Weekly Roundup: July 7th, 2021

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

New this week: Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Cities After..., Ask Prof Wolff & Wolff Responds...


Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!


Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: The Urbanization of China

In this episode of ACC, Prof. Harvey argues that the circulation of interest-bearing capital and financialization, both necessary for the disposal of surplus capital and surplus value, are implicated in the acceleration of turnover time, especially in areas like tourism that have become dependent on "mindless urbanization." He points to China as a leading example.

Harvey: "[In 2008] Queen Elizabeth, bless her soul, was sitting down with a bunch of economists from the British association and [she] said to them, "How come you economists didn't see this thing happening? And didn't predict this thing?" The economists were shocked that somebody would ask them such a question. But because her majesty asked [the question] they decided to have a committee to have a look at what's going on. And they produced a report for her. And the report said well, we missed something. What we missed was systemic risk. You think to yourself, you have a whole discipline and you miss systemic risk? This is crazy…”

Cities After…Pelin Tan on the Crisis of Architecture Today

In this episode, Prof. Robles-Duran is joined by Pelin Tan, Professor of Sociology, Art, Architecture History to talk about the outmoded forms of knowledge that architecture and related urban design disciplines uphold.

Tan: "This kind of scenario for architecture education, I think it doesn't work anymore... And we have a choice. That is the knowledge production that you or me we want to produce has to really deal and face with the social issues for social justice, urban justice, what is going on in the urban street."

Ask Prof Wolff: Marxism and Prostitution

A patron of Economic Update asks: "Does Marxism have anything to say about people who are unable to sell their labor and resort to selling their bodies? I’m referring to prostitution, but also the selling of organs, hair, teeth, skin, breast milk, and so on." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “To this moment, you will discover enterprising men and women who hire others (human beings) to provide sexual services to a public customer. They charge for that. They pay a salary to those who supply the sexual services, and they keep the profits or surplus for themselves. That would be capitalism engaging in sexual service production for a profit. Of course, it doesn't have to be organized that way. Prostitution, just like everything else, doesn't have to be organized in a capitalist way.”

Ask Prof Wolff: Politics, Dual Power & Worker Co-ops

A patron of Economic Update asks: "Hello Professor Wolff, is your strong advocacy for Worker Cooperatives related to the theory of Dual Power or do you believe Worker Cooperatives to be the method through which all workers will be liberated?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

Wolff: “The worker co-ops are going to have to make some difficult decisions. Are they going to do all of this under the timetable of a capitalism that's fading away? That might be very dangerous. Are they going to set up their own political party- a party of by and for worker co-ops- to contest against the two-party system in this country, when both of those two- Republicans and Democrats are clearly pro-capitalists?”

Wolff Responds: Surfside Condo Collapse & Socialism

In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff comments on the recent condominium building collapse in Miami. Housing, he argues, is a social responsibility and therefore decisions like construction, structural improvements and maintenance of residential buildings should be made by the society at large, instead of a small minority, like a co-op board, as was the case with the Surfside condo.

Wolff: “The whole community is at risk if buildings are not maintained... The decision about maintaining a building is a social decision because it affects everyone and everyone should have been involved.”

Learn more about Prof Wolff's latest book, The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself.

Now also available as an eBook!






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