Against the Grain – August 10, 2020

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

Is capitalism bad for your health? Gabor Maté thinks so. The acclaimed Canadian physician and Marxist discusses capitalism, stress, and chronic illness, inimitably combining profound humanism, dark wit, and extensive knowledge of science and social justice. He makes the compelling case that the psycho-social needs to be taken into account by both the medical establishment … Continued


Clarence Thomas is Donald Trump’s favorite Supreme Court justice, which might confirm the liberal view that Thomas is simply a toady of the right.  But scholar Corey Robin argues that Thomas is a complex thinker and skilled rhetorician, whose ideas originate in black nationalism.  Robin reflects on how Thomas’ pessimism about the intractability of racism … Continued


Helena Sheehan participated, as an activist, educator, and Marxist philosopher, in a great variety of radical movements and groupings, among them the New Left, the IRA, and the Communist Party of Ireland. She describes her engagements with many of the key ideas and debates around socialism and communism, both in the U.S. and abroad. Helena Sheehan, Navigating … Continued


More than 110,00 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to remote concentration camps in early 1942. Photojournalist Paul Kitagaki Jr. has tracked down dozens of camp survivors and their descendants. Charles Wollenberg has written about several key legal cases provoked by this tragic episode and the attorney who spearheaded them. Charles … Continued


What should socialists and other leftists do vis-a-vis the 2020 presidential elections? Should they stay on the sidelines, or throw themselves into the anti-Trump coalition? Max Elbaum contends that, given Trumpism’s relentless drive toward racist authoritarian rule, the left’s prospects would be significantly better if Biden prevails. Max Elbaum, “Socialist Strategy and the Biden Debate” … Continued