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
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.
The world around us is increasingly toxic, with 90,000 registered chemicals in the US, most of which have never been tested for their effects on human health. While regulating and banning chemicals and other hazards is ultimately a key political question, physician Ayly Cohen argues that there is a fair amount we can do to … Continued
Acclaimed historian Peter Linebaugh discusses Thomas Paine’s critiques of inequality and authoritarianism.
Too many hours, erratic schedules, not enough hours — and, of course, not enough pay: if you’re a worker in the U.S, time feels like the enemy. Yet, as sociologist Jamie McCallum argues, U.S. workers tend not to see their plight as a collective one and, in a particularly American way, often wear overwork as … Continued
“Countering violent extremism” is a U.S. government program aimed at combatting homegrown terrorism. It enlists teachers, service providers, and religious leaders in U.S. communities to monitor and report on young people deemed vulnerable to terrorist radicalization. But according to Nicole Nguyen, CVE asks teachers and others to take on policing functions and criminalizes Muslim youth. … Continued
As much of the American West burns, where should leftists struggle in order to halt the worst effects of global warming? Christian Parenti believes, since time is in short supply, that we have no choice but to use the existing institutions of the U.S. state. And to do that, he argues, we should draw lessons … Continued
According to Hadar Aviram, the death penalty, life without the possibility of parole, and life with parole converged into a virtually indistinguishable regime of extreme punishment in California. She describes the roles played by the Manson family murder cases and the politicization of the parole process in the shift toward interminable incarceration. Hadar Aviram, Yesterday’s Monsters: The … Continued
The untimely death of David Graeber, anthropologist, anarchist, and one of the initiators of Occupy Wall Street, has left an immeasurable void on the radical left. His friend and collaborator Andrej Grubacic reflects on Graeber’s wide-ranging contributions, from the long history of debt and class society, to the fundamental importance of generosity, care and play … Continued
Healthcare under capitalism often involves expensive visits to trained professionals. What would a system of peer-to-peer caregiving outside the cash nexus look like? Inspired by models developed in Greek solidarity clinics, Cassie Thornton has devised a radical new approach, one that involves three people focusing on the physical, mental, and social health of a fourth … Continued
There was plenty of labor militancy in the U.S. in the early 20th century. Much of that militancy was met with violence; workers were brutalized and sometimes murdered for organizing to demand fair wages and decent working conditions. These sometimes life-and-death struggles were enshrined in song. Mat Callahan talks about the tunes he and Yvonne Moore … Continued
Each election year, politicians make endless appeals for the votes of the middle class. But who, and what, is the middle class? David Roediger looks at the political history of an unwieldy category, from its Cold War role as a bulwark against Communism to the Democratic Party’s rebranding of working class voters to the radical … Continued