It’s self-evident that unequal societies like ours are bad for the poor. However, as epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson argues, they’re also bad for everyone else, including the affluent, not only because inequality affects schools and healthcare, but because it also makes us anxious and unhappy. Wilkinson reflects on our psychological well-being in wealthy but unequal countries. …
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.
Political elites and technocrats in many countries believe we can innovate our way out of poverty. But can problems of development be tackled by profit-driven entrepreneurialism? Lilly Irani’s book looks at what professional design is and isn’t doing for poor people and communities. She reveals who gets ignored and what goes unaddressed when innovation is … Continued
The birthrate in the U.S. has hit a historical low, with fewer babies being born than that necessary to replace the existing population. Organizer Jenny Brown argues that that’s because the social support for women and families is so meager, that women have stopped having children or have reduced the number of kids they’re having. … Continued
Intellectualism and cosmopolitanism aren’t things typically associated with working-class people and communities. But James Barrett has investigated, and unearthed, highly literate and often quite radical working-class cultures, cultures in which people read widely, engaged in group discussions, and in some cases traveled a great deal. James Barrett, History from the Bottom Up and the Inside … Continued
Happiness seems elusive in our society, despite the many industries attempting to sell it through a multitude of products and services. What’s missing, according to feminist Lynne Segal, is the sense that our happiness is intertwined with the happiness of others. She calls for reclaiming radical joy, through collective life and activism. (Encore presentation.) Resources: … Continued
In March 1871, socialists, anarchists, workers, and others took control of the second most populous city in Europe. Before it was brutally suppressed two months later, the Paris Commune constituted a worker-controlled, radically democratic alternative to the capitalist status quo. David B. Downing discusses the Commune’s beginnings, its accomplishments, and its legacy. Socialism and Democracy … Continued
Are we facing a new Cold War with Russia? Does that country represent a serious threat to the United States? Tony Wood separates myths from facts about Russia’s domestic and foreign policy — and whether Putin represents a return to the authoritarian Soviet past. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Tony Wood, Russia Without Putin: Money, Power and … Continued
Marshall Rosenberg lays out some of the basics of Nonviolent Communication, the method he developed for connecting compassionately with others.
The spiritual pioneer, writer, and teacher Ram Dass on how to embrace aging, changing, and dying.
Alan Watts, the author, lecturer, and prominent interpreter of Eastern thought, gave a talk called “Way Beyond the West.”
What do the resistance of soldiers in Vietnam, the death of Ho Chi Minh, the film Easy Rider, and future Trump-fixer Roy Cohn’s defense of Joseph McCarthy have in common with each other? Among other things, they all took place in 1969 — and the voices of the participants were all captured by KPFA Radio … Continued