And so they got together, and you know
what they eventually did? They formed political associations. They could give
him lots of different names. They eventually gave them the name of a
political party. And they said to the king: “We’ll pay you taxes but you have to
set up a place where we get to talk about what we want to be done with the
taxes. And the place where we want to talk is called the place where (to use
the French word “parle,” where we speak) is called the parliament, where you go to
speak. And who speaks? The capitalists to the king: “we want our share of what goes
on.” The King needed the taxes in order to run the big system that he was the king
of. So he had to kind of meet them halfway although he wasn’t happy about
it. And we begin to get the capitalists with their own political party fighting
against the king and the lords, and struggling over power, because it turned
out these two systems didn’t live together real well. The lords and serfs,
particularly the Lords, were very suspicious of the capitalists and vice
versa, and for good reason. This kind of tension builds up across
the later part of feudalism until the capitalists are strong enough, in the
cities where they are based, have enough [ex-]serfs, that they begin to demand that the
policies of the King be tilted less towards feudalism, more towards
capitalism. But that threatens the feudalists because they need that King to
protect them and they don’t want to support a capitalism which is the draw
that pulls people off the countryside who are serfs (because difficult as it is,
their chances are better in that newer system developing in the towns). We know
where this story ends. It ends in the French Revolution when the new, emerging
merchants-employers in the cities, with their employees, realize that the future
is theirs, and that they need to end this struggle by ending the feudalism.
And they make revolutions to do so. And that’s how capitalism is born. It’s born
first within the shell of an old feudalism, coming out of the
contradictions of that feudalism, making those contradictions (not intentionally
but by their very growth) more acute, struggling now for their own political
organizations to have their own political force and power on the feudal
Kings, forcing slowly, with much conflict, compromises and concessions from that
King, until they’re strong enough to push feudalism aside historically and bring
the world into the newer arrangement of capitalism. Replacing [the] Lord and serf
system with employer-employee system. Replacing a system [that is] mostly agricultural
with one that’s mostly industrial. Replacing a feudalism that’s mostly
rural with a capitalism that’s mostly urban. Why am I telling you this story?
Because inside capitalism the same thing is now happening; a parallel story. What’s
happening are worker co-ops, in Spain, in France, in Germany, but now in the United
States, and everywhere. Workers are saying “we don’t want to live in the way
capitalism assigns us. It’s too unequal, it’s too unstable (with its every four to
seven year downturns). It’s not a bearable system. We are looking for alternatives
and finding them in starting up our own collective businesses. In the second half
of today’s show I’m gonna talk about what strategy that implies for going

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10 thoughts on “Richard Wolff: Capitalism’s birth from feudalism is our guide to a transition out of capitalism.”

  1. We have a candidate that will support this. My dear Tulsi in whom I just love love love she speaks to the depths within my soul. This is a open letter for all humanity. Revelation Happens on the Way to the Sabbath. 6 days we work and the 7th we rest in retrospect just spending time with the creator our heavenly father in gratitude. The natural physical laws created by the universe cannot be changed no matter how hard men try. The whole universe travels around a center. In the milky way the Earth our global sphere spaceship humans call home revolves around the Sun that big nuclear reactor in the sky that we could get most of our clean energy from every 364.somthing days. Our moon revolves around our Earth every 30 days and the earth rotates every 24 hours giving us day and night. But who established the 7 day week? Yes I know this was a general statement but my life is governed by sunrise to sunrise and from one new moon to another in the season's the cycle continues. The spinning wheel spins again and again. I said all of that to say this; all of history and the furture is predestined to arrive at a certain point in the grand scheme of things. Our present consciousness is just a drop in the sea of time. Can we pass the test for all eternity? A simple look back in history and we will find men's stewardship of this planet has been a miserable failure succumbing to immorality, hate, constant greed, corruption and war. It is time for a bold new world/national vision of compassionate FEMININE Leadership for our Mother Earth ship? Now to the impending task before all of us as a global community. There are simple answers to the world's most perilous problems. There is not a lack of natural resources or human ingenuity there is only a lack of collective will to carry it through. Will we stay bitterly divided or become United as one? We do not desire to take away from those that have we just would like to provide for those that have not with opportunity, freedom, liberty and Justice for ALL. Love can only be real when it is freely given. Great servant Leadership seeks to empower and inspire others to become more than we could ever think possible never to rule over. Yes we have social security, public roads, schools, recreational areas and many other compassionate public programs. We are on the proper path of Democracy and it all needs to be strengthened not changed to socialism.

    When we as just plain 0 Americans striving together towards a common cause as one, we can change the world and become that shining example not by force. How will the world know if no one explains and they have never heard? Is there any candidate that can say, I'm not in this race for financial gains if elected while in office I would donate my salary to a worthy cause. I'm running to be President to benefit all humanity and do what is just and true.

    Just think having several earth shaking free music concerts for Peace, Love, Hope and Change our "Earth in Crisis" how unifying that would be. People coming together with a common sense cohesive message that would bring about world wide cooperation in cultural understanding and together as a global community take action with massive                economic development and equality, personal  responsibility WELLBEING single payer health care for ALL and diligently as quickly as humanly possible combating climate changes our "Earth is in Crisis." The wealthy of this world are eager and willing to give back to a extraordinary movement that we all can embrace and believe in, they are only waiting to be asked. Please sisters and brothers support our best hope for the furture this mighty Aloha spirit of love and respect Tulsi 2020. All of us on this "Earth in Crisis" can co-create for a better world together. In this field of dreams, just build it and it will happen. No one can change the struggle for Justice by violence or murder or defeat evil ideology by their leaders we must change our hearts. Communicate, educate and inspire our fellow citizens who are idly uninvolved to stand up and be counted. Vote Tulsi 2020 Let Freedom Ring. I can imagine JUSTICE, Tulsi at her inaugural address saying we the people who do you want to sit in our cabinet that will have complete transparency and accountability to bring about the policies, change we the people want to see?? Peace and blessings to us all.

  2. This is why capitalists don't like Trump much. They see him as a king type. They want a manager, not a king. A king might start to tell the capitalists what to do, and the capitalists, naturally, view themselves as "the people." Their serfs don't enter into decision-making activities. Their serfs are merely a resource to be exploited.

  3. The historical record is a bit different, in that the first "tension" occurred between the monarchies and the landed aristocracy. The economic battle was over which of the two would capture the rents coming from the peasants work on the land. The landed aristocracy gained in power over the monarchy with the introduction of commercial agribusiness built on the raising of cattle and sheep. Some of the profits from these enterprises were then invested into the building of merchant fleets that expanded as colonies were founded and mercantilist trade became the preferred method of establishing a closed system of economic activity. The need for finance and insurance also arrived in short order. Thus, landed wealth was converted into commercial and financial enterprises, and the profits from these activities was in turn converted into landed wealth.

  4. Ok, so capitalism removed us from the Monarchy and Oligarchy of the time by putting capital into the hands of the serf.

    Now, Wolff is suggesting that we break away from the new Oligarchy, except instead of the serf getting regaining ownership of their labor, it must also be shared with Dr. Wolff and the folks at Democracy at Work.

    We work the fields and factories as he make YouTube videos.

  5. Thank you Mr. Wolff. I would also suggest to learn how the Mont Perlelin Society advanced neoliberalism against Keynesianism.

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