From Prof Wolff- The State of Our Society

This end of the year message from Prof Wolff details the state of our struggle in the United States with capitalism. More than ever, people understand we need a change. Democracy at Work is working to shape what happens next.

Dear d@w audience,

Biden’s first year and that of his establishment/corporate wing of the Democratic Party in power is nearing its end. Last year’s combined economic crash and viral pandemic worsened economic and social troubles in 2021 too. Inequality deepened, inflation hit hard, and new coronavirus variants threaten. Biden Democrats proved unable or unwilling to mobilize the people to support their spending program. Yet it (and much more) was needed for the once-in-US-history crisis that capped off Trump’s 4-year effort to dismantle public services while enriching the already rich.

So the US economic system continues its decline and thereby drags down the Democrats’ prospects in 2022 elections. A Trumpian right-wing rage aims to deflect a damaged, embittered, and angry working class from targeting the employer class for its woes. Instead, the GOP organizes increasingly violent demonizations of scapegoats (immigrants, people of color, progressives, protesters, etc.). Biden Democrats offer no outlet for working class anger and opposition because they dare not target big business and the system it runs and profits from. Those Democrats fear mobilizing people for the mass demonstrations needed to change the national conversation and direction. That failure risks another: failure to mobilize their votes too.

More and more, I confront a change in the focus of questions in all my public speaking events. Before, most questions asked me to explain the many ways in which capitalism is declining in the US and changing globally. Now, most questioners seem largely to understand the decline and the changes, but what they want now is to focus on what systemic changes could solve our social problems and how we might accomplish them. This is a huge forward movement for which Democracy at Work (d@w) proudly deserves part of the credit.

Of course, more needs doing, and now more than ever, as right-wing threats mount. We are in a good position to build on our last 10 years of growth and social reach. d@w audiences and partners are joining others to replenish the widening political space well to the left of the Democrats. In this year, Economic Update’s 10th anniversary year, we feel that we have arrived at the point where we can truly say that we have a well established track record. Our shows and books can and do foster many thousands of people’s interest, enthusiasm and passion for real systemic change. Together, we make a big difference in how the flow of economic events gets understood. You and we, as partners, disseminate very different lessons drawn from the history we are living through. The rise of a serious, critical political tradition is happening in the US. The d@w community is a central part of that.

Of course, more must be done. With your help in spreading the word, engaging with our projects, and supporting d@w financially, we can reach even more people in 2022. With your partnership and support, you will help us to develop further and distribute more widely, at home and abroad, the critique that today’s capitalism needs now more than ever. Likewise, we keep sharpening our ideas and arguments for moving cooperatively beyond and doing better than capitalism.

On behalf of the entire Democracy at Work team, thank you for your support, engagement, and solidarity. Join us in this effort by sharing our work or learning about the many ways you can support d@w.

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