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
Philip Freeman’s translation of Cicero’s classic book on aging has the subtitle “Ancient Wisdom for the Second Half of Life.”
Cheap nature, cheap money, cheap work, cheap care, cheap food, cheap energy, and cheap lives. According to Raj Patel, those seven things are necessary for the survival of capitalism. And, he argues, they are running out. He discusses how the food system illustrates the need for those inputs and why capitalism’s days are numbered.
Young Muslim and Arab Americans are being targeted by FBI surveillance, and this, says Sunaina Maira, colors the way they think and act. Maira describes who and what’s being monitored and why; the range of emotions surveillance generates; and the ways in which Muslim Americans are pushing back against post-9/11 regimes of surveillance and repression. … Continued
From charter schools to enterprises like Teach for America — profiteering off of public education has surged, supported by both Democrats and Republicans. But Noliwe Rooks argues that the plundering of taxpayer-funded education has a long history, going back to the era after Reconstruction. Rooks discusses that history — and whether we’re now seeing the … Continued
Authoritarianism, wrote Erich Fromm, is not just about dominating and controlling others; it’s also about subordinating oneself to a “great” person, institution, or idea. In the eyes of John Elmore, traditional, compulsory mass schooling in the U.S. fosters the development of authoritarian personality characteristics in young people who, later in life, may enable, or actively … Continued
Lake Superior is the world’s largest lake. Containing twelve percent of the world’s fresh water, its fate is our fate. Environmental historian Nancy Langston discusses the lessons to be drawn from the ecological devastation, recovery, and renewed threats to Lake Superior. Resources: Nancy Langston, Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World Yale … Continued
Americans don’t like to be taxed, we’re told — after all, who would willingly part with their hard earned money? But according to Vanessa Williamson that assumption is largely incorrect. She has studied attitudes toward paying taxes – and argues that our misperceptions have deleterious consequences, including discounting the contributions of low income people. She … Continued
The so-called logistics revolution has changed the way capitalists operate. As corporations have embraced a model of lean, flexible, just-in-time production, they have made their operations more profitable and have disempowered workers all along the supply chain. But, as Jasper Bernes explains, these innovations have simultaneously heightened the vulnerability of retailers and other businesses to … Continued
Each week brings another tragic account of the police injuring or killing someone, usually poor and of color. So shouldn’t we support reforms to make the police more accountable? Alex Vitale has a surprising answer. The sociologist discusses how liberal police reforms legitimize an illegitimate institution. He argues instead that the reform we should get … Continued
Racial health disparities in the U.S. cry out for attention, but, according to Catherine Bliss, the root causes of such disparities are not being adequately investigated. Bliss contends that genetic science, although it has commandeered governmental efforts to address the racial health divide, is not committed to probing the social and structural factors that generate … Continued