Abby Martin and Richard Wolff: The Growing Popularity of Socialism

Long Live Socialism -- Occupy May Day 2012

Image by brent granby via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Abby Martin

Empire Files on Aug 27, 2019

Abby Martin sits down with renowned Marxist Economist Richard Wolff to discuss the growing popularity of socialism under Trump and its historical roots in America, misconceptions about Russia and China’s economic success and Marx’s theory of alienation and monopoly capitalism.

Watch Abby’s first interview with Richard Wolff in 2016: “Marxism 101”

from the archives:

The U.S. Is Trying To Turn Hong Kong Into A Corporatized State by Rainer Shea

Socialism: Creating a World to Change Our Lives by Sam Friedman (must-read)

Caleb Maupin: The Thing About “Cultural Marxism” + Abby Martin and Richard Wolff: Debunking Jordan Peterson’s “Cultural Marxism”

What is the Relationship Between Loneliness and Capitalism? by The Anti-Social Socialist

Abby Martin: Capitalism–America’s Unofficial Religion + Understanding Marxism and Socialism

The Difference Between Socialism, Communism, and Marxism Explained by a Marxist

Socialism: Our Alternative To The Madness Of The Market by Eric Ruder

What Will A Socialist Society Be Like? by Jessica Hansen-Weaver

What If Workers Ran Society? by Elizabeth Schulte

9 thoughts on “Abby Martin and Richard Wolff: The Growing Popularity of Socialism

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  7. I enjoyed this interview, it’s instructive and insightful to plumb the depths of Marxist philosophy and learn about US socialism with R.W. who addresses these topics with eminent enthusiasm and clarity. Systemic change is fraught with complexity and nuance, particularly when it is assumed that an existing ‘organon’ possesses or embodies the most powerful anatomy & sophisticated architectonics ~ until it becomes a malignant victim of its over-bearing success and threatens to devour itself and eviscerate the body politic.

    Real history reveals all. The great lie that neo-liberal capitalists foist on a conditioned public, is this ludicrous illusion of limitless growth without moral accountability or reasonable, inclusive social proportion. “You’re ‘better off aren’t you, with this miraculous system that has created so much wealth?” Or so runs the cant “…..everyone is getting richer aren’t they, why complain? Why be so small-minded & resentful or ungrateful for the benign mercies and philanthropic gifts bestowed upon society by the generous hierarchies of those who have profited so illustriously from their well-deserved exemplary accomplishments?”

    However, such vain-glorious boasts are mere noise; the real challenge for an ethical (global) political-economy is how to define poverty realistically, in proportionate terms of degrees of impoverishment of the soul and spirit; or, to turn it around another way ~ how to identify what actually constitutes human well-being within the biological limits of our shared universal planetary commons ~ since all genuine ecological wealth is sacred and therefore of primary value.

    I appreciated Andy Fisher’s early model of radical eco-psychology, that was triangulated in a mutually reciprocal figure that focused on this inclusive approach. Attempting to organise a healthy society without factoring all the complex psychic & ecological conditions, energies & relationships that determine life in all it’s planetary biodiversity, is simply myopic and chronically foolish.

    You can’t train a leopard to stay in one place unless it is in a human-made zoo, and we don’t want to see wild animals tragically restricted to the equivalent of a species prison, do we? Birds must be free to fly, fish to swim; & humans need to breathe fresh air and detoxify pollution of our own making. A clean, flourishing environment is a most desirable ambition; but how to interact with it successfully, without destroying its vital biodiversity, is the crucial thing and that is what we must study.

    If the catastrophe of burning forests and the polluted, heating ocean ~ depleted almost to exhaustion ~ can teach us anything, it must be to live up to our spiritual responsibility as guardians and custodians of the biosphere. This requires a new (sanctified) biology, a genuine awakening and advance in our knowledge beyond the dog-eat-dog, free-for-all greed and deprivation paradigm, that some still insist is the true character of human existence. Why should that be so?

    Mechanized mankind still has much to learn from indigenous cultures around the world, surviving minorities threatened with extinction; but this is not to say that hard empirical science is therefore somehow inferior to cultures that some still dismiss as romantic childish caricatures of primitive ‘panpsychism.’

    Real science is is about deeper understanding & sentient discrimination. We need ingenuity, innovation, resourceful invention, but also wise practice; creative application, interpretation and experimental review. In short, we need to encourage reflexive learning ~ trial and error; social heuristics. We witness far too much error, yet almost no adequate capacity for necessary and appropriate correction. Political dogma does not and can never serve us at all well, if it does not engage and dignify real (capital ‘N’) Nature, about which we actually know so little.

    So far, we cannot even agree about quantum coherence let alone the most adequate calculus of economic proportionality; we need a vision of society embedded in functional ecosystems that are enduring, resilient & productive. We are quarantined by elite privilege and evermore symbolically exclusive, virtual algorithms. The only permissible metaphors become blocks of concrete text, while the slogans of commerce masquerade as substantive poetry.

    The way forward has to be a complete re-conceptualization of Intelligence (with a capital ‘I’) ~ a disciplined approach to (all possible) relationships as intrinsically of value, both literally and psychologically, for society generally and specifically our fellow species whose habitats and existence we affect so deleteriously.

    We cannot preempt what Stuart Kauffman calls the emergent possible or anticipate ‘inevitable success,’ but only make necessary adjustments as we walk on ~ in the ‘sacred manner’ most of us have been taught to ignore, or forget; so that we no longer actually recognize it, even when it is plainly in evidence.

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