Anyone else get the impression that Richard Wolff is “hiding his power level” so to speak and is actually way more radical than he lets on? He seems to be more of a co-op, market socialism guy on the surface because he talks about workplace democracy a lot, but i remember him during an interview with Hakim saying pretty positive things about economic planning. Recently he has also been praising the People’s Republic of China a lot in various interviews, and in the latest interview i watched him give to Briahna Joy Gray he even snuck in a Lenin quote at the end (uncredited of course saying just “a famous political leader once said”) basically paraphrased the well known “there are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen” line. Is he a closeted ML or what? Is his focus on workplace democracy just a smart strategy to appeal to “baby leftist” Americans and introduce them to basic Marxist concepts without scaring them away?

Muad'Dibber
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For me at least, he’s better than 99% of western leftists, because he supports modern China ( and the USSR of course ). Not even Parenti did that ( for China I mean ). Although the criticisms of his worker coop plan are legitimate, I think he uses the local unionization and coops as a radicalization starting place more than anything.

He’s a legit Marxist, and doing a good a job as we can hope for, spreading communist ideas to a mainstream imperial-core audience indoctrinated to be anti-communist their entire lives. I really don’t understand it when some communists want to eat him. I’d argue that his dialogue and positions are even turning other popular Marxists like david harvey further left.

For some communists it’s never perfect enough. It’s communism on first try or nothing at all. They fail to see the differents states of different countries and that they all need different approaches to building communism. It’s a very immature and imo terminally online behavior.

You are correct. He is very much aware of how propagandized his viewers are so it seems like he’s come up with a system where he can give them some good information without them feeling like they’re trying to be converted to communists.

communism is such a bad word in the US. Wolff knows it. So he offers praise for the CPC and USSR, but only based on their economic achievements which are objective facts. Liberals/progressives will acknowledge this because they love statistics and shit. Wolff keeps away from trying to make any moral arguments for socialism because he knows he will lose the liberals there, and as a liberal your guard is up and you’re almost expecting him to do that. Instead he starts talking about the benefits of worker co-ops and trade unions.

Wolff knows how far behind the US is as far as working class solidarity. I think that he believes we need class consciousness before we can even consider talking about socialism. Trade unions and co-ops are thought of positively in the US so that’s his way of trying to improve conditions for workers right now. It also respects the viewer’s intelligence because he knows many people are going to google some of the things he said about China and USSR. He doesn’t need to shove it down your throat.

It worked for me. I was a Bernie bro before I started watching his videos. Thank you comrade Wolff

I get the feeling he’s playing a little more liberal than he really is in an effort to not turn too many people away from the ideas. He’s really pragmatic while also being idealist and sticking to Marxist/ML concepts.

One of the most interesting things I find about his perspective is that he went to school with a bunch of the neoliberal ghouls currently helping the empire turn in on itself, and he calls them out on it.

Prof Wolff isn’t perfect but I rarely disagree with him. I listen to Economic Update every week still. Sometimes he has libs on though for some reason. I don’t want to use the phrase dumb down, but he is sort of reductive with some things.

Keep in mind support for Marxism/socialism/etc in the USA was pretty much nonexistent for a very long time. Co-ops, unions, etc are absolutely the best way to improve material conditions for the working class under capitalism. Unfortunately I think at this point in the US, the ruling class isn’t going to cede an inch without violent revolution.

I think he was actually the first Marxist I started listening to, so he’ll always have a special place in my heart.

@cfgaussian@lemmygrad.ml
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Yeah his guests on the show are quite hit and miss. He had on recently this lib by the name of Thom Hartmann who did nothing but shill for the Democrats. I couldn’t listen to that guy.

Also who the hell runs the Democracy at Work Twitter account?! They’ve been posting some serious cringe about Ukraine lately.

But normally his stuff, or at the very least his weekly monologues are worth listening to. I think he’s doing a good job overall.

Was that a couple weeks ago? He had someone on who was going on about how authoritarian China is. I wish Richard would have pushed back.

Just saw he’s gonna be on The Deprogram this week! He’s also on The Socialist Program once a week, which is a GREAT podcast.

He definitely, absolutely moderates the way he presents his ideology.

And I think he does good work because of it.

Not everybody needs to be fully brazen about their ideology. And not everyone needs to do what Wolff does. But Wolff is good at what he does, which is to remain palatable to people who go along with capitalism purely out of herd mentality but are smart enough to think critically about their situation. The kind of people who sense there’s something wrong with capitalism but have been conditioned to run screaming from places like this website, or anything branded as problematic by twitter or other media. Wolff is able to address those people and have them listen.

He wouldn’t be able to do that if he was also liking Chen Weihua tweets. But the Wolf Warriors are doing valuable praxis, and the Big Bad Wolff is doing a different, equally valuable praxis.

TBH, I think so.

Where do I go to listen to his stuff? I really need to start expanding where I’m getting my information and what I’m watching/listening to.

nixfreak
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I really like is take on “Worker coops” and it makes a lot of sense. https://invidious.snopyta.org/channel/UCB-5u8VgFc_TI1aAj8_SmDA

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