Against the Grain

Credit Agencies and the Commodification of Personal Information

If you think the collection and selling of personal data began in the last twenty years, think again. Consumer credit agencies like Equifax have been gathering information about people’s intimate details since they were created in the late 19th century.  Scholar Josh Lauer discusses the history of credit agencies, their key role in capitalist consumer … Continued


Against the Grain

Fund Drive Special: Israel’s PR Campaign to Influence the American Public

Frank Luntz thinks that Israel has a public relations problem in the United States, which may seem surprising given that a majority of Americans favor Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. The rightwing spin doctor, a longtime advisor to Israel on how to shape American public opinion, believes that such longstanding support is fraying. “The Occupation … Continued


Is capitalism bad for your health? Gabor Maté thinks so. The acclaimed Canadian physician and Marxist discusses capitalism, stress, and chronic illness, inimitably combining profound humanism, dark wit, and extensive knowledge of science and social justice. He makes the compelling case that the psycho-social needs to be taken into account by both the medical establishment … 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


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