Ask Prof Wolff: Top Down or Bottom Up - Proudhon vs. Marx

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Patron of Economic Update asks: "The strategy of d@w regarding changing society is, as far as I understand, to build a movement bottom up from cooperatives to network of cooperatives. I live in France and there was an important person, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who favored that approach. He was in strong opposition to Marx’s more aggressive approach and had some influence in the ideas of the participants in the adventure of the french commune. It would be interesting to know what your opinion/idea is regarding his philosophy. I mention this because a french left intellectual called Michel Onfray (he is quite popular) is for Proudhon’s bottom up approach and strongly against a centrist approach through the state (Melanchon and the rest of the so called left). Onfray mentioned the workers co-op LIP which seems to have been killed by both left and right. He says that the co-op approach of LIP is strongly in sync with Proudhon."

This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

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Showing 1 comment

  • Edward Dodson
    commented 2022-06-18 22:51:26 -0400
    What would help “democratize the state” is a commitment to the teaching of civics to our young people in our schools. Not one semester or even one year, but as an increasingly sophisticated part of the curriculum beginning, say, in grade seven.

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