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. (Encore …
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.
Occupy Oakland took over the plaza in front of City Hall ten years ago. Emily Brissette discusses what animated and what constrained the movement; she also considers the debate that arose after stay-away orders were issued against dozens of Occupiers. That debate, contends Brissette, featured conflicting notions of what constitutes legitimate political activity. (Photo by … 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
Twenty years ago, the inaugural World Social Forum was convened in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Jackie Smith describes some of the networking processes and movement-building dynamics fostered by that gathering and its successors. She also discusses three strands of organizing directly influenced by the World Social Forum: the Right to the City movement, Via Campesina, and … Continued
How can we manage to think about, and move toward, a better world in the bleakest of times? Argentinean critical theorist Ana Cecelia Dinerstein talks about capitalism, the state, and our own collective power. She also discusses the tradition of Open Marxism and why we should be skeptical of a universal basic income, which has … Continued
What are the prospects that a mass movement against capitalism will emerge and develop in the U.S.? Robert Latham considers the power and potential of what he calls the contending masses. And David Ravensbergen evaluates two prominent currents within ecosocialism: ecomodernism and degrowth. Latham, Kingsmith, von Bargen, and Block, Challenging the Right, Augmenting the Left: Recasting … Continued
In a society that devalues ideas, perhaps it’s not surprising that the thought processes of children receive little interest. Yet, as psychologist Susan Engel argues, children are constantly constructing ideas, often collaboratively, although this impulse is frequently dampened by the wider world. And she suggests that we ignore the mental processes of children at our … Continued
A special Friday encore broadcast of Philip Freeman discussing Cicero and Mark Vernon talking about Plato, on the last day of KPFA’s spring fund drive.
Is the cigarette the world’s deadliest invention? Historian of science Robert Proctor, outspoken critic of the tobacco industry and author of Golden Holocaust, discusses how cigarettes shaped the 20th century and stand to leave an even greater trail of destruction in the 21st. Part of the Big Picture Ideas: The Best of Against the Grain … Continued
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.
Could humans ever live together without warring? Did half of us evolve to start wars and dominate the rest of us? Biological anthropologist Agustín Fuentes separates myths from the facts about aggression, genes, human nature, and evolution, in this interview from the collection “Big Picture Ideas: The Best of Against the Grain”.