Richard Wolff on Socialism, the Economy and Coronavirus
Published by marco on
Richard Wolff is the gift that keeps on giving. He’s just as brilliant talking into a laptop camera as he is giving lectures. I mentioned him recently as one of my favorite economist. The video is 75 minutes, but well-worth the time.
The following citation/transcript is from about 55 minutes, when the interviewer asked him what he thought of Biden vs. Trump..
“Biden is better than Trump, that seems clear to me. But, it’s almost meaningless because that’s such a low bar that the statement is, sort of, boring. Almost anybody would have been better than Trump.
“Any one of the 20 people who at one time or another wanted to be the Democratic candidate would have been better than Trump. “Who Cares?” is better than Trump. And when it comes to voting, yes, I suppose we’ll vote for Biden because no-one’s going to vote for Trump for 20 different reasons.
“But for the left: Mr. Biden is a zero. There’s nothing there. He’s what we call an empty suit. This is an old, probably senile, representative of an old, certainly senile establishment of the Democratic party. This is the Clintons, this is Obama, this is all of the old apparatchiks of the Democratic Party, who are terrified by Bernie, who make money from the corporate elite, who are the center-left in a game with the center-right.
“For me, the job of the left is what it was before. I appreciate Bernie because he strengthened us. He did two things: One, he taught millions of Americans that they are not alone and that they are not isolated. He taught them and he taught the whole world that there’s a tremendous constituency for anti-capitalism and for socialism, whatever the vague understanding of those terms. But he taught the world that the United States is not the place where there can’t be socialism. That is an enormous step forward for us.
“He also made the daily conversation about socialism acceptable. […] He built a foundation on which we should be building right now.”
He continues with a discussion of how to build: those who want to build within the Democratic Party and those who want to build a socialist party that stands on its own. He will be working on the second option, but he welcomes people to try to move the Democratic Party. He also welcomes any of those who eventually give up – they shouldn’t be shunned for having tried. It’s all important.