With one tweet, an economics professor blows capitalism’s ‘democracy’ myth to pieces

Richard D Wolff
Support us and go ad-free

With one tweet on 5 October, economics professor Richard D. Wolff destroyed the much-repeated right-wing myth that capitalism and democracy are two sides of the same coin. He said:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The criticisms don’t stop there

Wolff is a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. And in other tweets, his criticisms of capitalism continue. For example, he has argued that:

  • “Capitalism’s game plan” is to try and mask the “basic dictatorship of tiny minorities (employers) over vast majorities (employees)” through the use of “democratic” voting rituals” (i.e. occasional elections).
  • “Capitalism is a scam“, and both the system and “its intrinsic inequalities” are the “enemies of any real democracy”.
  • Austerity “serves the rich at the expense of everyone else”, and the economic recovery after “capitalism’s crash in 2008″ came “at the expense of austerity for the masses”.
  • Exploitation” is at the very heart of the current system, and “capitalism means cyclical instability plus ever more inequality”.
  • “Mainstream journalists, politicians, academics” jump at the chance to blame ‘socialism’ for economic crises when they happen under left-of-centre governments, but they blame anything except capitalism when crises occur under right-of-centre governments.

Capitalism is not ‘human nature’. We can do so much better.

As Wolff’s tweet above suggests, however, he’s not just full of criticisms. He also believes there’s an alternative in true workplace democracy, where workers make the decisions that will affect their destinies. And in other tweets, he has compared capitalism to other failed systems in the past that people once saw as ‘the natural order’, while suggesting that we don’t just have to put up with it:

In short, the message (as he expressed in another tweet) is that “we can do better than capitalism”. And the alternative is the workplace democracy present in workers’ co-operatives.

The sooner we build the alternative, the better

As Noam Chomsky and several other intellectuals recently pointed out, the inherent failures of neoliberal capitalism are inseparable from the latest global rise of the far right. The currently dominant system, as CorpWatch describes, is about “the rule of the market”; cutting public spending on social services; deregulation; privatisation; and “eliminating the concept of ‘the public good’ or ‘community’”. And as The Canary previously outlined in detail, it’s a system that has been an utter failure; causing suffering and destruction for ordinary people while only making sense for the richest and most powerful.

In short, the sooner ordinary people free ourselves from the poisonous tentacles of this system, the better. It is thoroughly undemocratic, and we don’t need it. But we won’t get a truly democratic alternative unless we step up and fight for it.

Get Involved!

– Fight against the root causes of today’s problems – austeritycutsexploitation, and inequality. Also join a union, activist group, and/or political party to make your voice heard.

Join or support a co-operative. Also find out more about the ‘solidarity economy‘ – “a grassroots economy built by the people, for the people, and the planet” which “embodies the values of economic and social justice, diversity and pluralism, co-operation, self-management, and ecological sustainability”. And read about how one region is currently building such an economy in the middle of a war zone.

– The Canary actively invites its readers to question everything they read. So please follow the links we reference, and always search for more information if unsure. But if you believe in the importance of independent, grassroots media in the fight against corporate propaganda, please consider supporting us.

Featured image via YouTube screenshot

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed