Wed 2.09.11| Conspiracy Theory; Notes on Egypt

Mark Fenster, Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture U. of Minnesota Press, 2008 (2d ed.)

Ahmad Shokr

Samer Shehata, Shop Floor Culture and Politics in Egypt SUNY Press, 2009

Conspiracy theories often get dismissed as the product of paranoia, but Mark Fenster argues that's a mistake: conspiracy theories have long been a part of American politics, and even though such theories often chase illusions, they shouldn't be dismissed or discounted. Also, Ahmad Shokr reports from Cairo, and Samer Shehata discusses the history of Egypt's labor movement.

Tues 2.08.11| Money, Materialism, TimeBanks

Mike Daisey has traveled to faraway islands and sprawling Chinese factories, and he's used what he learned there to craft two monologues about materialism, the meaning of money, what he calls the religion of finance, and the human cost of our love affair with electronic gadgetry. Also, Stephanie Rearick describes a system of alternative currency called TimeBanking.

Mon 2.07.11| Worker-Owners

Melissa Hoover & Beadsie Woo, "To Jumpstart US Job Market, Turn Workers Into Owners"

Becca Friedman, "A New Business Model for Richmond" Richmond Confidential

A Taste of Denmark

Much of the radical left subscribes to some version of "Dump the bosses, put the workers in charge." Brian Edwards-Tiekert tours a bakery in Oakland that went out of business -- until its workers brought it back. Melissa Hoover describes how worker-run businesses adapt to a bad economy. And Gayle McLaughlin discusses her plan to create jobs by following the model of the Mondragón cooperatives in Spain.

Wed 2.02.11| Post-Virginia Tech and Loughner

What lessons have been learned from the Jared Loughner shootings and the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre? Is it that college instructors and staff need to intervene to prevent violent episodes from occurring in the first place? Benjamin Reiss objects to what he sees as the intrusion of psychiatric risk assessment and intervention into the classroom.

Tues 2.01.11| Clamoring in Cairo

Over a million people took to the streets in Egypt to demand the ouster of a president who, until very recently, seemed unmovable. Sharif Kouddous describes the makeup of the protest movement. Hesham Sallam discusses Egypt's authoritarian state and the forces keeping Mubarak in power (for now). Gareth Porter dissects the US government's interests in the conflict. And Eva Galperin talks about Egypt's crackdown on internet activism, and whether it could happen in the US.

Mon 1.31.11| Private Power, Public Schools

Private foundations, including Bill Gates's, are pouring billions of dollars into market-based initiatives to remake our public schools. According to Joanne Barkan, the foundations have successfully shaped the national debate on education and have influenced, and in many cases effectively set, government policy. What hasn't been shown, Barkan points out, is that the "reforms" they're pushing actually work.
All user-submitted comments owned by the Poster. All other content © Against the Grain, a program of KPFA Radio, 94.1fm Berkeley CA and online at KPFA.org. Against the Grain logo designed by Lise Dahms. A.T.G.'s theme music is by Dhamaal.