A radio and web media project whose aim is to provide in-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism.
Against the Grain
12:00 PM Pacific Time: Mondays to Wednesdays
Award-winning program of ideas, in-depth analysis, and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social, and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism. Against the Grain is co-produced and co-hosted by Sasha Lilley and C. S. Soong.
Covid has laid bare the inequities of our society and the dysfunction of our medical system, which focuses at great cost on disease-treatment rather than fostering health. So contends epidemiologist Sandro Galea. He argues that the pandemic provides an opening to rethink medicine, along with housing, wages, and racial and social inequality, and to treat … Continued
On Christmas Day, 1765, a new era in the history of protest began. So asserts Micah Alpaugh; he describes how the Sons of Liberty, formed in the thirteen colonies to oppose the British government’s Stamp Act, innovated a movement organizing model that was later taken up by rebels and revolutionaries in Britain, France, Haiti, the … Continued
As the world stumbles towards renewable energy, who will own the power from the sun and wind? Is wind the common property of everyone — or the private property of the few? Anthropologist David McDermott Hughes spent several years studying resistance to wind turbines in a southern Spanish village, from which he draws important lessons … Continued
A dozen years after the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long civil war, traditional homelands of the minority Tamil population are still under military occupation, thousands of forcibly displaced civilians remain in limbo, and policies rooted in Sinhala nationalism continue to actively suppress Tamil history and culture. So claims a recent Oakland Institute report authored by … Continued
The middle of the 19th century — between the abolition of slavery in much of the British Empire and the end of slavery in the United States — is often seen as an age of emancipation. But historian Zach Sell argues that it would be better known as an age of capitalist crisis, upheaval, and … Continued
What would — what should — getting beyond capitalism look like? Many scholars and activists have advanced strategies for moving toward a postcapitalist future. Some have focused on extending practices of “commoning”; some have advocated full automation; others have emphasized asset redistribution. Greg Albo considers and critiques strategies promoted by Erik Olin Wright, Sylvia Federici, … Continued
How best to understand the violence and discrimination directed against queer and trans people of color? Eric A. Stanley considers these phenomena through multiple lens. He brings up chattel slavery, commodification, biocapital, pharmaceutical industry practices, LGBT activism, and what he calls cellular labor to elucidate the nature and consequences of racialized anti-trans/queer violence. Eric Stanley, … Continued
Open any world history book and you’ll read that the Neolithic Revolution was a turning point for humanity, when hunter gatherers gave up roving in small egalitarian groups and settled down to farm. Out of that, civilization was born, with all the benefits and ills connected to it: the rise of cities, the emergence of … Continued
Egalitarianism is a thing of our distant past, or so we learn from conventional history. After a long stretch as hunter-gatherers roaming in small bands, our societies became bigger and more complex. And as they became larger, and cities emerged, hierarchy was inevitable in the form of kings, priests, and bureaucrats. The late anthropologist and … Continued
Richard Wright, best known for his books “Native Son” and “Black Boy,” was a crucial figure in the Black radical and anticapitalist traditions. So asserts Joseph Ramsey, who has written widely on Wright’s life, literary production, and political commitments. Ramsey also elaborates Wright’s views toward Black nationalism, views that Ramsey contends should be heeded by … Continued