5 Responses

  1. Yes, let’s dismantle the current system. return the currency to the federal government, end corporate welfare and bailouts, reduce many forms of regulation, get the government out of the markets, drastically cut spending, including drastic cuts in military spending, so taxation can be reduced, putting wealth back in people’s pockets, stimulating saving to create real capital as opposed to the phoney capital we have now, and thereby create a new system we’ve never tried before called capitalism. Wolff, being an educated economist, is disingenuous in his use of the term capitalism. He knows we live in a corporatist system, not a capitalist one, and he should stop playing that sleight of hand.

    • Yep, and our new Bible should be the Gospel according to what the libertarians say is the Word of Hayek, when they can agree on anything that is, and the currency should be called the “Rand…”

      And libertarians should learn not to deal always off the bottom of the deck, in their efforts to sucker the rest of us into installing their “system,” which looks like THIS when effectuated: link to nakedcapitalism.com

    • His point was that capitalism by its nature encourages individuals to act as we have seen, and that (for example) to prosecute individual banking executives does not change the problems with the underlying system. For every set of constraints designed to harness the positive energy of capitalism, those empowered will immediately set to eroding and dismantling said constraints, Glass-Steagel being illustrative. Its inherent to the nature of capitalism, and unless we address the underlying problem nothing will really solved.

      A “corporatist” system might be defined as a scaled-up and more professionally executed capitalist system, but Wolff is more squarely addressing the underlying problem by not confusing the issue. This was a great interview, and the way he puts our current situation in context was quite worthwhile, along with his read of where the current drift leads us.

      The problem ultimately is largely a matter of human nature: in communism, the underlying nature of individuals to work the system to their advantage quickly emerged (had it ever really gone away?) and eroded whatever theoretically hope M-L might have offered.

      Pure capitalism, unchecked, ultimately takes us back to Kings and Serfs. It can be argued to be the natural state of things: dog eat dog. Not necessarily a bad scenario, depending on your perspective. But as Wolff points out, that’s not only a short-sighted attitude, but a position that historically doesn’t prevail for long.

    • You mean like the system that collapsed in 1929 after 60 years of increasingly heinous “panics”?

      What good does it do to put tax cuts back in people’s pockets when the bosses keep driving down our wages via outsourcing? How many Americans have suffered double-digit real wage cuts since Reagan sent the word that it was open season on union jobs? Meaning they’ve lost more to the relentless demands of the investor class than they ever paid in Federal taxes.

      All private property systems tend towards infinite inequality of wealth – barring some effective redistributive practice, or extinction. Normally there’s either a revolution, or conquest by outsiders.

  2. Prof. Wolff pointed out that Bankers where just doing what they needed to do, so that they could succeed at what they were told they were supposed to succeed at. So the implcation to that is that bankers were 100% bankers and 0% cititzens.
    It was quite obvious to any normal citizen that there were systemic problems with the banking system, that would negatively effect our society, although not the bankers, for quite some time.
    Yet did the Bankers even lift a pinky finger to try to correct these problems. Not only did they not lift a pinky finger they colluded and lobbied the government to make the problems even worse.
    I think that not getting a trip to the guillotine is to merciful an outcome for such people. But getting to check out with a trip to the guillotine is to merciful an outcome as well. Oh, well, shall they end up dry or wet?

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