The failed German Revolution, in which he was a participant, marked the Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse for life. But unlike some of his more pessimistic colleagues in the Frankfurt School, particularly after the rise of fascism, Marcuse did not give up on liberatory possibilities. In the 1960s, Marcuse became one of the key philosophers of … Continued
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 are the origins of modern conservatism? The failed Goldwater campaign? Or the Cold War era discontent of midwestern small capitalists? Historian Kathryn Olmstead argues that it should be located even earlier, in the intense and massive labor unrest that took place in the fields of California in the 1930s. The response by growers and … Continued
The failure to unionize the South, to organize Southern workers in the 1930s and ’40s on the basis of interracial worker solidarity, had momentous and enduring consequences for race relations and worker well-being in the U.S. as a whole. So argues Michael Goldfield, who in his latest book points to the marginalization of leftists within unions … Continued
Radio in the twentieth century, which you could tune into in your car or at home, had a mass audience and was a collective experience, for good or ill. Radio today, which can be listened to when and how you want it, is a more private and atomized affair. Historian Matthew Lasar discusses the social … Continued
Alan Watts, the educator, author, and prominent interpreter of Eastern thought, gave a talk called “Way Beyond the West.” photo: Sean Benesh via Unsplash
What are the best means we have to affect lasting social change? Historian Kevin Young contends that even when progressive candidates are elected to positions of power, their achievements are constrained by the ability of the business class to disinvest in the economy in protest. He argues that, nonetheless, the Left has a powerful tool … Continued
According to Frank Wilderson, III, all Blacks are socially dead and continuously vulnerable to gratuitous (as opposed to reasoned) violence.
What do you get when you bring together two luminaries on the left — oral historian and broadcaster Studs Terkel and historian from below Howard Zinn — and then add in writer and poet Alice Walker? You get an illuminating evening, recently digitalized and preserved for posterity, which reminds us of the importance of KPFA … Continued
Alan Watts on the fundamentals of Buddhism, plus portions of a talk he gave called “Insight and Ecstasy.”
Consumer capitalism and the focus group appear to go hand in hand. But Liza Featherstone argues that the focus group has radical origins and, in convoluted ways, points to the potential for collective input in an egalitarian society. She discusses the history of focus groups for consumer goods and electoral politics. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Liza … Continued