Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!
Economic Update: Twin Upsurges - Unionizing and Left Politics
Prof Wolff discusses the unionization efforts by post-doc medical researchers vote union, central bankers mislead on inflation, rising economic footprint and power of BRICS nations, and left victory in Colombia's elections. The second half of the show will feature discussions of the relevance of Marx's Labor Theory of value and the French political shift leftward with wide ramifications.
Wolff: “For Marx, it was the linkage of the value of the things that we see produced in the world as linked to, as dependent on, as created by labor. For Marx, it put labor at the center of what economics was all about.”
Capitalism Hits Home: United We Win, Divided We Fall
Dr. Fraad continues her discussion of the recent Supreme Court decisions and asks: why were these decisions made when they do not align with the majority of Americans’ beliefs? When a system fails for the mass of people, fascism can develop to ensure that system continues. As the US becomes more and more divided, Fraad argues that we must remember our commonality as the employee class. Leftist victories in countries such as Chile, Colombia, and France remind us that when people unite and form coalitions, they win. We, the mass of Americans, must unite each of our movements—climate justice, BLM, feminism, LGBTQIA+, Indigenous rights, socialism, and more—in order to build a better world that reflects our values.
Fraad: “We can look to other countries to teach us because this is an amazing time of change... In unity, we have strength because we are the mass of people. The employee class is the mass of people. The employer class is only about one percent, and we can't let ourselves be divided by race or nationality or religion or sex. We have to unite in order to win.”
Stuck Nation - Live with Bob Hennelly, Event Recap
Simultaneously sobering and uplifting, journalist Bob Hennelly joined [email protected] for a live, virtual event one year after the release of his book, Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?
Hennelly: “You spend a lot of your life at work. So, don't leave your values at home. Bring them to work.”
Global Capitalism: Capitalism Threatens Itself
Prof Wolff explains how the contradictions between economic demands and the cultural fallouts of those demands are threatening the foundation of capitalist profits- but they're stuck in a cycle of greed and destruction.
Wolff: “They can't handle the contradictions. They just can't... There's reasons that they can't do it, and those reasons have to do with a split between a capitalist system that does not want to let go and the political and cultural consequences that threaten that capitalism. But they don't know what else to do.”
Ask Prof Wolff: Human Needs Should Not Be Tied to Profit
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "This is a question that I hope Dr. Wolff will discuss regarding US profit extraction from basic necessities for workers and families. How much does the extraction of profit from basics like health care, energy, housing, transportation, communication and food hurt the competitiveness of US workers by increasing the needed wages? Should those be a priority for change to cooperative, democratic, worker-owned enterprises? Is it realistic to think that US worker cooperatives can be competitive with capitalism and cheap labor in other countries if most of the US profit extraction is eliminated from basic needs and the other areas of production? Will improving the quality and durability of produced goods be an effective way to compete?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “It's an example that [conversion to co-ops is] not only wonderful for the workers involved, transforming their lives, transforming their feelings about themselves, the skills they can develop, the competencies that they can perfect, but it also has all of these indirect benefits.”
Ask Prof Wolff: Marx on the Role of the State
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "I recall having heard you say that Karl Marx never really talked much about the State because he wasn't all that interested in the State. People tell me their beef with Karl Marx is that he advocated for use of the State to enforce communism or socialism. When asked where in Marx's writings that he advocated for use of the State, they never cite to Das Kapital (because they've never read it) but always reference the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto. How would you respond to those people?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “It was in the interest of the majority of people, the overwhelming majority who are employees, to move further, to become themselves the masters of their own destiny. No more master-slave, no more lord-serf and no more employer-employee. We are a democratic self-governing workplace community, and in the struggle to get that, here's what the workers had to do in Marx's mind: capture the government. Because in capitalism the government serves the reproduction of the capitalist system.”
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