Weekly Roundup: October 26, 2022

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

New this week: Economic Update, Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, All Things Co-op & Ask Prof Wolff...

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!

Economic Update: Means TV - An Anti-Capitalist Netflix

Prof. Wolff discusses global capitalism's "perfect storm" (inflation + rising interest rates + reduced production = "stagflation"); 1000 SFO food workers strike and win; FedEx reinforces "stagflation" predictions, and hurricane Ian confirms system's failures to plan for predictable disasters to lessen their costs and impacts. In the second half of the show, Wolff interviews Nick Hayes of Means TV on how it has grown as an "anti-capitalist" Netflix.

Hayes: “We're anti-capitalist in two ways: the content we put out on the platform is content that we feel reflects working class life in the US and around the world. And we also are a worker cooperative and run the business in a way that aligns with our anti-capitalist values... What our goal with Means TV was is to create a more enduring, long-lasting institution like there are others on the left.”

Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: Metabolic vs. Independent Relations

Prof. Harvey explores the importance of delineating between metabolic and independent relations. Bourgeois economics believes the process of production, distribution, consumption, realization and exchange are all independently related, yet Marx reveals that they are locked in together through the circular concept of metabolic relations. Metabolic relations, unlike independent relations, are harder to break from. Harvey argues that in order for a transition from capitalism to socialism to take place, you have to break apart these interconnected relations that are unique and render them independent.

Harvey: “The capitalist is now engaged in such a way that they cannot do anything other than take their profit and bring it back in and start to create even more value.”

All Things Co-op: Tech Cooperatives and Software Engineering with Politics Rewired

Kevin interviews Priya Chatwani, a software engineer and organizer at Politics Rewired, a tech cooperative which grew out of the 2020 Bernie campaign that aims to build technology for Left organizing. Kevin and Priya speak about how Politics Rewired got started, the technology they’re currently working on, Big Tech and the role of tech cooperatives, cooperative decision-making, the relationship between technology and organizing, and how technology can support and grow the Left.

Chatwani: “If you're working on liberatory technology, then stakes are high and you need to make sure that the way you're implementing the technology is on the ground, you're in touch with the people that you're creating this for, and that technology is actually the solution that's needed.”

Ask Prof Wolff: Democratic Divisions of Labor

A Supporter of Democracy at Work asks Prof Wolff, "To what extent do we also have to take into account the need to reorganize the composition of jobs within the coop, so as to avoid recreating a controller class, as described by Michael Albert in ‘No Bosses’?" 

Wolff: “Everybody in a worker co-op then has two job assignments. Number one: whatever particular task you do in the division of labor of that co-op, and number two: your required participation in the decisions about how to use that collective part of the output/what to do with the funds that are available."

Ask Prof Wolff: Economics Nobel Prize - Ben Bernanke

A Supporter of Democracy at Work asks: "I'd like to hear Prof Wolff comment on esteemed colleagues, economists around the world who advocate for the fair distribution of economic wealth and resources as well as the Nobel Prize in Economics going to Ben Bernanke.”

Wolff: “What Mr. Bernanke is and what the Nobel Prize goes for is the celebration of capitalism and the dealing [with] the critiques of capitalism and the efforts to do better as though they weren't there.”

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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