Can Capitalism Survive?

Against the Grain

Capitalism depends on various inexpensive things to stay robust, including labor — both paid and unpaid — energy, food, and nature. What happens when they all stop being cheap at the same time? Jason Moore discusses whether capitalism can survive the rising costs of business as usual. Resources: Raj Patel & Jason W. Moore, A …

Upcoming Episode

Did Lincoln free the slaves?  Or did they just as much free themselves?  And what were the ramifications of their seemingly impossible achievement — immediate and uncompensated emancipation — for other oppressed groups?  Historian David Roediger discusses that revolutionary period in U.S. history — and the consequences of its failure today. (Encore presentation.)   Resources: … Continued


Against the Grain

The New Right’s Origins in the Labor Battles of the 1930s

What are the origins of modern conservatism?  The failed Goldwater campaign?  Or the Cold War era discontent of midwestern small capitalists?  Historian Kathryn Olmstead argues that it should be located even earlier, in the intense and massive labor unrest that took place in the fields of California in the 1930s.  The response by growers and … Continued


Against the Grain

A Look Back

Highlights of some of the best commentary presented on Against the Grain in 2017, featuring Gabriel Rockhill on democracy; David Hollinger on longstanding ethnoracial categories; Fern Thompsett on free universities; Sunaina Maira on the interfaith movement; and Vaughn Rasberry on W. E. B. Du Bois’s take on the Soviet Union.


Against the Grain

T.A. Jackson, Marxist Outsider

In relation to the radical political groupings of his time, the British Marxist T.A. Jackson occupied the position of an outsider. So asserts Philip Bounds, who finds Jackson’s inability to conform not only refreshing but of immense value to the revolutionary project. Bounds also discusses Jackson’s understanding of the political views of Dickens and Shakespeare. … Continued


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