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Occupy San Miguel Presents Richard Wolff’s Democracy at Work

By Anna Griffith

Richard Wolff, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, educated at Yale, Stanford and Harvard, has an articulate, concise, charming, and thoughtful persona that enables him to convey complex ideas in clear, easy-to-understand terms.

In a video, Wolff points out the irony of delivering an address at Google in which he discusses the economic system of capitalism from a critical point of view. It motivated me to question why there are over 54,000 homeless people in Los Angeles and why are children being interred in camps at the southern border of my country, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It got my attention.

Growing up in middle-America Michigan with parents holding multiple college degrees, my world view of systems was extremely limited. My mother’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan was the basis for, until her death in 2007, her observations of world events vís-a-vís economics.

I was always amazed at what I thought was her prescience—which she denied—saying that if I understood economic systems, any economic system, I would see the same thing she did. When Mikhail Gorbachev was in office, I asked her what she thought of communism in the Soviet Union. Without looking up from her knitting, she said, “It’s unsustainable.” Here was an answer that had nothing to do with religion, morality, emotion, or patriotism. Communism was just unsustainable. It was a turning point in my critical thinking.

I was so ignorant that even then I thought that democracy and communism were economic systems. It wasn`t until I was 65 that I learned that they are systems of governance, and this is where Richard Wolff comes in. For the first time, I heard an analysis that fits my life experience of the economic system under which I have lived my entire life.

So, what is corporate capitalism—the form of capitalism that is practiced in the US today? It is actually an economic system in which two entities make the decisions, and therefore the consequences, for the mass of people?.Those two entities are major shareholders and boards of directors.

Marx found this intriguing. So does Richard Wolff and, very late to the game, so do I. We are living under a system in which the decisions are made by a few and from which the many are excluded, both legally and practically. It is not democratic and, in its current form in the US, quite clearly unsustainable.

Come and join us for a lively talk and discussion of Richard Wolff’s analysis and conclusions, plus sustainable ideas for today and the future.


Meeting and Film

Occupy San Miguel

Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism

Richard Wolff

Mon, Jul 15, 1pm

Quinta Loreto Hotel

Loreto 15, Centro




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