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The Capitalism/Racism Partnership


The Capitalism/Racism Partnership

Richard Wolff

In the wake of W.E.B. DuBois ’s 150th birthday, his works offer a lens through which to assess US capitalism’s relationship to racism today. He famously wrote: “Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction,” while adding that in the US, race would be a key issue in that process. Thus he would have had much to say when, around last Memorial Day, Trump suggested that NFL players peacefully protesting police killings of black people did not belong “in the country.”


As a rule, I loathe economists, especially the academic types. Prof. Wolff is one of the great exceptions. If you like this article, seek out his talks on the web. He speaks truth to power as few can/will and I consider him to be an under-known national treasure. He does not play the “oh those are just externalities” game. He plays the reality and sincerity games in their stead.


I love Richard Wolff, listen to ALL his talks and read his articles at his web site. At first I was not a fan of his version of employee owned co-ops but he slowly won me over and think it is one of possible replacements/fixes for our so called free market system (Capitalism).


The third part of the partnership is patriarchy.


As I have frequently mentioned…sexism and racism have always been driven by wealth inequality.

We will make little headway against sexism and no meaningful headway against racism until we narrow the wealth inequality gap to where it was a half century ago…a heavy lift indeed.


I’m disappointed by articles like this too often; while this one’s not bad, it misses the deeper connection between the isms. And of course as usual it ignores our relationship to nature. Ecology and psychology are the 2 most important sciences and arts in the world, and the nature of both causes most people to run away from them. We need to fix that, individually and collectively. Splitting and projection connect them; it’s the common mechanism that protects people from unpleasant awareness and causes people and institutions to heap scorn and punishment on Others. Not until we deal with this on the deeper level of psychology will we make any progress reducing it.

As for immediate concerns, we can allay anxiety that contributes to the virulence of racism by making sure that as we get rid of rich people for the sake of democracy and the climate, we can assure them they’ll be taken care of with a universal basic income, universal health care and education, and a people- and nature-centered rather than corporation- and wealth-centered society. The feelings of superiority will have to be dealt with in psychotherapy, symbolic psychotherapeutic mass communication, and changes in institutions and child raising over generations.


A link sent to me that links racism to the so-called “pro-life” movement. The only thing it does not mention–a glaring omission- is the racist sterilization of many black and indigenous women in the US:


“If you don’t understand white supremacy, then everything else will only confuse you.” – Neely Fuller.

The ending/destruction of white supremacy will solve every other human problem on this earth.


And this:


Only if we address it at the deeper level, where we’re not talking about racism any more; we’re talking in psychological terms. If we try to defeat it on the surface it may disappear from public but it will always survive underneath and come back at times like this–stress on the body politic and the taking of power by the right.

And by the way, no, it won’t.


It might not seem like it at first but this article mates very nicely to the other carried here on localization by Helena Norberg Lodge where she speaks of how the economic system (Capitalism) transformed Ladakh leading to peoples becoming divided over Religious or Ethic differences where they had once lived in Harmony.



Capitalism is late stage colonization - sort of akin to post- capitalist. That in turn is reminiscent of the hogwash about modern and post-modern - just newfangled ways of not saying that the premises of analysis don’t jibe with reality ( a speciality of late/post western,whatevertheheckitisbeingcalledatthemoment).

Theres a joke about post- modernism - In France Bruno Latour whispered: “We never were modern in the first place”


I have a dream…the election of a wise and compassionate President who hires Richard Wolff as his chief economic advisor. Some times, rare indeed, dreams do come true.


Thank you for the post! YES! the Next System Project - These youngsters are embracing a learning curve we can learn from. Good on them!!


The New Deal didn’t confront capitalism

It made a bargain with it, which saved it, and which it spent the following decades decimating.
As the man said

“Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction."

Can we doom it to oblivion, and raise a socioeconomy based on our better angels in its place?


Have you read her book Ancient Futures? Along with Vandana Shiva she is one of those rare intelligent and compassionate voices out there. Another project of hers is The Economics of Happiness.


I have not though Ms Shiva used to have a lot of articles printed here. I miss those.


I had a dream last night too.

I fell asleep in front of the TV and I had a dream and I heard a CNN infobabe saying "We now interrupt the regularly scheduled hair-on-fire outrage about the evil Brett Kavanaugh and his normal wife and normal children to bring you this new hair-on-fire outrage about Putin getting Trump to kiss his butt in Helsinki.

After this plays out, we may be bringing you more of that hair-on-fire outrage you may have forgotten, the bit where Trump personally stuffs little foreign children into cages and then laughs at them while they cry.

Or maybe it will be the hair-on-fire outrage from not believing every word spoken by Peter Strzok whose super-duper patriotism is unquestionable because we’re not questioning it.

But first, back to Helsinki where we’ve just received word that Vladimir Putin is raping Donald Trump behind the podium like a Viking and so here is a panel of experts who will tell you all about their hair-on-fire outrage from these events…"

And then I woke up. Holy crap. No more eating fermented pineapples while watching CNN late night, I can tell you.

There’s just no telling how crazed I could have become had my dream tried to take me through all of you REgressives’ outrages. Because that’s all you do, is be outraged. Your hair is on fire over EVERYTHING.

One Friday night, I’m going to play the drinking game and do a shot every time I read the word “demand” on CD. I guarantee you I’ll be in a coma inside of 15 minutes.

But I’ve got one question. Why is it that, no matter how bad Trump may appear to look, his enemies always manage to make themselves look worse?

dream sequence courtesy of Ace of Spades


sorry but you are a nightmare from la mesa, it used to be a nice place, la mesa, wonder whats in the water/air/soil now


The mask is Trump. Tear off the mask.