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Is Capitalism Fading? | Democracy at Work

Prof. Richard D. Wolff says, “We live in very interesting times.” In this month’s Global Capitalism lecture, he talks about the signs of a desperate capitalist system and the signs of movement, which present an opportunity for us.

The last ten minutes are presented here. You can catch the entire lecture on Youtube…

Global Capitalism: Is Capitalism Fading? [MARCH 2017] | Democracy at Work

“These programs begin with 30 minutes of short updates on important economic events of the last month, then Wolff analyzes several major economic issues. This month, these issues will include:

1. Lessons from the earlier fadings of slave and feudal economic systems.
2. Losing supporters, losing legitimacy: Obama, Occupy, Bernie, Trump.
3. Honoring International Women’s Day: System change and US women.

Our goal: To develop all participants’ understanding and ability to explain current economic events and trends to others. We open the floor to questions and comments when time permits.”

~ Democracy at Work

Be aware. Be fair.


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. Carl D'Agostino

    Certainly capitalism works but mostly for the capitalists. The exploitation of workers is just as Marx opined. No vacation, no sick leave, too many work hours required or too few hours granted to make a living, no pensions, no med insurance all for $8.. and hour – take it or leave it. The megabanks and megacorps run the show world wide. Capitalism is no longer a system where the working man can work his way up through innovation and hard work. We no have a social class system of sub classes below middle class which it inself in evaporationg.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      That is a very power & truth-packed paragraph, Carl. Think we can sneak it into one of those Texas textbooks?

      • Carl D'Agostino

        I think we’ll squeeze it between the earth is 6,000 years old stuff and that humans coexisted with dinosaurs.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Thanks for sharing, Dark!

  2. paulbern77

    Reblogged this on The 99% Blog and commented:
    I’ve seen this video in its entirety on You Tube, it’s 90 minutes but well worth your time. Exposes capitalism for the predatory economic system it truly is…..

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Thanks for sharing, Paul. For my part, I look forward to every presentation Wolff makes.

  3. Robert A. Vella

    It is meaningful to compare what’s happening now with historical economic system failures; however, there’s something new this time and it’s very important. As noted above, capitalism is wholly dependent upon growth. But today, the natural resource limits of this planet restricting growth have already been reached. There simply are no more undiscovered lands and peoples to conquer (on Earth, at least). Therefore, the logical conclusion must be that capitalism (i.e. the laissez-faire variety) is now obsolete.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      That makes sense, but aren’t the capitalists salivating to drill oil (also obsolete) in the Arctic?

      • Robert A. Vella

        Of course, even though Shell abandoned its Obama Administration-approved exploratory drilling operation last year – I recall – because of the difficult conditions in Alaska. However, the desire of industry to exploit whatever natural resources we have remaining shouldn’t be confused with sustainable global economic growth which requires expanding consumer and labor pools (i.e. population). IPCC food supply projections, impacted by climate change, indicate the U.N. population growth forecasts of 9 billion by 2050 and 11 billion by 2100 are problematic.

      • JoAnn Chateau

        We are really sunk. Every generation gets a name (Baby Boomers, X, Millennials), the next one should be called “Last.”

      • Robert A. Vella

        This quote from the 1998 disaster flick Deep Impact (U.S. President played by Morgan Freeman) isn’t reflective of the protracted crises we’re facing in the 21st century, but it may say something about their final outcome:

        “If the world does go on, it will not go on for everyone.”

      • JoAnn Chateau

        A good book/movie idea would be characters based on the Koch Brothers who are marooned on a dessert island (in the Swiss Alps) fighting over coconuts (or stale chocolate bars).

  4. swo8

    This isn’t global capitalism it is global kleptocracy.

      • swo8


  5. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Thanks for sharing, JoAnn.
    To better understand what we’re facing, I’m currently digesting in small portions at a time, Wolfgang Streeck’s book, How Will Capitalism End?

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Thanks for book recommendation, Rosaliene. Looks interesting. Amazon review says: “Streeck contends that today’s capitalism is plagued by five ultimately potentially fatal problems: declining growth, oligarch, short-changing the public sphere, corruption and international anarchy…” How hopeful is Streeck for a better future for “regular” people?

      • Rosaliene Bacchus

        Not very hopeful, sad to say. Here’s how he concludes his chapter on “How To Study Contemporary Capitalism”:
        “Capitalism entails, in addition to whatever else it may entail, an ever-present possibility of self-destructive destruction if its social containment, in the course of a politics of liberalization conceived as progressive removal of boundaries of all sorts, towards a final triumph of collectively irresponsible individual interests.”
        ~ This is currently underway with our billionaire-corporate government.

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