The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic decline are revealing and widening the cracks of our capitalist system more than ever before. These cracks affect us directly, our daily lives, and our relationships. Capitalism really does hit you at home.
Does today’s capitalism invite an “I told you so” from Marx?
May 5 is the 202nd anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth. This May 5, 2020, capitalism experiences its 3rd crash in this new, young century - a crash already rivaling the worst (1930s) in capitalism’s history. This crash emerged from and also worsens capitalism’s already extreme inequality. Once again capitalism’s stark irrationality screams at us. It cannot meet urgent social needs by hiring unemployed workers (who seek jobs) to work with available tools, equipment and raw materials (gathering rust and dust). Profit stands in the way and it is what determines economic activity, capitalism’s “bottom line.” Nothing exposes the unjust absurdity of capitalism more sharply than the COVID-19 pandemic.
Intolerable work conditions have provoked major movements to reform capitalism throughout our modern history. But why should we keep a system that requires workers to endlessly struggle against the opponents who own and operate each enterprise with exclusive control of the profits?
If you, or someone you know, wants to use Understanding Marxism or Understanding Socialism in the classroom, we are ready to help! You can now get discounted educator copies of our books (also known as desk copies, or examination copies).
In a time where we are facing many bleak outcomes from our capitalist system, we are glad to now be able to offer a more accessible ebook of Understanding Socialism.
“Lucid, brilliant and uncompromising in his dissection of the capitalist system
he also provides a sane and just socialist alternative to capitalist exploitation,
one we must all fight to achieve.” - Chris Hedges
There is no end to the shocking, heartbreaking, and alarming news as of late. It’s easy to get sucked into, and to be overwhelmed by it. It can also be distracting, tearing our focus away from the world we want to see.
If you’d like to realign your perspective, we’d like to suggest our podcast All Things Co-op.
A message from Richard D. Wolff:
"On my birthday today, I realize how quickly and utterly the world has changed since last year. I also realize how remarkable the community around Democracy at Work is… and how precious it is. Historic crises are always also historic opportunities for change, if we can see and act on them. With that in mind, I would like to share with you some thoughts on capitalism and the virus."