This 4-Week seminar led by Richard Wolff will begin with an introduction and brief history of world socialism from its 18th century beginnings to today with special focus on the history of socialism in the US. We will then look at different kinds of socialism and forms such as socialism vs communism, democratic social vs. social democracy and worker cooperatives. Following this we will look at and discuss actually existing socialist economies and alternatives such as the rise and Fall of the USSR, the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Mondragon in Spain and Emilia-Romagna in Italy. We will then look at the transition from capitalism to socialism and what it might mean or look like. Finally, we will think through possible paths for transition under the theme ‘reform, revolution, pandemic’.
Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program of International Affairs, New School University, New York. His recent publications include Understanding Marxism (2019), New Directions in Marxian Theory [with co-author Stephen Resnick](Routledge, 2006), Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian and Marxian [with co-author Stephen Resnick] (MIT Press, 2012), Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism (Haymarket, 2016). Wolff produces and hosts the weekly radio and TV program, “Economic Update” broadcast on nearly 100 radio stations and to millions of US homes via Free Speech TV and other networks. He has been interviewed by Bill Moyers, Bill Maher, Amy Goodman, Fox, Business News, and many others. Published essays, interviews, radio and TV programs area available at democracyatwork.info and rdwolff.com.
Is the U.S. Borrowing Its Way to Fascism?
Viewing the GOP convention seemed a little like binge-watching the last several years’ parade of none-too-subtle signs of incipient fascism. We saw extreme nationalism, scapegoating immigrants and foreigners in general, white supremacy, “strong (narcissistic)-man” government, aggressive foreign policies, and hysterical red-baiting. Those signs reflect how capitalism’s deepening crisis undermines both the center-left (Democrat) and center-right (GOP) and shifts politics further right and further left. Trump represents the anti-center right, Bernie Sanders the anti-center left. Most capitalists want neither; the center worked very well for them over the last 75 years. As that political center implodes, U.S. capitalists favor the right over the left. They see the difference between fascism and socialism very clearly. They are not fooled by the crumbling old center’s self-serving efforts to equate socialism and fascism....Read More