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Occupy Wall Street & the Economic Crisis + Capitalism Hits the Fan

Program #WOLR004-WOLR003.

First Program: Occupy Wall Street & the Economic Crisis

By any standard, 2011 was a historic year of protest and revolution. In Tunisia and Egypt seemingly invulnerable regimes were toppled. In Wisconsin, citizens outraged over attacks on public workers, stayed at the state capitol building and camped and marched in the freezing cold. In August, more than 1,000 demonstrators were arrested protesting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, in the largest act of civil disobedience in decades. As a result of popular pressure, the project has been put on hold. Then, on September 17, in the heart of economic power, the Occupy Wall Street movement was born. Since then, it has spread and taken different shapes and forms. OWS has changed our vocabulary. 1% and 99% have entered the conversation and the focus is on the deep political, economic and social inequality in the U.S. and around the world. Interviewed by David Barsamian.

Second Program: Capitalism Hits the Fan

Like that well known substance, Capitalism has hit the fan. The statistics are numbing and do not convey the suffering and trauma citizens are enduring. Gone up in smoke are their savings, pensions, homes and jobs. Poverty is at record levels. For too many, dreams and hopes are shattered. And like the Howard Beale character in the movie Network, people are yelling, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore." Occupy Wall Street has gone global. People are in the streets pushing back and saying, Enough. "We are the 99%." There is widespread recognition that the economic crash is not just the result of greed and arrogance and lax regulation. There are deeper structural problems with a system that always prioritizes profits over people. The question is what should replace it? 


Richard Wolff

Richard Wolff teaches at the New School in New York. The New York Times called him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist.” He is the author of numerous books including Capitalism Hits the Fan, Democracy at Work and Occupy the Economy with David Barsamian.


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