Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.
New this week: Economic Update, Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, All Things Co-op, Global Capitalism & Ask Prof Wolff...
Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!
This week's show features a discussion of what Marx offers in the way of a basic critique of capitalism and an alternative economic system that would be better for most people, and how this differs from mainstream economics.
Wolff: "The real breakthrough that Marx's argument shows us is if we make the workplace undivided: not master/slave, not lord/serf, not employer/employee but to make it a community: a self-governing, democratic community.”
Technology has become the largest industry in the world. In this episode of Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Prof. Harvey picks up where he left off from the previous episode to further explore the implications of technology as a business. To do this, Harvey looks closely at Apple as an example—the labor conditions in China, where the product value actually comes from, and the differences in profit rates between the company itself and the production companies further down the supply chain. As the tech sector continues to explode, Harvey begs us to investigate the ways in which it shapes our lives and choices: through concealed exploitative practices, monetization of access, artificial intelligence, and more.
Harvey: “Its objectives are to make a profit by any means possible, and that means by stealing if necessary, by setting up scams, by setting up platforms which you have to subscribe to if you just want to have access to what's going on in the world."
In this episode, Cinar, Larry, and Kevin introduce the theme of Season 6: there is an alternative. Critics on the Left love to talk about what they’re against but rarely offer real alternatives. Playing off the widespread feeling of capitalist realism—that there is no alternative to our current economic order—the ATC guys propose that building a cooperative society is a concrete alternative to capitalism. Throughout this season, they will speculate about what that future society could look like, both in terms of political and economic structures, but also on a wider, socio-cultural scale. Human beings are more than mere workers! Kevin, Larry and Cinar will look at all the aspects that make up our life, from sports to sex and everything in between, to see what living would look like in a cooperative world.
Cinar: "You could have scale. However, if you don't really change or have that scale somehow reflect itself in politics, in culture, in art then you could have a situation where you really don't have a change societally at the end of the day."
Skyrocketing prices and record corporate profits are all over the news headlines. While the workers struggle to pay high prices, employers are setting themselves up to make all the profits. What’s causing all of this? How can we turn it around? Capitalism is leaving most of us behind- right after a turbulent two years of pandemic and economic recession. Richard Wolff shares what you need to know about inflation in this new Global Capitalism lecture.
Wolff: “An inflation is a set of decisions made by one percent of the people: the richest, the top owners, operators of our businesses. And it is a fact we have to live with, for the other 99 percent.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "Quick question that may seem silly but I think about it each time I buy something at a store. I usually have my bag. The cashier seeing this takes the 5 cents that is a reward for my bag, and puts it as a donation that the store has. Do all those 5 cents lead to a tax write off for the store?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “It's one of hundreds of thousands of ways that corporations have always and are now discovering new ways with new laws to get around and to make money by lowering their taxes. As long as you have a private capitalist economic system of the kind we have, you provide an endless incentive.”
Learn more about d@w latest book, Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?
by Bob Hennelly