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Richard Wolff’s Video Lecture, Global Capitalism: Capitalism vs Socialism Today

By Steven Gloss

Richard D. Wolff, economics professor, author, and director of the nonprofit advocacy organization, Democracy at Work, is the subject of Occupy SMA’s next video presentation on December 18, where a recently recorded video of Wolff’s monthly lecture series at Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan will be presented.

Meeting, Video and Discussion
Occupy SMA presents Richard Wolff on
Global Capitalism: Capitalism vs. Socialism Today
Mon, Dec 18, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel, TV Room
Loreto 15, Centro

Wolff has been a professor of economics at several universities. He holds a PhD in economics from Yale University. Wolff earned two master’s degrees in economics from Yale and Stanford University, as well as an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He hosts a weekly radio and television show called Economic Update, on which he reviews current events pertaining to the economy.

Wolff is widely regarded as the premier Marxist economist in the US although he often says that he was never taught any socialist or Marxist economic theory despite his academic experiences. In fact, Wolff argues that teaching and discussions about economic systems, other than capitalism, have largely been suppressed for over 50 years in the US.

He discusses how Monsanto has used capitalism to destroy crops and other vegetation in the US by avoiding required testing of its herbicide Dicamba in an effort to rush it to market and make a profit. Wolff also asserts that capitalism is the root cause of the opioid epidemic, as well as the largely ignored prevalence of alcoholism in our society. Despite the massive loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector and the lack of any rise in wages for nearly 40 years, capitalists still portray the economic benefits of the system. Communities across the nation are so desperate to find jobs for their citizens that they are willing to pay absurd subsidies to global corporations to relocate factories and operations to those communities.

Unemployment is touted as being around five percent in the US. However, when you learn from Wolff how those statistics are calculated and what they really mean, the picture isn’t so rosy.

Most people in the developed world and increasingly in the developing world now spend their lives as workers, yet in reality they are still serfs to the feudal lords of capitalism. The French Revolution in 1789 was influential around the world, as average people and intellectuals saw the end of feudalism and the advent of its replacement, capitalism.

However, capitalism was seen early on by people like Karl Marx to not hold the promise of liberty, equality, and fraternity, which were the themes of the French Revolution. Ever since Marx revealed the shortcomings of capitalism, his work has either been suppressed by capitalists, whose only goal is increasing profitability, or maligned by using examples of communist dictatorships, neither of which portrays the diversity of social and economic possibilities under socialism.

Today, as discontent grows with the massive inequality accruing in global capitalism, as corporations abandon their employees and communities in pursuit of higher profits for the few, and as the quality of life for the majority of people in the US. is declining, there is a renewed interest in socialism. Join us to see and discuss this comparison of capitalism and socialism.


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