Comments
  1. I would like to add that Grossman once worked as a Stasi informant, which doing so made life easier and freer compared with dissent so I can see that kind of affecting how he seems to downplay just how bad the Stasi were. That being said, having security is nice, but I would rather be in a social democratic nation with both freedom and security like what he described. Grossman is nonetheless an interesting figure and I like that Wolff brought him on.

  2. Amazing!
    I have never (consciously) heard of Victor Grossman, even though he is a member of my party (and has studied in my hometown).

  3. The first story about bribing schools to get your child into the "best schools" is what conservatives call a "Merit based system".

  4. One thing to note: There is no free press in the west, it is just the mouthpiece of the capitalist class, its owner.

  5. 26:00 So we need to put the ownership of the means of production into the hands of the workers this time. Kind of makes you wonder why that didn't happen the first time. Personally I think the party was the problem. When all power is centralized into one organization that speaks for all the working class but which most workers aren't members (or certainly leaders) of, that party will become a magnet for every power hungry careerist and every reactionary who wants to preserve their own power.

    "All power to the soviets!" was the bolshevik slogan. And the soviets (worker's councils) were a significant force early in the revolution before they were neutered by lenin. It's claimed this was a necessity because of the civil war but Trotsky makes it clear in his accounts of the civil war that this was the plan all along. No doubt a lot of workers supported the revolution expecting that they would actually have some control over their own lives at last through these councils. But the power didn't go to the councils it went to the party. It seems like a lot of marxists seem to understand this on some level now, even though they still advocate for a socialist party.

    Personally I think building unions, co-ops, popular assemblies (as is happening in France) and then federating these groups into a larger structures that can co-ordinate strikes and direct actions across state lines would be a more substantive way to build working class power. In these organizations power actually stays with the workers themselves in groups that are accountable to them. The party of Lenin and the party of Honecker were accountable to no one. So the power that they built through their violence was not the power of the proletariat but of a social club of commissars with their own interests. It was social democracy without the democracy. Leninists claim that it's necessary for the party to be empowered over the working class so that they will have the needed authority to smash the owning class. But the owning class did pretty well in a lot of these countries. Many of them became party members. Instead it was internal party rivals, anarchists, various ethnic minorities and some marginally wealthier poor people who bore the brunt of this state repression.

    To do it differently you need a different structure. And probably different organizations entirely. The soviets were a good idea. Maybe keep those and toss the party.

  6. Who is this nazi traitor from berlin? Hitler loved karl marx. socialism=Nazi german workers party.

  7. & Warren buffet is supposedly "ONE OF THE GOOD ONES" Yeah, my Left Nut he is! Btw here in America, we mean/Spell the word "Meritocracy" a little different then in most other developed Countries, we actually spell it (Nepotism / Aristocracy)!.

  8. Dear Prof. Wolff, WE deserved more of Mr. Grossman's precious time … what an UNIQUE testimony.
    Thanks anyway.

  9. Ok so take care of people's basic needs to the degree that poverty isn't a thing. Then make damn sure that includes education to the degree that the people can differentiate genuine arguments and charlatans pedaling chicanery, so that the common citizenry are the true power of the state, not the mega wealthy elites and their corrupting influences.

  10. And now all over the world you have everything to buy but you don't have money because big guys slickly tuck it all anyway. So in the end many can't buy banana again too.
    My opinion press should be ban because it makes a lot of mess.

  11. Best Prof. Wolff,

    This was a very interesting video! One of the negative things Victor Grossman mentioned about life in DDR, was the lack of products. In the Western world, life in DDR is far too often described to have been unbearable because of political repression. I believe that for ideological and propaganda reasons the importance of the political repression is often overstated, while the importance of access to different products is understated, since it sounds more "noble". In reality, access to good quality products is of great importance. Additionally, I suspect that DDR was better supplied than many other socialist countries, to counteract the intense propaganda war over the radio and TV that took place there.

    With this background I would like to ask about socialism, economy and the production of goods for consumption by the public. You have mentioned previously in some lectures that the Soviet Union showed, initially, great economic growth and development. Later on though, the economic development stagnated, which affected the average citizens access to basic goods, and discontent grew in the population. Could the initial growth of the Soviet Union be attributed to socialistic economic policies, or is it to a larger extent explained by the fact that the Soviet leaders worked with the aim to modernize and develop the country with the technology available at the time, unlike the more conservative monarchy of the Russian Empire?

    Secondly, and maybe even more important, what caused the economic stagnation? I'd really appreciate answers to these questions, since I believe it could help us to pick up proven successful strategies, and avoid previous mistakes.
    Many thanks in advance!

  12. Please call it for what it truly is = a socio-capitalist economy as opposed to the corporate-communiusm being imposed by the NWO as 'anti-socialist and also, in reality, anti-capitalist.

  13. By the number of acolytes Proff Wolff has I can confidently say ZERO lessons learned from the whole experience of history.

  14. I love his child-like naivete… "just get rid of the super wealthy". Sadly it's not so simple. We need to instead organize society more democratically so that extreme wealth expropriation never gets started in the first place. To be peaceful, let's not kill all bosses right now, but just "phase them out".

  15. I don't think its a good tactic nor does it make people look good to go after others for their sex life unless it was breaking the law. That makes people get into each others personal lives.

    Cheating on your spouse isn't good for the kids that's for sure, so if its harming the kids maybe.

    But people fear socialism because rumors get made that everyone's private life will become the public's business. In a surveillance state and with smartphones everywhere that's kind of already here.

    Its fucked up the military would want to find out if people were leftist or not back in this man's day. The entire history of America is anti-left.

  16. Those students bribed coaches, take tests for them, changed grades, and wrote the "donation" bribe as a tax writeoff

  17. Our economic system is obviously ridiculous it's over. The elites have a rude awakening to come. Hopefully it can be changed before the eventual debt collapse (this time in many more sectors including business itself). Either way, it's game over for this plutocratic nonsense. Everyone is hurting too much economically particularly us younger generations born 1980 and after. And many other older generations left behind too in this retrenchment toward robber baron idiocy.
    As far as a socialist country, EVERY country is a socialist country, mixed market capital-social mixed markets. No nation in straight up capitalist markets have kept a democracy alive just as any straight up socialist fully state run economy hasn't last long.
    A non-trade-able co-op enterprise where all workers have one vote regardless of position is what's required. Universal healthcare and universal education are all required and will happen.
    Aristocracy to the extent we have now and had in the far past is an absurdity, a symptom showing a failed system.
    And our political structure in the US must change. Term limits on ALL office holders. No more business donations as they're just bribes. Elections need to be held for longer periods of time and even mail ballots to homes. Arbitrary district creating is a must to avoid gerrymandering; when these incumbents draw their own maps, it becomes them picking their voters instead of the voters picking their candidates.

  18. FANTASTIC mix of topics, LOVE IT.
    Arise, workers of the United States, you have nothing to lose but your chains to Goldman Sachs !
    R E V O L U T I O N

  19. Excellent interview. Socialism 2.0 will include a more sophisticated resource management policy geared for abundance (permaculture). Socialism can fill shops and grocery stores just as well as capitalism can and probably better. Also, the free press thing is an easy fix.

  20. It’s time to do more than speak out about the lobby system that bribes our politicians at all levels. Start to turn up the heat on both sides. Make sure they get the message they aren’t wanted and won’t be tolerated.

  21. Most of the bad things about GDR by his account…seem to be present in capitalism and feudalism even harsher.
    LibSoc is better. Gotta be global and all at once, unless we can get Jeremy Corbins law somehow going strong. I mean….its a plan that doesn't involve death, ill take it if it works lol.

  22. Viktor Grossman supposedly never was a worker in the GDR. The main problem was: Workers were forced to be inactive. Thats not accidently. They had to be inactive, because meddling in the question of eradicate grievances would had lead them automatically to challenge the stalinist bureaucratic apparatus. In short: This apparatus braked labour productivity. This was the real suppression!

  23. When I lived in socialist economy everyone was so nice. We didn't have much but we got a free glass of milk every day.

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