Is the world in such turmoil because humans are basically selfish, aggressive and individualistic? Dacher Keltner disagrees with this view of human nature; he claims that people have a biologically-based capacity for goodness. Keltner, who directs the Berkeley Center for the Development of Peace and Well-Being, shares the results of his wide-ranging inquiries.
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.
An Anarchist Perspective. Does anarchism demand an end to all authority? And what does anarchism bring to anti-capitalist resistance? C.S. continues his conversations about this underdiscussed line of thought and activism with Cindy Milstein, boardmember of the Institute for Anarchist Studies.
California’s Pastime: Baseball’s in full swing. But many fans of what’s been called our national pastime don’t know about its rich and storied history in California. Author and sports enthusiast Kevin Nelson documents it all, including baseball’s often-contentious racial dynamics, in a new book.
The Threat of the Religious Right. While the Christian Right may not be getting much attention from the media, its influence in the federal government is ever-increasing, according to experts Barry Lynn and Joan Bokaer. They say we should be particularly concerned about "faith-based" initiatives — a Trojan horse aimed at the erosion of the … Continued
Freedom Under Existentialism. The Matrix film series kept getting mentioned in relation to existentialism. But what is that philosophical movement really about? Hamilton College professor Todd Franklin has been teaching existentialism for years; his research also emphasizes the resonances between Nietzschean and African American thought.
Anarchism and the Left. According to historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Lucy Parsons, born in the mid-19th century, was one of the outstanding U.S. anarchists. Roy San Fillipo was part of the anarchist collective Love and Rage; now he’s helped form a new group, Bring the Ruckus, that incorporates (and rejects) certain features of anarchist thinking and … Continued
Human Rights and Wrongs. Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Guantanamo detainees raises a larger question: Can human rights withstand the so-called war on terror? Amnesty International is in a position to know. AI’s Dennis Palmieri talks about the group’s 2004 Annual Report, and Gerald Gray, who treats torture survivors in San Jose, discusses the … Continued
Gloria Anzaldúa: Cultural theorist, activist, poet and award-winning writer Gloria Anzaldúa passed away in Santa Cruz last month. Author of Borderlands, named one of the 100 best books of the century, Anzaldúa advanced ideas for inclusionary movements for social justice. AnaLouise Keating and Ines Hernandez-Avila were longtime friends and collaborators of Anzaldúa.
Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury emissions in the US — mercury which finds its way into the fish you eat and is then stored in your body. Guests Casey Harrell of Greenpeace and Angela Ledford of Clear the Air believe the Bush administration, rather than cracking down on dirty power … Continued
While revelations of torture at Abu Graib have turned the spotlight on human rights in Iraq, the case of the Palestinians has long-illustrated the hypocrisy of US human rights policy in the Middle East. And who better understood that hypocrisy than the late Edward Said? Said spoke about the plight of the Palestinian people, several … Continued