hear a guest who could talk more in depth about a specific subject.
  • commented 2016-07-09 13:05:26 -0400
    Professor, why Germany has become such a powerful economic force in Europe?
  • commented 2016-07-09 09:56:17 -0400
    I guess all 35 of us who made sure Jerry Tung would not be touched again were all delusional. It happened. That was 1970 we were a well ranked and militant group and we were under attack. I had been a costed a few days earlier with less damage than Jerry. We did what we had to do. I am sorry your middle class values have been ruffled. Self defense of our movement was necessary or too many would have been frightened to continue to fight against Vietnam War and against racism on the campus. We had a demon s train in a dorm cafeteria a few weeks earlier against the racist firing of a Black cook. I had written the leaflet for it. It was a great success . Much time and effort went into building a mass anti-racist and anti-imperialist movement on our campus and you spout non-violence when we were under attack? I find that amusing that want us to always be victims, instead of winning these struggles. Those events made me a better person and a better organizer on the lob in my adult life. I was able to think outside of the box on how to fight battles that it looked like we had no chance to win. My faith in the working class is deep and unshakable. Later for you.
  • commented 2016-07-08 16:57:09 -0400
    “Ira”… I don’t often respond to so much nonsense but In reply to your comments: Your ‘clubbing & maxxing’ I find disgusting & probably delusional… and sad. Your interpretation of Socialism as "State Capitalism’ is of course ridiculous. You need to talk & speechify less and give some quality time to thinking thru the consequences of what you profess—certainly not to the kind of world most people would want to live in and one most progressives (radicals who abhor violence) would label reactionary. Your ideas are romanticized childishness, dangerous to democracy… and boring. I’m deleting all your future comments.
  • commented 2016-07-08 07:10:18 -0400
    Eric I totally agree with you about violence.I do Not love violence, but there are situations in which there is no practical alternative to it. Back in the late sixties, I attended SUNY at Stony Brook. I was one of leading activists in SDS mass organization there. We were committed to fighting against the Vietnam War and we’re a significant force in the anti-racist movement. After leading several building occupations on campus, an Asian leader in SDS was physically attacked by some fascist students in a group called Easy Company. We held a meeting a decided to retaliate as the police were not responding to the situation. We joined with Black students who respected the Asian SDS member and went to his residence hall where he pointed out the offenders. We punched them, clubbed them, and maxed them. They never put their hands on another member ever again. We held a note meeting in a dormitory to explain our action to hundreds of students. We received a positive ovation from the other students. That is revolutionary violence.
  • commented 2016-07-08 06:55:22 -0400
    You truly are a petit bourgeois. You talk about starting businesses that are not greedy. This is nonsense in a capitalist society. Such a business has to sell its production in the capitalist market place. That the surplus value created by the workers of such a business is subject to the monopolies that control that market. There is no way workers can prosper over the long run in such an environment.
  • commented 2016-07-08 06:45:59 -0400
    It is not primarily a matter about anger. It is about breaking the power of the capitalist state and the capitalist dictatorship over the working class. You are ridiculously naive about class society. Do not impose your middle class, petition bourgeois values on the working class. We do not need the protection or paternalistic “help” of those classes that have illusions about capitalist society. We need not such “help”.
  • commented 2016-07-08 05:37:32 -0400
    @ On the path of Violence – You are all angry just like I am and Prof is… but venting anger out in the form of violence doesn’t make you any different from radical religious groups who think only their religion is true and kill other people in its name ?

    Choosing violence is the easiest & inhumane path and it results in tremendous loss – they are never worth the losses we suffer. Fight the economic system battle in the field of economic systems, in its right battle ground. Channelise your anger to start worker coops, to start unselfish businesses. We all have the infinite power within to start an economic revolution using the weapons of economics, we are here to learn this art form. The process of achieving such a change will be an exciting one, its a journey of discovering our true human nature as More & more people will join you, just as we all have joined Prof Wolff to learn more and do more for a good cause.

    Lets use subtler, finer & higher powers we all have – the intellectual powers. Understand from Prof’s lectures how the inherent “profit driven” – “greed fuelled” – engine of capitalism is the root cause of what we see today. You then don’t see gross things like “People” are bad, capitalists are bad, etc.. you begin to see that ideas are bad, you begin to see the root of problems. With such deeper understanding, you attack & challenge the idea – “not people”.. The war is on! A big one, but its in the realm of ideas. Here, truth alone survives.

    Start businesses based on ideas that are unselfish, non-greedy. Thats the battle on economic level , a true battle that will win the economic war. Please join us, we need everyone in it.

    PS: I too analyse like Prof wolff the cause of evil in society today. But I’m no prof. But I leave it to you accept/reject my analysis/ideas on www.facebook.com/unselfisness
    Thank you :)
  • commented 2016-07-08 03:22:01 -0400
    Whatever one’s feelings on the matter I would add, however, to the comment above by Mr. Kulkarni that the American revolution was anything but peaceful. It was in fact a very, very bloody and violent affair.
  • commented 2016-07-08 03:11:24 -0400
    Thoughtless pacifism is just as misguided as thoughtless force. Justice is won by neither. Wisdom is in knowing when one must be peaceful and when it is legitimate to use force. It is foolishness to allow any ideology, political worldview or passionate desire for how one wishes things to be to guide one’s response.
  • commented 2016-07-07 13:03:45 -0400
    Frantin Edwards, I am extremely proud of being a communist and I refuse not to use the word that accurately describes a vision for the world that is absolutely necessary for the advancement of humanity. You need to study some analyses of communism not written by CIA journalists . The Soviet Union and China never achieved communism.What developed there was a form of state capitalism. That is in essence what socialism is. That is why my party, the Progressive Labor Party, opposes socialism as a solution for the working class. It maintains too much of the old capitalist world and sets up these revolutions for ultimate failure. Communism means a society of collectivity. A society where there is responsibility for all to strive for the common good of humanity. yes there is individuality , but that is NOT supreme. Supremacy is our common obligation to sacrifice for the benefit of all, not the benefit of one at the expense of others. That is the exact opposite of capitalist culture which puts the individual above everyone. That is because the capitalist puts him self or her self above all others.
  • commented 2016-07-07 12:49:36 -0400
    I take part in all mass struggles against capital because I am in a few mass organizations. Of course these organizations are not comitted to violent change. That does not mean however, that I do not raise within these organizations , especially with those who I know, the need for resistance and for revolution which is NOT non-violent. I work with everyone, I develop leadership among workers that is conscious of the necessary role that violence plays in making qualitative change in society.
  • commented 2016-07-07 12:43:15 -0400
    Mr Kilkarni you are sadly deluded and will have a reawakening perhaps when some pacifist mass demonstration is riddled with lethal force by the capitalist state apparatus. I am willing to die for what I believe, but I do NOT turn the other cheek. I am not suicidal I want us to win this struggle. A great man once said "violence is the midwife of history. Tell me how far the Arab spring got in Egypt without smashing the fascist Egyptian state. Nowhere. A lot oif people dead and demoralized. Spontaneous struggle never wins in the end. It has to be organized and with the means to smash the state apparatus. So keep dreaming, while I and millions of others organize and fight for real world change by any means necessary.
    Frantin Edwards your thoughts are very muddled there is no clarity and logic to what you are presenting, so I see a very idealistic person with no prayer of an idea on how change occurs in the real world. I have been organizing for 46 years both in the univeristy , but mostly in the workplace and community. You need to take off the rose colored glasses and see the the difficult process of change and the hard work it takes to build a movement. I damn well am not expending energy to say “nice try”. It has got to work. Your non-violent ideas ignore how historic changes have occurred in the labor and anti-racist movements. The ghetto rebelions in Harme in 1964, Watts in LA in 1965, Detroit in 1967 did more to advance the anti-racist movement than any march in Selma. The garbage workers violent struggle in Memphis in 1968 that won trnscended any attempts at non-violence by MLK in that struggle. The mutinies on the Kitty Hawk and Constellation led by Black sailors during trhe Vietnam War as well as the fraggings of officers by the GI’s forced the US aggression there to come to an end as the US military was no longer reliable for imperialist interests. I can m=name hundreds of other events that were won with violence, including the greatest labor struggle in modern US hiostory, the Great Flint Sit-down strike of 1936-37 at General Motors which wone industrial unionism in the auto industry. You guys have a lot to learn before you spout ideas that will never cut in the engendering real world change. The masses make history and can not be encumbered by dictates of people who do not think as workers. non-violence is a middle class ideology not a working class ideology.
  • commented 2016-07-07 12:43:15 -0400
    Mr Kilkarni you are sadly deluded and will have a reawakening perhaps when some pacifist mass demonstration is riddled with lethal force by the capitalist state apparatus. I am willing to die for what I believe, but I do NOT turn the other cheek. I am not suicidal I want us to win this struggle. A great man once said "violence is the midwife of history. Tell me how far the Arab spring got in Egypt without smashing the fascist Egyptian state. Nowhere. A lot oif people dead and demoralized. Spontaneous struggle never wins in the end. It has to be organized and with the means to smash the state apparatus. So keep dreaming, while I and millions of others organize and fight for real world change by any means necessary.
    Frantin Edwards your thoughts are very muddled there is no clarity and logic to what you are presenting, so I see a very idealistic person with no prayer of an idea on how change occurs in the real world. I have been organizing for 46 years both in the univeristy , but mostly in the workplace and community. You need to take off the rose colored glasses and see the the difficult process of change and the hard work it takes to build a movement. I damn well am not expending energy to say “nice try”. It has got to work. Your non-violent ideas ignore how historic changes have occurred in the labor and anti-racist movements. The ghetto rebelions in Harme in 1964, Watts in LA in 1965, Detroit in 1967 did more to advance the anti-racist movement than any march in Selma. The garbage workers violent struggle in Memphis in 1968 that won trnscended any attempts at non-violence by MLK in that struggle. The mutinies on the Kitty Hawk and Constellation led by Black sailors during trhe Vietnam War as well as the fraggings of officers by the GI’s forced the US aggression there to come to an end as the US military was no longer reliable for imperialist interests. I can m=name hundreds of other events that were won with violence, including the greatest labor struggle in modern US hiostory, the Great Flint Sit-down strike of 1936-37 at General Motors which wone industrial unionism in the auto industry. You guys have a lot to learn before you spout ideas that will never cut in the engendering real world change. The masses make history and can not be encumbered by dictates of people who do not think as workers. non-violence is a middle class ideology not a working class ideology.
  • commented 2016-07-07 11:46:11 -0400
    @ Ira Wechsler – It got us as far as “Independence” from British rule. And the world celebrates the effort.
    I don’t know which world you are living in, but looks like you have internet there; this time try learning about other ways of revolting. Most of us in this world, except some terrorists, have evolved beyond the animal behaviour of violence & killing each other.

    @ Frantin – I’m in complete agreement with Prof Wolff and ideas on my page always encourage worker co-ops.
  • commented 2016-07-07 11:39:46 -0400
    There may be no conflict between us…except for your use of ‘communist’…language that is so burdened with failure & misreading & propaganda that it has become irrelevant. Agree that worsening conditions (poverty & declining quality of life & hope for a better future, war (for markets, cheap wages,oil & imperialist control of global natural resources), pandemic illnesses, drug addiction, environmental disasters (droughts, food & water shortages), and with only ‘good paying jobs existing in the military/police/security & surveillance) SURE- masses will either succumb or take some sort of action AND HOPEFULLY ONES BASED ON CLASS CONSCIOUS SELF-INTEREST…but with no chyrstal ball for anyone, PFANS hope is for that to be MAINLY ballot-based and non-violent but there will in all likelihood also be street protests and police/military repression. But surely (if there is raised class consciousness which REQUIRES open-minded, non-ego-centric, & creative coalitions of transitional reforms AND futuristic vision & modeling (see our website & visuals 1,2,3) in other words evolution AS revolution, there will ’probably’ be growing recognition of the most productive strategies being ORGANZING: democratic-practice gained thru co-ops; serious focusing of unions on worker unity across trades, AND election of third party socialist/green/etc parties to local & state & Congress seats…These CAN happen if naysaying, ego-theory-parading and argumentation rather than listening & learning….are put into the ‘trash-bin of history’. All legitimate interests for human progress combine understanding the systemic need for wholistic change which means a new paradigm needs to be seen as ‘needed’ by the majority: nurturing, love, flowers, diversity, brother/sisterhood, AND realization that this will, if it is to be lasting, require patience consistency of goal/purpose, and a respect for the real world. To PFANS, we see that NOW there is a deeper need to debate on the way change happens, and what produces the kind of democratic humanistic change we want & need- rather than declare what one or two create it. Wolff, Alperovitz, Zeese, Flowers, Sawant are people trying to open that discussion. It would benefit ‘the left’ if they were heard. PFANS
  • commented 2016-07-07 11:02:42 -0400
    Truth and love do not destroy death squads and a vast corporate controlled military state apparatus. Throw flowers on bayonets and see how far you will get. To make fundamental systemic change requires a way to neutralize the the capitalist state and its forces of repression. That takes infiltration of the armed forces by hardened veterans of class struggle who will build a base for revolution among working class soldiers and sailors. That is non-public work organizing covertly over a period of years among the masses in these military mass organizations. At the same time covert and public work must be done in all mass organizations that the working class belongs to in significant numbers. That means churches, synagogues, and mosques, community groups, trade unions. Inspiring class struggle in these groups and neutralizing right wing leadership in these groups. It will take tens of millions to won to this ideology of egalitarian communism. The two factors that will determine success are the coming world war which will sharpen contradictions of racism, sexism, poverty, starvation, and massive deaths due to military conflict and the second factor is our commitment to do the hard work to build a base for egalitarian communist revolution and the international party of the working class. See www.plp.org
  • commented 2016-07-07 10:43:20 -0400
    PeopleForANewSociety: Wolff continues to provide necessary understanding about the present, past & future conditions/threats to humankind that capitalism creates. Misunderstanding what he explains as ‘inciting violence’ (on the one hand) or discouraging a FUNDAMENTAL REPLACEMENT of capitalism, private ownership/management of resources SHOWS how much more our American-education must go before clarity & maturity will further build a class conscious movement. Misunderstanding historical reality…that REVOLUTION is basically the ‘last visible event’ in a series of TRANSITIONAL EVOLUTIONARY events…and that all manner of growing class & system-awareness is NECESSARY…shows these two previous comments are unfortunate. Revolution? Evolution? IT IS THE GOAL (systemic change, civic & economic democracy—see PeopleForANewSociety.org and Visuals 1,2,3 for a model of grassroots governance in the 21st Century) that determines progress. Wolff & Alperovitz are trying to get the discussion to LOOK AT THIS COMPONENT…the progressive vision that must be there if we are to move toward democracy…Coops will be projects that CAN introduce the PRACTICE OF SELF-MANAGEMENT….but we also need more attention paid to the future societal commonwealth that can only be created with an understanding that WE MUST REPLACE CAPITALISM….private profit, exploitation, the wage system, class division. PeopleForANewSociety
  • commented 2016-07-07 10:27:43 -0400
    LilliaFrantinStudio@msn.com
  • commented 2016-07-07 02:38:32 -0400
    @ira Wechsler, I sense that inciting a mass of people to take a violent action against captialism is your agenda. Unfortunately you will not succeed as most people in world have learnt the lessons of history that its only through “truth & love” that win in the end.

    But I agree you with that we have to eliminate the capitalist monetary system. And worker coops is an important first step to achieve such a system. Please see www.facebook.com/unselfishness and www.unselfishmovement.com
  • commented 2016-07-06 19:50:57 -0400
    The solution Professor Wolff poses for the world’s workers is worker coops. The largest coop movement in the history of capitalist society was in Weimar Germany right after WWI. During the 1920’s mass unemployment and massive inflation plagued the German economy. Did the doop movement sove this. Not at all. AS the Nazi Party grew with the financial support of the Krupps and Farbens, and Thyssen families were the coops effective in fighting this movement. Absolutely not as they were not armed or organized to fight fascism. The coop movement was destroyed by the Nazis. The social democrats in Germany paved the way for the Hitlerites as they gave much more attention to eradicating the Communist Party which had kept on growing as they shrank. Unfortunately the KPD was mired in reformism and iin spite of three insurrections they organized during that era they never infiltrated the German Army and police to neutralize them so they could seize power with the working class. Professor Wolff is an economic determinist as he has no formula to deal with the power of the capitalist state as it is organized to move society to a fascist security state on behalf of finance capital.
    Only an egalitarian international communist movement can smash the capitalist state and organize the working class for economic and political egalitarianism. Only such a movement can abolish the capitalist monetary system and build a society that distributes . the wealth that labor produces and harnesses it for the nefit of humanity We do not need worker coops we need communism. Please see www.plp.org.
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