Crisis – It’s How Capitalism Works

Speak Out Now Revolutionary University hosted 2 days of presentations and discussions on current world problems and possible solutions. Prof. Wolff addressed the instability of capitalism. Its cyclical downturns, which occur every 4 to 7 years, are responsible for the collapse of businesses and the loss of millions of jobs.  

Showing 3 comments

  • George Kallas
    commented 2016-10-30 17:31:10 -0400
    The instability and inequality leads to terrible consequences, as cited in my previous post: It’s ‘structural’, meaning, it’s as Leech has called ‘Structural Genocide’

    From Mr. Leech’s book website, which is highly recommended reading:

    “In the wake of the global financial crisis and ongoing savage government cuts across the world, Garry Leech addresses a pressing and necessary topic: the nature of contemporary capitalism, and how it inherently generates inequality and structural violence.”

    “Drawing on a number of fascinating case studies—including the forced displacement of farmers in Mexico, farmer suicides in India, and deaths from preventable diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s natural resources—Leech provocatively argues that capitalism constitutes a form of genocide, and that this genocide is inherent in any social system that adheres to the logic of capital.”
  • George Kallas
    commented 2016-10-30 16:21:31 -0400
    Thanks again, Prof. Wolff.

    Some thoughts on his wonderful presentation.

    Change the Economic Institutions, Not the People.

    The systemic instability that spawns recurrent crises has always existed in the evolution of the Kapitalist system. It’s the nature and logic of this form of social economic organization that concentrates wealth as political economic power into the hands of the few.

    Systemic inequality is also part of its nature and logic. Economic inequality is a form of authoritarian social control which means it’s also a form of political inequality of the distribution of social power. Kapitalism is by its very nature and logic anti-democratic. The misnomer ‘Capitalist Democracy’ is a contradiction in terms; it’s useful propaganda that elides an unequal economic authoritarian economic system with a political system of equal social participation.

    Suggested references:

    Economic inequality and belief in meritocracy in the United States
    Frederick Solt, Yue Hu, Kevan Hudson, Jungmin Song, Dong “Erico” Yu
    DOI: 10.1177/2053168016672101, Oct 2016

    Piketty’s Capitalism in the 21st Century was, in my view, to some extent, a quantitative verification and a sort of restatement of Marx’s fundamental analytical criticism of capitalism, i.e., in Das Kapital, the logic of a capitalist social economic system will always tend toward concentration of wealth into fewer hands.

    This is when Kapital as an ‘ism’ infiltrates into social relations to establish class-based societies premised on social conflict. ‘Kapitalism’ becomes the dominant secular religion and critics are heretics of that unjust system.

    Some more things to consider….

    US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study

    1: government by the few; 2: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes;

    also : a group exercising such control ; 3: an organization under oligarchic control [Websters]

    Bill Moyers on Plutonomy

    1: government by the wealthy; 2: a controlling class of the wealthy; Greek plouto+kratia, from ploutos wealth+kratia rule

    Simple Definition of plutocracy

    : government by the richest people

    : a country that is ruled by the richest people

    : a group of very rich people who have a lot of power

    Examples of plutocracy

    If only the wealthy can afford to run for public office, are we more a plutocracy than a democracy?

    corporate greed and America’s growing plutocracy

    [*Sources: Webster’s 20th Century Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd ed. 1979]

    In conclusion, I think we have tons of historical and empirical evidence that the capitalist form of social economy is unstable, unequal and produces ecocide: Profits Over People and Our Global Habitat. Not a smart system. It’s a Leech has called ‘Structural Genocide’

    Prof. Wolff’s critical analyses hit at the core systemic problems. Highly recommend that people read and study his works:

    Thanks again, Prof. Wolff.
  • Marie Long
    commented 2016-10-29 14:08:43 -0400
    Thanks again, Richard Wolff. You are a breath of fresh air. The raging insanity sometimes gets me down, so I listen to you and get to nod my head and even at times chuckle.

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