Alan Watts on the fundamentals of Buddhism, plus portions of a talk he gave called “Insight and Ecstasy.”
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.
Many who are concerned with the unfolding climate emergency have pinned great hope on the election of Joe Biden and Democratic control of the Senate. But, as sociologist Richard Lachmann observes, progressive expectations of Democrat politicians have been regularly dashed. He argues that a different approach to forcing elites into action is more effective: combining … Continued
Marshall Rosenberg lays out some of the basics of Nonviolent Communication, the method he developed for connecting compassionately with others. photo: Noah Buscher via Unsplash
The San Francisco Bay Area is known equally for Silicon Valley, and the vast wealth generated by tech, and the history of protest and struggle. Yet popular understandings of social movements in the region are often limited to the cities of San Francisco and Berkeley. A new guide shows that dissent and struggle have marked … Continued
Can our fear of aging and dying be overcome? What can we look forward to as we get older? The influential spiritual seeker and author Ram Dass shares insights drawn from Eastern and Western traditions.
Cultural and media workers have a disproportionate impact on how other workers see themselves and the world they live in, whether it’s by selling them something or presenting them with dissenting views. As historian Shannan Clark argues, there was a time when a great many cultural workers saw consumption itself as a political act. Such … Continued
The spiritual pioneer, writer, and teacher Ram Dass on how to embrace aging and changing.
Harriet Tubman and Andrew Jackson are seminal figures in U.S. history. But how accurate a picture have we been given of them, and what would it mean if Tubman were depicted on U.S. currency? Catherine Squires sees a controversy over a “pocket monument” as an opportunity to rethink conventional narratives and reframe U.S. history. (Encore presentation.) … Continued
The longest and most expensive war in U.S. history is the ongoing war in Afghanistan. What impact has the nineteen-year-old conflict had on U.S. democracy? According to Benjamin Hopkins, the Afghanistan war has fundamentally damaged the social and political fabric of the U.S. Hopkins also describes what he calls frontier governmentality, the focus of his … Continued
Do genetics determine the kind of people we turn out to be? Or is it society and our upbringing? Those may be universal questions, but they are much more starkly posed in the case of adoptive parents and children. Sociologist Kay Trimberger reflects on her experience as an adoptive parent and her journey to make … 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: … Continued