The alt-right is white nationalist, misogynist, and highly transphobic, mobilizing resentment against changing gender hierarchies and feared demographic change in America. Historian Alexandra Minna Stern discusses the appeal of the alt-right, from when it first came to national prominence in 2016, through its change of fortunes in the wake of the violent white nationalist rally … Continued


Against the Grain

Revenge Under Capitalism

What would it mean to take revenge against the capitalist system? And what kinds of vengeance has capitalism itself taken, against workers and other exploited people? Max Haiven examines Marxist, feminist, anti-colonial, and other perspectives on revenge, and he considers what forms of avenging might point the way toward radical social and political transformation. (Encore … Continued


Against the Grain

Inequality and Well-Being

It’s self-evident that unequal societies like ours are bad for the poor. However, as epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson argues, they’re also bad for everyone else, including the affluent, not only because inequality affects schools and healthcare, but because it also makes us anxious and unhappy. Wilkinson reflects on our psychological well-being in wealthy but unequal countries. … Continued


Against the Grain

Blue-Collar Cosmopolitanism

Intellectualism and cosmopolitanism aren’t things typically associated with working-class people and communities. But James Barrett has investigated, and unearthed, highly literate and often quite radical working-class cultures, cultures in which people read widely, engaged in group discussions, and in some cases traveled a great deal. James Barrett, History from the Bottom Up and the Inside … Continued


Against the Grain

Communal Joy

Happiness seems elusive in our society, despite the many industries attempting to sell it through a multitude of products and services.  What’s missing, according to feminist Lynne Segal, is the sense that our happiness is intertwined with the happiness of others.  She calls for reclaiming radical joy, through collective life and activism. (Encore presentation.) Resources: … Continued