Wed 11.03.10| Overpopulation: The Cause of Environmental Degradation?

Too few resources, too many people. That's the received wisdom in most of the environmental movement, mainstream or radical. But can that assumption withstand close scrutiny? Not according to population scholar Betsy Hartmann, who interrogates whether overpopulation is a main -- or the main -- cause of our ecological woes and discusses the far right's courting of liberal environmentalism.

Tues 11.02.10| Retirement Savings Ideology

Is your 401(k) plan, and the way it might or might not take care of your retirement needs -- is that a personal, individual concern, or is it in fact deeply political, rooted in ideological choices contrary to values of community, solidarity, and social responsibility? James Russell talks about the politics of retirement savings and about the rise of what he calls a retirement-industrial complex. Also, Richard Wolff assesses the French protests against proposals to raise the retirement age.
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Mon 11.01.10| Marx and the Non-Western World

Many critics, including Edward Said, have faulted Karl Marx for his assumptions about the non-Western world, not to mention his unsavory comments about "unhistorical peoples." But are Marx's early writings representative of how he saw countries on the periphery of capitalism? Kevin Anderson argues they're not. In an acclaimed new book, he discusses the evolution of Marx's thought on race, ethnicity, and multiple paths of historical development -- and why they matter.

Wed 10.27.10| New Words, Big Ideas

In the world of science and technology, new words are coined, and some of them stick, and the words themselves lead interesting lives and have surprising effects -- technical, social, even political. In his new book Jonathon Keats explores the origins, uses, and impact of terms like microbiome, copyleft, Panglish, and singularity.

Tues 10.26.10| California in Crisis

Ashok Bardhan and Richard Walker, "California, Pivot of the Great Recession," Institute for Research on Labor & Employment

 

 

If it feels to those of us who live in California that ground zero of the economic crisis is right here -- well, we might not be wrong. Radical economic geographer Richard Walker speaks about the importance of California in the meltdown, from housing to manufacturing, fiscal crises to tremendous inequality. And he considers, as attacks on public sector workers continue apace, what lies at the heart of the crisis, and what the future holds for the Golden State.

Mon 10.25.10| Leopold in the Congo

Adam Hochschild

Adam Hochschild, "Blood and Treasure" Mother Jones


One man once had a vast African colony all to himself. How he secured it, what happened to the Africans who called that territory home, and how an international human rights movement emerged to oppose the King of Belgium and his ruthless agenda -- all of it is described in Adam Hochschild's book King Leopold's Ghost.
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