Join Economics Professor Richard Wolff, University of Massachusetts, for a screening of his film, "Capitalism Hits the Fan," and a Q&A.
Professor Wolff breaks down the root causes of today's economic crisis and traces its source to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a spiral of borrowing and debt. By placing the crisis in this framework, Wolff argues that proposals for government "bailouts," offers of stimulus packages, and calls for increased market regulation will not address the real causes of the crisis. He suggests that far more fundamental change is necessary to avoid future catastrophes. Richly illustrated with motion graphics, "Capitalism Hits the Fan" is a superb introduction to the unraveling economic crisis for ordinary citizens.
Richard D. Wolff
Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. Wolff has also taught economics at Yale University, City University of New York, University of Paris I (Sorbonne), and The Brecht Forum in New York City. In 2010, Wolff published Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It, also released as a DVD. He will release three new books in 2012: Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism, with David Barsamian (San Francisco: City Lights Books), Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian, with Stephen Resnick (Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT University Press), and Democracy at Work (Chicago: Haymarket Books).
Wolff hosts the weekly hour-long radio program Economic Update on WBAI, 99.5 FM, New York City (Pacifica Radio). He writes regularly for The Guardian, Truthout.org, and the MRZine. He has been interviewed on RT-TV, Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera English, Thom Hartman, National Public Radio, Alternative Radio, and many other radio and TV programs in the United States and abroad. The New York Times Magazine named him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist.” His work can be accessed at rdwolff.com. Wolff lives in Manhattan with his wife and frequent collaborator, Dr. Harriet Fraad, a practicing psychotherapist (see podcasts at www.rdwolff.com on psychology and economics).
Economic system in which most of the means of production are privately owned, and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets. Capitalism has been dominant in the Western world since the end of mercantilism. It was fostered by the Reformation, which sanctioned hard work and frugality, and by the rise of industry during the Industrial Revolution, especially the English textile industry (16th18th centuries). Unlike earlier systems, capitalism used the excess of production over consumption to enlarge productive capacity rather than investing it in economically unproductive enterprises such as palaces or cathedrals. The strong national states of the mercantilist era provided the social conditions, such as uniform monetary systems and legal codes, necessary for the rise of capitalism. The ideology of classical capitalism was expressed in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776), and Smith's free-market theories were widely adopted in the 19th century. In the 20th century the Great Depression effectively ended laissez-faire economics in most countries, but the demise of the state-run command economies of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (seecommunism) and the adoption of some free-market principles in China left capitalism unrivaled (if not untroubled) by the beginning of the 21st century.
Richard Wolff's lecture is absolutely brilliant and elegant - a simple and intuitive narrative of what happened in the past to bring us to the situation we are in today. This needs to be required viewing for all Americans ... and particualrly anyone involved in the Occupy movement so we do not just look like whiners or clowns. Very very well done, thank you very much for putting this up!
J.P. MORGAN INSTIGATED THE 1929 DEPRESSION, AMERICAN CORPORATIONS WENT TO EUROPE TO SUPPORT HITLER:
ROCKEFELLERS; HENRY FORD; ALFRED SLOAN Of GENERAL MOTORS; WATSON IBM; COCA COLA WITH FANTA, CARNEGIE AND MANY MORE MADE MORE MONEY WITH HITLER THAN AT HOME:
GENERAL ELECTRIC WITH COMMUNIST CHINA 100 YEARS HELPED MAO!
FORD SLOAN WATSON ALL RECEIVED GOLD MEDAL OF HONOR FROM HITLER:
CORPORATE DICTATORSHIP SENDS JOBS TO COMMUNIST CHINA LATIN AMERICA, HAITI, PANAMA.
FALSE FLAG ECONOMICS AND NEVER LET A DISASTER GO TO WASTE;NOW MAKE A DISASTER AND PROFIT FROM IT: LETS GET REAL WORKING CLASS ATTACHED TO TV CARTOONS SIMPSONS SPORTS SOAP OPERAS:AMERICA HAS TRADITION OF ADDICTION CONSUMER SHOPPERS OR SUGAR COFFEE SALT COCA COLA SMOKING ALCOHOL ETC ADDICTION WASHINGTON JEFFERSON TOBACCO FARMERS WITH LOTS OF SLAVES: MAO KILLED 60BILLION PEOPLE: STILL EXECUTES LIKE SAUDI ARABIA PRISON LABOR VERY CHEAP: THIS FELLOW CAN SUCK IN PEOPLE WHO KNOW NOTHING SORRY, NOT ME: POOR KIDS BRAINWASH CRAP! BYE! MORE PLASTIC CRAP NO ONE NEEDS! BOYCOTT COMMUNIST CHINA
I am sorry for being a bit out of topic,but I have problems with watching the video. It stops after approximately 10 minutes of streaming and then I have to renew the page. It won't continue playing otherwise. If anyone has any advice on that I would be grateful for it! Maybe the fact that I am watching this from Greece has something to do with the problem.
Thank you very much in advance!
Very refreshing! Thanks Richard. The presentation is well argued and comprehensive. It is of course impossible to cover everything in a lecture, but it is well done. Due to the typical American phobia of the word socialism, not a single word was said about the one person who really knew how irrational the system is, namely Karl Marx. America has the great potential to become a society based on human needs and cooperative production and not the jungle it is at the moment. Let us hope that a day will come where Americans realize how their capitalists have been exploiting and abusing them for so long and take their destiny into their own hands.
The right is calling this film "Marxism"..sounds like they are "doing quite well, thank you very much!" with the current Pirate Capitalism monopoly in place..even though they may be living under a bridge and digging their dinner out of the dumpster's soon,....loving every minute of it, and thanking God we live in a "free (fixed-market) country"