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Prof. Wolff discusses the massive strike of Canadian public employees; economics of the unemployed; business owners, executives and lawyers dominate US state legislatures; and how rising interest rates push the most vulnerable to the margins of US capitalism. In the second half of the show, Wolff interviews Anand Giridharadas on his new book, The Persuaders.
Giridharadas: “Having an astute understanding of voters, of their psychology, of emotions, of fear and anxiety isn't beneath those who want to save America from fascism. It's what they need to do.”
Two weeks ago, we held an event, “Marxism for this Moment,” featuring a conversation between Richard Wolff and David Harvey, experts with long histories of applying Marx’s ideas to our current politics in insightful and educational ways. In this video, the professors addressed some of the international conflicts that are often at the top of our minds, such as the war in Ukraine.
Wolff: “What Marxism does is say, 'there needs to be an underlying explanation.' You have to root what you're saying about Ukraine, China, and so on in the Marxian apparatus which puts the question of capitalism, and how it works, and why it works that way right in the core of the explanation. It's not the only thing, it's not it's not meant to exclude all manner of other subjects. But the exclusion of the capitalism feature is what our counterparts, what our conservatives and liberals, are busy doing.”
Defensive language is a powerful tool for the world's most aggressive military power. Richard Wolff challenges America's "defense" historically and in the current moment with some truth.
Wolff: “The United States has military bases all over the world. Russia doesn't and China doesn't. They have barely any. Who's defending? Who's aggressing? We all know the truth because it's hardly possible, even with this tendency. But the tendency tells us something. The United States can't quite face what it's doing. It can't quite say what the reality is. It's not a strength, but it is a powerful ideological tool.”
An audience member of Ask Prof Wolff LIVE asks: "What are the major historical downsides to a deflation? Are price decreases in a specific sector (e.g. fuel if, hypothetically, the shocks to that supply chain end sometime) generally isolated from these?" Prof Wolff answered this question during a live Ask Prof Wolff event.
Wolff: “Cash becomes king in a deflation. If you hold your wealth in land or buildings or things like that, as prices go down the value of your wealth goes down. But if you had sold before the deflation hit, if you had sold your land and sold whatever wealth you had and you sat on a pile of cash, it would become more valuable with the passage of every day. Why? Because as prices go down, whatever cash you have enables you to buy more and more.”
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