Economic Update: Economic Crisis, Fascism & History



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On this week's Economic Update, Prof. Wolff provides updates on India's inequality, Philly's poverty behind DNC front, new initiatives from unions, Starbuck's profiteering, gutting federal estate tax. Interview with Adam Hochschild on economic crisis, fascism, Spain's civil war.

Showing 5 comments

  • p. munkey
    commented 2016-08-04 19:45:42 -0400
    Fantastic presentation Professor Wolff. I’ve long appreciated the significance and importance of your work. I’ve only now registered as a member of the D@W website, hoping to engage other members for news, discussion and education.
    I’d like to thank your guest, Adam Hochschild, who deserves our appreciation, as well as recognition for his work and accomplishments [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Hochschild].

    I can appreciate Mr. Hochschild’s description of the three characteristics of fascist rhetoric – strong-man (leader), vilification/scapegoating, national/ethnic nostalgia – but what exactly is fascism? Certainly fascism is authoritarian in character, but so too are all forms of government. All modern forms of government elevate a ruling class of individuals, possessing of authoritative privilege by strength of wealth, over the majority population. Most Western forms of government vilify the underprivileged class – often visible minorities – through the unequal application of justice; and all governments imbibe national pride amongst it’s citizenry through propaganda.

    How do we distinguish the fascist rhetoric promulgated by Trump, from the fascist corporate feudalism represented by Clinton? In my estimation, both deserve equal condemnation.

    I was amused and horrified by Robert Reich’s promotion and defense of Hillary Clinton during his debate with Chris Hedges on today’s episode of DemocracyNow! (August 4, 2016 | 36m:57s) [http://www.democracynow.org/2016/8/4/as_green_party_convention_opens_watch].

    In my estimation, Clinton is employing the same tactics as Trump however her fascist rhetoric is much more subtle. Based on Mr. Hochschild’s criteria, she demonstrates a deference for military force over diplomacy (strong-woman); she vilifies those insurgent victims of state terrorism and those whom she regards as “the predator class” (scapegoating), and she promotes the nostalgia of American “family values”.

    I contend that unregulated capitalism itself, is fascist in character. Any comments?

  • Marc Hudgens
    commented 2016-08-02 17:28:07 -0400
    Another good podcast, especially the interview with Adam Hochschild. When Prof. Wolff asked him about Trump and fascism, I thought Hochschild’s response was pretty accurate; Trump’s rhetoric is certainly fascist, but is idiealogy has always been about himself. I’ve always felt that Trump was a bit of a phony, and many of the things he says now, while incendiary, also strike me as phony. It’s like he’s back on his show entertaining the masses.

    I know many will disagree with me on this, but I’m not particularly scared of Trump like many on the Left are. And it’s because I think that he and his campaign frankly are phony. I have my reasons, but the validity or sincerity of his candidacy are things that I very much doubt.

    So I agree that his rhetoric is fascist. His ideology, I’m not particularly convinced.
  • Olga Swartz
    commented 2016-08-02 15:12:39 -0400
    Prof. Wolff, please take a look at this short article and give us your thoughts.
  • Michael Govorchin
    commented 2016-08-02 01:37:45 -0400
    It’s interesting that Cleveland is the home of Evergreen- a longtime success story of redevelopment money promoting worker cooperatives. I wonder what a local organization in any city in the US could do to foster this type of investment. It seems loke money buys local elections and agendas as well as national. Certainly, developers control our local San Francisco administrations- getting many kick backs and exceptions to zoning rules that are not granted to individuals.
  • Martin Screeton
    followed this page 2016-07-31 00:50:06 -0400

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