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.
People are always struggling and resisting oppression — it’s a constant in history. Yet much of the time we don’t know about such resistance, because those in power, and the media aligned with them, don’t see fit to report on it. KPFA and its sister Pacifica stations have been the exception. We play highlights from … Continued
A look at the ideas, adventures, and life trajectories of cultural icons Timothy Leary and Ram Dass.
More than a century ago, the Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, called for the four-hour workday. Should we be considering something similar now? Kathi Weeks explores why radicals should envision a world where work is not central to our existence. She also discusses cutting the work week, without a cut in pay, and … Continued
Happiness seems elusive in our society, despite the many industries attempting to sell it through a multitude of products and services. What’s missing, according to feminist Lynne Segal, is the sense that our happiness is intertwined with the happiness of others. She calls for reclaiming radical joy, through collective life and activism. Resources: Lynn Segal, … Continued
Immigration discourse in the U.S. often revolves around the advisability of “securing” the physical border, of addressing the flow of people across the U.S.-Mexico border. But, as Elliott Young asserts, overseas mechanisms of screening and exclusion have been far more effective at keeping would-be immigrants out. Young discusses the history and racial dimensions of so-called … Continued
It’s self-evident that unequal societies like ours are bad for the poor. However, as epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson argues, they’re also bad for everyone else, including the affluent, not only because inequality affects schools and healthcare, but because it also makes us anxious and unhappy. Wilkinson reflects on our psychological well-being in wealthy but unequal countries. … Continued
Nearly every society in the world is either a former colony or a former imperial power. How, then, should we regard and understand processes of imperialism and colonialism? According to Julian Go, a body of thought called postcolonial theory has offered many insights into the workings and legacies of empire and colonialism. Many of those … Continued
In recent years, the desirability of locking up millions of Americans in prison has been seriously questioned both on the left and right. It would seem, however, that domestic violence is very different than the non-violent drug offenses highlighted by critics of mass incarceration. On the face it, shouldn’t this be where police intervention and … Continued
What drove the Industrial Revolution? According to conventional wisdom, it was individual innovation and unfettered private enterprise. According to Priya Satia, it was war-making, the production of firearms, and massive state intervention. The central figure in her new book is a Quaker gunmaker immersed in the rapidly transforming economy of eighteenth-century England. (Encore presentation.) Priya … Continued
Given the disparities between the lifespans of whites, African Americans, Native Americans and other groups, it might seem to be sensible to gear medicine along racial lines. But sociologist Leslie Hinkson argues that it represents a dangerous turn in science and healthcare. She discusses race, biology, and debt. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Nadine Ehlers and Leslie … Continued