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.
Despite the precariousness that it creates, why does capitalism survive? Radical theorist Silvia Federici discusses how capitalism perpetuates itself by dispossessing and dividing us, while putting the job of reproducing the workforce squarely on the shoulders of the working class, especially women. She considers the missteps that the feminist movement made in confronting the rise … Continued
How do we get from neoliberalism to a just society? What political projects and initiatives have put us on a trajectory of radical social transformation? In his latest book, political theorist Robert Latham puts forward a notion of re-collective passage, which involves turning away from dominant sociopolitical relations and enacting new ways to organize and … Continued
In the age of Trump — and before him, of Obama — change from the top seems far out of reach for progressives. Some have drawn from the past and have struggled from the bottom up for a just city, perhaps the premier case being Richmond, California. Journalist Steve Early talks about Richmond, Chevron, labor … Continued
Part Two of the interview with Fred Block about Malthusianism old and new (the first part is here), plus Nicolas Lampert discusses the intersection of art and social movement activism in the U.S. Fred Block and Margaret Somers, The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique Harvard University Press, 2016 Nicolas Lampert, A People’s Art … Continued
In recent years, mothers have found themselves in the cross hairs of the legal system, blamed for a wide range of risks to their children and unborn fetuses. Cases have abounded where pregnant women have been committed out of suspicion of behavior that might affect their fetus, or even charged with murder after having a … Continued
The idea that human society and markets are self-regulating, and that therefore political intervention to address poverty and equality is wrong-headed, has taken over the political landscape. Fred Block shows how that idea, advanced by T. R. Malthus and much later by Charles Murray, has pushed governments to abandon safety-net protections. (Encore presentation.) Fred Block … Continued
Our capitalist world seems mired in crisis, beset by low growth and instability. Immanuel Wallerstein, the father of world-systems theory, argues that the current malaise goes beyond the periodic fluctuations of the business cycle. According to him, capitalism’s days are numbered: in 20 to 40 years it will be gone. What replaces it may be … Continued
Radical political projects suffer when people burn out, get distracted, or otherwise drift away. What can help socialists and other leftists stay on course and even deepen their commitment over the long term? Ted Stolze finds in the writings of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza conceptual resources that he thinks can help radicals persevere. (Encore presentation.) … Continued
In the early 2000s, left and center left governments came to power across Latin America – in countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and Ecuador — ushered in on a wave of resistance to neoliberal policies. The so-called Pink Tide provided much needed inspiration to leftists around the world. But things haven’t turned out … Continued
Who wants to be Muslim in post-9/11 America? Many of the characters in Ali Eteraz‘s new novel Native Believer have no choice in the matter; they deal in a variety of ways with issues of belonging and identity in a society bent on categorizing, stereotyping, and targeting Muslims. (Encore presentation.)