A letter from Professor Wolff, to supporters of d@w, reflecting on 2020 and looking ahead to 2021...
Wow: what a year this has been (and continues to be). In February, another one of its recurring, cyclical crashes hit capitalism. It is now the second worst crash of the last 100 years. Only the Great Depression of the 1930s was worse (so far). In March, Covid-19 hit the US. It too is so far the second worst viral pandemic in the last 100 years. Either the economic crisis or the public health crisis alone would have been a challenge; the two together have overcome the coping capacity of the current US capitalism. Old, unsolved social problems, long kicked-down that proverbial road, have roared back onto the nation’s consciousness and its agenda for change: the climate crisis and racial injustice.
Billionaires have gotten much richer; the 10% who own 80% of stocks have done well. But the vast majority of the America people have had a very tragic, very rough year. The balance of capitalism’s costs and benefits has turned very negative: the costs that fall heavily on the majority exceed the benefits that fall mostly on the few who need them least.
Not surprising – except in its speed and volume – the audience for the critique of the system and the advocacy of a basic democratic alternative has grown over this year. And Democracy at Work has grown with it. Our YouTube subscribers crossed 200,000, our new book’s sales have been nothing short of astounding, our social media audience has multiplied. Our weekly radio and TV show, “Economic Update,” continues to be our flagship media production.
As capitalism’s deteriorating conditions provoke deepening critical attention and a growing demand for systemic alternatives, our opportunities for impact and growth have mushroomed. We have the team, the vision, the developed platforms to inform, inspire, and mobilize the forces for social change. We can take a proven record of effectiveness to much higher levels.
With your help in spreading the word, engaging with our projects, and supporting d@w financially, we can reach even more people in 2021. With your partnership and support, you will help us to offer a much needed critique of capitalism and an idea of how we can move beyond it, bringing us closer to achieving the social change we need here and now.
On behalf of the entire Democracy at Work team, thank you for your support, engagement, and solidarity.
Richard D. Wolff
d@w Board of Directors Member