Against the Grain – August 30, 2016

Against the Grain

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.

Upcoming Episode

Workers and Local Food Production

Against the Grain

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For Americans who are concerned about the ways that big agribusiness grows our food—whether it’s the pesticides in vegetables, the ecological impact of food being shipped around the country, or the tastelessness of much mass produced food—local food production on family farms seems like a holistic alternative. But, as political scientist Margaret Gray argues, there’s … Continued


Kids, Autism, ADHD, and Bipolar Disorder

Against the Grain

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Children are being diagnosed with increasing rates of autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and bipolar disorder.  Theories abound about the spike in these conditions. But what if the root problem is, in fact, a society that medicalizes normal childhood behavior?  Clinical psychologist Enrico Gnaulati makes such a claim.  He discusses kids, psychiatric diagnoses, and the … Continued


Secularism’s False Promise?

Against the Grain

If the problem is religious polarization and inequality, isn’t the solution secular governance? Secularism, after all, promises the equality of citizens regardless of religious affiliation. Saba Mahmood argues that modern secular governance, contrary to its grand claims, has in fact exacerbated religious inequalities. It has also, she says, constrained our political imagination to a significant … Continued


Radicalism and Repression in Chile

Against the Grain

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Santiago, the capital of Chile, was a hotbed of radical, non-sectarian organizing in the early 1920s, when a repressive backlash led to the death of poet José Domingo Gómez Rojas.  Historian Raymond Craib tells the story of anarchists and communists, students and workers, radicals and reactionaries, the pursuing and the pursued, whose politics echo down … Continued


Organizing Across Race

Against the Grain

How many stories feature the Black Panthers, the Daley machine, the Young Lords, the original (pre-Jesse Jackson) Rainbow Coalition, and Chicago’s first black mayor (Harold Washington)? Jakobi Williams’s story does; he discusses how cross-racial coalition-building revolutionized Chicago’s politics and how it can and should inspire social justice organizing today. Jakobi Williams, From the Bullet to … Continued