Emily Ray examines bunkering and doomsday preparation in the context of the privatization of responsibility.
Against the Grain
12:00 PM Pacific Time: Mondays to Wednesdays
Award-winning program of ideas, 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.
A protracted but determined struggle to defeat an airport construction project produced an extraordinary victory. In the face of brutal police repression, Isabelle Fremeaux, Jay Jordan, and others created an autonomous zone and prevented the construction of a massive international airport on 4,000 acres of fields, forest, and wetlands in western France. Fremeaux and Jordan … Continued
In the United States, few things seem as wholesome as camping, letting us temporarily escape the daily grind and commune with nature and each other. But Phoebe Young argues that camping has a complicated history, which tell us a lot about Americans’ notions of nature and the nation. She discusses the various forms that camping … Continued
Most of us assume that our medical data is protected under U.S. law — but, as sociologist Mary Ebeling illustrates, that’s wrong. Even when we don’t collect it ourselves with fitness trackers and health apps, our most sensitive health information is gathered from across the web, and package and sold as data commodities by brokers … Continued
David Graeber, the radical anthropologist and prominent activist, had a lot to say about police and policing, both historically and in contemporary society. Andrew Johnson examines a number of Graeber’s assertions and also articulates his own views on the history of policing, the role of police today, and the value of breaking the spell of … Continued
Did Lincoln free the slaves? Or did they just as much free themselves? And what were the ramifications of their seemingly impossible achievement — immediate and uncompensated emancipation — for other oppressed groups? Historian David Roediger discusses that revolutionary period in U.S. history — and the consequences of its failure today. (Encore presentation.) Resources: David … Continued
They are among the biggest companies in the world: Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon have an outsized impact on the global economy and on our daily lives. Rob Larson examines the companies that have become synonymous with the glories and ills of contemporary capitalism. He makes the case for online socialism. Resources: Rob Larson, … Continued
Palm oil can be found in a staggering variety of food items and other products we consume every day. Max Haiven traces the history of this ubiquitous commodity’s production and use to reveal capitalism’s logics and imperial states’ depredations. Max Haiven, Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire Pluto Press, 2022 Pluto Press’s Vagabonds series (Image … Continued
Advancements in science are seen as symbols of human progress, but science has frequently served deadly ends. Historian Clifford Conner discusses how scientific research in the United States is deeply enmeshed with the military, and considers the purpose of trillions of dollars of spending on the military. Resources: Clifford D. Conner, The Tragedy of American … Continued
Many U.S. military establishment bigwigs are pushing the development of automated and autonomous weapons systems. Roberto González questions whether this robo-fanaticism, as he calls it, is justified. He also describes efforts to address human warfighters’ distrust of machines. Roberto J. González, War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future University … Continued
Too many hours, erratic schedules, not enough hours — and, of course, not enough pay: if you’re a worker in the U.S, time feels like the enemy. Yet, as sociologist Jamie McCallum argues, U.S. workers tend not to see their plight as a collective one and, in a particularly American way, often wear overwork as … Continued