In the early 2000s, left and center left governments came to power across Latin America – in countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and Ecuador — ushered in on a wave of resistance to neoliberal policies.  The so-called Pink Tide provided much needed inspiration to leftists around the world. But things haven’t turned out … Continued


Was the emergence of capitalism a preordained affair?  Was it natural and inevitable that capitalism developed in England and spread to the rest of the world, as conventional accounts would have it?  Or was capitalism’s emergence contingent, arising out of social conflict in the countryside?  Marxist scholars Christopher Isett and Stephen Miller explore what the … Continued


Against the Grain

Organizing Across Race

How many stories feature the Black Panthers, the Daley machine, the Young Lords, the original (pre-Jesse Jackson) Rainbow Coalition, and Chicago’s first black mayor (Harold Washington)? Jakobi Williams’s story does; he discusses how cross-racial coalition-building revolutionized Chicago’s politics and how it can and should inspire social justice organizing today. (Encore presentation.) Jakobi Williams, From the … Continued


Children are being diagnosed with increasing rates of autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and bipolar disorder.  Theories abound about the spike in these conditions. But what if the root problem is, in fact, a society that medicalizes normal childhood behavior?  Clinical psychologist Enrico Gnaulati makes such a claim.  He discusses kids, psychiatric diagnoses, and the … Continued


Sheldon Wolin, who famously invoked the specter of inverted totalitarianism, also put forward a concept of “fugitive democracy.” While many theorists of democracy found the concept too bleak and despairing, David McIvor argues that Wolin was in fact pushing for the development of enduring, and radically democratic, ways of thinking and acting. David McIvor, “The … Continued


According to David Theo Goldberg, society is becoming militarized in myriad, and sometimes subtle, ways. Race, as it’s perceived and deployed, is a key part of this process. Goldberg also asserts that race is the secularization of the religious; that today’s anti-Muslim fervor is not primarily religion-focused; and that many groups working to demilitarize society … Continued


Against the Grain

Building Resistance: Three Voices

At the recent “People Get Ready: Building Resistance in the Trump Era” conference, Linda Burnham spoke about left strategy and the radical imagination; Linda Evans weighed in on the elements of effective grassroots organizing; and Maari Maitreyi commented on caste, Hindu politics, and a textbook controversy. The Center for Political Education All of Us or … Continued


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