Against the Grain – April 23, 2018

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

What role do toxic residues and environmental pollution play in how the Anthropocene is unfolding? According to Gabrielle Hecht, Africa is too often neglected or ignored by natural and social scientists and international bodies, even as mining residues and other wastes wreak havoc on human health and the environment. Gabrielle Hecht, “The African Anthropocene” Aeon … Continued


In 2013, Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance by the National Security Agency pointed to spying on a mind-bending scale. Journalist Pratap Chatterjee weights in on the connection between that mass data collection and drone warfare – and the state of surveillance and drone attacks five years on. Resources: Pratap Chatterjee and Khalil, Verax: The … Continued


Why was neoliberalism devised and introduced? What impact did the so-called Third World debt crisis have on poorer countries? Why have capitalists gone on what Vijay Prashad calls an investment strike? The historian, journalist, and author connects the dots in a new working document entitled “In the Ruins of the Present.” Resources: Tricontinental: Institute for … Continued


Addressing mass incarceration and repressive policing in the U.S. is a daunting task. Jonathan Simon believes that invoking human dignity, and the need to respect dignity, can fuel efforts to change the direction of the carceral state. Sharon Dolovich and Alexandra Natapoff, eds., The New Criminal Justice Thinking NYU Press, 2017 Jonathan Simon, Mass Incarceration … Continued


Richard Lichtman (1931-2018) was a social theorist, philosopher, teacher, and writer. Based at the Wright Institute in Berkeley since the late 1970s, Lichtman spent many years studying and lecturing on Marxist theory. His book “The Production of Desire” was an effort to bring together the ideas of Marx and Freud. In “Dying in America,” Lichtman … Continued


Given the disparities between the lifespans of whites, African Americans, Native Americans and other groups, it might seem to be sensible to gear medicine along racial lines. But sociologist Leslie Hinkson argues that it represents a dangerous turn in science and healthcare. She discusses race, biology, and debt. Resources: Nadine Ehlers and Leslie R. Hinkson … Continued


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