Global Capitalism: July 2015 Monthly Update


Winners and Losers in Today's Shifting Capitalism

Co-sponsored by Democracy at Work, Left Forum, and Judson Memorial Church, Global Capitalism begins with 30 minutes of short updates on important economic events of the last month. Professor Wolff then analyzes several major economic issues that include:

  1. Greece and the choking of Europe's welfare state
  2. Capitalism's shift from "old centers" (north America, western Europe, and Japan) to "new centers" (China, India, Brazil, etc.) brings harsh politics
  3. Financing workers coops as a better way forward

Showing 3 comments

  • Eric White
    followed this page 2016-10-20 14:04:33 -0400
  • Zahiruddin Alim
    commented 2015-08-11 10:20:10 -0400
    Thank you Mitch Smith for your approval and suggestions. I am sure Rick Wolff would be appreciative of the relevance of your references to the possible consequences of establishing workers’ cooperatives, from Sopolsky’s biological dimorphism to Zimbardo’s “situational forces” to the ethnic factionalism of Kobane as potential problems and obstacles, rather than presuming WSDE’s to be a panacea. Hopefully workers would see the enlightening insight of being cognizant of the limitations of communal organizations as represented by your reference to Dunbar’s number.
    Finally, your suggestion that corporate institutions need not be abandoned resonates with the concepts of “Socially Responsible Business” and “Corporate Social Responsibility” articulated by Muhammed Yunus the Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate for his innovations in rural micro-credit programs that have proliferated under altruistically motivated Non-governmental organizations with large-scale corporate structures.
  • Zahiruddin Alim
    commented 2015-08-06 11:31:03 -0400
    As always, we have an engaging, lucid and insightful commentary on the state of the global economy. Broad brushstrokes of historical trends frame the details of significant issues and events. The audience is captivated by how they are located in the picture.
    No presentation can say everything, but for an even wider audience this presentation resonates with the replication of the events and issues that are described in detail. National and international economic and political organisations all over the world echo the machinations of European and U.S. policy makers, often with the very same institutions and politicians being involved. We are given the means to regard the world for audiences in other parts of the world, to see how they are situated in the dynamic of global capitalism.
    The Troika strangles Greece with one tentacle while reaching across the globe with many others. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) sponsored by China poses a counter to its parallel, the U.S. dominated World Bank. We can now watch the AIIB with the foreknowledge of the behavior of the western counterparts.
    Politicians and governments in Europe and the U.S. face conflicts and choices for their own motives, replicated in a multitude of variations, in tandem or at cross purposes, with politicians and governments everywhere else. We can ask the same questions about the conflict between sponsors and voters in different places.
    The treatment of the Pope’s recent statements is an instance of a comment in a global context that is paralleled by views from a variety of religious perspectives. Just as we are waiting on what the Pope will say to his hosts in the U.S., we can reserve judgment on various, conflicting convictions being espoused and pursued in the name of Islam in the Arab world, in Asia and Africa. Similarly we can anticipate the actions of the conservative Hindu political party that now rules in India.
    Worker’s cooperative enterprise is thematic to the looking forward aspect of this presentation, and that has parallels of experience everywhere. It provides a positive vision in an otherwise disheartening panorama of declining well being in the West fueled by exploitative conditions in poor countries and the ongoing surge of migration and human trafficking. We are left with difficult questions of how to organize and mobilize political will, as opposed to the chaos of individuals struggling to survive, each in one of many types of desperate conditions.
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