Marxist Richard Wolff on the limits of markets

This short extract of a talk by the thoroughly engaging Marxist economist Richard Wolff makes a useful point: that the domain of markets is and should be limited, even under capitalism. This is realized in the fact that all so-called market economies are in fact mixed economies, with a range of non-market institutions such as the state, the legal system, public services etc. which both support the functioning of markets, and help to temper their excesses.

You may or may not take Wolff’s viewpoint to its logical conclusion: the case for some form of socialism. But it is important to recognize from this that markets are political, cannot really be ‘free’, and that the mixed economy, while it may evolve and change, is what we live in for now. Pure market or planned economies remain unachievable utopias.


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