A crucial argument for the incessantly promoted idea that capitalism will be with us for a long time to come is the idea of inertia in human understanding. Ideas are stubbornly persistent and can only be changed over long periods of time. Slow evolutionary change is the best we can hope for, and the prospects even for that are uncertain and fragile.
“Well also within the working-class, Marx talked about you have the lumpenproletariat and what the lumpenproletariat is, is people that are part of the working class but they’re never really allowed to be part of the working class. Their income comes from criminal activities mostly. They’re barely employed, they’re barely surviving, they’re desperately poor and they’re just completely locked out.” — Caleb Maupin
On the show this week Chris Hedges talks to economist Richard Wolff about his new book Understanding Socialism. Wolff explains how in the socialist dream work is something we should want to engage in, that means something to us, that brings us into relationships with other people that we value, that make us better people as we interact with them, “it’s a transformation of life.”
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“The Paris Commune of 1871 was one of the greatest and most inspiring episodes in the history of the working class. In a tremendous revolutionary movement, the working people of Paris replaced the capitalist state with their own organs of government and held political power until their downfall in the last week of May. The Parisian workers strove, in extremely difficult circumstances, to put an end to exploitation and oppression, and to reorganise society on an entirely new foundation. 130 years later the lessons of these events are of fundamental importance for socialists today.” — Greg Oxely, The Paris Commune of 1871, May 16, 2001