How has capitalist power on the global scale evolved over the last several decades, and what are its contours today? How can forces from below challenge and overcome capitalist rule? Michael Hardt talks about what he calls Empire; he also articulates a theoretical passage from multitude to a more expansive notion of class. (Encore presentation.) Michael … Continued

White-collar professionals dominate the liberal left. They’re a convenient target of the right, which demonizes its opponents as privileged Prius-driving, latte-sipping coastal elites. But Catherine Liu argues that such professionals, as a class, impede genuinely radical social change. She posits that the class biases of the Professional Managerial Class often influence progressive politics away from … Continued

Two prominent currents within ecosocialism are ecomodernism and degrowth. David Ravensbergen, in this first-time presentation of the full-length interview, describes and assesses the ecomodernist and degrowth positions; he also weighs in on “doomer politics” and the Green New Deal. Latham, Kingsmith, von Bargen, and Block, Challenging the Right, Augmenting the Left: Recasting Leftist Imagination Fernwood … 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 latest book. … 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

Is life worth living? Can believing in something help make it a reality? Do emotions generate actions, or is it the other way around? John Kaag describes how William James, the nineteenth-century philosopher and psychologist, approached and answered these questions. John Kaag, Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life Princeton University Press, 2020

Against the Grain

Fund Drive Special: The BBC and Against the Grain’s 18th Birthday

Trusted, impartial and independent? Or largely unaccountable and part of the Establishment? Sociologist Tom Mills considers the evidence about the enormously influential British Broadcasting Corporation or BBC, which is much revered amongst progressives in the United States and elsewhere. And closer to home, we celebrate the 18th anniversary of this radio program, Against the Grain. … Continued