At a time when the far right has become more visible and emboldened in the streets, what lessons can be drawn from the past for building a mass left politics against the right? Radical writer and former professional soccer player Gabriel Kuhn discusses struggles against the far right in Europe, historically and today, and the … Continued
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.
Diversity is measured in large part by the presence or absence of people belonging to one ethnoracial category (Black, Hispanic, etc.) or another. But do those long-standing categories still make sense, given intragroup differences, immigration to the U.S., and race-mixing? David Hollinger thinks that if the goal of anti-discrimination policy is to match reward conferred … Continued
It was an unlikely book to take America by storm: a 700-page work of economic history by a French academic. But Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” has proved to be a book for our times, explaining the extreme inequality that characterizes our world, and drawing some bold and empirically backed arguments about the inherent … Continued
What happens at the intersection of ecology, sex, and indigenous studies? What insights might be gleaned, and what ethical imperatives might emerge, when what Melissa Nelson calls eco-erotics is examined in the context of Native culture? In Nelson’s view, we have much to learn from indigenous oral narratives that depict humans marrying non-human beings and … Continued
Are children inherently creative? What might be taken as a given is actually a relatively new notion. And, as Amy Ogata argues, it took hold in the United States under particular circumstances: driven in part by Cold War anxieties about the health of the nation, along with the desire by toy manufacturers to sell products … Continued
What accounts for the allegiance W. E. B. Du Bois professed to Stalin’s U.S.S.R.? What did the influential African American thinker and writer believe had happened to white supremacy and racial prejudice in the Soviet Union? According to Vaughn Rasberry, Du Bois believed that emerging communist nations like the U.S.S.R. had the right to experiment, … Continued
If you’re like most Americans, you probably feel overworked and underpaid. Americans, on average, labor 300 hours more per year than their counterparts in Northern Europe. And even workers in Europe, with some notable exceptions, have not seen substantial reductions in their hours for decades, despite increasing labor productivity. So what’s going on? Sociologist Christoph … Continued
Portions of two talks given by Alan Watts, the author, lecturer, and interpreter of Buddhist thought.
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
“Polishing the Mirror,” by the influential spiritual seeker and teacher Ram Dass, has been turned into an audiobook.
In “I Am Not Your Negro,” Haitian director Raoul Peck, through the lens of writer James Baldwin, examines why racial oppression is at the heart of the American experience.