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.
What if workers, not bosses, collectively made all the important decisions in and about their workplaces and production processes? Victor Wallis examines whether and how workers’ control was achieved in past periods of revolution and upheaval, including the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and Chile under Salvador Allende. Victor Wallis, Socialist Practice: Histories and Theories Palgrave Macmillan, 2020
It’s easy to view the last 250 or even 600 years as a period of an ascendant capitalism, conquering everything in its wake. But the work of historian Peter Linebaugh reminds us that resistance was present from the birth of capitalism and that working class movements for a better world have profoundly shaped our histories. … Continued
What stands in the way of the urgently needed transition to clean energy? What is energy democracy, and what role can it play in the struggle against fossil capitalism? According to Ashley Dawson, a decisive shift toward renewable energy is impossible without a collective struggle to take control of the grid. He says much can … Continued
Socialist Yugoslavia was born out of resistance to fascist occupation during WW2 and ended in dismemberment and civil war. Today, Yugoslavia’s demise is much better remembered than what came before it. Yet socialist Yugoslavia forged a different path from that of the Soviet Union, which broke with it, and experimented with a form of workers’ … Continued
Why does poetry seem so impenetrable to so many of us? Do poets say something and mean something else? Matthew Zapruder talks about what sets poetry apart from other forms of expression; he also suggests ways to approach, read, and get the most out of poems. Matthew Zapruder, Why Poetry Ecco, 2017 Matthew Zapruder, Father’s Day Copper Canyon Press, 2019
From radium poisoning to lead in gasoline, from cigarettes to global warming, corporations have responded to revelations of grave harm with denial and concealment. As environmental lawyer Barbara Freese notes, a familiar pattern emerges of blaming victims, refuting evidence, alleging witch-hunts, and attacking the motives of their critics. She discusses the long history of corporate … Continued
We hear a lot about immigrant farmworkers toiling in the fields, but some of them go on to start their own farms in the U.S. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern asserts that although many immigrant farmers of color are committed to alternative food practices, they tend to be overlooked in the story of local and alternative food. The ideals … Continued
Coca-Cola is the most ubiquitous of American brands, the symbol of American capitalism and culture internationally, for better and for worse. It’s been a stand-in for American modernity and a lightening rod for global opposition to US corporate and cultural hegemony. Amanda Ciafone discusses the material and immaterial products of Coca-Cola — and the resistance … Continued
What does it mean to be committed to nonviolence, in one’s activism and everyday life? Kazu Haga reveals that Kingian Nonviolence is a principled way of life, one that actively confronts violence and injustice, restores relationships, and helps create what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called Beloved Community. (Encore presentation.) Kazu Haga, Healing Resistance: A Radically … Continued
Within the left, debates rage over whether we should focus on race, class, or gender as the primary form of oppression today. Josh Fattal points to the writings of CLR James and Raya Dunaevskaya as a way out of the conundrum: they saw the struggles of one oppressed group acting as spores for spreading revolt … Continued