Jul 2, 2020
Welcome to episode 35 of activist MMT. Today I talk with third year MMT activist and self described "old lefty," Virginia Cotts (Twitter/@folly_oh). Virginia grew up in a segregated suburb of Washington DC. At the age of 11, she attended and was greatly affected by Martin Luther King‘s March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom. She says that she always intuitively understood the ideas of debt and deficit scaremongering to be wrong but was unable to articulate why. She discovered Marxism in college which she says felt convincing and correct, and formed the basis of her political views.
One of the first MMTers she discovered was Michael Hudson, and then soon many others through interviews on Real Progressives with Steve Grumbine. She says MMT enhanced her understanding of Marxism, in addition to finally clarifying why the debt and deficit scaremongering was wrong.
In this first part of our two part conversation, Virginia introduces the concepts of capitalism and dialectical materialism, the latter of which, extremely roughly, is the idea that distinguishes between what unquestionably is, and how we perceive it to be. An example is how ice gradually melts and is partially ice and partially water. At some point, however, it is as a whole perceived to "be water." This is a series of quantitative changes that at some point results in a qualitative leap.
In the second half, Virginia and I discuss our still-forming feelings about Bernie Sanders dropping out of the Democratic primary, which occurred the day before we recorded. For me, it represents the end of a four-year long teach-in, much energy spent volunteering and organizing, and honestly, a milestone in my transition from adolescence to adulthood. In this new age of a now Bernie-less political revolution, we consider non-reformist reform, which is the choice between revolution and reform, and of making changes that plants the seeds for further change.
Finally, a couple of notes before we get started:
This is a conversation between two friends, learning together.
For an overview of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) with many reliable sources to learn more, here is a good place to start:
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