Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Against the Grain

Against the Grain is a radio and web media project whose aim is to provide in-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters - political, economic, social and cultural - important to progressive and radical thinking and activism. We're based at the studios of Pacifica station KPFA-FM in Berkeley, California.

Tues 4.25.06 / Hardt on Power and Resistance

If transforming the world in the direction of equality and democracy is the aim, how do we go about achieving it? Michael Hardt, co-author of Multitude and, before that, Empire, explains his hypotheses about the changing nature of labor, and how that might feed into a political project for liberation that he calls the multitude.

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Mon 3.27.06 / States of War

What is the relationship between the privatizing, free trade policies of neoliberalism and the overt interventionism of imperialism? How should we understand the forms of opposition to US empire, whether left manifestations like the anti-war and global justice movements on the one hand, and reactionary militant Islam on the other? The Retort Collective spoke about these issues at a symposium titled “States of War.”

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Wed 3.22.06 / David Harvey on Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism has left an indelible, smoldering mark on our world for the last thirty years. But what is neoliberalism and what drives it? How did an obscure set of economic theories come to take hold of the imaginations of elites around the world? Eminent Marxist geographer David Harvey talks about the origins, trajectory, and significance of neoliberalism.

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Wed 12.07.05 / Game Over?

It’s become a truism that the foreign policy of the Bush administration breaks radically with the approach of its predecessor. Yet how accurate is that conclusion? Geographer Neil Smith talks about the history of liberalism, US hegemony and the invasion of Iraq, which he characterizes as the endgame of globalization.

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Tues 7.26.05 / Multitude's Potential

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri contend that their concept of the multitude can contribute to the task of resurrecting - or reinventing - the Left. They link the multitude's potential to trends in labor and therefore in everyday life. Encouraging the creation of a robust democracy on a global scale is the ultimate aim of their book Multitude.

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Wed 6.08.05 / Neither Their War Nor Their Peace

What does September 11th and the events following it tell us about the system we live under? Do they mark a radical break with the past – or a continuum of sorts? And how do we understand the various forms of opposition to empire? Those are the issues taken on by TJ Clark and Joseph Matthews and their co-authors from the Bay Area’s Retort collective, in a new and provocative book.

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Wed 4.27.05 / Strawberry Fields Forever

California agriculture is much mythologized, but rarely understood. Agribusiness in the Golden State, unlike most places in the world, was capitalist from the start of its development. And its success, according to geographer Richard Walker, has been motored by the drive for capital accumulation. But radical scholars have not given agribusiness in California the attention it deserves, to the left's detriment.

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Wed 10.13.04 / Resisting Colonization

The current occupation of Iraq is only the latest attempt by Western imperial powers to dominate the region, according to Tariq Ali. The acclaimed political analyst, novelist, film maker, and author of Bush in Babylon, spoke earlier this year about the history of colonization and resistance in Iraq.

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Tues 10.12.04 / 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 of victory, and binary thinking.

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