Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!
This program is devoted to Occupy Wall Street (OWS) on its 10th anniversary. Prof. Wolff discusses OWS as a historic turning point, as legacy for the US left, and his personal experience. Wolff presents OWS's 4 basic causes, its anti-capitalist economics, and its lessons.
Wolff: "Occupy gave us the task: democracy and the critique of capitalism. And for us, the solution then became becoming advocates for a radical transformation of the workplace, because the workplace is the starkest example of no democracy I can think of."
In the episode of CHH, Dr. Fraad talks about the importance of celebrating Labor, which is essential to life. But she argues that we need to go beyond and learn what our labor history is - something which is absent from our education.
Fraad: "We have to remember that America is a class society, and there are two classes here. The employers who make money off their employees work, and the employees who create more wealth for their employer than they ever get in their paycheck... We're catching on in America that we are essential. We, who do the work of this society, we have the power. We are the essential workers, and we can change America to be a fair and honest place: a socialist place where workers are honored and recognized."
Prof Wolff analyzes the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan and what our "defense" policies reveal about U.S. priorities and problems that contribute to the country's decline. This is a clip from September 2021 Global Capitalism Lecture: “US Capitalism's Decline Accelerates”.
Wolff: “This is a system that has lost even the little bit of rationality it once had. It is driven by specific, particular, what we used to call, special interests who are doing it at the expense of the society as a whole. The defeat in Afghanistan has been a powerful signal around the world that the American empire is in decline.”
A patron of Economic Update asks: "How should we see the CCP? Is this a Socialist project that is in the process of achieving communism? Or is China just another example of a state-capitalism that leans more authoritarian? How should we approach socialist states that do things that contradict our values without helping the reactionaries in our own country." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “It is a kind of socialism because it's similar to other societies that call themselves socialist. That is, they have some of the characteristics that some of the parts of the world that call themselves socialist identify with. Doesn't mean more than that. We could establish our own standards. Some of us have done that, but that's really a different matter from recognizing that there are a multiplicity of standards.”
A patron of Economic Update asks: "I have recently started reading about David Graeber and his understanding of anarchism, and it sounds very much like what Prof. Wolff talks about when he explains socialism as understood by Marx, and how to democratize workplaces. I was wondering what your take is on anarchism and how it relates to socialism, and whether it is incompatible with capitalism? Many thanks, looking forward to more great content from you all." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “You might think of it as an alliance, which agrees in the following way, the anarchist will support the Marxist in the critique of capitalism, and the deal is the Marxist then must support the anarchists in the critique of centralized state power. And on that basis, they have in the past [and] they do nowadays, in many places, work quite well together.”
In this Wolff Responds, Prof. Wolff draws parallels between the UK and the US and their off the mark responses to the inequalities and injustices brought on by yet another crash of capitalism.
Wolff: “You might want to call this one the old problem of a justified grievance aimed at the wrong target. And I’m going to compare the United Kingdom and the United States because they're both stunning examples these days of exactly that.”
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