Transitioning to Democratic Enterprises
Capitalism is exhibiting a hardening of its economic arteries. The pandemic has exposed profound structural problems. The crisis demands a serious examination of not only its root causes but for viable solutions. Once we are passed the pandemic do we go back to the status quo ante of massive eco-devastation and inequalities in income and wealth or do we create a new paradigm? Economist Richard Wolff suggests cooperatives offer equitable alternatives. He says, “If workers collectively and democratically owned and operated the enterprises, they wouldn’t be profit maximizers that goes to a tiny group of people. The passion Americans sometimes bring to democratic values in politics, have been peculiarly un-applied to economics with disastrous results. Cooperation is not just a nice, warm, cuddly, good thing to do. Cooperation is what can save us from the collapse of our system.”
Richard Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and currently a visiting professor at the New School in New York. The New York Times calls him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist.” He is the author of numerous books including Democracy at Work, Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens and Occupy the Economy with David Barsamian.