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Capitalism Hits the Fan: Richard Wolff on the Economic Meltdown

Lecture by Richard Wolff , Sut Jhally , Media Education Foundation  |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Capitalism Hits the Fan: Richard Wolff on the Economic Meltdown + Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism + Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lecture by Richard Wolff
  • Directors: Sut Jhally, Media Education Foundation
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Media Education Foundation
  • DVD Release Date: March 5, 2009
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0029SK2Z4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,609 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


"With unerring coherence and unequaled breadth of knowledge, Rick Wolff offers a rich and much needed corrective to the views of mainstream economists and pundits. It would be difficult to come away from this viewing with anything but an acute appreciation of what is needed to get us out of this mess." - --Stanley Aronowitz | Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Urban Education | City University

"...Brimming with an electrifying explanation of how the 'American Dream' evolved into the 'Nightmare on Wall Street'...Wolff tautly strings together an economic theory (some of the observations with which we might differ) that offers a persuasive explanation of how Wall Street exploded by increasing our indebtedness as individuals and as a nation, at a time when wages remained stagnant. Normally lectures (if you remember them from college) leave a lot of time for day dreaming, but Wolff's explanation is so timely and cogent that you won't want to break away. Beyond Wolff's final conclusion about worker-owned companies, he succinctly has built a case about why leaving the arsonists on Wall Street in charge of putting out the fire that they started is an untenable strategy that will lead to even more economic implosion." - --BuzzFlash dot com

Product Description

With breathtaking clarity, renowned University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Richard Wolff breaks down the root causes of today's economic crisis, showing how it was decades in the making and in fact reflects seismic failures within the structures of American-style capitalism itself. Wolff traces the source of the economic crisis to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a dysfunctional spiral of borrowing and debt that ultimately exploded in the mortgage meltdown. By placing the crisis within this larger historical and systemic frame, Wolff argues convincingly that the proposed government "bailouts," stimulus packages, and calls for increased market regulation will not be enough to address the real causes of the crisis, in the end suggesting that far more fundamental change will be necessary to avoid future catastrophes.

Richly illustrated with graphics and charts, this is a superb introduction that allows ordinary citizens to comprehend, and react to, the unraveling crisis.

Available in two different versions (57 mins and 34 mins) on the same DVD.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
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Whether one is a free market worshiper or a democratic socialist, you will be amused, enlightened and informed about what global market capitalism has brought to the world, who has benefited and who has gotten hurt. Most important you will see why the game of growth and debt is over and will not be cured by a stimulus to create one more bubble that will get us back to the same economy that produced the meltdown. It ends with a remarkably engaging suggestion of what does work in some economic activities. I showed my copy to a group of colleagues and students and got more rave responses than I would have imagined. When I authored "Who Benefits from Global Violence and War: Uncovering a Destructive System" I never imagined that the underlying economy that fuels the system could be so clearly and persuasively described as in the DVD, Capitalism Hits the Fan. But Richard Wolff has really hit the button and his humor just adds spice to the message.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This seems worthy of everyone's attention. January 11, 2011
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This DVD Lecture on disc is something good for everyone in the USA to see. It explains very simply what's happened in our government since WWII, in a great summary of all that's gone on to put our economy in such a terrible way. If this as it did hold's my undivided attention and the way I enjoyed the interesting description of the times...If I like something like this, I think anyone on the topic would find it interesting and enlightening.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need to hear this!!! June 2, 2009
This is a perfectly presented description in layman's terms of the REAL reasons that recent American culture has led us into the economic situation that we currently find ourselves. This is a rare opportunity for any one who is interested in doing so, to follow a logical explanation by an extrememly educated person, despite his or her own level of familiarity with the topic. Take advantage of this opportunity to quickly get up to speed on what you and every one you know probably don't know. I heard this once through on the radio, and am now able to intelligenlty articulate to friends the reasons behind where we now find ourselves.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is A "Must See" Video! Don't Wait! March 1, 2011
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"Capitalism Hits The Fan" is a captivating lecture on our economic meltdown, where it began, how we got to where we are. He makes a few suggestions at the end, but he needs to put out another video detailing all the possible solutions! Watching this video is a revelation! He explains it to where the problem is crystal clear and easily understandable by anyone. Our corporate capitalism, as it is currently structured, can not continue much longer. If it does, we will all suffer the lingering depression that Japan has undergone for the last 14 years. There is no way out other than to restructure! You can't buy your way out; you can't borrow your way out; you cannot stimulate your way out. The problem is unsolvable in its current structure. The only way to solve it is to change the structure. Corporate capitalism has done this to itself. We benefited as a nation from fortunate events where for three decades, we were the world's producer. No more. The rest of the world has caught up after a devestating WW-II that destroyed their economies and means of production. The entire world is now in for a lingering depression if we do not change the structure. And if certain unpredictable events happen, it could be catastropic!

Every intelligent person in the world should see this video. It will definitely open eyes wide.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see dvd June 4, 2012
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Saw some of this on a public tv channel and had to see the whole thing. It is different from the book of the same name and only 57 minutes long. Finally, I understand what got us into this mess. Very educational and powerful.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God Capitalism has hit the fan! September 15, 2010
No Tea Party Member will like this film for they believe all is well with unbridled capitalism but those of us educated folk will get some good arguments from this film for those that do not believe the end of capitalism has finally arrived! I saw this movie at a church and it was sponsored by a Peace Action group. Of course it will be labled "left wing" the true death knell by all good flag waving Americans who may be mired in credit card debt and behind on the mortgage but still would send their kids to war to save democracy and capitalism. I would buy this film but I have enough already and he did not tell me anything I did not know already. All I can say is that he was concise in summarizing the end of capitalism world wide. It cannot sustain itself anymore. You can deny that statement but I will be proved right and so will this film.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism Hits the Fan May 12, 2010
By L. Hoo
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Prof. Wolff's excellent lecture is eye-opening and enlightening, easy to understand and fun to listen to.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is a great lecture that reminds us that Karl Marx would not be at all surprised at how deregulated capitalism is so good at imploding in only a few decades. So ok ok Marx's utopian solution fantasies dont work, we get it, enough already, but you cannot deny that the self destructive nature of capitalism was not analysed by Marx in excruciating detail and that Sept 18 2008 proved him right in his analysis. Professor Wolff argues persuasively that we always will need a New Deal type of structure to regulate capitalism to keep it from destroying itself by decoupling labor's productivity from wages to increase profits.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great lecturer
It has greatly helped me understand why this country has an unemployment problem that will probably not go away until we learn how to teach our children to be competitive on the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dwight Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Take this class
Well done. Would have liked a little more detail. His lectures must be full. Would make economics interesting. Must see.
Published 12 months ago by Richard Townes
5.0 out of 5 stars A really insightful look at our system.
Wolff gives a great presentation and keeps it in language the average person can understand. I hope to watch it several times.
Published 13 months ago by James H. Foy
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Wolff speaks volumes in a manner we can all understand.
I have followed RW for some time and he just keeps getting better and better. What he has to say is immensely important and timely.
Published 14 months ago by Castlerock8
4.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism Hits the Fan
In his thought provoking lecture, Prof. Richard Wolff histotrically reviews and clearly demonstrates how, in our current capiialistic system, the the economic plight of American... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dennis B. Osika
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening
Did not cover the industrial/military/congress complex enough.

Pointed to how capitalism as socially visualized skips social interest of right livelihood,
how... Read more
Published 14 months ago by John T. Horner Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism hits the fan video
This video does a good job of setting out the problem, with our current undemocratic style of capitalism. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Paco Maribona
2.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism Hits the Fan is disappointing
Richard Wolff was much more interesting and concise when being interviewed by Bill Moyer. His demeaner and presentation on that program is what attracted us. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jeanette Seaman
4.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism spelled out for everybody
It's plain English, so unlike the jargon used to confuse rather than enlighten. As the saying goes, if you can't explain things adequately to a curious nine year-old, you really... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lauri A. Heikkila
3.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism
My husband wanted this book. He read it . The author could point out problems but no solutions. Always easy to find fault.
Published 17 months ago by Julie A. Dudley
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