replaced video May 21, 2013 with a similar lecture
buddhagem Apr 26, 2009
American economist Richard Wolff at the opening plenary of the Left Forum in New York City on April 17, 2009. In this speech he explains our current financial crisis and puts it in the context of an en economic system that is fundamentally unstable.
Richard D. Wolff (born April 1942, Youngstown, Ohio) is a American economist, well-known for his work on Marxian economics, economic methodology and class analysis. Wolff received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1969. He frequently collaborates with fellow economist Stephen Resnick. Wolf is married to (and sometimes co-author with) psychoanalyst Harriet Fraad.
Wolff taught at the City College of New York from 1969-1973, and then began teaching at the Economics Department of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he has been full professor since 1981. He began collaborating with Stephen Resnick during their common appointments at the City University of New York, and continued after they both moved to University of Massachusetts. Wolff and Resnick have jointly published numerous articles and books that formulate a nondeterminist, class analytical approach. Their topics have included Marxian theory and value analysis, overdetermination, radical economics, international trade, business cycles, social formations, the Soviet Union, and comparing and contrasting Marxian and non-Marxian economic theories.
Wolff’s work with Resnick took Louis Althusser and Etienne Balibar’s Reading Capital as its point of departure and developed a subtle reading of Karl Marx’s Capital Volumes II and III in their influential Knowledge and Class. For the authors, Marxian class analysis entails the detailed study of the conditions of existences of concrete forms of performance, appropriation, and distribution of surplus labor. While there could be an infinite number of forms of surplus appropriation, the Marxist canon refers to ancient (independent), slave, feudal, capitalist, and communist class processes.
In 1989, Wolff joined efforts with a group of colleagues, ex- and then current students to launch Rethinking Marxism, an academic journal that aims to create a platform for rethinking and developing Marxian concepts and theories within economics as well as other fields of social inquiry. He continues to serve as a member of both the editorial and the advisory boards of the journal.
Wolff continues to teach graduate seminars and undergraduate courses and direct dissertation research in economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.