‘They like a little radicalism. They have been waiting.’

For Wolff is in very high demand these days. Barely 24 hours goes by without Wolff being interviewed on one or more radio stations in America. He even has his own radio show that broadcasts once a week. He has appeared on TV, including on the conservative Glenn Beck show on Fox. He spends many days on the road visiting universities across the US, giving speeches to students and academics alike in lecture halls that are uniformly packed. This year alone he will have three books published. And through all that prodigious output his message is the same: American capitalism is on the way out.

That is not a message that has historically gone down well in America, where cultural hostility to Marxism, socialism and communism has been the norm. But, Wolff says, the great recession has changed all that. Now his phone never stops ringing, and his schedule has him crisscrossing the country from California to Texas to Maine. He even gets speech invitations from Tea Party groups.

“It is nonstop. I turn down two for every one I do. I can’t physically do them all,” said Wolff, who currently has a post at the New School in New York but holds qualifications from Yale, Stanford and Harvard.

The sudden surge in interest in hearing Wolff’s Marxist critique of America has thrust him into some unusual places not normally associated with radical leftism. In New York, he gives a monthly talk at a venue in the West Village’s tree-lined streets, where townhouses sell for millions of dollars and the bars are haunted by film stars. He has spoken to Occupy protesters in semi-rural Maine and next month will head to the Texan megalopolis of Houston to give a talk. He was invited to speak to an Occupy group at his alma mater of Harvard but security barred him from entering. “I am alumni. They ask me for money every year, but they would not let me in,” he said.

 

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