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 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. (Encore presentation.) Gabrielle Hecht, “The African … Continued
We often hear how poorly educated American students are, ill prepared for 21st century tech jobs, which go to other workers in other countries. But what if more education will not lead to more highly paid skilled jobs? Educational psychologist Gerald Coles discusses how American companies are getting the workers they need, since most of … 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 working document entitled “In the Ruins of the Present.” (Encore presentation.) Tricontinental: Institute for … Continued
The Kurds are the ultimate stateless people, living in a region spanning Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. For decades leftwing Kurds struggled to create their own ethnic state. But in recent decades, the leadership of the Kurdish freedom movement embraced a form of anarchism, in which they rejected states altogether, and have been building such … 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. (Encore presentation.) Sharon Dolovich and Alexandra Natapoff, eds., The New Criminal Justice Thinking NYU Press, 2017 Jonathan Simon, … Continued
The Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with safeguarding the public from toxic exposure. But Jonathan Latham, executive director of the Bioscience Research Project, says that The Poison Papers — an enormous trove of documents — indicate that the EPA and the chemical industry often work hand in hand to mislead us into thinking that toxic chemicals … Continued
Can we understand gender relations in today’s neoliberal world without understanding colonialism? As Raka Ray points out, colonialism put in place new understandings about gender and gender relations, many of which continue to affect how people in countries like India think and interact and are governed. Colonialism and its legacies have also influenced how feminists … Continued
We’re often told that the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians rises out of a unique historical situation. But the dispossession of the Palestinians, rather than being exceptional, has strong echoes in other historical dispossessions. Gary Fields discusses the enclosure of the lands of the English peasantry, Native Americans, and the inhabitants of historic … Continued
The spiritual pioneer, writer, and teacher Ram Dass on how to embrace aging, changing, and dying.
Alan Watts on the fundamentals of Buddhism, plus a talk he gave called “Insight and Ecstasy.”