Rethinking Capitalism (ReCap) Webinar Series

How Can Democracy Survive Capitalism?

by Robert Reich (University of California, Berkeley)

Event Summary

In today's America, the status quo is getting unsustainable: anger, upset, frustration, and outrage are rising. The working class is vulnerable to authoritarianism, racism, and xenophobia more than ever. Power is the key to decrypting and understanding the current economic, political, and social system. Power and wealth have become the same: great wealth flows from great power; great power depends on great wealth. And power is the capacity to set the public agenda and influence legislators. And power is exercised through institutions. Today the great political divide is between oligarchy and democracy. Over the last forty years, a treble institutional shift has led to this divide: the change from stakeholder to shareholder capitalism, the weakening in antitrust regulation and the associated shift in power from labor unions to corporate monopolies, and financial deregulation. Understanding the system and active citizenship are the necessary steps towards economic, political, and societal healing to revitalize democracy and restore a more just and fairer society.