Manu Samnotra discusses the ideas of Mohandas Gandhi and, in particular, what Gandhi thought about truth and how to attain it; self-discipline and how to practice it; political independence and how to achieve it; and modern civilization and how to act in relation to it. Samnotra defines, and describes the interconnections among, satyagraha (civil disobedience), … 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.
We’re told that the police are imperfect, but if we make the right reforms, the bad apples will be weeded out and aggressive behavior no longer tolerated. But, as David Correia argues, what if the police are not reformable? (Encore presentation.) Resources: David Correia and Tyler Wall, Police: A Field Guide Verso, 2018
Highlights of some of the best commentary presented on Against the Grain in 2018, featuring Vijay Prashad on investment strikes; Priya Satia on the Industrial Revolution; Michael Hardt and Paul Christopher Gray on social-change strategies; Raka Ray on colonialism and gender; Victor Wallis on energy consumption; and Osagie Obasogie on race-specific medicine.
From at least the Haitian Revolution to the present, black and brown people in the Western Hemisphere have linked arms in solidarity with each other. Historian Paul Ortiz discusses how we can’t understand the United States and its past without looking beyond its borders. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Paul Ortiz, An African American and Latinx History … Continued
Beginning in the late 1980s, mass attitudes in the U.S. shifted dramatically toward greater tolerance of LGBTQ people and greater support of gay rights. What accounts for this rapid and sustained shift? Jeremiah Garretson examines a number of factors, including the AIDS crisis, grassroots activism, news coverage, fictional portrayals of gays and lesbians on TV, … Continued
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
What can Star Trek tell us about life after capitalism? Peter Frase discusses four possible futures in a world where workers are increasingly being replaced by machines — ranging from communist and socialist societies to ones in which workers are literally disposable. (Encore presentation.) Resources: Peter Frase, Four Futures: Life After Capitalism Verso, 2014
How Chinese and Japanese people were depicted and treated in San Francisco had a lot to do with the creation of the American “Oriental,” argues Amy Sueyoshi in a new book. She links stereotypical portrayals of Asians to the process by which white San Franciscans viewed and addressed changes to their own sexual norms and … Continued
Conversations about theater, life, and politics with the playwright and solo performer Nilaja Sun; Tom Ross, artistic director of Aurora Theatre Company; actors Emily Jeanne Brown and Jackie Chung; San Francisco Mime Troupe veteran Michael Gene Sullivan; theatre arts professor and director Darryl V. Jones; Gregory Dawson, artistic director of dawsondancesf; and L. Peter Callender, … Continued
Do protest marches work? It’s a tactic the left returns to again and again, since the iconic March on Washington in 1963. Grassroots organizer L.A. Kauffman argues that they do have a positive impact, but not in the ways we usually expect. Resources: L.A. Kauffman, How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and … Continued