DEMOCRACY AT WORK
A Cure for Capitalism
By Richard Wolff
Haymarket Books (October 2012, world English rights)
Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9781608462476 • 5 5/8 x 8 1/2 • $18 • 220 p.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A new historical vista is opening before us in these changing times, Wolff writes in this compelling new manifesto for a democratic alternative economy based on workers directing their own workplaces.
Capitalism as a system has spawned deepening economic crisis alongside its bought-and-paid for political establishment. Neither serves the needs of our society. Capitalism never provided jobs adequate to our ranges of skills or jobs that engage our desires to excel and develop our capacities. Capitalism never enabled working people to genuinely participate in the democratic control of our lives on and off the job. Now capitalism cannot provide jobs at all for millions of people, wastes the idled tools and equipment, and deepens poverty and insecurity.
One root cause of today’s social problems is the lack of genuine democracy in our economy as well as in our politics. The solution requires the institution of genuine economic democracy, starting with workers directing their own workplaces, as the basis for a genuine political democracy. A transition toward that solution is emerging out of capitalism’s failures and the healthy social demand to do better.
Here Wolff lays out a hopeful and concrete vision of how to achieve the transition. He speaks directly to the many people who will no longer tolerate the current system’s suffocating economic inequality and political corruption, people looking for a concrete program of action.
In the following exchange with Bill Moyers, economist Richard Wolff emphatically makes the case for a higher U.S. minimum wage, stressing the benefits to low-wage employees and to the economy, but also addressing popular counter-arguments:
“You’ve taken the folks at the bottom — the people who work hard, full-time jobs — and you’ve made their economic condition worse over a 50-year period, while wealth has accumulated at the top,” Wolff tells Bill Moyers. “What kind of a society does this?”
“Ideas of economic democracy are very much in the air, as they should be, with increasing urgency in the midst of today’s serious crises. Richard Wolff’s constructive and innovative ideas suggest new and promising foundations for much more authentic democracy and sustainable and equitable development, ideas that can be implemented directly and carried forward. A very valuable contribution in troubled times.”
“Richard Wolff is the leading socialist economist in the country. This book is required reading for anyone concerned about a fundamental transformation of the ailing capitalist economy!”
“From Fox to Occupy, it seems everyone wants to hear what American Marxist Richard Wolff has to say about economics. … He has gone from being a rare thing – an American Marxist – to something even rarer: a popular American Marxist.”
“Imagine a country where the majority of the population reaps the majority of the benefits for their hard work, creative ingenuity, and collaborative efforts. Imagine a country where corporate losses aren’t socialized, while gains are captured by an exclusive minority. Imagine a country run as a democracy, from the bottom up, not a plutocracy from the top down. Richard Wolff not only imagines it, but in his compelling, captivating and stunningly reasoned new book, Democracy at Work, he details how we get there from here – and why we absolutely must.”
Nomi Prins, author of It Takes a Pillage and Black Tuesday
“Bold, thoughtful, transformative — a powerful and challenging vision of that takes us beyond both corporate capitalism and state socialism. Richard Wolff at his best!”
Gar Alperovitz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Maryland; author, America Beyond Capitalism
“Probably America’s most prominent Marxist economist.”
New York Times Magazine
“Imagine a country where the majority of the population reaps the majority of the benefits for their hard work, creative ingenuity, and collaborative efforts. Imagine a country where corporate losses aren’t socialized, while gains are captured by an exclusive minority. Imagine a country run as a democracy, from the bottom up, not a plutocracy from the top down. Richard Wolff not only imagines it, but in his compelling, captivating and stunningly reasoned new book, Democracy at Work, he details how we get there from here — and why we absolutely must.”
Nomi Prins, Author of It Takes a Pillage and Black Tuesday
Praise for Capitalism Hits the Fan (book and DVD):
“With unerring coherence and unequaled breadth of knowledge, Rick Wolff offers a rich and much needed corrective to the views of mainstream economists and pundits. It would be difficult to come away from this… with anything but an acute appreciation of what is needed to get us out of this mess.”
Stanley Aronowitz, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Urban Education, City University of New York
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the New School University in New York. Wolff is the author of many books, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It. He hosts the weekly hour-long radio program Economic Update on WBAI (Pacifica Radio) in New York and writes regularly for The Guardian, Truthout.org, and the MRZine.
See also the following profile in The Guardian:
And a video profile:
OTHER TITLES BY THIS AUTHOR:
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