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Cronyism: in order to achieve oligopolies sufficiently large to achieve efficient expropriation of labour and assets (such as we now see) capitalists have to co-operate with each other and with government. A small capitalist, let’s say Margaret Thatcher’s grocer father, can only achieve so much by himself. Marx saw this as a logical development of the capitaklism of his day. I’m not sure if this clarifies matters :
but it’s a thought.
I earned it: I think Wolff would counter that in two ways. 1. That however benignly the reinvestment is done, it still represents a net differential between what the investor gets and the value of what is produced to sell him. In the open market, the system is perpetuated by this activity. 2. That the bulk of the unearned (except by virtue of being rich in the first place) dividend will of course be reinvested in further schemes designed to extract wealth from the proletariat. Like, for instance sub-prime mortgages, rather than anything which employs anyone at all.
I’d say about Wolff that his charm, his gift for engaging the viewer. and total familiarity with his subject do make me more inclined to scepticism, not less. Even more because what he has been saying for some time agrees well with my own beliefs. We’ve seen where that can lead: much of our middle class reads the Daily Mail on the same basis.
Wolff emphasises elsewhere that we’re all different, and that we all see things differently/different things in the same scene; probably as well to remember that when viewing his incisive and entertaining lectures. Such as these: