A discussion about private vs. public, about China and the West, about the advances of socialism in the United States.
Richard Wolff will be remembered as the professor who made economics interesting for the public again! For decades the economy was a simple tool to discipline the poor, the working class, the migrants, and the women. Economic science was sold to the masses as something they could never understand – abstract mathematical thinking based on objective realities. This metaphysical approach to economics left people with no alternative to the orthodoxy that was preached to them. Unfortunately, as many of us started to realize, economics is not an abstract objective science like mathematics. And although it uses mathematics, economy is essentially about people, not about numbers.
But this contradiction of economics as a social science versus economics as an objective science of pure truths transformed what is essentially a school of thought, that is free-market economy, into a religion! Only the high priests could understand it and they were called by the governments to come to the rescue. Basically, their dogma was simple: deregulation, cutting taxes for the rich, cutting social security, and privatize everything. Those ideas were sold as the golden path to prosperity that unfortunately was never achieved! The idea that wealth is going to trickle down to the poor was just another fantasy since the only things that trickled down were the tricks the wealthy played in order to avoid taxation! And besides the fact that we saw no trace of the promised prosperity, inequality was soaring and polarization was dominating our societies as well as despair and precarity.
Richard Wolff’s show is like a breath of fresh air. Economics is clearly explained and it is used also as a tool of fruitful critique of the current system. Thus Economics is no longer the baseball bat used to discipline us, the laborers.
On 17 February 2021 Prof. Richard Wolff was the guest of the On the Barricades podcast.
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Photo: Richard Wolff (source: The Barricade)
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