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.
What stage of capitalism are we in, and what processes of commodification are associated with it? Michael Burawoy isn’t fond of the term “neoliberalism”; he thinks we’re experiencing the third wave of marketization. Burawoy draws upon the ideas of Karl Polanyi and others to examine the past and evaluate the present. American Sociological Association
Capitalism appears to many to be a failed system, leading to extreme inequality and ecological devastation. We’re also told that the alternative posed by Karl Marx is similarly bankrupt, as proved by the failures of state socialism. But what if Marx’s vision for a postcapitalist future has little in common with the experience of the … Continued
Claims abound about the nature and impact of the death penalty. But does the death penalty in fact deter serious crime? Do executions bring closure to victims’ families? Do capital defendants get adequate legal representation? What role does racial bias play? Is it cheaper to put people on death row or to incarcerate them for … Continued
Are the rich wealth creators, as we commonly hear? Should we be grateful to investors and entrepreneurs, as they like to be called, for generating jobs and greasing the wheels of the economy? Or is the source of their massive wealth the rest of us? Scholar Andrew Sayer discusses rentiers, capitalists, and why, for the … Continued
A flamboyant billionaire, who used the media as his vehicle, presenting himself as an outsider, who could clean up politics; a person known for his populist promises, along with his sexist insults and scapegoating of immigrants. Donald Trump? No, Silvio Berlusconi — the media tycoon who dominated Italian politics in the 1990s and 2000s. Scholar … Continued
What can activism that incorporates theater, performance, and pranks accomplish that other, more conventional forms of protest can’t? Larry Bogad, who has worked with the Yes Men and many other groups, has written a new book about the use of creative protest and performance art in social-movement campaigns.
Neoliberal globalization, the economic order which has reigned for the last forty years, has been premised on free trade, with the United States government playing a key role in managing global capitalism. Donald Trump has promised to bring a halt to the export of jobs and much of the free movement of labor in the … Continued
War takes lives, but it also wreaks havoc on people’s health and well-being in other ways. Riyadh Lafta has done groundbreaking research on the public health consequences of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. Among other things, he’s investigated the situation of internally displaced persons, the psychological consequences of witnessing violence, and … Continued
While much of the public is still reeling over the election of Donald Trump, the power of his appeal may be less surprising than we think, given America’s long history of right-wing populism and the contradictions of liberalism. Steve Fraser traces the history of the notion of the limousine liberal, central to right-wing populism and … Continued
Political figures and sometimes entire generations (like millennials) are called narcissistic, but what does the term really mean? Is narcissism always a bad thing? What are the features of pathological narcissism, and what kinds of parenting increase the odds that a person will develop it? Michael Donner shares a range of insights. (Click on “HQ … Continued