Economist and Professor Dr. Richard Wolff explains why America’s capitalism is, as the economic system of past empires, on a permanent decline.
Dr. Richard Wolff on Capitalism
I started the extensive interview by asking the professor what was wrong with our economic system. He had a profound prologue to the answer.
“Well, a little bit depends on what you call our economy,” Dr. Richard Wolff said. “If you mean the United States, the capitalist system here, Let me talk a little bit about what’s wrong with that. But I need to preface every economic system in the history of the world shows the following pattern. It’s born out of another different system. It changes and grows over time. And then it eventually passes away and gives way to another system that is born. And then goes through the same stages. That’s true of all ancient village economies, of tribal economies, of slave economic systems, of feudalism. It’s true of them all. And what that means is that this system we’re living under now, capitalism, is about going to show us pretty much the same pattern.”
The professor then went further.
“There’s no reason to assume it would be otherwise,” Wolff said. “And we know capitalism was born. We kind of date back to the 17th, and 18th centuries in Britain and Europe. We know it has evolved over the last three or four centuries to become the global system it is today. But I’m afraid the inference is the next stage is it’s over. And it really isn’t a question of whether. It’s only a question of when.”
Watch the entire interview. You will be enlightened.
Dr. Richard Wolff has released his book, The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself, in eBook format. We took that opportunity to interview the professor again, albeit in a pandemic that proves many of his points.
Published by Democracy at Work, The Sickness is the System is a unique collection of over 50 essays that collectively argue that “returning to normal” no longer responds adequately to US capitalism’s accumulated problems. The coronavirus pandemic, the deepening economic crash, dangerously divisive political responses, and exploding social tensions have thrown an already declining American capitalist system into a tailspin. What is necessary is to transition toward a new economic system that works for all of us.
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