Against the Grain – April 22, 2024

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

U.S. higher education is in the grips of a new McCarthyism over criticisms of Israel. Sociologist William Robinson, himself the target of an unsuccessful campaign by the Anti-Defamation League, considers reports that the Israeli state is directly intervening to stoke repression on U.S. campuses and in U.S. society. He also discusses the political economic conjuncture … Continued

Of what use is utopian thinking? Is hope something we need to cultivate, or rediscover? Jon Greenaway looks at how the German philosopher Ernst Bloch (1885-1977) thought about history, human consciousness, revolution, Marxism, religion, and fascism. Jon Greenaway, A Primer on Utopian Philosophy: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Ernst Bloch ZerO Books, 2024 Mat … Continued

Radio is a medium with extraordinary propagandistic power — seductively transmitting ideas into the quotidian intimacy of one’s home and life. That power and potential was recognized early on by the state following the First World World. It was also appreciated by opponents of war, including the anarchist pacifists who founded KPFA Radio and the … Continued

What does bold and militant action in the face of climate calamity look like? What sorts of individual and collective actions should the movement encompass, embrace, or at least tolerate? Chuck Collins explores these questions in a provocative novel packed with information about real-life activists and iconic campaigns. (Encore presentation.) Chuck Collins, Altar to an Erupting Sun Green … Continued

Urban renewal processes and projects have wreaked havoc on many communities of color. Lindsey Dillon reveals how Black San Franciscans have responded to exclusionary forms of development and, more specifically, how Hunters Point residents worked to establish community control over how their neighborhood was redesigned and rebuilt. (Encore presentation.) Camilla Hawthorne and Jovan Scott Lewis, eds., The … Continued

The pandemic highlighted the vital importance of care work—whether childcare, nursing home care, medical care or schooling – and the struggles many people face to get sufficient care. Would more public investment solve the crisis? Historian Premilla Nadasen argues that the problem lies with contemporary capitalism itself, as care has become an enormous arena for … Continued

While the Supreme Court considers restricting abortion pills, feminists in the Global South have shown the way forward for safe abortions outside of the law. Sociologist Naomi Braine has documented the efforts of networks and collectives of activists, some formed in the struggles against dictatorship in Latin America, who provide information, pills, and support in … Continued