Weekly Roundup: November 2, 2022

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work.

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

Check out the latest content from Democracy at Work!


Economic Update: Ana Kasparian on Today's US Crisis

Prof. Wolff discusses US sanctions against Chinese semiconductor chip makers, OPEC+ cuts oil production by 2 million barrels per day boosting inflation, desperate UK conservatives abandon Brexit scapegoat to cozy up to Europe, and what US might do to solve "labor shortages." In the second half of the show, Wolff is joined by Ana Kasparian, host of “The Young Turks,” to talk about the media and today's US crisis.

Kasparian: “Five years ago statements like this would have seemed hyperbolic to me, but I do think that since there isn't really anything being done to make Americans whole, to ensure that we actually tackle inequality effectively, these narratives in media, these narratives that are being spouted by the right wing in this country will absolutely fuel fascism in America and potentially across the world. I'm genuinely concerned about that.”

Capitalism Hits Home: Family - A Feminist, Class Analysis

Dr. Fraad traces the history of the traditional family unit and offers a class analysis of how it has shifted and evolved since the 1700s. Fraad discusses the feudal arrangement of families, the impact of the French Revolution and WWII, and how issues of family form are being disputed in the political sphere today.

Fraad: “One of the big demands of the French Revolution was state support for children, and the rich realized, "Uh oh. If there's state support, who's going to be able to pay for it? There'll be taxes on us. That can't happen." And so they came up with the nuclear family idea”

Cities After…Office Spaces as Homes - Pt. 3: Utopian Living-Workspaces

In the last podcast, Prof. Robles-Durán pictured a dystopian future where waged labor takes over the household and unfolded a seemingly despairing critique of the post-covid exploitative tendencies in hybrid work and work from home. To contrast, this episode explores the resignification of utopia and the radical imaginaries that could emerge from reconstructing what work-from-home can be.

Miguel: “The life sucking conceptions of corporate virtual meetups and virtual teamwork must end. We must stand against the expansion of the capitalists into our homes. If our homes are to be the primary spaces of capitalist exploitation then workers should not be doubly exploited by extracting high rents from their work spaces.”

Ask Prof Wolff: Gandhi, Ambedkar, and India's Freedom Movement

A Supporter of Democracy at Work asks Prof Wolff, "Hello, I would like to make a comment in reference to Prof. Wolff’s Economic Update on colonialism, where he mentioned India's freedom from the British via the passive movement of ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi. In reality, it was a combination of resistance against the empire that led to the overthrow of the Brits from India. These resistances included infamous communist/socialists like Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose, Mahatma Ayyankali and many more. The most critical of them all was the father of the current Indian Constitution, B.R. Ambedkar, the most highly educated Indian at the time. Mr. Gandhi followed much of B.R. Ambedkar's revolutionary struggles and nonviolent resistance before Gandhi started his movement against the British. He was a lawyer as well who not only fought against the British but also against the Indian ruling classes/elites and beholders of the racist caste system of India, which Mr. Gandhi was an avid supporter of, along with his upper caste followers. Indians still continue to suffer from the very same caste system Mr. Gandhi advocated for and wrote strongly for its preservation, even during the British overthrow. The reason Gandhi is prevalent in the mainstream is because of Nehru’s Indian Congress party and his daughter Indira Gandhi's government pushing propaganda and marketing, such as the famous movie funded by her government called ‘Gandhi,’ that put this racist individual on a pedestal. He was a documented pro-segregationist during his days as a lawyer in South Africa as well. The noticeable commonality between Mr. Gandhi and other resistance fighters during the early 1900s to mid-century like B.R. Ambedkar was that they were all anti-imperialist. However, there are many differences between these two leaders as is well documented in Arundhati Roy's book, ‘The Doctor and the Saint.’"

Wolff: “I think it's important that we both understand the diversity of every social movement and the perfectly legitimate struggles within them to shape how they understand their task and what they're going to do. If you don't, what you will do is weaken what you yourself believe in.”


Ask Prof Wolff: Overdetermination - Freud & Marxist Philosophy

A Supporter of Democracy at Work asks: "How did you arrive at overdetermination as an ontological and epistemological theory for explaining the world (or at least part of the world)?"

Wolff: “When we try to account for what happens in the world… all that you have are different people who link that war to a few things. Explain the war? Nobody can do that. What's interesting is how different people pick a few things and tell a story, which is all explanations ever were: stories.”

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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