Weekly Roundup: January 12, 2022


Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!

 


Economic Update: Strikes Amid Reviving US Labor Movement

This week on Economic Update, Prof. Wolff presents updates on Huawei vs Cisco, Europe's exploding energy prices falsely blamed on Covid, Robert Kuttner announces he has become a socialist, polls show big drop in religious affiliation and praying especially among Christians from 2007 to 2021 as secularism accelerates. In the second half of the show, Prof. Wolff is joined by Mike Elk of Payday Report to discuss the growing wave of US strikes since the pandemic began.

Mike Elk: "Cornell has their own labor action tracker, and they refused to count retail worker walkouts. Meanwhile, you had something like 4 million workers quit their job in October. I think the notion of what is the traditional labor movement is being spun on its head, and this happens after every mass loss of American life."


Capitalism Hits Home: Identity Politics, Intersectionality, and Unity

Welcome to Season 5 of Capitalism Hits Home! In this episode, Dr. Fraad explores identity politics by looking into the many facets of her own identity. 99% of us share an identity as exploited, oppressed people. We have different experiences and extents of exploitation. How can we honor our identities while remaining unified as a human race? Can we reclaim identity politics to include a human identity that connects everyone in order to create a safer, freer, and more inclusive world?

Fraad: "The FBI and the CIA under Gloria Steinem tried to create an identity for women as women pushing our rights for gender reform, but no other economic and social rights, and creating a movement of equality within a system of ever more grotesque inequality, rather than a movement of equality for all men and women together as equals.”


Cities After... The Growing Suburban Divide: COVID-19 Boomtowns and the Future of Sprawl - Pt. 1

Welcome to Season Two of Cities After! Prof. Robles-Duran begins this season with a series of four episodes in which to make sense of the growing suburban divide in the United States by honing in on it's divisive politics, the consequential production of COVID-19 boomtowns, and the future of sprawl. 

In this first episode, Prof. Robles-Duran gives a brief overview of the primitive accumulation that gave rise to American Suburbia together with its racist, patriarchal and capitalist ideologies. This will serve as a basis to further delve into the contemporary phenomenon of post-COVID sprawl and its social, political, economic and environmental consequences to the near future of American cities and their inhabitants.

Wolff: “What the Levitts proposed promoted individualism. Each family unit separated in its own piece of land, consuming and providing just for themselves. To quote William Levitt, "No man who owns his home and a lot could be a Communist. He will have too much to do.""


All Things Co-op: Lessons from Venezuela’s Social Economy

In this episode of All Things Co-op, Larry, Kevin, and Cinar talk to Michael Lebowitz about his perspective on the social economic models in Venezuela and Yugoslavia. They speak about the creation of the social economy, the experience of Chavismo in Venezuela, and the differing goals of some cooperatives and traditional trade unions. Lebowitz highlights the importance of self-actualization through protagonism and how the most successful of these models focused on solidarity over self-interest.

Michael A. Lebowitz: “Protagonism: the absolute necessity for people to engage in activity and in doing so, they develop their capacities... That concept is one that I think is absolutely central because it does point to the importance of people working together, and developing trust, and developing a sense of their pride in their ability to carry on things. In that respect, I was always attracted, for that reason, to workers co-ops or workers' control."


Ask Prof Wolff: Individuals and Society

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "In a world where workers own the product of their own labor, and all institutions are democratic, is there still a need for taxes and welfare? If so: Why are they justified? What should their extent be? How should they be enforced?” This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: In the transition from the feudalism that existed before modern capitalism in most parts of the world to the modern capitalism that dominates the world today, there's been this extraordinary effort to raise individualism to the reigning philosophy, the dominant ideology, the cult-like commitment of so many. In other words, the effort has been to move away from thinking about how societies shape the individuals born and raised into them to imagine instead that that society is the product of those individuals.”

 

Ask Prof Wolff: From Capitalism to Co-op

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "How can we make further inroads toward business conversion to the cooperative model while so many business owners look down on their workers as incompetent or unfit for “leadership” and discredit the value of their labor in their businesses’ success and prosperity? On this same note of conversion, what strategies can help us to ‘convert’ workers themselves to cooperative economics — and to ‘convert’ capitalist funding toward these same ends?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “If you believe in democracy, if you believe in a certain notion of fairness and social justice, then capitalism isn't what you ought to be for- something else is. And that's a very powerful argument we ought to make.”


Learn more about [email protected] latest book, Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?

by Bob Hennelly


www.democracyatwork.info/books

 

 


 


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