Weekly Roundup: June 15, 2022

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

New this week: Economic Update, Capitalism Hits Home, Cities After..., Ask Prof Wolff & Wolff Responds...

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!


Economic Update: Is the US Facing Another Civil War?

In this week's show, Prof Wolff discusses the stale old debate (competition vs monopoly) and which to blame for inflation; unionization drives across US campuses, and Eastern Kentucky University in particular; how US stores manage inflation; and Elon Musk's peculiar economic "morals." In the second half of the show, Wolff interviews Thom Hartmann on divided US politics.

Wolff: "On Twitter [Elon Musk] wrote recently, and I quote: "Use of the word 'billionaire' as a pejorative is morally wrong and dumb." I have no idea what morality he's talking about other than it's obviously the morality of a billionaire, since it doesn't take a genius to figure that out."

Capitalism Hits Home: America's Problem With Mass Shootings - An Analysis of Uvalde

**CW: This episode discusses mass murder and school shootings.**

In this episode of Capitalism Hits Home, Dr. Fraad looks at mass shootings in the US and in particular the most recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. She examines the psychological, emotional, political, and economic reasons the US is the world leader in mass murder, and suggests solutions to end this cycle of violence and death.

Dr. Fraad: "This is a crisis of our own making... They advertise guns as a way to help men be respected... And I think that Ramos, the killer of the 19 children and two teachers, felt he needed respect, he needed to stop being a victim and get respect. And he took it at the mouth of a gun..."

Cities After…Urban Ecology, Dialectical Thinking, and Climate Change - Pt. 1

In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán introduces a summer series on climate change, urban ecology, and its dialectical origins. It is essential to first differentiate how urban ecology should be understood in contrast to the typical green positivist canopy in which is commonly inscribed. In subsequent episodes throughout this summer, Robles-Durán will attempt to transform popular positivist thinking about climate solutions into active and dynamic anti-capitalist directions for facing head-on what has produced the crisis we are in.


Ask Prof Wolff: How Robotized Jobs Can Help or Hurt Workers

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "I have a question regarding Robots and AI. What happens to using the workplace instead of the state when there are no jobs for 80 percent of the people, no place to organize or combine? Without the state as the primary control of a situation, when there are no jobs for most people... where do we go?"

This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “We can keep many [people] working but at a job that has 10 hours per week not 40. And then we get the same output but we have a vast leisure to enjoy. Socialists have long been advocates of more leisure… So I would like to argue that we do not see this as a frightening, dangerous development but instead understand that it could have negative consequences (technology often has) but it also has positive ones. And that the real trick is to identify the negative and minimize them and to identify the positive and maximize those. That would be the rational response.”

Ask Prof Wolff: Top Down or Bottom Up - Proudhon vs. Marx

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "The strategy of d@w regarding changing society is, as far as I understand, to build a movement bottom up from cooperatives to network of cooperatives. I live in France and there was an important person, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who favored that approach. He was in strong opposition to Marx’s more aggressive approach and had some influence in the ideas of the participants in the adventure of the french commune. It would be interesting to know what your opinion/idea is regarding his philosophy. I mention this because a french left intellectual called Michel Onfray (he is quite popular) is for Proudhon’s bottom up approach and strongly against a centrist approach through the state (Melanchon and the rest of the so called left). Onfray mentioned the workers co-op LIP which seems to have been killed by both left and right. He says that the co-op approach of LIP is strongly in sync with Proudhon."

This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “I reject and would advise others to reject the dichotomy, the ‘either / or’ of all of this. My understanding, and what i would advocate, is that we need both… building the base from below to control the strategy, and the long-term process, and the mechanisms of seizing and using the State… the crucial question is how to do the two things together.”

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





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