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.
“Revolution in the Air” author Max Elbaum gave a talk about radical left organizing in the 1960s and ’70s and lessons for today. Rachel Herzing and Isaac Ontiveros co-direct the Center for Political Education, which works, via the dissemination of theoretical and historical insights, to inform and inspire people and organizations on the left. CPE’s … Continued
Was the post-9/11 use of torture by U.S. personnel unprecedented, as many have claimed? Alexa Koenig reveals that in the early decades of the twentieth century, police in the U.S. routinely employed torture during interrogations. Koenig draws parallels between those abuses, which were part of a cluster of practices known as “the third degree,” and … Continued
What does Karl Marx’s masterwork Capital have in common with Dante’s Inferno? And more importantly, what can the book — which was partly written in debate with the socialist movements of its time — teach us today? William Clare Roberts reflects on Capital, Marx, and the importance of the idea of freedom for him. Resources: … Continued
Every society has a technological dimension. So what does, or should, a socialist technology look like? What ends would such a technology serve, and who would decide which products or devices get deployed, and for what purposes? Victor Wallis sketches the contours of what he calls an authentically socialist technology. Victor Wallis, Red-Green Revolution: The … Continued
Brazilians just elected a retired military officer who has praised dictatorship as their next president. In the U.S., Trump continues to inflame hatred against immigrants and others, while passing policies that benefit the wealthy. How should we understand the rise of figures around the world like Bolsonaro, Trump, Duterte in the Philippines, and Orban in … Continued
How does Germany remember and honor those who fought fascism, and where does the U.S. stand in comparison? David Bacon reports on the monuments he visited and the courageous and often radical people they commemorate. Bacon also traveled to the once-majestic Salton Sea in California, where dust pollution from the receding shoreline is making farmworkers … Continued
While New York City may be the capital of wealth in America, the celebrated metropolis has been a locus of rebellion. From the revolt of the Native American Munsee against the Dutch, to slave uprisings, class and race riots, Stonewall, protests against the Republican National Convention, Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, and much … Continued
Amid regimes of exploitation and social control, who or what will step forward to save the day? Michael Hardt discusses how people and social movements might come together to achieve fundamental social and political transformation. He believes existing circuits of social cooperation could be harnessed to challenge the efforts of elites to extract and privatize … Continued
The ideas of French thinker and Situationist Guy Debord were crucial in shaping the politics of the Sixties and providing an understanding of everyday life under contemporary capitalism. Independent scholar Anselm Jappe discusses the Marxist influences on, and enduring legacy of, Guy Debord. Resources: Anselm Jappe, Guy Debord PM Press, 2018
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