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Richard D. Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The Arts

Critiquing capitalism at Epsilon Spires

Film screenings and lecture interrogate current economic system

BRATTLEBORO—Beginning the day after Thanksgiving — on the unofficial shopping holiday known as Black Friday — the local nonprofit arts organization Epsilon Spires will host a series of events exploring the consequences of free-market capitalism and globalization.

The program kicks off with the six-part documentary Capitalism by Ilan Ziv, screened in three installments on the evenings of Nov. 29 and Dec. 4 and 8.

Capitalism blends interviews with some of the world’s great historians, economists, anthropologists, and social critics with on-the-ground footage shot in 22 countries, ultimately questioning the myth of the unfettered free market and shedding light on the human toll capitalism has extracted.

“We need to understand the history and implications of capitalism in order to dismantle or transform it,” Jamie Mohr, artistic director of Epsilon Spires, said in a news release.

She adds that she chose the date to begin the program as a way to “counter the celebration of rampant consumerism on Black Friday.”

After each screening, an audience discussion will be facilitated by Bob Johnson of Omega Optics.

The final event in the series takes place Dec. 11, when the renowned Marxian economist Richard D. Wolff will present a lecture on the relationship between capitalism and globalization.

Wolff is a co-founder of Democracy at Work, an organization that produces media and live events that investigate capitalism’s systemic problems, and is currently professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a visiting professor at the graduate program in international affairs at the New School in New York City.

All events in the series are free and open to the public. To learn more, visit

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Originally published in The Commons issue #538 (Wednesday, November 27, 2019). This story appeared on page B2.

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