POLITICAL COMMENTARY: “Richard Wolff: Capitalism in Crisis” / RT America / On Contact with Chris Hedges ☮

In this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges explores capitalism in crisis with Richard Wolff, professor of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. From Brexit, to labor protests in France, to Italy’s financial woes, they discuss the effects of austerity on the working class. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the fallout of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM: “Richard Wolff: More Co-ops Means Less Inequality” / The Big Picture RT / Thom Hartmann

Economist Dr. Richard Wolff, Democracy At Work, joins Thom. For a large chunk of the American workforce – capitalism is no longer working the way it’s supposedly designed to work. Is it time to look for alternatives to the free market? And if so, where?

CAPITALISM: Interview / Richard Wolff on Challenging Capitalism in His New Book, “Occupy the Economy”

Can we challenge capitalism and prevail, considering that the top one percent control 50% of the available capital and the top five percent some 70% of the nation’s private funds?  Richard Wolff is a closely followed Truthout contributor on economics.  Currently, you can obtain his just-released “Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism” directly from Truthout.  If you want to know about alternatives to the current destructive course of our economy and how we, as a nation, got to this point, get your copy of “Occupy the Economy” by clicking here.

The following is an interview with Richard Wolff by Truthout staff member Matt Renner.

Matt Renner: In your introduction to the book, you discuss New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “cleanliness” excuse for clearing the original Occupy Wall Street encampment at Liberty Square. Why do you think so many public officials and right-wing pundits describe the occupiers as “unclean”?

Richard D. Wolff: Their problem has been, and continues to be, that they have no response to Occupy’s basic attack on the inequity and antidemocratic social conditions summarized in the confrontation of, “1 percent against 99 percent.” They know that the vast majority of Americans feel the truth of Occupy’s social criticism, experience it in their lives, and sympathize with protest against and efforts to change a system with such unjust outcomes. So, they can refute little and need instead to distract public opinion from what Occupy focuses on.

One way to do that is to assert the existence of and then condemn some other quality or dimension of Occupy. In Bloomberg’s pathetic example, the best he and his advisers could come up with was a reference to Zuccotti Park as being “unclean” so as to then position the mayor and the police as militant janitors. Everyone who knows even a little about New York City knows that the mayor and the police preside over many filthy subway tunnels, highways, streets, empty lots and abandoned buildings without doing anything to clean them. So, suddenly asserting the importance of cleanliness simply exposed them to the ridicule such a position deserved. I suspect something similar is underway when others, perhaps taking their cue from Bloomberg in New York, decided to follow the cleanliness ploy.

Continue reading . . .

Book Excerpt: “Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism” / Richard Wolff

For the last half-century, capitalism has been a taboo subject in the United States. . . . Politicians repeated, robot-style, that the “U.S. is the greatest country in the world” and that “capitalism is the greatest economic system in the world.” Those few who have dared to raise questions or criticisms about capitalism have been either ignored or told to go live in North Korea, China or Cuba as if that were the only alternative to pro-capitalism cheerleading.


Questioning and criticizing capitalism have been taboo, treated by federal authorities, immigration officials, police and most of the public alike as akin to treason. Fear-driven silence has substituted for the necessary, healthy criticism without which all institutions, systems, and traditions harden into dogmas, deteriorate into social rigidities, or worse. Protected from criticism and debate, capitalism in the United States could and has indulged all its darker impulses and tendencies. No public exposure, criticism and movement for change could arise or stand in its way as the system and its effects became ever more unequal, unjust, inefficient and oppressive. Long before the Occupy movement arose to reveal and oppose what U.S. capitalism had become, that capitalism had divided the 1 percent from the 99 percent.


Across the pages that follow, what emerges is the central importance of how capitalism very particularly organizes production: masses of working people generate corporate profits that others take and use. Tiny boards of directors, selected by and responsible to tiny groups of major shareholders, gather and control corporate profits, thereby shaping and dominating society. That tiny minority (boards and major shareholders) of those associated with and dependent upon corporations make all the basic decisions—how, what, and where to produce and what to do with the profits. The vast majority of workers within and residents surrounding those capitalist corporations must live with the results of corporate decisions. Yet they are systematically excluded from participating in making those decisions. Nothing more glaringly contradicts democracy than how capitalism organizes the corporate enterprises where working people produce the goods and services without which modern life for everyone would be impossible.

From: Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism By Richard Wolff

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