Despair Not! Times are tough. There’s war and destruction all around us. Nonetheless, says activist and author Rebecca Solnit, the future is uncertain, and hope can get us through hard times and inspire us to struggle and persist. In Hope in the Dark, she also points to the dangers of perfectionism, rigid agendas, narrow definitions … 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.
The Road to Post-Capitalism What might life look like in a post-capitalist world? That was the subject of a conference held recently in New York. Michael Albert spoke about what the left should work towards, while Naomi Klein talked about death under capitalism — the US occupation of Iraq and what the anti-war movement in … Continued
Waking from a Dream. What if we are all living an illusion? What if the frenetic, anxious way we pass our days, grasping at things, pursuing this or that, is nothing more than a form of self-deception? In his book Reality, Peter Kingsley finds in the roots of Western civilization an invitation to participate in … Continued
The Politics of Self-Delusion. Why are so many working class and poor Americans on the right when it goes against their economic interests? Thomas Frank argues that blue collar people have been mobilized against abortion, gun control, prayer in school, and a number of other issues directed at the "liberal elite," while the pro-business agenda … Continued
Why is a discussion of race and race-related issues largely absent from this election year’s national dialogue? Political scientist Robert Smith, an expert on African American politics, shares his observations. And Jamala Rogers, national organizer for the Black Radical Congress, talks about the keys to advancing a progressive black agenda.
A conversation about misrepresentations of Arabs and Iranians in Western art and the alternative perspectives found in the work of contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts.
Reshaping Regulation. Schwarzenegger’s California Performance Review would eliminate 120 boards and commissions as part of a government overhaul. But is the CPR really about streamlining bureaucracy or, as Rico Mastrodonato and Jody Freeman argue, consolidating power and removing independent oversight of air and water, workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety, and other key areas of … Continued
Michael Albert, veteran activist and author most recently of Thought Dreams, discusses key questions faced by the left, questions like: Is reformism bad per se? Should the left ever engage in violence? Why do many activists get disillusioned and quit the movement? Should a small leadership group do the theory and lay out strategy?
The Racist Right. Richard Butler, founder of the Aryan Nations in the 1970s, died recently. Local activist Norm Gissel reflects on Butler’s failure to build his organization in northern Idaho. SPLC’s Mark Potok and author/expert Daniel Levitas contend that while white supremacist groups have relatively few hardcore adherents, the ideas they draw upon are everywhere … Continued
Anti-Racism and Global Justice. Can race and gender privilege within social justice movements undermine efforts to achieve global justice? How important is it for energetic, well-meaning activists to face up to their own racist, sexist and other oppressive behavior? Veteran organizer Chris Crass believes anti-racist education and movement building go hand in hand.