Program Archive

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Mon 7.21.08| Marriage, Family, Prisons

Many conservatives are calling for a return to a Golden Age of marriage and family. According to Stephanie Coontz, that Golden Age never existed; she also describes the recent revolution in the role and function of marriage. And Terry Kupers asserts that what we are doing in prison to people suffering from mental illness is making them more disturbed and more difficult to rehabilitate.

Wed 7.16.08| Political Art & Asia

Two historical moments of immense turbulence, the Philippine American War and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, were times of distinctive artistic production, times when political cartoons and posters changed or buttressed popular attitudes. Jorge Emmanuel, Lincoln Cushing and Ann Tompkins discuss the books they've produced about art, politics, and imperialism.

Tues 7.15.08| Making Change

Veteran activist and writer Grace Lee Boggs spoke about the need for a new American Revolution at Left Forum 2008. She urges the establishment of a new society based on a higher humanity rather than a higher standard of living. And labor advocate and expert Elaine Bernard talked about organizing strategy and working people's power at a Jobs and Justice conference.

Mon 7.14.08| Naomi Klein

Nations and their people sometimes suffer a major collective trauma. Sometimes that leads to the suspension of democracy. As Naomi Klein describes in The Shock Doctrine, free-market crusaders have used situations like this to initiate a capitalist feeding frenzy. One of her case studies is Russia in the 1990s. Also, Kathryn Lybarger reports on the AFSCME strike at the University of California.

Wed 7.09.08| Resisting Gentrification

In the past decade, cities like San Francisco and Oakland have witnessed skyrocketing housing costs and the ejection of poor and working class people from affordable dwellings to make room for high-income tenants and owners. Activist leaders Gilda Haas and Dawn Phillips talk about the economics of gentrification and what can be done to stop it.

Mon 7.07.08| Appraising 1968 and the Left

Forty years ago, movements of the Left reached an apex in the U.S. and around the world. Activist scholars Barbara Epstein, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and John Sanbonmatsu talk about the significance of 1968 and assess the efficacy of radical strategies and agendas.

Wed 7.02.08| Sara Paretsky on Politics and Writing

What does private eye V I Warshawski have to do with the Patriot Act? Crime fiction writer Sara Paretsky, creator of the acclaimed Chicago detective, speaks out about feminism, literature, and dissent in the post-9/11 era.

Tues 7.01.08| Jewish and Anti-Zionist

Jews who criticize Zionism are often reviled as self-hating, yet it is a long and noble tradition on the Jewish left. Radical writer Mike Marqusee, author of If I Am Not for Myself, talks about the complex politics of being an anti-Zionist Jew.

Mon 6.30.08| China's Capitalist Road

What if China were capitalist, in spite of official pronouncements to the contrary? Economic geographers Dick Walker and Daniel Buck talk about the massive transformation that has taken place in that country and how we can best understand it through the lens of Marxist political economy.

Wed 6.25.08| Nam Le & Keith Bunin

In his new short-story collection The Boat, Nam Le expertly portrays people in difficult circumstances in places like Hiroshima, Tehran, Colombia, and the South China Sea. And in The Busy World is Hushed, playwright Keith Bunin examines faith, family, and the complexity of human relationships.

Tues 6.24.08| The Care Crisis

You've got a job, and a family emergency. Do you drop everything to take care of it? Can you drop everything? What if you're a woman, and you are expected, by your family and by the larger society, to do the caregiving in addition to everything else? Ruth Rosen spoke at an Alameda Public Affairs Forum event about what she calls the care crisis.

Mon 6.23.08| Space Race?

Space is a place that could be weaponized, that the US could dominate militarily. Is this wise from a national security perspective? What do the missile defense systems developed since Reagan's Star Wars program mean for the militarization of space? And if an arms race in space commences, do we get a new cold war, this time with China? Mike Moore's new book is Twilight War.

Wed 6.18.08| Piven on Social Movements

How and why do people's movements succeed, and what happens when they subside? Frances Fox Piven has done seminal research into the interplay between social movements from below and electoral politics. She talks about the civil rights movement, the labor struggles of the 1930s, and the US abolitionists. She also discusses why she supports Obama.

Tues 6.17.08| Art & Survival

What are the uses (and limits) of art to ward off, deal with, or heal from abuse, depression, and the impulse toward self-destruction? In the new volume Live Through This, twenty women artists tell their stories of trauma and struggle, agency and art. Daphne Gottlieb, Inga Muscio and Carolyn Gage talk about their contributions to the volume.

Mon 6.16.08| Left Forum: Three Talks

At this year's Left Forum in New York, Adam Hochschild spoke about the early English abolitionists and what we can learn from their historic organizing successes. Michael Löwy conveyed his understanding of the various left-leaning governments in Latin America. And Maude Barlow spoke passionately about clean water and water justice movements.

Wed 6.11.08| Fighting Extinction

Polar bears are threatened by the melting of Arctic sea ice. Mega-development projects in southern California and elsewhere are ruining critical habitat. The oceans are in serious trouble. Brendan Cummings and Kassie Siegel, both with the Center for Biological Diversity, talk about important and innovative strategies to save animals on the brink of extinction.

Tues 6.10.08| Anarchists on Same-Sex Love

The story Terence Kissack tells in Free Comrades features charismatic radicals like Emma Goldman and a spectacular sex crime trial; it also explores the impact of World War I on US dissidents. At base, it's a true story about a group of anarchists who stood up for the rights of gay men and lesbians to live and love free from state interference.

Mon 6.09.08| People's Uprisings

"The eros effect," a term coined by George Katsiaficas, is a sudden intuitive awakening of massive opposition to the powers-that-be. According to Katsiaficas, this kind of awakening occurred in France in May 1968; in the US during the massive student strike of May 1970; in Kwangju, South Korea in 1980; and in a string of popular uprisings in Asia in the 1980s and '90s.

Wed 6.04.08| Animal Lib

Why should those of us who eat meat care about animal liberation? Sociologist Bob Torres argues that the oppression of animals and capitalism are intrinsically bound up with each other. And he posits that the mainstream animal rights movement has been misguided in both theory and tactics.

Tues 6.03.08| Social Movements in Venezuela

The Venezuelan government has been reviled by the US and championed by the Left around the world. But what are the realities on the ground of the social experiment there? Documentarian Clif Ross talks about the transformation of Venezuelan society from the bottom up.

Mon 6.02.08| Fed Up

Soaring grain prices, food riots, both starvation and obesity in developing countries like India and South Africa -- what's wrong with the world food system? Scholar Raj Patel talks about the politics and economics of our daily bread.

Wed 5.28.08| Schools, Hope, 1968

In her one-woman show No Child ..., Nilaja Sun shines a light on adversity and hope -- among both teachers and students -- in New York's public schools. Also, George Katsiaficas and Max Elbaum discuss the meaning and legacy of 1968, a year of extraordinary political upheaval and protest around the globe.

Tues 5.27.08| The Third World Left

What did the Black Panthers and other Third World Left organizations think and do about interracial solidarity, cultural nationalism, and the dynamics of class? And how can their experiences inform radical organizing today? The geographer Laura Pulido addresses these and other questions in her book Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left.

Mon 5.26.08| The Science of Domination

Fifty years of US history, a half-century of warmaking, five decades of developing technology for doomsday. In his book Made Love, Got War, columnist and media critic Norman Solomon examines the myths and realities of scientific "progress." He also chronicles the US government's and media's persistent push toward ever-greater warmaking capability, as well as the many efforts (including his own) to resist nuclear weapons and war. (Encore presentation.)

Mon 5.05.08| Too Hot to Handle?

Twentieth century civilization is about to collapse, argues Colin Duncan, because of the imminence of rapid and vast climate change. The environmental historian laments the decades-long delay in grasping the urgency and magnitude of what he calls the global defrosting crisis. Duncan believes a mass collective project must arise to plan a necessary transition to a new sustainable society.

Wed 4.30.08| Torture, Empire, Algeria

When empire is in decline, does the use of torture, or the motivations behind it, change? For Marnia Lazreg, what the French colonial forces did to people in Algeria during that nation's war of independence in the 1950s speaks volumes about the relationship between torture, power, empire, and even democracy. In Torture and the Twilight of Empire, Lazreg also draws parallels between French colonial conduct then and US military conduct today.

Tues 4.29.08| Wallerstein II; Miller's Memoir

In this second part of an extended, recorded interview with Immanuel Wallerstein, the eminent Left scholar shares his opinions on the USSR's collapse; on George W. Bush and the decline of US power; and on opposition movement strategy. He also describes the basic contours of world-systems analysis, which he innovated. Also, Adam David Miller has written a memoir about growing up African American in the Jim Crow South.

Mon 4.28.08| Immanuel Wallerstein

The influential scholar and author Immanuel Wallerstein argues that the US was the sole global superpower from 1945 to around 1970, after which US hegemony went into decline. He also talks about the 1968 revolutionaries' critique of the Old Left movements that had taken state power, and contends that capitalism "is doomed." Also, Patrick Wilkinson's new video takes on aerial pesticide spraying.

Wed 4.23.08| Beyond Wage Labor

Is a new kind of class consciousness taking shape? Many people, writes Chris Carlsson, are transcending their lives as wage-workers and in the process building community, learning skills, and doing right by the environment. In Nowtopia, Carlsson describes the political potential of activities like vacant-lot gardening, "outlaw" bicycling, and biofuels tinkering.

Mon 4.21.08| Taking (Artistic) Aim

Ellen McLaughlin has written an adaptation of one of the oldest anti-war plays, The Trojan Women by Euripides. McLaughlin's play suggests that the enemy targeted for destruction isn't that different from ourselves. Sara Shelton Mann and Jo Kreiter have created dance theater pieces that address environmental crisis and government lies, respectively.

Wed 4.16.08| New Energy Order

In his new book Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, Michael Klare argues that a global political realignment of historic proportions is under way, based on ever-more-intense competition for reliable energy supplies. Klare describes emerging Big Power alliances and rivalries in energy-rich sites like the Caspian basin and Africa.

Tues 4.15.08| Poor Moves

A federal program that demolishes public housing projects moves their residents to other neighborhoods, in the name of reducing poverty. According to Susan Greenbaum, poverty is not in fact alleviated and the communal capacities of poor people are damaged by relocation. Also, radical historian Eric Hobsbawm discussed socialism, democracy and the USSR in a 1981 Pacifica Radio interview.

Mon 4.14.08| Abortion Wars

Who would kill an abortion provider? Why did a violent wing of the anti-abortion movement emerge in the 1990s? And how did Buffalo become, for a time, ground zero in this nation's culture wars? Eyal Press examines the abortion debate and how it affected his father, an abortion provider, in Absolute Convictions. Mary Schwartz founded the Buffalo chapter of NOW in 1969. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 4.09.08| Soils Imperiled

According to Saed Engel-Di Mauro, a global crisis in soil degradation threatens our very survival. He describes the contours of the crisis, its causes, and the impact of social arrangements on soil health and integrity. And Paul Paz y Miño discusses a breakthrough in a lawsuit against Chevron for damage done to Ecuador's Amazon rainforest.

Tues 4.08.08| Solidarity with Africa

The US-based campaigns against South African apartheid attracted a lot of attention, but they did not of course constitute the only activism around Africa solidarity. William Minter has co-edited a volume that tells the story of five decades of solidarity between Africans and Americans. In a chapter about the 1950s, Lisa Brock profiles three committed organizers.

Mon 4.07.08| Lessons from Clamor

Clamor Magazine, an award-winning quarterly covering radical culture and politics, engaged with a young left audience and provided a non-sectarian forum for radical discussion until it closed shop in 2006. Clamor co-founder and publisher Jen Angel talks about the nuts and bolts lessons that can be gleaned for media and left institutions from that publication's experience.

Wed 4.02.08| Faces of "Labor"

If workers of the world have yet to unite, and if there exists a great variety of people doing different kinds of work around the world, are references to a global labor force useful? Michael Denning talks about what he sees as the imaginative crisis of labor. He also emphasizes the importance of wageless people: their existence, their organizing activity, and their political potential.

Tues 4.01.08| The Case for Chechnya

Is Chechnya, so often associated with lawlessness, Islamic extremism, and failed statehood, entitled to independence? Tony Wood has written about the long tradition of Chechen resistance to Russian imperial designs. He also links the most recent invasion of Chechnya with Vladimir Putin's rise to power and his authoritarian agenda.

Mon 3.31.08| Sowing, Reaping

Whoever controls the future of seeds controls the future of life on earth. So asserts Claire Cummings in Uncertain Peril, which takes on industrial farming and genetic engineering and points the way toward a sustainable, earth-friendly agriculture. One of Cummings's heroes is Wes Jackson, who's working to transform the major grain crops into hardy, diverse perennials.

Wed 3.26.08| Oil, Class, "Enclosure"

Peak Oil, with its assertions that oil production is or soon will be in permanent decline, is all the rage. But from a radical, anticapitalist perspective, does Peak Oil hold water? The philosopher George Caffentzis offers a critique that emphasizes the role of workers and displaced communities in oil production.

Tues 3.25.08| Stiglitz on Iraq

Nobel laureate and former chief economist for the World Bank Joseph Stiglitz talks about the costs of the invasion of Iraq and the gloomy prospects for the US economy with journalist Doug Henwood.

Mon 3.24.08| Rising in the East?

Does dissent happen in Japan, an economic powerhouse around which stereotypes of Japanese homogeneity and obedient conformity abound? Sabu Kohso is organizing resistance to the upcoming G8 summit in Hokkaido; he's also written about recent social movements and workers' struggles in Japan. Workers are also struggling in China, in places like Shenzhen; Robert Weil describes recent developments.

Wed 3.19.08| Disaster? Success? Both?

What have we wrought in Iraq? Has the troop surge worked, can Baghdad's neighborhoods be resucitated, has the US oil grab succeeded, and would a Democratic president withdraw the troops? Michael Schwartz and A.K. Gupta provide in-depth commentary, and Brian Edwards-Tiekert gets arrested at an antiwar protest in San Francisco.

Tues 3.18.08| Russell Banks; Mountaintop Removal

In his new novel The Reserve, Russell Banks examines class, politics, love, and madness in a privatized wilderness in the Adirondacks. Another kind of madness, called mountaintop removal coal mining, is taking place in the Appalachians. Lenny Kohm describes what's being done and the impact on local ecologies and communities.

Mon 3.17.08| Change Agents

For eight months Sujatha Fernandes lived in a popular barrio in Venezuela, where she learned about the roles played by barrio women in that nation's urban social movements. She's also written about the political sensibilities of cultural workers in Cuba. Frances Tran took a CUNY course taught by Fernandes about immigrant workers, including street vendors, in New York City.

Wed 3.12.08| War & Feminization

Are the logics of war and neoliberalism compatible with the empowerment of women and the pursuit of feminist goals? Mary Hawkesworth describes what happens to women, social attitudes, and political structures both during war and after demobilization. She also cites processes of feminization that affect labor, patterns of poverty, and even men.

Tues 3.11.08| Michael Albert Remembers

A political renegade, a man deeply committed not just to combating social ills but to developing a vision that might guide the Left, has produced a memoir. In Remembering Tomorrow, Michael Albert writes about his Sixties activism, his institution-building feats, his radical theorizing, and his understanding of worker self-management efforts in places like Venezuela and Argentina.

Mon 3.10.08| Right of Return

A Palestinian longs to return to his former house. He meets the woman who moved into that house when Israel was established sixty years ago. He is jailed for many years; she becomes a peace activist. In The Lemon Tree, Sandy Tolan tells the big-picture story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the parallel, very personal story of Bashir and Dalia.

Wed 3.05.08| Target Practice

Intolerance takes many forms. Anna Stubblefield describes how white elites in the US used eugenicist ideas to target "tainted" whites and, specifically, white women deemed feebleminded. And Heather MacDonald's film Ballot Measure 9 documents the violence and invective that accompanied a Religious Right-directed assault on gay rights in Oregon in 1992.

Tues 3.04.08| Charisma and the Cultural Revolution

What moves people to get involved on a societal level, to push for reform or perhaps even carry out a revolution? Joel Andreas examines the role of charisma in mobilizing people; he takes as a case study the rebel movements of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. He also discusses the relevance of his findings to how recent and current social movements, with their charismatic and bureaucratic tendencies, can be evaluated.

Mon 3.03.08| The Enemy of Nature

Are we headed toward human-caused eco-catastrophe, and if so, how do we change direction? In The Enemy of Nature, Joel Kovel argues that capitalism is inherently anti-ecological, and that no reform -- whether recommended by Al Gore, "green" companies, Kyoto backers, or eco-localists -- that leaves its operation intact can effectively address the growing ecological crisis.

Wed 2.27.08| Radical Teach-In

Is truly effective education being delivered, or encouraged, in our public schools? If not, why is No Child Left Behind still around, and what would be a saner alternative? Monty Neill critiques NCLB and suggests ways of improving education. Kai Lundgren-Williams argues for radical changes to education based on what he calls complex communication.

Tues 2.26.08| Zapatista Women, Mexican Movements

Integral to the Zapatista movement has been the concept of building power from below, in part through a process of dialogue and listening. Hilary Klein and Marina Sitrin attended the most recent Zapatista-sponsored gathering, a women's encuentro in December 2007. Gustavo Esteva talks about the Oaxacan uprising and where that movement stands now.

Mon 2.25.08| Cultural Turn to the Right?

Seen as radical to many of its adherents, the set of ideas often known as cultural theory, postmodernism, or poststructuralism have been reviled by conservatives as subversive and dangerous. Timothy Brennan argues, however, that these ostensibly left theories have actually fed into the ascendancy of the right.

Tues 2.05.08| The Power of Narrative

How important is the telling of stories to politics in general, and to social movements in particular? And why do activist groups choose the organizational forms that they do? The sociologist Francesca Polletta has investigated these issues and many others; she's also written about how consensus-based decision making came to be associated with whites.

Mon 2.04.08| Race and Mother(ing)

How can white people bring up white children committed to racial justice? Rebecca Aanerud addresses the challenge of white antiracist mothering and suggests activities crucial to that practice. And in a talk that followed the publication of her book Acolytes, Nikki Giovanni spoke about the death of her mother and about slavery in the US.

Wed 1.30.08| Democracy & Social Forums

If US-style electoral democracy doesn't satisfy you, Michael Menser suggests we consider an alternative: radical democracy like the kind practiced in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Menser likewise sees the World Social Forum as a crucial experiment in democracy. The social forum movement has also inspired the poet and arts activist Alice Lovelace.

Tues 1.29.08| Identity, Class, Acequias

What are the limits of identity politics, and how might an emphasis on people's class location help us understand widening inequalities? Martha Gimenez has written an article entitled "Back to Class." And Devon Pena explains how acequia communities in the Southwest practice local democracy, social equity, and sustainable development.

Mon 1.28.08| Onward Corporate Servants

Neoliberal capitalism immiserates millions of people, so you might envision its practitioners as soulless profiteers. But Bethany Moreton argues that neoliberalism has a robust emotional dimension rooted in Protestant evangelism. And Martha Gimenez calls attention to what she calls "self-sourcing": corporations getting consumers to do unpaid work.

Wed 1.23.08| Islam, Race, Bangladesh

Is Islamophobia a purely religion-based hatred? Junaid Rana explains how racism and racial thinking has affected the way Muslims are viewed and treated. And in her new novel A Golden Age, Tahmima Aman portrays a family caught up in the Bangladesh War of Independence.

Tues 1.22.08| Interrogations

Things like war, patriarchy, and gentrification disturb a lot of people, including artists. In the group exhibition We Interrupt Your Program, curated by Marcia Tanner, artists like Claudia X. Valdes and Gail Wight interrogate dominant narratives of war, technology, and gender. And hip-hop theater pioneer Danny Hoch takes on gentrification in his new solo show Taking Over.

Mon 1.21.08| Du Bois & Robeson

African American giants W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson were tireless opponents of racial oppression and colonialism. Du Bois was the most prominent black intellectual leader and political activist of the early twentieth century, while the vastly talented Robeson was a brilliant athlete, multilingual actor, and singer. Murali Balaji talks about how their legacy of radicalism has been largely rewritten.

Wed 1.16.08| Reclaim the City

Has the city been taken away, in any meaningful sense, from ordinary people? How far has the process of marginalizing and dispossessing certain populations in urban areas come? Bob Catterall, editor of the journal CITY, talks about how global and local processes are affecting cities. He also points to efforts to reclaim cities, efforts that include those of Joel Bergner, an award-winning muralist.

Tues 1.15.08| People Movers

Myths about immigration abound, as does a myopic focus on immigration to the US. Henrik Lebuhn reveals how migrants are being targeted by draconian European immigration and border regimes that are increasingly implemented within Europe. And in her new book Aviva Chomsky addresses 21 myths about immigration.

Mon 1.14.08| What Really Ails Us

According to Stephen Bezruchka, we have an invisible plague in the US, a plague of depression, anxiety and mental illness. He argues that the root cause of this plague is not chemical imbalances but the widening gap between the haves and have-nots. Bezruchka also raises questions about the rampant use of drugs to treat mental disorders.

Wed 1.09.08| Footloose Investors

US trade laws lead African nations to offer huge incentives to multinational investors. What happens to the rights of African workers? Esther de Haan has written about foreign garment corporations in Africa. June Hartley worked for many years with the trade union movement in southern Africa. Also, Nirmala Erevelles examines what happens to women and people with disabilities in the Global South under neoliberalism.

Tues 1.08.08| State of Spying

It's been called Big Brother in the Sky, and it's an unprecedented expansion of the government's power to spy on US residents. Tim Shorrock describes a proposed program that would use military spy satellites for domestic surveillance. And Melvin Goodman contends that CIA clandestine operations have actually harmed US security over the years.

Mon 1.07.08| Money, Power, Action

How much influence do super-wealthy people and entities have over who gets elected, and how they act once elected? William Tabb discusses the relationship between money and power, and shares his insights into the current Presidential race. Also, playwright Adam Bock talks about his new play The Shaker Chair, which contrasts political complacency with activism.

Wed 1.02.08| Selling Weapons to Religious States

Over the past eight years, Saudi Arabia has been the world's largest buyer of US arms - purchasing a total of $13.3 billion worth of weapons. Israel comes in fourth place, having bought $8.5 billion of armaments. Lenni Brenner talks about a campaign to oppose military sales to both Saudi Arabia and Israel as a part of an effort to challenge the arming of religious states.

Tues 1.01.08| Alternatives to Incarceration

From the 1920s to the 1960s, America incarcerated about one in every 1,000 people. Yet something changed in the 1970s and by the year 2000, five in every 1,000 people were incarcerated. Critical Resistance organizer Rachel Herzing talks about why prisons are being built apace and about the movement for their abolition.

Mon 12.31.07| Guernica & Total War

Picasso began to paint Guernica five days after the Spanish town of Guernica was obliterated by aerial bombardment. In Guernica and Total War, Ian Patterson writes about Guernica's significance as an unprecedented event and as a cultural symbol. He also examines the history of bombing civilians as well as efforts to express and address what was then a new horror of war.

Wed 12.26.07| Punk and the Legacy of Joe Strummer

The Clash's Joe Strummer embodied for many the marriage of music, radical politics, and internationalism. Joel Shalit and Craig O'Hara talk about the times in which The Clash and other political punk rock bands were spawned and examine the thorny issues that arise from the commercial success of rebel cultural groups and movements.

Tues 12.25.07| Eco-Localism

If your goal is ecological sustainability, how often have you been urged to get active on the local level? Greg Albo critiques localist projects that deny or ignore the extra-local capitalist and neoliberal context. He also questions whether small-scale enterprises and local political practice are in fact more environmentally responsible and democratic. And Leo Panitch shares some of the other insights offered in the anthology Socialist Register 2007. (Encore presentation.)

Mon 12.24.07| Battles Against Gentrification

In the past decade, cities like San Francisco and Oakland have witnessed skyrocketing housing costs and the ejection of poor and working class people from affordable dwellings to make room for high income tenants and owners. Dawn Phillips and Gilda Haas talk about the dynamics of capital that fuel gentrification.

Wed 12.19.07| Big Easy Problems

Should the poor, low-lying neighborhoods of New Orleans be rebuilt? Environmental racism activist Azibuike Akaba asserts it isn't in the residents' long-term interests. And how might Katrina have reinforced a feeling of entitlement on the part of white America? Dylan Rodriguez contends that Katrina reveals the logic of white racial thinking and black disposability.

Tues 12.18.07| Hillary, Women, Work

Would Hillary Clinton be better than George W. Bush on Iraq, on military policy, and on international law? Stephen Zunes provides a detailed analysis. And Mark Brenner of Labor Notes describes the continuing plight of working-class women, and why collective strategies are needed.

Mon 12.17.07| Troubled Waters

Glenn Switkes and Aviva Imhof of International Rivers discuss Brazilian government plans to build dams on the Madeira River, the Amazon's most important tributary. Also, acclaimed novelist and British leftist China Miéville shares his thoughts about libertarian seasteading and describes recent proposals for floating utopias.

Wed 12.12.07| Stanley Aronowitz

Which way forward for the US Left? What does history tell us about what works and what doesn't? Does a new radical party formation need to emerge? And from what recent working-class struggles can the Left draw inspiration? The influential theorist and activist Stanley Aronowitz, author most recently of Left Turn, holds forth on these questions and much more.

Tues 12.11.07| Paradise?

Landscapes of wealth and geographies of exclusion in this turbo-capitalist era are explored in the book Evil Paradises. Jon Wiener examines the environmental record of Ted Turner, this nation's largest landowner. Rebecca Schoenkopf sounds off about Orange County's politics and its affluent youth. And Sara Lipton explains how monastic retreats echo and legitimate neoliberal values. (Encore presentation.)

Mon 12.10.07| Natural Assets

James Boyce thinks poverty reduction efforts should include the building of natural assets -- assets based on what nature provides to humans -- in the hands of low-income people and communities. Stephen Brush, a contributor to Natural Assets (which Boyce co-edited), suggests ways of both protecting crop genetic diversity and helping poor farmers.

Wed 12.05.07| Enemy-Creation; Emma Goldman

What if we construct enemies based on how we see ourselves? Gordon Fellman argues that hated and rejected parts of the self are projected onto others. If we can change the way we handle emotions like anger, he asserts, perhaps there's a way to end our adversarial compulsions. Also, Sharon Rudahl discusses her new graphic biography of the great anarchist Emma Goldman.

Tues 12.04.07| Workers Under Siege

Many corporations don't want their employees to form or join unions. Some will use pernicious tactics to prevent workers from organizing. American Rights at Work's Erin Johansson has written reports detailing the anti-union activities of FedEx and Verizon. Peter Ranis urges workers to use eminent domain to prevent corporations from closing down plants in US communities.

Mon 12.03.07| Driven Out

Rounded up, terrorized, and ethnically cleansed: those words come up frequently in human rights discussions, but rarely in relation to Chinese Americans. In Driven Out, Jean Pfealzer describes the purging of all of the Chinese residents of more than a hundred towns across the American West in the 1800s. The anti-Chinese campaigns were often directed by trade-union groups. Pfaelzer also tells the story of courageous Chinese resistance.

Wed 11.28.07| Regulating Intimacy

The US is not the only nation with a politically powerful Christian Right. In Taiwan, a crusade in the name of protecting children has victimized sexual minorities and has consolidated disturbing alliances between Christian NGOs and Taiwan's diplomatically insecure government. Radical feminist Josephine Ho contends that the key champion of human rights in Taiwan is now the sex rights movement.

Mon 11.26.07| Pakistan: The Back Story

Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule on November 3. Two former leaders have returned from exile. Pakistan is a key ally of the US in its so-called war on terror. What's the historical context of these developments? Veteran political analyst Tariq Ali spoke recently in Los Angeles about Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Wed 11.21.07| Is Microcredit the Answer?

The awarding of last year's Nobel Peace Prize to the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh and its founder has generated intense interest in a development tool called microcredit. Is microcredit, as some of its advocates claim, a key part of the solution to global poverty? Sam Daley-Harris directs the Microcredit Summit Campaign. Radical economist Robert Pollin has serious reservations about microcredit as it's currently practiced. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 11.20.07| Toxic Tactics

It's been called a stealth assault on public health research. Industry groups are working to block the release to the public of key information about carcinogenic chemicals. The EPA, in at least one arena, apparently has the corporations' backs: it has dramatically reduced their toxics reporting burdens. OMB Watch's Clayton Northouse discusses both developments.

Mon 11.19.07| Liberating Sex

What does capitalism do to sex and sexuality? And what does socialist theory have to say about sexual desire and sexual arrangements? In his essay in Toward a New Socialism, Michael Hames-Garcia reviews various socialist perspectives on gender and sexuality, with an emphasis on same-sex desire. He also comments on certain trends in gay and lesbian organizing since the 1970s.

Wed 11.14.07| Du Bois's Turn; Kavan, Part 2

Is academic freedom enough? Bill Mullen approaches this question by examining how the thinking of W.E.B. Du Bois about education evolved from an emphasis on liberal humanism to an analysis of capitalism's impact on both workers and places of learning. Also, more excerpts of a recent talk given by the Czech human rights and peace advocate Jan Kavan.

Tues 11.13.07| Freedom Sought, Peace Delayed

What did Bush and his colleagues mean when they spoke about freeing the women of Afghanistan and Iraq -- and what's a better way to understand, and reach toward, freedom? Lori Marso writes about feminism and freedom's complications in W Stands for Women. Also, veteran human rights advocate Jan Kavan addressed regime change, preventive war, and the role of the UN in a recent talk.

Mon 11.12.07| Rogue Rhetoric

In response to FOIA litigation, the US released thousands of pages of documents relating to interrogation methods used on detainees at Guantanamo and in Afghanistan and Iraq. Does anything in those pages suggest that George W. Bush or senior Administration officials committed war crimes? ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer is co-author of Administration of Torture, which presents and parses the most revealing documents released to date.

Wed 11.07.07| Highway to Hell?

It's hundreds of miles of asphalt, stretching the length of California and beyond. But Interstate 5 is also much more: a corridor of toxic pollution and a site of intense struggles around environmental justice. Invisible-5, co-created by artist Amy Balkin, is a self-guided audio tour that explores environmental problems and responses along I-5 from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Tues 11.06.07| Manifestations of Violence

Song For Night, the new novella by the Nigerian writer Chris Abani, follows an African boy soldier through the maddening hell of a nonstop civil war. Abani, a former political prisoner, offers up his own reflections on violence, war and the human condition. And Ken Gonzales-Day has done groundbreaking research into racially-motivated lynching. He's discovered that a plurality of those lynched in California were Latino.

Mon 11.05.07| Playing the Game

Much of the Left ignores or denigrates things like celebrity media, violent video games, and slick advertising. But according to Stephen Duncombe, there's much progressives can learn from commercial culture and popular fantasies. In this follow-up interview, the author of Dream reveals what the Left can learn from the best-selling video game Grand Theft Auto.

Mon 10.15.07| Products of Imperialism

Mass-produced consumer products. It's clear how important they are to today's capitalist economy -- but what about their role in US global domination, in American empire? Mona Domosh examines what's happened when commodities, not armies or politicians, do the work of colonization. And Richard Lichtman critiques the recently-aired Ken Burns documentary about World War II.

Tues 10.09.07| Immigrant Justice

Do immigrants hurt our economy and take our jobs? Should the US-Mexico border be sealed off -- and could it be? Is there any merit to the idea of opening our borders? Jane Guskin and David Wilson address a wide range of issues in The Politics of Immigration. Also, race, place and identity are highlighted in Eisa Davis's new play Bulrusher.

Mon 10.08.07| Blood on the Border

What happens when indigenous people become pawns in a US-sponsored war? In Blood on the Border, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz describes how the Miskitu Indians of Nicaragua were cynically manipulated by the US in its propaganda war against the leftist Sandinistas -- and tells us the true story of Sandinista-Miskitu relations. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 10.03.07| Housing, Transport, Power

According to a new report, Dick Cheney's staff has been working behind closed doors to undermine fuel economy standards. Public Citizen's Robert Shull explains why the new "Cheney scale" is bad for people and the environment. Peter Dreier thinks the time is now to advance an aggressive strategy to help house the working poor. His proposal involves adding a housing supplement to the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Tues 10.02.07| Nation-States & Corporations

Is our system of elective representation truly democratic? What should we understand about the historical development of corporate globalization, and its current state? And how is Cuba's system of governance different from this nation's -- and with what consequences? Independent scholar and former union organizer Steve Martinot has recently written and spoken about these matters.

Mon 10.01.07| The Science of Domination

Fifty years of US history, a half-century of warmaking, five decades of developing technology for doomsday. In his new book Made Love, Got War, columnist and media critic Norman Solomon examines the myths and realities of scientific "progress." He also chronicles the US government's and media's persistent push toward ever-greater warmaking capability, as well as the many efforts (including his own) to resist nuclear weapons and war.

Wed 9.26.07| Beyond Normal

Just strange and bizarre, or sick and pathological? Dyslexic activist Jonathan Mooney traveled the country visiting people diagnosed with this or that disability; in the process, he put societal notions of "normal" under the microscope. He writes about his experiences in The Short Bus. Also, Susette Min discusses a new exhibition of Asian American Art.

Tues 9.25.07| Nonprofit Blues

Progressive nonprofits dominate the left-liberal landscape. Should the fact that these groups are accountable to their funders -- often private foundations -- give us pause? And why are more and more people on the Left using the term "nonprofit industrial complex"? Violence prevention educator Paul Kivel and community activist Eric Tang contributed essays to The Revolution Will Not Be Funded.

Mon 9.24.07| Neoliberal Multiculturalism

Capitalism creates and perpetuates patterns of racial inequality around the world. According to Jodi Melamed, US elites have appropriated a language of multiculturalism to make their policies appear just and to obfuscate how racism operates. Also, Aaron Glantz discusses a new online KPFA project called The War Comes Home.

Wed 9.19.07| Offshore Corruption; Toxics & Race

According to John Christensen, offshore tax havens enable elites to evade taxes, depriving the nations of origin of badly-needed revenues. He also discusses the complicity of multinational companies in this largely unregulated world of secret bank accounts and trusts. And Robin Saha co-authored a new environmental justice report entitled "Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007." (Encore presentation.)

Tues 9.18.07| Eco-Localism

If your goal is ecological sustainability, how often have you been urged to get active on the local level? Greg Albo critiques localist projects that deny or ignore the extra-local capitalist and neoliberal context. He also questions whether small-scale enterprises and local political practice are in fact more environmentally responsible and democratic. And Leo Panitch shares some of the other insights offered in the anthology Socialist Register 2007.

Mon 9.17.07| Guernica & Total War

Picasso began to paint Guernica five days after the Spanish town of Guernica was obliterated by aerial bombardment. In Guernica and Total War, Ian Patterson writes about Guernica's significance as an unprecedented event and as a cultural symbol. He also examines the history of bombing civilians as well as efforts to express and address what was then a new horror of war.

Wed 9.12.07| Changing Schools

New Orleans's public education system was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. It was then assaulted, according to Leigh Dingerson, by a conservative, privatization-minded, corporate-friendly wing of the national charter school movement. Also, union leader Brenda Mitchell discusses the struggles of teachers post-Katrina.

Tues 9.11.07| Bush Rhetoric Reexamined

The Bush Administration's post-9/11 rhetoric on national security has had a distinctly feminist ring. Michaele Ferguson, co-editor of W Stands for Women, examines that rhetoric's power and suggests how progressives can respond. And Karen Zivi analyzes Bush's politics of compassion, especially in relation to the AIDS crisis; she asserts that such a focus actually compromises women's health.

Wed 9.05.07| Fast-Tracking Death

Poor people accused or convicted of capital crimes often get terrible legal representation. So why is the Attorney General trying to fast-track death penalty appeals through the courts? The ACLU's Natasha Minsker and Robin Maher of the ABA discuss the proposed rules; they also describe current efforts to address wrongful conviction. Harold Hall spent 19 years in prison for a double murder he didn't commit.

Tues 9.04.07| Paying for Pollution

We all know corporate polluters are bad for the environment. But do disparities of wealth and power in society correlate with rates of environmental degradation? Economist James Boyce addressed this in a recent working paper. And Matt Leonard discusses a RAN campaign targeting banks that fund the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

Mon 9.03.07| Women Changing Unions

For more than two decades, women in Latin American banana unions have been educating and asserting themselves, thereby transforming union activism, gender politics, and labor internationalism. Historian Dana Frank has documented all this in her book Bananeras. And Charity Ryerson of US/LEAP describes the targeting of trade unionists in Colombia.

Wed 8.29.07| Combatting Recruitment

"One of the main problems governments face in waging war is getting soldiers to kill and die in them." So begins one chapter of Army of None, a new book that shows counterrecruitment to be a key part of the broader strategy to end the war in Iraq. Coauthors Aimee Allison and David Solnit describe how the US military recruits in schools and communities, and what concerned people are doing about it.

Tues 8.28.07| Aptheker II; Prelinger Library

In the second part of a two-part interview about her memoir Intimate Politics, Bettina Aptheker discusses her role in the campaign to free Angela Davis, her feminist research, and her split with the Communist Party; she also talks about today's Left. And Megan Shaw Prelinger and Rick Prelinger share their thoughts about how access to books and archival material can be improved and encouraged.

Mon 8.27.07| Aptheker's Life; Black Power

Bettina Aptheker was a prominent participant in many of the major social justice struggles of the twentieth century. In her memoir Intimate Politics, she chronicles her involvement in the free speech movement, the effort to free Angela Davis, the US Communist Party, and feminist and queer scholarship and activism. Also, Peniel Joseph discusses the significance of the Black Power movement, which he argues originated in the 1950s.

Tues 8.21.07| Art Inc.

Does contemporary western art critique the excesses of our hypercommercialized world of capitalism -- or celebrate it with a wink and a nudge? Radical art critic Julian Stallabrass argues that the fortunes and shape of contemporary art are deeply entangled with neoliberal globalization.

Mon 8.20.07| A Century of Isaac Deutscher

The Polish Marxist Isaac Deutscher was one of the 20th century's most important left historians, yet his work is known better in Europe and Latin America than it is in the US. Radical scholar Mike Davis talks about Deutscher's classic Trotsky trilogy, his journalism, and Deutscher's legacy on the fortieth anniversary of his death.

Wed 8.15.07| Jessica Mitford

She was a muckraker, communist, aristocrat, and Oakland resident. Jessica Mitford, also known as Decca Treuhaft, lived a larger-than-life existence and left a significant mark on investigative journalism in the US with such works as The American Way of Death. Peter Y. Sussman and Conn Hallinan talk about her life, politics, and times. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 8.14.07| Stifling Dissent

A new National Lawyers Guild report details police tactics against law-abiding protestors, tactics that some have said amounts to a new COINTELPRO. Report author Heidi Boghosian and Bay Area attorney Ben Rosenfeld detail police crackdowns on activists, and Dave Saldana discusses his experiences with police in Los Angeles.

Mon 8.13.07| Fighting for Green Space

The San Francisco Bay Area boasts a phenomenal amount of green space woven into its urban landscape, yet it has only been preserved through relentless struggle involving unexpected protagonists and alliances. Geographer Richard Walker argues that while the Bay Area has been in the vanguard of environmental struggle in America, until now that fascinating and important history has not been fully told -- from late 19th-century opposition to logging to the Save the Bay fight in the 1960s to recent battles to protect the health of inner city residents from industrial toxins.

Wed 8.08.07| The Fringe Economy

Financially strapped people are being preyed upon every day, by businesses in what's called the fringe economy. Howard Karger describes how storefronts like payday lenders, often backed by huge corporations, encourage chronic borrowing that leads to costly long-term debt. Paul Leonard with the Center for Responsible Lending discusses a new report about the impact of payday lending -- and efforts to confront it. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 8.07.07| Blue Workers

When it comes to a topic as sprawling as globalization, abstractions and generalities abound. China Blue, a documentary film by Micha Peled, gets beyond all that. Taking the viewer inside a Chinese denim sweatshop, the film profiles two teenage female workers and the factory's owner. The result is a revealing examination of working conditions, capitalist pressures, and laborers' dreams and aspirations.

Mon 8.06.07| Taking on Fascism

They fought the fascists, in a place far away, against the wishes of their own nation. They were Americans who went to Spain in the 1930s to defend the democratic Republic against the fascist forces of Francisco Franco. The story of these courageous people is told in the film Souls Without Borders: The Untold Story of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. In The Front Lines of Social Change, Richard Bermack presents photographs and stories of dozens of surviving members of the brigade.

Wed 8.01.07| Faith & Fundamentalism

The impact of religion on today's world is incalculable. Is religion a positive thing? Does it ground moral conduct in an indispensable way or does it in fact detract from peace, stability, even justice? Sparks flew at a recent KPFA-sponsored debate featuring Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists, and Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great.

Tues 7.31.07| Prashad on Polyculturalism

Is multiculturalism good enough for you? Does racial tolerance in the context of elite divide-and-rule policies and profit-making agendas satisfy your antiracist impulses? What alternative to multiculturalism, rooted in cross-cultural solidarity and true justice for peoples of color, ought to be pushed? At the recent NCORE conference, Vijay Prashad delivered a talk entitled "Whatever Happened to Antiracism?"

Mon 7.30.07| Nukes Now?

If global warming is the problem, is nuclear power the answer? Are nuclear reactors, as advocates (including a few with environmental credentials) contend, clean and relatively worry-free sources of energy? Veteran activist Harvey Wasserman offers a rebuttal to pro-nukes arguments. And Jacqueline Cabasso describes the current state of nuclear weapons proliferation, as well as prospects for their abolition.

Wed 7.25.07| Radical Road Story

Growing inequality, alienating labor, environmental degradation -- what if someone actually traveled the country and witnessed these things firsthand? And better yet, what if he wrote a book detailing not just his travels but his political and social observations? Radical economist Michael Yates has done all of the above in his new book Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate.

Tues 7.24.07| Shutting it Down

Not one but two historic citywide general strikes, in San Francisco and Oakland, are among the events memorialized at this year's LaborFest. Labor historian Louis Prisco and the ILWU's Jack Heyman share insights into the massive San Francisco General Strike of 1934. The contours and impact of the 1946 Oakland General Strike are described by labor activist Gifford Hartman.

Wed 7.23.07| Paradise?

Landscapes of wealth and geographies of exclusion in this turbo-capitalist era are explored in the new book Evil Paradises. Jon Wiener examines the environmental record of Ted Turner, this nation's largest landowner. Rebecca Schoenkopf sounds off about Orange County's politics and its affluent youth. And Sara Lipton explains how monastic retreats echo and legitimate neoliberal values.

Wed 7.18.07| Moving People

Millions who oppose the war in Iraq are apparently unwilling to become part of the antiwar movement. Why is this? What have antiwar groups been doing well, and how might their outreach efforts improve? Madeline Gardner has co-authored a pamphlet that proposes ways of attracting the broader public. Judith Le Blanc has many thoughts about strategy and organizing based on her work with UFPJ.

Tues 7.17.07| Psychologists & Torture; Battered Inmates

Nathaniel Raymond with PHR discusses recent and breaking revelations about the participation of psychologists in the development of torture and interrogation methods used in Iraq, Guantanamo, and elsewhere. Marisa Gonzalez and Carrie Hempel are working to help domestic violence survivors incarcerated for killing their abusive partners.

Mon 7.16.07| Liberty For Some

The right to be in and to use public space; the right not to be detained indefinitely without charge. How important are these rights, and how and why are they under attack? Jonathan Hafetz describes the status of habeas corpus rights in relation to Guantanamo detainees and others. Don Mitchell explains how some people are being banished arbitrarily from urban spaces that have been privatized.

Wed 7.11.07| Freethought and Whitman

Freethinkers have worked tirelessly to keep government out of religion and religion out of government. While many conservatives have denied or played down this nation's secularist tradition, Susan Jacoby is working hard to revive it; her book Freethinkers highlights prominent secularist movements and people in US history. And John O'Keefe discusses his one-man show based on a poem by a prominent freethinker named Walt Whitman.

Tues 7.10.07| Indian IT Workers, Chinese Babies

They come to the US: information technology workers from India, and adopted children from China. Payal Banerjee argues that US immigration policy and the exigencies of late capitalism have combined to make exploitation of Indian IT workers the norm. Sara Dorow illuminates racial and other notions that inform at least some adoptive parents' decisions to adopt from China.

Mon 7.09.07| Moving the Media

How can progressive ideas and experts be funneled into both the progressive media and the mainstream media more effectively? What can the Left learn from the Right's successful efforts to build a powerful media machine? Tracy Van Slyke discusses ways of improving the dissemination of progressive messages. And Tim Pozar comments on a Google/Earthlink proposal to build a free Wi-Fi system in San Francisco.

Tues 7.03.07| They All Converged

Over 10,000 people gathered in Atlanta last week for the first United States Social Forum. From the five days that featured 900 workshops and a convening of what's called the People's Movements Assembly, what emerged? Three of the attendees were Eduardo Soriano-Castillo with Jobs with Justice; Sabrina Adams, a recently politicized woman from New Orleans; and DeAnne Cuellar with the Texas Media Empowerment Project.

Mon 7.02.07| Is Microcredit the Answer?

The awarding of last year's Nobel Peace Prize to the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh and its founder has generated intense interest in a development tool called microcredit. Is microcredit, as some of its advocates claim, a key part of the solution to global poverty? Sam Daley-Harris directs the Microcredit Summit Campaign. Radical economist Robert Pollin has serious reservations about microcredit as it's currently practiced.

Wed 6.27.07| Lebanon, Arabs, Women

Israel launched a massive invasion of Lebanon last July. Kareem Shora discusses a new ADC report that documents the losses sustained by civilians and evaluates Israel's conduct in light of international law. And Nadine Naber highlights the complexities of growing up Arab American and female; she contends that an imagined Arab culture is often used to police daughters' behavior.

Tues 6.26.07| Abortive Silence

Two recently-released films, Waitress and Knocked Up, feature lead characters who discover they're pregnant. Neither film contains any discussion of abortion as an option. WIMN's Jennifer Pozner and Bitch Magazine's Andi Zeisler comment on what that says about reproductive rights and feminism in today's culture. And Amy Moy of Planned Parenthood explains the status of reproductive freedoms in the US.

Mon 6.25.07| A Humanist Socialism

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez once spoke of a third way between capitalism and socialism. Now he speaks of building a new type of socialism, a humanist one. In Build It Now, Michael Lebowitz describes what a humanist socialism would look like and examines whether Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution represents a path toward that goal.

Wed 6.20.07| Black is Not Enough

Racism is alive and well, but that doesn't mean sexism, homophobia and other oppressions, including those being played out within people of color communities, can be ignored. Left Turn magazine brought together five queer black activists to discuss the intersections of race, gender and sexuality. Kenyon Farrow is a writer and activist who's done a lot of organizing around LGBTQ issues. Aishah Shahidah Simmons wrote and produced a documentary about rape called No!

Tues 6.19.07| Žižek Captured

He's been called "the Elvis of cultural theory" and a "one-person culture muncher." Slavoj Žižek, the eccentric and provocative philosopher from Slovenia, is now the subject of a film called, appropriately, Žižek! Director Astra Taylor discusses the film as well as some of her own ideas, about the 60's, their legacy, and the revival of Students for a Democratic Society.

Mon 6.18.07| The Privatization of Race

What are the racial dimensions of the neoliberal state? Is privatization a way of targeting people of color? And what's wrong with people desiring and working toward racially homogeneous neighborhoods and societies? Social theorist David Theo Goldberg has written widely about these and other matters.

Wed 6.13.07| Daisey & Channer

Themes of genius, megalomania and madness are addressed in Mike Daisey's new monologue Great Men of Genius, in which he profiles, often with rollicking humor, the lives of P.T. Barnum, Bertolt Brecht, L. Ron Hubbard and Nikola Tesla. And Jamaican-American writer Colin Channer's new novella The Girl with the Golden Shoes is a fable about escaping ignorance and earning respect.

Tues 6.12.07| Protest Puppetry

Puppets are no longer child's play. In fact, they haven't been the sole domain of children for centuries; puppets are a key part of a long tradition of satire, dissent, and militant activism. That tradition continues today, including at mass demonstrations around the globe. Puppeteers Morgan Andrews and K. Ruby discuss the rich history and turbulent current state of radical puppetry.

Mon 6.11.07| Toward a New Socialism

If socialism isn't on the lips of many or most people working for social change, and if today's Left looks disapprovingly at what happened in China and the USSR, then what case can be made for socialism as the best alternative to capitalism? Anatole Anton and Richard Schmitt are co-editors of Toward a New Socialism, which considers what a new socialism might look like and how it's being advanced.

Wed 6.06.07| Rebecca Solnit

A new collection of Rebecca Solnit's essays showcases her fascination with place, politics, and human behavior. A cultural historian and veteran activist, Solnit uses metaphor and analogy to suggest new ways of looking at and responding to the world around us. Her essays in Storming the Gates of Paradise examine, among other things, civil disobedience, nature photography, Silicon Valley, and the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Tues 6.05.07| Prashad (Part 2) & Taraneh Hemami

When nation after nation escaped colonialism in the twentieth century, they came together to form what Vijay Prashad calls the Third World project. Vijay Prashad's book The Darker Nations explains how that project was quelled. Prashad discusses his book in this second part of a two-part interview. And Taraneh Hemami has a new solo art exhibition entitled "Most Wanted."

Mon 6.04.07| Third World Strivings, Antiwar Stirrings

Imagine the collective jubilation when nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America broke free from colonialism. Now consider what's happened to the Third World and its secular, egalitarian agenda. In The Darker Nations, Vijay Prashad traces the origins, development, and what he calls the assassination of the Third World project. Also, Max Elbaum weighs in on the occupation of Iraq and the trajectory of the antiwar movement.

Wed 5.30.07| Water Ways

Activism around water often means saving a pristine water body, or fighting water privatization, or trying to halt mega-dam projects. But can't urban folk do concrete, meaningful things with their own water consumption? In what ways can household water be recycled, and water use reduced? Co-editor Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Andrea del Moral have contributed to the new book Dam Nation.

Tues 5.29.07| Trade, Migrants, Critical Theory

US elites like free trade agreements. NAFTA took effect in 1994; CAFTA was ratified by Congress two years ago. Four more FTAs are now before Congress. But does the free trade model make sense? Laura Carlsen advocates a moratorium on FTAs; she also links trade policy to immigration. And Richard Lichtman talks about a doctoral program on critical theory, which was the focus of the radical Frankfurt School.

Mon 5.28.07| Oil Out of Africa

In its relentless search for energy security, the US is increasingly eyeing West Africa's abundant deposits of oil and natural gas. How it's going about securing those supplies, and how the so-called War on Terror factors into US policy formulation, is the subject of the new report "Convergent Interests." Co-authors Paul Lubeck and Michael Watts explain what's at stake. And Taylor Lincoln discusses how energy companies in the US secured huge taxpayer subsidies.

Wed 5.23.07| Our Own Worst Enemy?

Chalmers Johnson's Blowback predicted harsh reprisals in response to US imperial adventurism abroad. In a recent talk about his new book Nemesis, Johnson discusses the military-industrial-Congressional complex, considers the possibility of an attack on Iran, and wonders what's happened to accountability and oversight in the halls of government.

Tues 5.22.07| Spectacular Vernacular

Progressives appeal to reason; they try to use rational argument to persuade others to move to the left. Is there anything wrong with this? What place should spectacle and the imagination have in Left strategizing? In his new book Dream, Stephen Duncombe asserts that vibrant movements are possible only if people's desires and fantasies are acknowledged and addressed.

Mon 5.21.07| Evicted En Masse

Ethnic cleansing is such a loaded term. Has it happened, and is it happening now, to the Palestinians? In his new book, the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe argues that Israel's founding in 1948 was accompanied by a crime against humanity. The ideology behind the mass eviction of Palestinians, Pappe contends in a talk he gave in Amsterdam, continues to this day.

Wed 5.16.07| Enduring Occupation

What's it really like to live under occupation? How much of what we hear about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fact, and how much is fiction? The film Occupation 101 combines historical analysis with on-the-ground coverage of daily injustices in Gaza and the West Bank. It also features commentary about settlement activity, the separation barrier, and US support for Israel.

Tues 5.15.07| 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.

Mon 5.14.07| Darkness Falls

What's happened to civility in this country, to community, meaningful work, and craft? Morris Berman thinks US civilization, with its "What's In It For Me?" ethic, is in irreversible decline. In Dark Ages America, he argues that many of today's social ills can be traced to the repeal of Bretton Woods and the rise of a technological paradigm.

Wed 5.09.07| Working, Spending

People in the US work long hours. And when they're not working, they're often shopping, which for many means going into debt. Juliet Schor's research has focused on trends in work, leisure, consumerism, and economic justice. Co-founder of the Center for a New American Dream, Schor is the featured expert in the film The Overspent American.

Tues 5.08.07| Meaning, Reality, Media

The media bombards us with images; what do those images really mean? When those in power tell us -- as they constantly do -- how to interpret certain events and images, should we believe what we're told? Cultural theorist Stuart Hall examines the relationship of meaning and reality, and what both have to do with power and the media, in the film Representation and the Media.

Mon 5.07.07| How Empire Works

According to James Laxer, empires come in different shapes and sizes. The Roman empire, for example, was critically dependent on slavery for its creation and maintenance. In Empire, Laxer identifies four types of empire, the four pillars of US power, and the vulnerabilities of today's American empire. He also comments on the incompatibility of empire and democracy.

Wed 5.02.07| Race to Succeed

The Puerto Rican baseball star Roberto Clemente endured racial prejudice and Jim Crow segregation to become one of the great competitors, and humanitarians, of his time. David Maraniss has authored a new biography. Urla Hill has curated an exhibition about the intersection of racial politics and sports at San Jose State. Larry Walls was on that school's track team in the late 1960s.

Tues 5.01.07| Monumental Mistake?

In May 1886, anarchists and workers were confronted by Chicago police; eight men were arrested in connection with a bomb-throwing incident. Nicolas Lampert discusses how the Haymarket Affair is remembered, and why monuments to the events have generated so much heat. Josh MacPhee is co-editor of Realizing The Impossible: Art Against Authority.

Mon 4.30.07| Nonprofit Blues

Progressive nonprofits dominate the left-liberal landscape. Should the fact that these groups are accountable to their funders -- often private foundations -- give us pause? And why are more and more people on the Left using the term "nonprofit industrial complex"? Violence prevention educator Paul Kivel and community activist Eric Tang contributed essays to The Revolution Will Not Be Funded.

Wed 4.25.07| Tortured Logic

According to Kristian Williams, torture plays a key role in the projection of state power. In American Methods, Williams describes the US government's use of torture -- in war, in prison, and by proxy. He also examines whether torture is an effective way to gather intelligence, and whether torture in certain limited circumstances is justified.

Tues 4.24.07| Abortion Wars

Who would kill an abortion provider? Why did a violent wing of the anti-abortion movement emerge in the 1990s? And how did Buffalo become, for a time, ground zero in this nation's culture wars? Eyal Press examines the abortion debate and how it affected his father, an abortion provider, in Absolute Convictions. Mary Schwartz founded the Buffalo chapter of NOW in 1969.

Mon 4.23.07| Vulnerable Workers

What's happened to work, and to workers, that's generated so much economic insecurity today? What should a leftist vision of work in the twenty-first century include? Guy Standing once directed the Socio-Economic Security Program of the International Labour Organization. He spoke at the recent Jobs and Justice conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Wed 4.18.07| Radio and the Counterculture

Radio's death has been predicted for decades, while its impact in shaping the culture and politics of this country has been enormous. Journalist Marc Fisher and pioneering deejay Bonnie Simmons talk about the radio icons that remade the medium (including night broadcaster Jean Shepherd, WBAI's Bob Fass and his free form radio, and the legendary underground station KSAN), how radio shaped the counterculture, and the backlash that followed.

Tues 4.17.07| COINTELPRO and the Left

In 1971 a radical group broke into an FBI field office in Pennsylvania. The documents that they released to the press confirmed the existence of what many on the left had suspected -- that the US government had created a domestic spying program to infiltrate and tear apart the left. Adi Gevins took a close look at COINTELPRO in the 1975 KPFA documentary "Me and My Shadow."

Mon 4.16.07| KPFA's 58th Birthday

In 1949, KPFA Radio came on the air as the first listener-sponsored radio station in the world. Its mission was to foster cultural expression, investigate the causes of conflict, and engage in radio that contributes to a lasting understanding between nations and individuals. KPFA founder Lewis Hill and legendary public affairs director Elsa Knight Thompson are the focus of a documentary produced by the Pacifica Radio Archives.

Wed 4.11.07| The Drive to Dominate; Sport & Development

Where does the human propensity to subjugate other living things and plunder the natural world come from? Kirkpatrick Sale addresses this question, and urges an alternative rooted in the consciousness of Homo Erectus, in his book After Eden. Martha Saavedra discusses the uses of sport in relation to development and empowerment in the Global South.

Mon 4.09.07| Warring Impulses

Will Congress mandate a quick withdrawal from Iraq? What would a responsible withdrawal strategy look like? Rahul Mahajan discusses the Democrats' strategy, US ignorance, and the state of the antiwar movement. Carl Conetta has proposed a withdrawal strategy that replaces most US troops with a multinational force.

Wed 4.04.07| Poverty, Civic Works, Katrina

The Works Progress Administration was a massive public works project created by FDR in 1935. Should a similar initiative be launched to rebuild New Orleans? Scott Myers-Lipton has developed the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project; he's also written a book that examines attempts to address poverty in the US. Salena Acox visited the Gulf Coast as part of the Project's "Louisiana Winter."

Mon 4.02.07| Offshore Corruption; Toxics & Race

According to John Christensen, offshore tax havens enable elites to evade taxes, depriving the nations of origin of badly-needed revenues. He also discusses the complicity of multinational companies in this largely unregulated world of secret bank accounts and trusts. And Robin Saha co-authored a new environmental justice report entitled "Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007."

Wed 3.28.07| Direct Action

Die-ins, sit-ins, and other in-your-face protests generated media attention and arrests on the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Is direct action on the rise? How do participants in such actions gauge their success? Kate Raphael is a veteran activist and direct action advocate. Caitlin Esworthy helped organize actions against military shipments at the ports of Olympia and Tacoma. And David Meieran worked to blockade a robotics center in Pittsburgh.

Tues 3.27.07| Beyond Capitalism II

How can wealth be democratized and greater liberty be achieved? What political-economic models make sense as alternatives to the current system? In America Beyond Capitalism, Gar Alperovitz highlights new approaches and institutions that point in the direction of greater equality, liberty, and democracy. (Follow-up interview.)

Mon 3.26.07| Nunez and Lorca

In her latest novel The Last of Her Kind, Sigrid Nunez captures the passion, idealism and contradictions of the late 1960s. Meanwhile, the Shotgun Players are staging Blood Wedding, a play by the renowned Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca. It's directed by Evren Odcikin and choreographed by the flamenco artist Yaelisa.

Wed 3.21.07| When Food Goes Corporate

Wholesome food, sustainably grown and affordably priced. Is that so difficult? Are agribusiness firms, backed by federal policy and international dictates, preventing an ideal from becoming reality? The NFFC's George Naylor and Food First's Eric Holt-Gimenez discuss the 2007 Farm Bill, food sovereignty, the fate of family farms, and much more.

Tues 3.20.07| People Politics

What would a radical break from politics-as-usual look like? Activist and author Marina Sitrin suggests we look to Argentina for new and startling forms of grassroots power and collective action based on mutual aid, self-organization, and a rejection of hierarchy. She also discusses how and why the new social movements seek autonomy from the State.

Wed 3.14.07| Oil in Iraq, and Berkeley

Is Big Oil on the verge of a huge victory in Iraq? Does the proposed Iraq oil law represent a giveaway to oil megacorporations, or could it assert a meaningful level of state control over Iraq's vast reserves? Antonia Juhasz and Christian Parenti offer different perspectives. And activist Hillary Lehr states her objections to the recent $500 million biofuels research deal between UC Berkeley and BP.

Tues 3.13.07| Emma Goldman's Vision

What happened when the life of the fiery anarchist Emma Goldman intersected with anarchist revolution in Spain? David Porter discusses where Goldman stood, how her opinions evolved, and how the debates of her time still resonate within and among today's social movements. Barry Pateman discussed Goldman's life and ideas in a talk at AK Press.

Mon 3.12.07| Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah

Fifty years ago, Ghana broke free from its British colonizers and declared itself independent. Kwame Nkrumah was a key part of the anti-colonialist struggle; he eventually became Ghana's first president. Nkrumah delivered an important and prescient talk at the UN General Assembly in 1960. Tetteh Kofi describes Nkrumah's efforts to liberate Ghana.

Wed 3.07.07| The Right Direction?

Does the Democratic recapture of Congress spell the end of the reactionary agenda? UCLA historian Robert Brenner examines shifts in US political economy over the last 70 years and explains how a far-right agenda prevailed -- and will continue. According to Brenner, without pressure in the form of mass mobilization, the Democrats will do nothing to counter the rightward shift.

Tues 3.06.07| Female Quandaries

"Seriously conflicted inner terrain": that's how Laura Kipnis describes the female psyche at this moment in history. In The Female Thing, Kipnis explores the relationship between feminism and femininity, indicts what she calls the feminine-industrial complex, and enumerates obstacles to women achieving full emancipation -- obstacles that she asserts includes more than a few erected by women themselves.

Mon 3.05.07| SDS Redux

Students for a Democratic Society was a key part of New Left organizing in the 1960s. The new, revived SDS boasts hundreds of campus chapters. Senia Berragan and Michael Merriweather are part of the Brown and Wayne State chapters. Original SDS'er Mark Rudd, who helped lead the 1968 Columbia University protests, discusses efforts to assist SDS and shares his understanding of organizing.

Wed 2.28.07| Rights, War, Art

Steve Crawshaw shares what Human Rights Watch wants from the new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Mark Johnson and artist Binh Danh describe an art exhibition about contemporary perceptions of the Vietnam War. And Janet Bishop is curator of an exhibition of women artists revisiting art history.

Tues 2.27.07| Oil Out of Africa

In its relentless search for energy security, the US is increasingly eyeing West Africa's abundant deposits of oil and natural gas. How it's going about securing those supplies, and how the so-called War on Terror factors into US policy formulation, is the subject of the new report "Convergent Interests." Co-authors Paul Lubeck and Michael Watts explain what's at stake. And Taylor Lincoln discusses how energy companies in the US secured huge taxpayer subsidies.

Mon 2.26.07| Black Revolt, Black Futures

Can one understand Black history without understanding violent revolt? Donn Worgs discusses the reality and fantasy, as expressed in cultural works like novels, films and music, of African American violent revolt. And Lisa Yaszek describes a genre called Afrofuturism and how it's reflected in the work of Ralph Ellison and W.E.B. Du Bois.

Wed 2.21.07| Exceptionalism & Capitalism

Cultural studies professor Ella Shohat thinks US exceptionalism is rooted in nationalist narcissism. She also compared US and French imperialism in a recent talk. And geographer Joel Wainwright discusses development's relationship to capitalism.

Tues 2.20.07| Pinter and Birnbaum

In The Birthday Party, playwright Harold Pinter explores themes of tradition, authority, and oppression. Tom Ross directs Aurora's current production. Steven Gale discusses Pinter's momentous contributions to theater over the past five decades. And Mickey Birnbaum talks about his new play Big Death & Little Death.

Wed 2.14.07| Raking the Muck

How could it be said, as it has been said, that the story of George Seldes is the story of the twentieth century? Because the eighty-year career of Seldes, an investigative journalist and muckracker extraordinaire, intersected with many of the century's most important events. George Seldes is the focus of the documentary film Tell the Truth and Run.

Tues 2.13.07| Can We Weather It?

Climate change means more than turning up the air conditioner. It will have enormous economic, social, cultural, and of course environmental impacts around the globe. Elizabeth Kolbert's Notes from a Global Catastrophe, and the new film The Great Warming, go a long way toward explaining what's at stake.

Mon 2.12.07| Myths About Race

We all know what race is -- or do we? We might think people have always been categorized into different races -- but have they? Widely-held understandings of race are put under a microscope, and race is explained as a social and political construction, in a three-part film entitled Race: The Power of An Illusion.

Wed 2.07.07| The Drive to Dominate

Where does the human propensity to subjugate other living things and plunder the natural world come from? Is it innate? Or can it be tied to momentous planetary events that made big-game hunting a fundamental part of human life? Kirkpatrick Sale makes this argument, and urges an alternative rooted in the consciousness of Homo Erectus, in his book After Eden.

Tues 2.06.07| Democracy Imperiled

Henry Giroux is passionate about democracy. And since democracy is connected to so many things, Giroux is passionate about many things -- notably education, the media, the politics of race, and challenging what he sees as a growing authoritarianism in the US. He addresses these and other issues in a new film.

Mon 2.05.07| Axis of Hope

Author and activist Tariq Ali claims that three Latin American leaders represent what he calls an "Axis of Hope." In his book Pirates of the Caribbean, Ali discusses Hugo Chavez, in terms both of his political agenda and of his relationship to Fidel Castro and Bolivian president Evo Morales.

Wed 1.31.07| What's in a Song?

It's the legendary anthem of the Left, an emotionally-charged song sung in dozens of languages around the globe. Adopted by radicals of all stripes, The Internationale has for generations been a rallying cry -- and much more. Peter Miller's film examines the song's meaning and history.

Tues 1.30.07| Reason v. Faith

What destroys curiosity, generates intolerance, and leads in various forms to the suffering and oppression of millions? Richard Dawkins has an answer: religion. The prominent evolutionary biologist, best-selling author, and outspoken atheist has made a film that criticizes religion as divisive and dangerous. It's entitled Root of All Evil?

Mon 1.29.07| Race & Ideology in Film

According to Earl Sheridan, race relations and racism have virtually ceased to be major themes in Black-oriented US films. He offers up some explanations and describes how African American cinema has evolved. Tony Kashani examines how movies propagate a dominant ideology -- and how social justice concerns sometimes get featured.

Wed 1.24.07| Women Changing Unions

For more than two decades, women in Latin American banana unions have been educating and asserting themselves, thereby transforming union activism, gender politics, and labor internationalism. Historian Dana Frank has documented all this in her book Bananeras. And Charity Ryerson of US/LEAP describes the targeting of trade unionists in Colombia.

Tues 1.23.07| Toxic Hard Labor

Discarded electronics are being recycled in prison, at UNICOR facilities. This, according to Gopal Dayaneni and Aaron Shuman, has momentous implications for human rights and environmental justice. They have co-authored the report Toxic Sweatshops. Freda Cobb, a former prison staffer, witnessed and has apparently been affected by UNICOR's operations.

Mon 1.22.07| Does Power = Domination?

Anarchists want an end to domination and coercion. But what about power? Is there any room in the anarchist worldview for power relations and assertions of power? Harold Barclay contends that certain forms of power can be forces for the good. And Les Waters discusses power and humor in The Pillowman, a play by Martin McDonagh at Berkeley Rep.

Wed 1.17.07| The Privatization of Race

What are the racial dimensions of the neoliberal state? Is privatization a way of targeting people of color? And what's wrong with people desiring and working toward racially homogeneous neighborhoods and societies? Social theorist David Theo Goldberg has written widely about these and other matters.

Tues 1.16.07| African Troubles, US Role

What drives US action, or inaction, in Africa? Eric Reeves describes what the US and other nations have failed to do in Darfur to address a continuing humanitarian disaster. Khalid Medani discusses recent US air strikes in Somalia, and why Ethiopia and the US intervened to overthrow an Islamist coalition that had taken Mogadishu.

Mon 1.15.07| Race to Communicate

In what ways does the news media represent, or misrepresent, race? Is structural racism highlighted, minimized, or ignored? Talking the Walk, edited by Hunter Cutting and Makani Themba-Nixon, both critiques the media and examines ways of reframing debate and challenging stereotypes. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 1.10.07| Tackling Inequities

Landless rural workers in Brazil have organized, mobilized, and taken over unoccupied land. Harry Vanden describes the MST as "arguably the largest and most powerful social movement in Latin America." And according to Clara Mantini-Briggs and Charles Briggs, residents of poor barrios in Venezuela, with the active support of Hugo Chavez's government, are helping to create community health programs.

Tues 1.09.07| Are Refugees Protected?

According to Jacob Stevens, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, by promoting containment in refugee camps and swift repatriation, has failed to protect refugees and safeguard their rights. Merrill Smith at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants urges an end to the widespread warehousing of refugees.

Mon 1.08.07| Reform Politics; Salt Lake's "Rocky"

Many yearn for the return of the welfare state. John Manley contends that the welfare state originated out of fear -- ruling elites' fear of challenges to the capitalist status quo. He also weighs in on reform versus revolution. Sasha Abramsky finds hope for progressive politics in the person of Rocky Anderson, mayor of Salt Lake City.

Wed 1.03.07| Immigrant Worker Centers

In a world of low-wage decentralized work, in which union membership continues to decline and regulations and labor laws are ever-more eviscerated, what can such workers do who want to know their rights, organize themselves, and act collectively? Janice Fine and Patricia Loya discuss how worker centers provide one possible solution.

Tues 1.02.07| Life and Times of Jessica Mitford

She was a muckraker, communist, aristocrat, and Oakland resident. Jessica Mitford, also known as Decca Treuhaft, lived a larger-than-life existence and left a significant mark on investigative journalism in the US with such works as "The American Way of Death". Peter Y. Sussman and Conn Hallinan talk about her life, politics, and times.

Mon 1.01.07| 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. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 12.27.06| Fascism in the US -- or Not?

It's become common currency on much of the left that the Bush administration has been steering the US towards fascism. But how accurate is that conclusion? Radical writer Matthew Lyons argues that there are serious political consequences for leftists in getting it wrong -- such as backing the Democrats at all costs -- amd that conflating the authoritarian policies of the current government neither helps us to understand fascism or contemporary US politics.

Tues 12.26.06| Unions and Corruption

Are union corruption and mob infiltration the labor movement's dirty secrets? Journalist and former labor organizer Robert Fitch debates SEIU organizer Gabe Kramer about whether corruption is one of the central causes for the decline of trade unionism in the U.S.

Mon 12.25.06| "Why I Became an Atheist"

She may be this country's most infamous nonbeliever -- once called "the most hated woman in America" by Life Magazine. Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair speaks about her successful fight to end prayer in public schools in this historic talk from 1965.

Wed 12.20.06| Spurring Struggle

How are people provoked to take up arms? Amilcar Cabral worked to get people in Africa to rise up against colonial rule. W.F. Santiago-Valles discusses Cabral and the broader project of developing a revolutionary consciousness. In Mark Jackson's new play The Forest War, a ruler manipulates his people into waging a war of aggression.

Tues 12.19.06| Corporate Swagger

The west African nation of Liberia is rich in natural resources. Multinational corporations want a piece of that enormous wealth. Patrick Alley discusses a one-sided agreement that Mittal Steel concluded with Liberia. Roxanne Lawson and Tim Newman describe what Firestone is doing to its Liberian workers and to the environment.

Mon 12.18.06| Chess's Broad Reach

Is chess just a game? Or has it been an invaluable tool, affecting and informing politics, morality, math, psychology, artificial intelligence, and much more? In The Immortal Game, David Shenk traces chess's staggering impact over the course of fourteen centuries. Berkeley Chess School founder Elizabeth Shaughnessy discusses what chess does for young people.

Wed 12.13.06| The Fringe Economy

Financially-strapped people are being preyed upon every day, by businesses in what's called the fringe economy. Howard Karger discusses how storefronts like payday lenders, often backed by huge corporations, encourage chronic borrowing that leads to costly long-term debt. Paul Leonard with the Center for Responsible Lending discusses a new report about the impact of payday lending -- and efforts to confront it.

Tues 12.12.06| Beyond Capitalism

How can wealth be democratized and greater liberty be achieved? What political-economic models make sense as alternatives to the current system? In America Beyond Capitalism, Gar Alperovitz highlights new approaches and institutions that point in the direction of greater equality, liberty, and democracy.

Mon 12.11.06| Asian Ups and Downs

In her new serio-comic solo performance "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Kristina Wong examines mental illness and the Asian American experience. And Meizhu Lui of United for a Fair Economy has written about where Asians fit within the US racial hierarchy, both today and historically, in The Color of Wealth.

Wed 12.06.06| "Crimes" and Disabilities

Should women rely on police and the courts to protect them from violence? Julia Sudbury urges a recognition of race- and class-based ideologies that underpin incarceration. And Nirmala Erevelles examines what happens to people with disabilities and to non-disabled women in the Global South when neoliberal economic regimes are imposed.

Mon 12.04.06| Warming Down South

Global climate change is, well, global. Greenhouse gases generated in the US, the world's largest emitter, affect climatic patterns everywhere. A recent report by a coalition of UK-based groups examines climate change in the context of Latin America and the Caribbean. Antonio Hill with Oxfam GB and Saleemul Huq with IIED participated in the report's preparation.

Mon 11.27.06| Fascism's Specter

Is fascism a possibility in the US? Would it emerge out of Christian fundamentalism, neoconservative extremism, or something else? According to Gregory Meyerson and Michael Roberto, fascism is a plausible response of the US ruling class to present and potential crises in contemporary US capitalism -- crises that they believe have reached an acute stage.

Wed 11.22.06| Marriage Limited; Children Unlimited

Activist and writer Julie Enszer argues that efforts to ban same-sex marriage may be hastening the demise of straight marriage. And Kathryn Joyce discusses a reactionary Christian movement called Quiverfull, whose adherents see themselves as domestic warriors in the battle against birth control and feminism.

Tues 11.21.06| The North's P.O.V.

What was North Korea thinking when it tested a nuclear weapon last month, and what can we expect from the resumption of six-party talks? Korea Policy Institute's Seung Hye Suh, author John Feffer, and Kyung Jin Lee, who just returned from a visit to North Korea, discuss North Korea and US agendas, and life on the ground.

Mon 11.20.06| Exceptionalism & Capitalism

Cultural studies professor Ella Shohat thinks US exceptionalism is rooted in nationalist narcissism. She also compares US and French imperialism in a recent talk at a large conference of leftist scholars and activists, called Rethinking Marxism 2006. And geographer Joel Wainwright presented a paper on development's relationship to capitalism.

Wed 11.15.06| Color and Injustice

Has California's government moved to close racial disparities in health, wealth, and education? Menachem Krajcer co-authored a just-released racial equity report card for the Applied Research Center. And Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez discusses her essay about challenges to and strategies in building cross-racial solidarity.

Tues 11.14.06| Left Media; Agreeing Not to Rule

Ideas and strategies galore were recently shared at a huge conference of leftists in Massachusetts. Called Rethinking Marxism 2006, the conference featured a number of plenary sessions; at one called "The Power of the Left Media," media studies expert Sut Jhally spoke. And Christine (Cricket) Keating gave a talk about democracy and domination.

Mon 11.13.06| Žižek Captured

He's been called "the Elvis of cultural theory" and a "one-person culture muncher." Slavoj Žižek, the eccentric and provocative philosopher from Slovenia, is now the subject of a film called, appropriately, Žižek! Director Astra Taylor discusses the film as well as some of her own ideas, about the 60's, their legacy, and the revival of Students for a Democratic Society.

Wed 11.08.06| How to Rebuild?

Has New Orleans recovered from Katrina, and if not, what still needs to be done and how? Community activist LaToya Cantrell and urban planner Allen Eskew are deeply concerned with and involved in reconstruction efforts. And Larry Bensky comments on the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Tues 11.07.06| China, India, and Disasters

If a sustainable global future can't be charted without the active participation of China and India, what should be and is being done? The Worldwatch Institute's Christopher Flavin discusses realities and possibilities in both countries -- and what role the US should play. And Zoe Chafe and Michael Renner describe how disasters can lead to peace-making opportunities.

Mon 11.06.06| Targeting the Navajo

Why has the US government relocated thousands of Navajo away from Black Mesa in northern Arizona? Is Peabody Coal Company involved in continuing human rights abuses there -- and how close is it to the Bush administration? Relocation resister Leonard Benally, activist Nicole Horseherder and human rights attorney Dennison Smith discuss what's happening.

Wed 11.01.06| Community Theater, City Politics

Community theater in perhaps the truest sense is being practiced by the Shotgun Players; their current production "Love is a Dream House in Lorin" addresses and includes their community, Berkeley's Lorin District. Playwright Marcus Gardley, artistic director Patrick Dooley and actor Tony Allen discuss the play. And Jane Kim of the San Francisco People's Organization talks about a report critical of San Francisco Mayor Newsom's policy choices.

Tues 10.31.06| Those Dam Projects

Big dams don't get built by themselves. They require massive infusions of cash -- which is often where the World Bank, the powerful multilateral financing agency, comes in. Peter Bosshard and Aviva Imhof at International Rivers Network discuss both the bank's activities and the impact of hydropower projects on people and ecosystems in places like Laos and Pakistan.

Mon 10.30.06| Medical Profiling

When poor people of color are blamed for an epidemic, little or nothing is done to address the structural causes of inequality that make those people more vulnerable. Charles Briggs has written a book about the racialization of cholera in Venezuela and what it means for public health worldwide. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 10.25.06| Liberalism and Empire

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. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 10.24.06| Unions and Corruption

While no serious radical critic would deny that the decline of US unions is linked to the wretched state of labor law in this country, is this enough of an explanation? Robert Fitch argues that union activists and labor scholars have turned a blind eye to a cancer that runs through American labor - union corruption. SEIU organizer Gabe Kramer decries instances of corruption in unions but argues that Fitch overstates his case.

Mon 10.23.06| US Economy in Danger?

While most of us don't stay awake at night worrying about the US trade deficit and the strength of the dollar, maybe we should. Economist Jeff Faux talks about the potential for a crash of the dollar, if foreign investors decide to stop lending to the United States, and its consequences for the American economy.

Wed 10.18.06| Media Matters

In the film "Orwell Rolls in His Grave," award-winning director Robert Kane Pappas takes a close and critical look at the media system in this country - the lobbies, the systemic skewing of coverage away from structural issues of class and racial inequality, the conflicts of interest, and the complicit government regulators. Michael Moore, Danny Schechter, Tony Benn, Mark Crispin Miller, and Charles Lewis discuss their concerns with the US media today.

Tues 10.17.06| Empire Down South

Are preemptive intervention, neocon-inspired imperialism, and right-wing Christian mobilization something new? Far from it, contends Greg Grandin; his new book shows how US empire was practiced and forged in Latin America well before 9/11, with horrific consequences for innumerable civilians. Grandin gave a talk at U.C. Berkeley on Sept. 25.

Mon 10.16.06| The Israel Lobby Debate

It's one of the most contentious issues in American politics - does a lobby for the state of Israel significantly shape US foreign policy? A recent public debate titled "The Israel Lobby: Does It Have Too Much Influence on American Foreign Policy?" featured on one side, Shlomo Ben-Ami, Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross, and on the other, Rashid Khalidi, Tony Judt, and John Mearsheimer.

Wed 10.11.06| Why Societies Collapse

Is our society hurtling toward irreversible collapse? Can we learn any lessons from the past? Jared Diamond's book examines how and why certain past societies have succeeded or failed. He discusses three case studies presented in Collapse: the Greenland Norse; Japan of the Tokugawa era; and the Rwandan genocide.

Tues 10.10.06| Inconvenient -- and Devastating

Global warming, fueled (literally) by human hyperconsumption, is arguably no longer a disaster-in-the-making; the disaster is unfolding now, and it's leading to the extinction of huge numbers of species that could eventually include our own. The film An Inconvenient Truth examines what's happening, and how politicians and others are responding.

Mon 10.09.06| Christ as Myth

Any understanding of Western history would be impossible without acknowledging the crucial role that Christianity has played in shaping our societies and belief systems. But what is Christianity premised upon? In the film The God Who Wasn't There, filmmaker and former evangelical Christian Brian Flemming takes a hard look at Christianity - its origins, mythology, and its uses in the hands of modern day religious leaders.

Wed 10.04.06| Fidel Castro

He's one of the monumental figures of the twentieth century - demonized by the US government, which has tried to assassinate him numerous times, while lionized by radicals across the world. But who is Fidel Castro really? Filmmaker Estela Bravo's Fidel presents a fascinating history of the life and times of the Cuban leader.

Tues 10.03.06| Parenti on Culture and Power

Culture, according to Michael Parenti, is far from neutral. In his book The Culture Struggle, Parenti makes links between culture, privilege and inequity, and examines how culture perpetuates dominant social and political ideologies. He also weighs in on cultural relativism, the functions of racism, and what he calls hyper-individualism.

Mon 10.02.06| Brazil's Elections

Four years after Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was elected head of Brazil, much of the shine has worn off his presidency, beleaguered as he is by corruption scandals and disaffection from many on the Brazilian left. Economists Matias Vernengo and Mark Weisbrot talk about Lula's social policies and the prospects for renewed radicalism in Latin America's largest country.

Wed 9.27.06| Chicano/a Art/Politics

An exhibition at the de Young Museum highlights Chicano painting since the 1960s. Independent scholar Max Benavidez discusses key artists and collectives as well as the historical antecedents of Chicano art. U.C. Berkeley professor Laura Perez addresses the responsibilities of museums and the contributions of Chicana feminist and queer art.

Tues 9.26.06| Working for a Living

Activists, unions, and community groups have passed living wage policies in 140 cities and counties as a corrective to the stagnant federal minimum wage, which stands at a paltry $5.15 an hour. And, as economist Robert Pollin and activist Marty Bennett explain, their efforts have built up momentum that may soon bear more fruit this November.

Mon 9.25.06| Labor and Desire; Labor in China

If workers identify with the capitalist system, how likely are workers movements to confront that system effectively? Graham Cassano discusses what Thorstein Veblen argued in relation to nationalism, worker solidarity, and the politics of desire. And Robert Weil discusses the plight, and militancy, of workers and the Left in China.

Wed 9.20.06| Sickness and Wealth

Although the US spends the most on health care, the health of its population lags behind many other countries. Could this have more to do with factors relating to wealth and income than with individual behaviors like diet and exercise? Stephen Bezruchka ties population health to economic inequality; Tim Holtz discusses the reglobalization of malaria. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 9.19.06| Naked Imperialism

With the invasion and occupation of Iraq, has imperialism entered a new stage? What is imperialism's relationship to capitalism? And is an escalation of the US military commitment in Iraq inevitable, given the logic of intervention to date? John Bellamy Foster, a sociology professor at the University of Oregon, addresses these questions and many more in his new book Naked Imperialism.

Mon 9.18.06| Jones in DC; US in Africa

In his new short-story collection All Aunt Hagar's Children, acclaimed writer Edward P. Jones writes about African Americans in his hometown of Washington, DC. Half a world away, Africans in Darfur endure continuing genocide without, says Ann-Louise Colgan, adequate US intervention. She's authored an Africa Action report comparing the US responses to Rwanda and Darfur.

Wed 9.13.06| What Anarchism Promotes

Anarchism is a sophisticated set of often pacifist ideas and practices with a long history in the US. Much of that history is presented in two documentary films, Anarchism in America and Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists. Filmmakers Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher discuss their project, which included interviewing Murray Bookchin.

Tues 9.12.06| Crude Behavior

Oil companies are making record profits. Are they doing their best to keep gas prices as low as possible? In a new Public Citizen report, Tyson Slocum asserts that the oil giants are manipulating markets and gouging consumers. He also supports California Prop 87. And Simeon Tegel of Amazon Watch describes what Chevron has done in Ecuador to communities and the environment.

Mon 9.11.06| A Fascist State?

Is the US becoming, or is it already, a fascist state? In Against the New Authoritarianism, veteran educator Henry Giroux identifies the central features of fascism and examines whether they are in evidence today. Among other things, he emphasizes ongoing attacks on public space and the militarization of domestic culture.

Wed 9.06.06| Good Laws, Good News

What if there was one place you could go to find the best progressive laws, practices and programs in the world? Matt Gonzalez and Dave Grenell are building that place, as we speak, online. In other good news, Bob Hoffman discusses the largest restoration ever in California of coastal wetlands, in an area called Bolsa Chica.

Tues 9.05.06| Courting Danger

Does a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court want to strip Congress of some of its authority to protect the environment? And in what ways are judges who think independently -- including those who render rulings limiting executive power -- being attacked? Law professor Andrew Koppelman, and attorneys Aziz Huq and James Sample of the Brennan Center, weigh in.

Mon 9.04.06| The Haitian Revolution

It was a cataclysmic event, the first and only successful slave revolution in the Americas. In 1791 brutally exploited slaves on a small Caribbean island rose up and eventually won emancipation. Their story, a legacy that has inspired and instructed people and nations for centuries, is told in Laurent Dubois's Avengers of the New World.

Wed 8.30.06| Bookchin on Ecology & Ideology

Murray Bookchin, the influential left-libertarian social theorist and self-described utopian, passed away on June 30. Best known for his book The Ecology of Freedom, Bookchin stressed decentralization and direct democracy in conjunction with a groundbreaking focus on ecology. Bookchin gave a speech in the 1970s entitled "Ecology and Ideology."

Tues 8.29.06| Science, Power, People

Does democratization make sense in the realm of scientific research and decisionmaking? To what extent are nonscientists participating in the production of scientific knowledge, and what is the nature of their contributions? Kelly Moore and Phil Brown have written about science and social movements in The New Political Sociology of Science.

Mon 8.28.06| Undercounting and Organizing

How accurate are the most important labor statistics tallied by the US government? John Schmitt argues that poor people and people of color are not fully counted, skewing the unemployment rate. And Jeannette Gabriel talks about the efforts of immigrant workers to take their protests to the next level, and about the strategy of building a mass strike movement.

Wed 8.23.06| Where is the Anti-War Movement?

While the American public is increasingly opposed to the occupation of Iraq, the anti-war movement seems to be faltering. Vijay Prashad, Iain Boal, and Chuck Munson make the connections between US empire and capital. They discuss where the anti-war movement is and where it should be headed.

Tues 8.22.06| Revisiting the Manifesto

It's been called history's most important political document and is the world's second best-selling book. The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848 on the eve of revolution, has been rediscovered in recent years by Wall Street bankers and radical activists alike. Phil Gasper talks about his new annotated edition. (Full-length interview.)

Mon 8.21.06| Assessing Weatherman

They championed themselves as a fighting force against racism and empire, but left a controversial legacy in their wake. Activist Dan Berger talks about what lessons can be learned from the Weather Underground almost 30 years after its dissolution.

Wed 8.16.06| Brecht 50 Years On

This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Bertolt Brecht, the twentieth century's most important dramatist. Brecht revolutionized the theatre by challenging audiences to move from individual passivity to critical self-reflection and collective action. A Pacifica documentary narrates Brecht's confrontation with HUAC, while Brecht scholars Eric Bentley and Bluma Goldstein illuminate the contours of his life and work.

Tues 8.15.06| The Afterlife of Trash

While most of us are quite aware of the products we want, whether clothing, books, electronics, or food, we think very little of where they end up when we're done with them. Heather Rogers has spent three years tracing the political economy of garbage and talks about how capitalism as a system thrives on the production of trash. (Encore presentation.)

Mon 8.14.06| Organizing Service Workers

As manufacturing work continues to be replaced by service jobs, organizing low-wage service workers has become a central concern of the union movement. SEIU organizer Jim Straub contends that this issue must be addressed if the union movement is to survive and the US left is to be resuscitated.

Wed 8.09.06| Hezbollah and the Left

How should the left view Hezbollah? Is it a terrorist organization as the US government claims? Is it the face of anti-imperialism in the Middle East? Or is it more complex than that? Lebanese Marxist Gilbert Achcar and cultural anthropologist Lara Deeb discuss Hezbollah's rise at the expense of the left and the prospects for a renewed secular radical left in the region.

Tues 8.08.06| Hitler and California

In June 1999, an original copy of Hitler's Nuremberg Laws surfaced at the Huntington Library near Pasadena. In Bloodlines, Anthony Platt recounts what he discovered about, among other things, General George Patton, anti-Semitism and eugenics in both Germany and California, and presentations of history at museums.

Mon 8.07.06| Race to Communicate

In what ways does the news media represent, or misrepresent, race? Is structural racism highlighted, minimized, or ignored? Talking the Walk, edited by Hunter Cutting and Makani Themba-Nixon, both critiques the media and examines ways of reframing debate and challenging stereotypes.

Wed 8.02.06| Activism and Mental Health

In today's political climate, many activists feel despair or get depressed. According to Terry Kupers, a psychiatrist and activist, one's emotional well-being may be significantly affected by how one's activist ambitions play out. How should we understand these psychological effects -- and how well do the disciplines of psychology and psychiatry help us address them? (Encore presentation.)

Tues 8.01.06| Dark Currents

The property rights and wise use movements are mobilizing millions of people nationwide -- and one result is that the health of rivers and associated ecosystems is at risk. In his book Confluence, Nathaniel Tripp examines the political, cultural, and ideological trends that are obstructing efforts to defend natural spaces. He also describes how rivers work and how the recreation economy degrades them.

Mon 7.31.06| Justice DeLay'ed

Until recently, Tom DeLay, a pugnacious born-against Christian, was House Majority Leader and one of the most powerful Republicans in the country. Before being indicted and resigning from Congress, he almost singlehandedly reshaped the US Congress, and thereby national policy, by rewriting the political map of Texas. A film called The Big Buy relates what happened.

Wed 7.26.06| Military-Industrial Collusion

Eugene Jarecki's latest film Why We Fight considers the nature, causes and consequences of the US military-industrial complex. His documentary reveals the extent to which politicians are in bed with corporations that make weapons and perform military-related services, and what that means for this nation's willingness to go to war.

Tues 7.25.06| JFK Reexamined

A new book by Gareth Jenkins compares the myths surrounding John F. Kennedy with what Kennedy actually did with respect to militarism, Cuba, civil rights, Vietnam, and much more. Among other things, Jenkins contends in The John F. Kennedy Handbook that JFK did as much to create the dangers posed by the Cuban Missile Crisis as he did to defuse it.

Mon 7.24.06| Imagining Something Better

Hungry for more originality in what you read and see? Worried that creativity and rebellion are on the decline? In The Middle Mind, Curtis White criticizes dominant narratives for their banality and in some cases destructiveness, and calls for a revitalization of the imagination. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 7.19.06| AmBushed

Is democracy still alive in the US? Is the Left overly obsessed with George W. Bush? And how can the Left most effectively oppose and disrupt right-wing agendas? These and other questions dominate the pages of AmBushed: The Costs of Machtpolitik. Editor Dana Nelson focuses on presidentialism; contributor Melissa Orlie explores the politics of everyday life.

Tues 7.18.06| Robert F. Williams and Black Freedom

Robert F. Williams is a key but oft-neglected figure in the Black freedom movements of the 1950s and '60s. A one-time local NAACP leader, Williams spoke out about human rights, Black self-determination, and the importance of Black communities defending themselves against racist violence. The Freedom Archives has produced a documentary about his life and work.

Mon 7.17.06| Sustainable Cities

The traditional urban development paradigm is deeply flawed, contends Raquel Pinderhughes. In Alternative Urban Futures, she examines the many unsustainable ways in which cities are developed and managed. The urban studies professor also describes systems and approaches -- many already in place in one or more cities -- that are ecologically and socially responsible.

Wed 6.21.06| Missed Left Turn?

Latin American leftist governments have swept to power in recent years -- Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Néstor Kirchner in Argentina, Tabaré Vázquez in Uruguay, and Evo Morales in Bolivia. Matías Vernengo discusses whether these governments are living up to the social and economic promises they've made. And Claudio Albertani talks about the upcoming Mexican elections and the candidacy of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Tues 6.20.06| Tariq Ali's Life and Times

Tariq Ali is one of the world's best known radicals, having led resistance to the Vietnam War in Britain in the 1960s and 70s and now spearheading opposition to the war in Iraq. The acclaimed author, public intellectual, and filmmaker talks about his politicization and activism, as detailed in his memoir Street-Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties.

Mon 6.19.06| NAFTA Postmortem

NAFTA went into effect over 12 years ago, creating a free trade zone spanning from the southern-most reaches of Mexico to the northern border of Canada. Economist Jeff Faux talks about what its consequences have been for the US, Mexico, and Canada and what it tells us about the global system under which we live.

Wed 6.14.06| Immigrant Worker Centers

In a world of low wage, decentralized work, in which union membership continues to decline and regulations and labor laws are ever-more eviscerated, what can such workers do who want to know their rights, organize themselves, and act collectively? Janice Fine and Patricia Loya discuss how worker centers provide one possible solution.

Tues 6.13.06| Medical Profiling

When poor people of color are blamed for an epidemic, little or nothing is done to address the structural causes of inequality that make those people more vulnerable. Charles Briggs has written a book about the racialization of cholera in Venezuela and what it means for public health worldwide.

Mon 6.12.06| Iraq and Vietnam

Last November US Marines killed 24 civilians in the western Iraqi town of Haditha. Pacifica Radio journalist Aaron Glantz and Iraqi student Salam Talib argue that Haditha is just the tip of the iceberg in an increasingly brutal occupation. And Glantz talks about the similarities and dissimilarities between Iraq and the US war in Vietnam.

Wed 6.07.06| Reimagining the Panthers

The Black Panthers weren't just gun-toting African-Americans. They included people doing community service, running for office, and creating art. An exhibition at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts focuses on the Panther rank and file; its co-curator is Rene de Guzman. Bill Jennings is the Panthers' unofficial historian. Participating artists include Amanda Williams of Soul Salon 10 and Sam Durant.

Tues 6.06.06| The Zapatista's Other Campaign

Over twelve years ago, an uprising erupted in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas on the day that NAFTA was to take effect. Activists Mary Ann Tenuto Sanchez and R.J. Maccani talk about the Zapatistas' latest effort to reshape Mexican politics and unite the left with their "Other Campaign," or Otra Campaña.

Mon 6.05.06| The Marx-Bakunin Conflict

Ann Robertson believes socialism is the best alternative to neoliberal capitalism. The philosophy lecturer at San Francisco State University has also compared the ideas of Karl Marx with those of Mikhail Bakunin, the nineteenth-century Russian anarchist, tracing the two men's differences to their divergent philosophical frameworks.

Wed 5.31.06| Exit Strategy: Out Now

Should the US troops in Iraq be withdrawn immediately, or should they be kept there until the situation stabilizes? In Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal, the New York-based activist Anthony Arnove contends that nothing positive can result from a continued US presence, and argues for the immediate withdrawal of all US and allied troops.

Tues 5.30.06| 50th Anniversary of Howl

Allen Ginsburg's "Howl" is undoubtedly one of the most important poems in American history. Its publication in 1956 set off a firestorm of reaction, both positive and negative, eventually leading to the arrest of City Lights Books' Lawrence Ferlinghetti and an obscenity trial. In 1957 Ginsberg read the poem on KPFA's airwaves and a documentary from the Pacifica Radio Archives illuminates the poem's history.

Mon 5.29.06| Unions and Evangelicals

Ohio used to be the stronghold of militant trade unionism in the US, a mecca of high paying jobs and one of the most solidly Democratic parts of the country. While leftists have been puzzling over why working class people in Kansas would vote against their economic interests, following Thomas Frank, union organizer Jim Straub talks about what ails Ohio, where evangelicals have supplanted trade unionists.

Wed 5.24.06| Up in Arms

Juliano Mer Khamis's film Arna's Children recounts how his mother Arna opened a theater for Palestinian children in Jenin, and follows what happens as Arna's students grow up to participate in the Palestinian resistance. Mariam Shahin has written a lavishly-illustrated guide to Palestine and its people.

Tues 5.23.06| Revisiting the Manifesto

It's been called history's most important political document and is the world's second best-selling book. The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848 on the eve of revolution, has been rediscovered in recent years by Wall Street bankers and radical activists alike. Phil Gasper talks about his new annotated edition.

Mon 5.22.06| When a Tree Falls ...

In the process of telling a truly amazing -- and true -- story about a fantastically rare tree in British Columbia and the eccentric man who cut it down, John Vaillant recounts in lush detail much of the natural history of the Pacific Northwest, the people who live there, and the impact of human activity on the forests, and thereby on the planet.

Wed 5.17.06| The Promised-Land Paradigm

According to David Noble, the biblical story of the promised land is not just some religious narrative; it has also shaped many key social and economic notions, like those of the free market, free trade, and historical and technological progress. Noble, author of Beyond the Promised Land, finds hope in thinkers and activists who have contested this promised-land paradigm.

Tues 5.16.06| The Promise of Fungi

In a world where pollutants accumulate in the environment around us, our homes and our bodies, is there any way to protect ourselves and the environment? Paul Stamets thinks so. He believes one of the answers lies in an unexpected place - mushrooms.

Mon 5.15.06| Visualizing Class

While class is arguably the most fundamental force structuring our society, the working class itself is either made invisible or presented through a distorted lens. Nowhere is this as obvious as on television, as "Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class" points out. The film features radical thinkers such as Robin D.G. Kelley, Barbara Ehrenrich, Herman Gray, and Pepi Leistyna.

Wed 5.10.06| The Warring Impulse

Hamza Yusuf, prominent Muslim thinker and co-founder of the Zaytuna Institute, spoke recently at an event entitled "Does God Love War?" In his wide-ranging talk he discussed the phenomenon of projecting our negative qualities onto the "other," the insights Islam provides, and the violence-generating aspects of US culture.

Tues 5.09.06| Commercializing Medicine

Whether we are aware of it or not, the big drug companies shape the way that medicine is researched, the type of health care we receive, and which drugs get wide use and which don't - regardless of their efficacy. "Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety" was produced by Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, who for ten years was a sales representative for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson, pushing medications to doctors.

Mon 5.08.06| Gutting California's Infrastructure

What do traffic tickets, property taxes, and California's decaying infrastructure have in common? Sherry Gendelman, who teaches San Franciscans how to fight their traffic tickets, discusses the way traffic fines have skyrocketed to supplement depleted state coffers. And Lenny Goldberg talks about how commercial landowners have gotten an enormous windfall from Proposition 13, leading to the dramatic underfunding of California's public services.

Wed 5.03.06| Wetlands and Reefs

Environmentalists often emphasize statistics, causal relationships, and policy trends. Laurie Lawlor likes to experience things firsthand. Her careful year-round observations of a wetland on her property are recorded in This Tender Place. Reef Check's Craig Shuman discusses threats to coral and temperate reefs.

Tues 5.02.06| Afghanistan Bonanza

Endemic corruption and cronyism in the awarding of reconstruction contracts to US firms in Iraq has gotten a fair amount of coverage. Yet similar misdeeds in Afghanistan are less well known. Afghan American investigative journalist Fariba Nawa and CorpWatch's Pratap Chatterjee discuss a new report that sheds light on profiteering in Afghanistan.

Mon 5.01.06| Immigrant Workers and May Day

As foreign born workers and their allies spill into America's streets, striking and boycotting schools, what are the movement's broader implications? How spontaneous is this upsurge and upon what preexisting alliances and organizing is it built? Paul Buhle, Gloria Hernandez, David Bacon, and Khalil Jacobs-Fantauzzi talk about the actions and the potential of this movement to reinvigorate the left and labor.

Wed 4.26.06| Chernobyl and US Nuclear Plants

It was the worst commercial nuclear disaster in history. Twenty years ago, Chernobyl's nuclear reactor melted down, releasing untold amounts of radioactive fallout onto Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia and over 40% of Europe. Yet currently the Bush administration is pushing nuclear power as a key so-called "green" energy. Paul Gunter and Jim Riccio question whether we have truly understood the legacy of Chernobyl.

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.

Mon 4.24.06| William Morris & Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts was a design and architecture movement rooted in a late nineteenth-century critique of industrial society. Historian Peter Stansky discusses the life and ideas of movement founder William Morris, who turned to socialism in the 1870s. Curator Martin Chapman describes an exhibition on international Arts and Crafts at the de Young.

Wed 4.19.06| Sickness and Wealth

Although the US spends the most on health care, the health of its population lags behind many other countries. Could this have more to do with factors relating to wealth and income than with individual behaviors like diet and exercise? Stephen Bezruchka ties population health to economic inequality; Tim Holtz discusses the reglobalization of malaria.

Tues 4.18.06| Novelist Kiran Desai

Set in India and New York, Kiran Desai's new novel The Inheritance of Loss combines a lush narrative with astute social commentary, about class relations, migration, Westernization, and modern hypocrisies. And Amit Srivastava describes a campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable for its operations in India.

Mon 4.17.06| The Economics of Immigration

As millions of immigrants protest in the streets, some progressives have voiced concerns that immigrants lower the wages of those who are already the worse off in the United States. But does the left have the full story on the economic impact of immigrants? Economists Nigel Harris and Julio Huato fill in the blanks.

Wed 4.12.06| Pacifica's Civil War

It was an epic battle for the left that galvanized tens of thousands of progressives around the US and the world, and led to the shutdown of the country's first listener-sponsored radio station and the arrests of many of its workers and listeners. Was it an attempted takeover by corporate hijackers? Or was it part of a broader strategy to give Pacifica a national voice that was nonetheless bound to fail? Historian Matthew Lasar talks about his new book Uneasy Listening.

Tues 4.11.06| Labor Victory in France

France has been in the grips of a momentous wave of social protest, uniting young people and labor in a way that harks back to May 1968. Millions have gone out into the streets to protest a law that would make it easy to fire young workers. But yesterday Chirac backed off from the law -- a victory which, according to economist Rick Wolff, represents a larger triumph over the forces of neoliberalism.

Mon 4.10.06| Black Cultural Politics

Remember the civil rights and Black Power movements? In his book No Coward Soldiers, Waldo Martin considers how African American cultural innovations, in fields like music, dance and art, fed and were fed by these movements, and how Black culture and its emphasis on liberation influenced American culture more generally.

Wed 4.05.06| When Philosophers Fight

Great thinkers sometimes don't get along. Jean-Jacques Rousseau clashed with David Hume. Ludwig Wittgenstein quarreled with Karl Popper. David Edmonds and John Eidinow have written about both conflicts, both involving geniuses with difficult personalities. Their latest book is Rousseau's Dog.

Tues 4.04.06| Ethanol: For and Against

For most scientists, there is no question that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels like petroleum are warming the globe. Yet is ethanol, or plant-based fuel, a viable, environmentally-sound alternative? Scientists Alexander Farrell and Tad Patzek and environmentalists Nathanael Greene and Mike Ewall debate the pros and cons of corn and cellulosic ethanol.

Mon 4.03.06| Women Within Spanish Anarchism

In the midst of the Spanish Civil War, a momentous social revolution took place, spearheaded in many places by anarchists and their allies. In Free Women of Spain, Martha Ackelsberg recounts the revolution as well as the role played by a group of women anarchists called Mujeres Libres.

Wed 3.29.06| Migrants Under Fire

There's a kind of war being waged on the US-Mexico border, and the victims are defenseless civilians. Jose Palafox connects the dots between anti-immigrant sentiment, border policy, and corporate globalization. Sanctuary movement co-founder John Fife, who now works for No More Deaths, describes efforts to prevent migrant deaths along the border.

Tues 3.28.06| The War at Home

What if the invasion and occupation of Iraq had as much to do with decimating the remaining gains of the American working class as dominating the Middle East? Radical historian Robert Brenner offers up a fresh perspective on the motives behind contemporary US bellicosity.

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."

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.

Tues 3.21.06| Unraveling the Soviet Experiment

What was the nature of the Soviet system? Was it in fact socialist or something else? Did its failure illustrate the futility of attempts to envisage of life after capitalism or was the Soviet experience shaped by other factors specific to the former Tsarist Empire? Few people have examined these questions as closely as Moshe Lewin, former collective farm worker and eminent scholar of Soviet social history.

Mon 3.20.06| Iraq: From Occupation to Civil War

Three years after the invasion of Iraq, how much of the sectarian violence that has been roiling the country should be chalked up to longstanding confessional divisions -- and how much to the US occupation? Middle East scholar Stephen Zunes discusses the history of confessional and ethnic politics in Iraq.

Wed 3.15.06| Early Gender Inequality; Iran's Left

Did gender hierarchies exist in ancient societies? Bruce Lerro traces their emergence, explaining contributing factors as well as identifying stages of institutionalized male dominance. Kambiz Sakhai describes leftist groupings in Iran and reviews some of their agendas, activities and struggles over time.

Tues 3.14.06| Latin Women Resist, Persist

The written word can educate, inspire and provoke. It can also express resistance, an unwillingness to abide injustice and oppression. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez is editor of Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean. Longtime feminist Margaret Randall's essay relates her experiences in revolutionary Cuba and Nicaragua.

Mon 3.13.06| Unions and Evangelicals

Ohio used to be the stronghold of militant trade unionism in the US, a mecca of high paying jobs and one of the most solidly Democratic parts of the country. While leftists have been puzzling over why working class people in Kansas would vote against their economic interests, following Thomas Frank, union organizer Jim Straub talks about what ails Ohio, where evangelicals have supplanted trade unionists.

Wed 3.08.06| The Legacy of Ida B. Wells

Born to slaves, Ida B. Wells was a muckraking journalist, a champion of women's rights, a newspaper editor and publisher, and the most prominent foe of the lynching of African Americans in the vicious backlash that followed post-Civil War Reconstruction. Historian Paula Giddings talks about the enduring relevance of Wells' life and work.

Tues 3.07.06| Anniversary Retrospective

On our third anniversary, the program's producers present a special retrospective, a collection of some of the best analysis and commentary aired over the past year. Featured guests include Tariq Ali, Jane Fonda, Louise Erdrich, Alexander Cockburn, Tom Athanasiou, Jean Hardisty, Tanya Hernandez, Laura Kipnis, Sonali Kolhatkar, Barry Pateman and Michel Warschawski.

Mon 3.06.06| The Haitian Revolution

It was a cataclysmic event, the first and only successful slave revolution in the Americas. In 1791 brutally exploited slaves on a small Caribbean island rose up and eventually won emancipation. Their story, a legacy that has inspired and instructed people and nations for centuries, is told in Laurent Dubois's Avengers of the New World.

Wed 3.01.06| GIs Against the War

How much courage does it take to resist the war machine from within? Conscientious Objector Aidan Delgado served for a year as a US Army Reservist, first in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya and later at the notorious prison in Abu Ghraib. He talks about why he opposes the US occupation and how the antiwar movement could more effectively reach out to soldiers.

Tues 2.28.06| Contras and Indians

What happens when indigenous people become pawns in a US-sponsored war? In Blood on the Border, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz describes how the Miskitu Indians of Nicaragua were cynically manipulated by the US in its propaganda war against the leftist Sandinistas -- and tells us the true story of Sandinista-Miskitu relations.

Mon 2.27.06| Arming Latin America

Bush's latest budget calls for cuts of development and humanitarian assistance for Latin America and the Caribbean for the third year in a row. Yet at the same time, US military aid to Latin America has rocketed, increasing by 34 times since 2000. Frida Berrigan talks about the arming of that region, as well as the international trade in small weapons.

Wed 2.22.06| Decline of the LA Times; Enclosure of the Internet

Six years ago the Chicago-based Tribune Company bought the Los Angeles Times and slashed away at the paper to increase profits for its shareholders. Former LA Times Book Review editor Steve Wasserman talks about the trajectory of the award-winning paper. And Jeff Chester discusses efforts by telecoms giants to privatize the web.

Tues 2.21.06| Different Stages

In Heather Raffo's show 9 Parts of Desire, Iraqi women discuss the impact of war, sanctions and Saddam's regime. Brian Conroy has cooked up The Vegan Monologues, an irreverent look at vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. And "Bush" and "Cheney" make a brief appearance.

Mon 2.20.06| Is Renewable Energy Viable?

A recent satellite study of the Greenland ice cap shows that it is melting twice as fast as it was five years ago, most likely because of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. And yet, is wind, geothermal, biomass and solar power economically and technically viable? John Galloway talks about the alternatives to fossil fuels and the obstacles to their implementation in the US and, in particular, California.

Wed 2.15.06| System Failure

Organizers often talk about connecting the dots. Apparently isolated injustices, they argue, are all manifestations of the same system. Authors of the book Towards Land, Work & Power discuss how the system works globally and locally, how it impacts people's lives, and what we can do about it.

Tues 2.14.06| Activism and Mental Health

In today's political climate, many activists feel despair or get depressed. According to Terry Kupers, a psychiatrist and activist, one's emotional well-being may be significantly affected by how one's activist ambitions play out. How should we understand these psychological effects -- and how well do the disciplines of psychology and psychiatry help us address them?

Mon 2.13.06| Rehabilitating "My Grandmother"

It's a madcap, brilliant, and wild film that nearly was lost to the proverbial dustbin of history. The Soviet Georgian film "My Grandmother," directed by Kote Mikaberidze, lampooned Soviet bureaucracy and was banned a year after its release in 1929. Composer Beth Custer, archivist Steve Seid, and Andrei Khrenov, Russian film historian and nephew of FEK's founder Leonid Trauberg, discuss the history of the film and its revival.

Wed 2.08.06| Globalizing Justice

Much of the Left's critique of globalization focuses on limiting and reversing its course. But what about globalizing equality and justice? In his Manifesto for a New World Order, movement activist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot makes a number of concrete proposals for reducing wealth imbalances and establishing a democratic world assembly.

Tues 2.07.06| Pacifica's Civil War

It was an epic battle for the left that galvanized tens of thousands of progressives around the US and the world, and led to the shutdown of the country's first listener-sponsored radio station and the arrests of many of its workers and listeners. Was it an attempted takeover by corporate hijackers? Or was it part of a broader strategy to give Pacifica a national voice that was nonetheless bound to fail? Historian Matthew Lasar talks about his new book Uneasy Listening.

Wed 2.01.06| The Ecological Footprint

Humans are living beyond our ecological means. But by how much -- and what would it take to ensure a sustainable future? Justin Kitzes with the Global Footprint Network describes trends in human consumption and global bioproductivity; he also lays out the findings of the Network's new report on the Asia-Pacific region.

Tues 1.31.06| Enron's Implosion

Enron was praised by pundits through the late 1990s as defining a new sort of business model yet has come to epitomize corporate corruption and fraud. While ostensibly an energy company, Enron seemed to make money out of thin air, through complicated trading schemes that in the final analysis really did come out of thin air as illustrated by the film "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room."

Mon 1.30.06| Hugo Chavez's Venezuela

Why has Hugo Chavez galvanized so many leftists around the world -- and why has he frustrated and angered domestic elites, global capitalists, and the US government? In The Battle of Venezuela, Michael McCaughan describes President Chavez's programs and assesses the prospects for revolutionary transformation in Venezuela.

Wed 1.25.06| Wal-Mart

The world's largest corporation has been accused of widespread sex discrimination, stiffing workers for their overtime pay, keeping them from unionizing at all costs, and paying wages so low that workers are forced to go on public assistance. These issues are documented in a new film by acclaimed director Robert Greenwald titled "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price."

Tues 1.24.06| Why Societies Collapse

Is our society hurtling toward an irreversible collapse? Can we learn any lessons from past societies' failures? Jared Diamond's new book examines how and why certain past societies have collapsed. He also explains how other societies, including some faced with similarly acute problems, have not only survived but flourished.

Mon 1.23.06| The Next Pandemic?

The World Health Organization predicts a influenza pandemic in the next few years which could kill millions of people. As bird flu spreads to poultry in Europe the fear that the disease might mutate to become transmissable grows. Mike Davis talks about the ecological and economic factors that could lead to an avian flu pandemic. (Full-length interview.)

Wed 1.18.06| Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich spins lyrical, moving stories that interlock and interweave and focus mostly on Native Americans, mostly on the North Plains. In her new novel The Painted Drum, which explores themes of loss, connection and heroism, Erdrich inserts pointed references to racial and political concerns. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 1.17.06| Afghan Women

Women in Afghanistan have suffered unimaginable abuses. Has anything changed since the US invasion in late 2001? Sonali Kolhatkar, boardmember of the Afghan Women's Mission, gave a recent talk about the current status of women's rights in Afghanistan and the history of U.S. policy toward that nation.

Mon 1.16.06| King and Gandhi's Nonviolence

Nonviolence according to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi was not, of course, simply an absence of violence. The two men developed, in different locales and contexts, theories and practices of nonviolence explained by Clayborne Carson and Dennis Dalton.

Wed 1.04.06| Left Turn in Bolivia?

Last month indigenous leader and former coca farm union head Evo Morales was elected president of Bolivia. Daphne Eviatar and Larry Birns talk about how radical the agenda of Evo Morales actually is, and how much he can accomplish in the economic and political environment of globalized capital and international law.

Tues 1.03.06| A Fascist State?

Is the US becoming, or is it already, a fascist state? In Against the New Authoritarianism, veteran educator Henry Giroux identifies the central features of fascism and examines whether they are in evidence today. Among other things, he emphasizes ongoing attacks on public space and the militarization of domestic culture.

Mon 1.02.06| Charles Johnson

Deeply engaged with issues of race, culture and identity, the award-winning writer Charles Johnson is a philosopher by training. His latest book, a collection of short stories, touches upon more than a few questions about life's meaning, social justice, and navigating difference. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 12.28.05| Torture: Made in the USA

The outrages seem to just keep mounting up. In the last months it has come out that the CIA is abducting suspects and forcibly taking them to other countries where they can be tortured, while detainees in Guantánamo continue to be subject to appalling abuse. Lila Rajiva speaks about the horror and meaning of Abu Ghraib and other extra-legal atrocities perpetrated by the US government as part of the "war on terror."

Tues 12.27.05| An Alternative to Neoliberalism?

Many leftists have been looking back longingly to the days of the "state-led" development strategy of Import Substitution Industrialization in the global South, which had its heyday in the 1950s and 60s. But according to Marxist sociologist Vivek Chibber, ISI's legacy of economic development was flawed on its own terms and hazardous for labor and the left. (Encore presentation.)

Mon 12.26.05| Jane Fonda

She drew attention to the Vietnam War and challenged the bounds of political dissent in the US, while breaking ground as one of the greatest actors of her generation. Jane Fonda talks about her tumultuous life and times, as well as her views on the US occupation of Iraq.

Wed 12.21.05| The Afterlife of Trash

While most of us are quite aware of the products that we want, whether its clothing, books, electronics, or food, we think very little of where they end up when we're done with them. Heather Rogers has spent three years tracing the political economy of garbage and talks about how capitalism as a system thrives on the production of trash.

Tues 12.20.05| Unraveling the Soviet Experiment

What was the nature of the Soviet system? Was it in fact socialist or something else? Did its failure illustrate the futility of attempts to envisage of life after capitalism or was the Soviet experience shaped by other factors specific to the former Tsarist Empire? Few people have examined these questions as closely as Moshe Lewin, former collective farm worker and eminent scholar of Soviet social history.

Mon 12.19.05| The Forgotten History of Oakland

Gertrude Stein famously said of Oakland, "there is no there there." Scholar Chris Rhomberg would beg to differ; he's written a history of social movements in the East Bay metropolis that encompasses the rise of the Klan in the 1920s, the Oakland general strike of 1946, and the explosion of the Black Panthers in the 1960s. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 12.14.05| Facing Down the WTO

Activists and concerned citizens have mobilized around this week's Sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization. People's movements are concerned about the WTO agenda's impact on workers, farmers and others in poorer countries, and on the environment. Pacifica Radio and Free Speech Radio News co-produced this coverage from Hong Kong.

Tues 12.13.05| Christian Parenti on Iraq

Chaos. Violence. Corruption. US arrogance. In his book The Freedom, Christian Parenti contends that these and other factors make a US victory over resistance forces in Iraq impossible. He also talks about politics and society in the Kurdish northern part of Iraq, which he recently visited.

Mon 12.12.05| Treading Water?

How are people in New Orleans faring, more than three months after Katrina? Catherine Jones describes the plight of immigrant workers and the rise of mutual support networks. Brandon Darby and Jay Arena talk about housing issues and elite agendas. (Interspersed is breaking news about Stanley "Tookie" Williams.)

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.

Mon 12.05.05| War Made Easy

Why, when a US-led war begins, does the American public mostly line up behind the president? Media critic and author Norman Solomon explains how US administrations, with the assistance of a compliant news media, build a case for war and manipulate public opinion as the conflict continues.

Wed 11.30.05| Hierarchies of (Skin) Color

Skin color gradations play a big factor in how racial hierarchies are constructed. Tanya Hernandez talks about colorism claims in US courts as well as racial ideologies and realities in Latin American countries like Brazil. Evelyn Nakano Glenn discusses the widespread use of skin whitening products.

Tues 11.29.05| Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

One minute past minute on December 13th, Stanley "Tookie" Williams is scheduled to be executed by the State of California. Lance Lindsey and Phil Gasper talk about the many convoluted dimensions of the death penalty and the ways that race, class, and the backlash against the civil rights movement intersect with the issue of capital punishment.

Mon 11.28.05| Writing for a Change

Could the pen be mightier than the sword? Was it mightier in the early twentieth century than it is now? Lauren Coodley has a book out about the muckraker and novelist Upton Sinclair in California. Depression-era fiction is the subject of Janet Galligani Casey's book The Novel and the American Left. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 11.23.05| Rescuing Democracy

Elections are held in nations that the US bullies or invades, and Bush proclaims a victory for democracy. But what is democracy in its truest sense? Ian Angus, author of Emergent Publics, contends that real democracy both depends on and emerges from movements for social change. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 11.22.05| Ha Jin

He calls it an antiwar novel. Ha Jin's War Trash, about a Chinese POW in the Korean war, addresses themes of survival, hero worship, shame, and collective effort versus going it alone. John Feffer talks about current negotiations around North Korea's nuclear program.

Mon 11.21.05| Regulating Toxic Chemicals

Given the power of the chemicals lobby in this country, is there any hope that we could find protection from the myriad toxic substances in the products we buy? In fact there might be, but it comes from Europe. Last week the European Parliament passed the REACH chemicals policy. Mark Schapiro and Daryl Ditz discuss its implications for people in the US.

Wed 11.16.05| Women Seeking Asylum

When do the all-important issues of human rights, immigration, and the safety of women intersect? When women fleeing gender-based violence seek political asylum in the US. Refugee law expert Karen Musalo, whose client Rodi Alvarado is in the middle of a momentous legal battle, discusses specific cases, root causes, and trends in protecting women.

Tues 11.15.05| Getting the Right Wrong

Since the ascendancy of George W. Bush five years ago, progressives have been spending a great deal of time thinking about how the conservative movement was able to come to power - and how the left might be able to emulate the tactics that the right used. But what if, as Jean Hardisty argues, progressives have misunderstood the right's rise?

Mon 11.14.05| Passion, Perps and Politics

Jason Wong plays the lead character in Chay Yew's play Porcelain, about a gay Asian man's crime of passion. Octavio Solis's new play The Ballad of Pancho & Lucy was inspired by a real-life Latino Bonnie and Clyde. And George W. Bush -- or is it Amos Glick? -- is unusually candid.

Wed 11.09.05| Slavery Where?

Black slavery in the US was not just a Southern phenomenon. Slavery was a central and ubiquitous part of the lives of New Yorkers, for example, for more than two centuries. Slavery in New York co-editor Leslie Harris and contributor Patrick Rael discuss the centrality of slavery to New York City's development, and why its elimination took so long.

Tues 11.08.05| Taking Coal to California?

Governor Schwarzenegger has backed a planned transmission line to import electricity from Wyoming into energy-strapped California. Coal-fired power plants, notorious for their CO2 emissions, are being enthusiastically proposed. Renewables expert Don Smith and resource economist Eugene Coyle discuss the so-called Frontier Line plan.

Mon 11.07.05| Bankruptcy, Delphi and GM; Wal-Mart Update

What are the implications for labor of the bankruptcy last month of Delphi, the second largest auto parts maker in the world? Retired autoworker Dianne Feeley and Chris Kutalik discuss the use of bankruptcy as an anti-worker weapon and how the threat of Chapter 11 filing has affected workers at GM. Liza Featherstone talks about the way Wal-Mart is attempting to deflect mounting criticism.

Wed 11.02.05| Deadly Disparities

Compared with white Americans, people of color suffer much higher rates of illness and mortality. Will Pittz co-authored a report on racial disparities in health, and what's being done to address them. Donna Christensen, a delegate to the U.S. Congress, and Angela Jones, a D.C.-based activist, also weigh in.

Tues 11.01.05| Katrina Postmortem

Are American cities particularly vulnerable in our times for disasters like Hurricane Katrina? Urban sociologist Eric Klinenberg talks about how the neoliberal policies of the Clinton and Bush administrations and the militarization and the privatization of public services have transformed cities' ability to protect their residents in the face of crisis.

Mon 10.31.05| Why Marriage?

One of society's strongest messages is that lifelong monogamous love is the ticket to a happy, secure life. But who or what is pointing us in the direction of long-term coupledom, and why? Laura Kipnis examines the social and political implications of the marriage ideal.

Wed 10.26.05| Seymour Hersh and Scott Ritter

The death toll for US soldiers in Iraq has now officially passed two thousand and yet the occupation goes on, more Iraqis die everyday, and there seems to be no end in sight. There are few people who know more about the lead up to the invasion of Iraq and its gruesome occupation than former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and journalist Seymour Hersh.

Tues 10.25.05| Capitalism in Overdrive

Organizers often talk about connecting the dots. Apparently isolated injustices, they argue, are all manifestations of the same system. So how does this system work, and what can we do about it? Jaron Browne and Steve Williams talk about Towards Land, Work & Power, written by a committee of POWER.

Mon 10.24.05| Whose Terrorism?

Is political terror a phenomenon we can attribute to Islamic, or any other, culture? What's the real relationship between terrorism and religious fundamentalism? In Good Muslim, Bad Muslim, Mahmood Mamdani opens a window onto the Cold War and the US's role in the emergence of violent Islamist ideologues.

Wed 10.19.05| Reason Under Assault

Irrational thinking may sometimes be harmless and even amusing, but according to Francis Wheen idiotic policy-making and crazy ideas on both the right and the left have hurt countless people around the globe. Wheen focuses on the last quarter-century in his book How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World.

Tues 10.18.05| Patenting Life

You might have heard about scientists splicing animal genes into food grains or fish whose genes are tinkered with to make them twice their normal size. Over 80% of soy in this country is genetically modified and the soy that isn't may well have mixed with GM crops. The award-winning film "Life Running Out of Control" lays out the science and politics of genetic modification.

Mon 10.17.05| The Next Pandemic?

The World Health Organization predicts a influenza pandemic in the next few years which could kill millions of people. As bird flu spreads to poultry in Europe the fear that the disease might mutate to become transmissable grows. Mike Davis talks about the ecological and economic factors that could lead to an avian flu pandemic.

Wed 10.12.05| Galloway versus Hitchens

It was the match of the decade - the Grapple in the Big Apple. In one corner, former-progressive and gifted polemicist Christopher Hitchens. In the other corner, British Member of Parliament George Galloway, one of the most brilliant orators on the left. The issue: whether the invasion of Iraq was just.

Tues 10.11.05| Changing the McWorld

Can two ordinary people stand up to a corporate leviathan like McDonald's? Can they tell the truth about McDonald's practices and then refuse to back down when sued by the restaurant giant? Dave Morris and Helen Steel did just that; their David-versus-Goliath struggle is chronicled in the new documentary film McLibel.

Mon 10.10.05| Cockburn's Slow Burn

Are liberals and the Democratic Party the answer to this country's troubles? Alexander Cockburn thinks not. The veteran radical journalist and author discusses the Supreme Court, the state of the antiwar movement, events in Iraq, the Gulf Coast disasters, and much more.

Wed 10.05.05| Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich spins lyrical, moving stories that interlock and interweave and focus mostly on Native Americans, mostly on the North Plains. In her new novel The Painted Drum, which explores themes of loss, connection and heroism, Erdrich inserts pointed references to racial and political concerns.

Tues 10.04.05| Labor in Public Broadcasting

The 5,500 workers at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or CBC have been locked out of their jobs for 7 weeks; employees at the UK's public service BBC have been threatened with large-scale layoffs. CMG's Sue Elrington and NUJ's Paul McLaughlin talk about the issues faced by workers in public broadcasting.

Mon 10.03.05| US Corruption: DeLay; Katrina

Today Republican House Majority leader Tom DeLay, sometimes called the second most powerful man in the US, was indicted on charges of money laundering; TPJ's Craig McDonald lays out the allegations. And Scott Amey talks about whether corruption and cronyism are at work in awarding contracts for reconstructing the Gulf Coast.

Wed 9.28.05| The Art of the Social Statement

The war on Iraq. Commodity culture in relation to African Americans. The systems that surround and comprise us. All of these themes, and many more, have been taken up by artists chosen for the Bay Area Now 4 exhibition. Adriane Colburn, Emily Prince, and Hank Willis Thomas discuss their work.

Tues 9.27.05| Global Warming and Global Justice

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have done what environmental activists have not been able to achieve: they've brought global warming into the mainstream. But the pressing question now seems to be what can be done about it? Dr. Kevin Trenberth lays out the problem, while EcoEquity's Tom Athanasiou links climate change to global justice.

Mon 9.26.05| Who's Wilder?

Both Thornton Wilder and Jack London had strong Bay Area ties; they were also quite radical, one in his writing and the other in his politics. Tappan Wilder and Barbara Oliver discuss the current production of Our Town at Berkeley Rep. Jay Williams describes London's attraction to and engagement with socialist ideas.

Wed 9.21.05| George Galloway

Whether it's at a Senate subcommittee hearing or a debate with Christopher Hitchens, British MP George Galloway attracts attention and controversy wherever he goes. A veteran antiwar activist, Galloway assesses the situation in and beyond Iraq and discusses his new book Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington.

Tues 9.20.05| Foucault and Iran

Janet Afary and Kevin Anderson discuss the French philosopher Michel Foucault's little-known support of the Islamic clerics in the Iranian Revolution -- and its significance today. They have authored Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism.

Mon 9.19.05| Utopias

Russell Jacoby, author of Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age, discusses utopian thought and how utopias came to be dismissed as leading to genocide.

Wed 9.07.05| Untraining Racism

Are people trained to be racist, and if so, can people be untrained? Robert Horton and Swan Keyes are part of an initiative called The UNtraining; they discuss the conditioning white people in this country experience and how it affects their lives, their relationships with people of color, and prospects for social justice.

Tues 9.06.05| Power Over Katrina

The hurricane catastrophe in Louisiana highlights the lack of political clout on the part of local and state governments that has been shaped, according to Christopher Morris, by the legacy of post-Civil War reconstruction. And Dr. Rene Morrissey gives an update on the medical situation in southern Louisiana.

Mon 9.05.05| One Big Union

One hundred years ago the IWW was formed to create "one big union" -- a radical umbrella that would encompass workers of all races, trades and levels of skill, ready to take on capitalism as a system. Paul Buhle talks about how the Wobblies became a powerful force in mines, factories and fields across the US and beyond, with their declaration that "the owning class and the working class have nothing in common."

Wed 8.31.05| Costly Quagmire

What are the human and economic costs of the occupation, for the Iraqi and US people and for the world? A new report released today by the Institute for Policy Studies, titled "The Iraq Quagmire," provides answers. IPS's Erik Leaver lays out the manifold costs of war.

Tues 8.30.05| Portentous Events

Culture, contends Susan Willis, is much more than it seems. In Portents of the Real, Willis interprets a number of post-9/11 phenomena (such as the DC snipers and the Abu Ghraib torture photos) and comments on consumer capitalism, US-style fundamentalism, the war at home, and modern-day fear and anxiety.

Mon 8.29.05| Hazardous E-Waste

What happens when you discard your obsolete TV, computer, or VCR? Most of us don't understand the toxic mix contained in electronics and the public health hazards posed when they are "recycled" -- whether by child labor in China or India -- or disassembled by prisoners in the US. Sheila Davis of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and CEH's Anita Sarah Jackson break down the dangers of e-waste.

Wed 8.24.05| When a Tree Falls ...

In the process of telling a truly amazing -- and true -- story about a fantastically rare tree in British Columbia and the eccentric man who cut it down, John Vaillant recounts in lush detail much of the natural history of the Pacific Northwest, the people who live there, and the impact of human activity on the forests, and thereby on the planet.

Tues 8.23.05| Moving Forward?

How should we interpret what's happening locally, and globally? How do we go about building sustainable and effective movements? Left Turn magazine editors Rayan El-Amine and Max Uhlenbeck discuss the status of movements for justice and address developments in Gaza and the US.

Mon 8.22.05| Economics Matters

Ellen Frank discusses her book The Raw Deal: How Myths and Misinformation About the Deficit, Inflation, and Wealth Improvement Impoverish America.

Wed 8.17.05| Money Politics

Political economist Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, co-editor of The Socialist Register, discuss the relationship of finance to the American imperial project.

Tues 8.16.05| British Miners' Strike

Journalist Nicholas Jones shines a light on the 1984-85 British miners' strike, and examines how the defeat of labor in its historic clash with the government of Margaret Thatcher opened the gates to neoliberalism in the UK and beyond.

Mon 8.15.05| Hindu Nationalism

Scientist and critic Meera Nanda, author of Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India, talks about the parallels between the Religious Right in the US and Hindu nationalism in India.

Wed 8.10.05| Horrors in Western Sahara

An illegal occupation, opposed by the United Nations, but backed by the US. A displaced population living in refugee camps in other countries, while settlers from the colonizing power occupy disputed territory. No, not Palestine, but Western Sahara. Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy lay out the history of that occupation; Nicholas DeTorrente of MSF explains the humanitarian crisis in Niger.

Tues 8.09.05| Meanings of Detainment

Detained without trial. Confined and presumed guilty. Ignored, or worse, treated like the enemy. Two shows now on stage highlight the experience of detainment. Playwright Christine Evans discusses Slow Falling Bird, and Liebe Wetzel and Robin Plutchok of Lunatique Fantastique talk about Executive Order 9066.

Mon 8.08.05| New Energy Needed

A discussion of the controversial Bush energy bill, and its expected consequences, with Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen and Chris Miller of Greenpeace.

Wed 8.03.05| Homophobia in Schools

Many LGBTQ youth encounter homophobia and transphobia in school. Fellow students, school staff, and sometimes outside anti-gay groups can make life difficult or downright intolerable. Lai-San Seto of the GSA Network, the ACLU's Tamara Lange, and student Drew Espanol discuss what's at stake.

Mon 8.01.05| Hope, Argentina Style

Given the political and economic forces at work in the world today, is everything going downhill? All is not lost. One outstanding example of a popular effort to self-organize in the face of economic crisis comes from Argentina. Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin's film Argentina: Hope in Hard Times captures an explosion of grassroots activism and revolutionary politics that has yet to subside.

Wed 7.27.05| Old Right and New Right

How did religious groups end up wielding such significant political power in this country? When did big business ally itself with Christian fundamentalists? Chip Berlet addresses many of these issues in a broad ranging speech on the history of American conservatism.

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.

Mon 7.25.05| One Big Union

A hundred years ago the IWW was formed to create "one big union" - a radical umbrella that would encompass workers of all races, trades and levels of skill, ready to take on capitalism as a system. Paul Buhle talks about how the Wobblies became a powerful force in mines, factories and fields across the US and beyond, with their declaration that "the owning class and the working class have nothing in common."

Wed 7.20.05| Industry on the Attack

What happens when academics expose the misdeeds of some of the most powerful corporations in America? Dow, Monsanto, Union Carbide, and other chemical companies have challenged the scholarship of historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, authors of Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution, using controversial and troubling methods. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 7.19.05| Labor's Internal Challenge

Is Big Labor on the verge of a momentous breakup? Will anything be resolved at the AFL-CIO's convention next week? John Borsos of SEIU, which together with five other unions is demanding fundamental changes to the federation's policies and priorities, lays out one perspective. The AFL-CIO's Stewart Acuff weighs in with another.

Mon 7.18.05| Holding On For Dear Life

In Bebe Moore Campbell's new novel 72 Hour Hold, a woman tries to cope with, among other things, her college-age mentally-ill daughter. The book explores parental expectations, relationships under stress, frustrations with the mental health system, and stigmatization in Black communities.

Wed 7.13.05| Building a Left Vision

Has the radical Left come up with a workable alternative to capitalism? Political economist Peter Dorman thinks much more needs to be done; among other things, he wants corporations to be "socialized." Dorman also discusses some obstacles to constructive thinking on the Left. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 7.12.05| To Make Matters Worse...

Can progressives put aside what they want to believe about the US-led invasion of Iraq and simply listen to the Iraqis themselves? That's what Pacifica Radio journalist Aaron Glantz did; his sometimes surprising findings are recorded in How America Lost Iraq. Rebecca Gordon of War Times discusses changes in mainstream thinking about the US military presence in Iraq.

Mon 7.11.05| Paglia Parses Poetry

A famously independent and iconoclastic thinker, Camille Paglia has a new book out, about poetry. In Break, Blow, Burn she analyzes 43 poems that people outside academe can read, appreciate and flat-out enjoy. Paglia also speaks out about poststructuralism, ideology, and the value of popular culture.

Wed 7.06.05| KPFA & Pacifica: The Early Years

Something is predictably neglected in those "there-they-go-again" reports of controversy at KPFA -- namely, the origins and early history of a daring, imperfect experiment in pacifist-oriented broadcasting. Pacifica historian Matthew Lasar discusses the radical ideas, brash personalities and tumultuous events that shaped KPFA's early years.

Tues 7.05.05| US Elites, Historically

In this supposedly democratic nation, why do wealthy elites wield so much power? And since the rich and powerful have been around for more than just the last few decades, can we learn from their activities and vulnerabilities in past eras? Alan Dawley and Jackson Lears wrote about the Progressive Era for the book Ruling America.

Wed 6.29.05| The State of Broadcast Media

Last week Patricia S. Harrison, the former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, was chosen as the next president and chief executive of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds NPR, PBS, community stations and Pacifica using taxpayer money. Media Alliance executive director Jeff Perlstein speaks about the future of public broadcasting in the US, as well as efforts to guarantee low-cost Internet access.

Tues 6.28.05| Charles Johnson

Deeply engaged with issues of race, culture and identity, the award-winning writer Charles Johnson is a philosopher by training. His latest book, a collection of short stories, touches upon more than a few questions about life's meaning, social justice, and navigating difference.

Mon 6.27.05| Censoring Art

What happens when some art is judged offensive or otherwise objectionable by certain powerful people? And how much censorship of art is taking place these days, anyway? NCAC's Svetlana Mintcheva and censored artists Gayla Lemke and Alma Lopez share experiences and insights.

Wed 6.22.05| Power on the Job

Maybe you're a worker who would like to be in a union but don't know what it would take to unionize your place of employ. Or maybe you're lucky enough to work at a union shop but your boss is trying to erode your bargaining power or trying to bust your union. What to do? Chris Kutalik, editor of Labor Notes, and CWA organizer Yonah Camacho Diamond talk about workplace strategies.

Tues 6.21.05| The Threat of Avian Flu

Last week new cases of humans contracting bird flu, otherwise known as avian flu, were reported in northern Vietnam and Indonesia. The World Health Organization announced that if the virus mutates to a form easily spread between humans, it may kill millions of people around the world. Dr. Mark Jerome Walters talks about what we can do to protect ourselves in the event of a pandemic.

Mon 6.20.05| Progress and Disaster

"Are all human systems doomed to stagger along under the mounting weight of their internal logic until it crushes them?" Ronald Wright asks this question in his new book A Short History of Progress. He also examines past cases of human progress and disaster, in the process making relevant -- and chilling -- parallels to the runaway present.

Wed 6.15.05| African Policy, Africa's Reality

With the richest nations agreeing last weekend to cancel the debt of 18 of the world's poorest countries, it's worth asking: Is the US finally doing what it should for Africa? Emira Woods and Salih Booker talk about African debt, aid and trade, and discuss realities on the ground in Darfur.

Tues 6.14.05| A Year Like No Other?

Agitation and agony, action and reaction -- according to Mark Kurlansky, 1968 witnessed "a combustion of rebellious spirits around the world." Kurlansky's book examines the factors that converged to enable and empower that year's uprisings in places like Czechoslovakia, France, Mexico, Germany, and the US.

Mon 6.13.05| Acting Collectively

Most of the social and economic gains we have in the US have come from the struggle of social movements. But what makes some movements successful? At a recent conference, Raj Jayadev talks about the challenges in organizing young temp workers in Silicon Valley, while sociologist Kim Voss argues that the weakness of the American labor movement has aided the spread of neoliberalism internationally.

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.

Tues 6.07.05| Chaos? On the Contrary

Can one understand today's autonomous social movements around the world without understanding anarchism? What do anarchists want anyway? Barry Pateman, archivist at the Kate Sharpley Library, shares his understanding of anarchist history and ideas.

Mon 6.06.05| Death and Ideology

Susan Sontag once wrote that "death is the obscene mystery, ... the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied." Richard Lichtman is certainly not in denial, about either the brute reality of life's termination or the sociopolitical forces that compel us to deal with dying in certain ways. He contends that prevailing notions of aging and death blame individuals for what the capitalist system does to them. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 6.01.05| Changing Business as Usual

People taking their lives and communities into their own hands: that's how Marina Sitrin characterizes what's been going on with autonomous social movements in Argentina. Ramsey Kanaan participated in another kind of uprising, the one that eliminated the UK poll tax and brought down Margaret Thatcher.

Tues 5.31.05| Voting Rights for All

While former felons have the right to vote in California, most of them don't realize it -- and lawyers and judges don't know it either. Former Black Panther chief of staff David Hilliard and voting activist Judy Grether aim to change that. And African American scholar Henry Louis Gates talks about a different legacy of slavery: recovering The Bondwoman's Narrative, the first novel by a fugitive slave and black woman in America.

Wed 5.18.05| Pox Americana

The writings of some of the leading thinkers about imperialism -- Peter Gowan, Sam Gindin, Noam Chomsky, Samir Amin, among others -- have been gathered into the book Pox Americana. At a recent event, contributors Barbara Epstein, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Bernardine Dohrn joined Tariq Ali and Betita Martinez in laying out their views on empire and Left strategy.

Tues 5.17.05| Empire and Resistance

Over the past week resistance to US empire has spread through Afghanistan, Pakistan, and much of the Muslim world. No critic better understands the issues of imperialism and struggles against it than novelist, historian, and activist Tariq Ali.

Mon 5.16.05| Weapons of Mass Deception

Why did the US invade Iraq? What's happened to the people of Iraq since then? In his film Weapons of Mass Deception, veteran media critic Danny Schechter takes on the mainstream media, showing its complicity with the Bush administration and the many ways it misinformed and manipulated the American public.

Wed 5.11.05| Progress and Disaster

"Are all human systems doomed to stagger along under the mounting weight of their internal logic until it crushes them?" Ronald Wright asks this question in his new book A Short History of Progress. He also examines past cases of human progress and disaster, in the process making relevant -- and chilling -- parallels to the runaway present.

Tues 5.10.05| Displaced for Empire

In the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, a little island in the Indian Ocean was used as a pivotal launching base for the US military. The story of how Diego Garcia came to be a military base is one of the darkest episodes in Anglo-American imperialism. Thanks to John Pilger and his new film Stealing a Nation, that story is finally coming to light.

Mon 5.09.05| Money, Power & Mental Illness

Should people diagnosed as mentally ill be forcibly treated or institutionalized? MindFreedom's David Oaks, who also has strong opinions about the psychiatric drug industry, thinks it's a human rights issue. The politics of mental illness is the focus of Joe Penhall's play Blue/Orange at Aurora Theatre.

Wed 5.04.05| Financing Empire

We're in an age of American empire - that's something on which most of the left seems to agree. But how does this empire work? Political economists Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin talk about the American imperial order that arose following WW2 and the role that finance has played in binding it all together.

Tues 5.03.05| Tariq Ali's Life and Times

Tariq Ali is one of the world's best known radicals, having led resistance to the Vietnam War in Britain in the 1960s and 70s and now spearheading opposition to the war in Iraq. The acclaimed author, public intellectual, and filmmaker talks about his politicization and activism, as detailed in his memoir Street-Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties.

Mon 5.02.05| The British Miners' Strike

A May Day look at the British miners' strike, the momentous clash between the National Union of Mineworkers and Margaret Thatcher, on the 20th anniversary of its defeat. Journalist and media critic Nicholas Jones discusses the strike and its denouement, which ushered in an era of neoliberalism in the UK and beyond.

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.

Tues 4.26.05| Jane Fonda

She drew attention to the Vietnam War and challenged the bounds of political dissent in the US, while breaking ground as one of the greatest actors of her generation. Jane Fonda talks about her tumultuous life and times, as well as her views on the US occupation of Iraq.

Mon 4.25.05| Commodifying Art

Does contemporary western art critiques the excesses of our hypercommercialized world of capitalism - or celebrates it with a wink and a nudge? Radical art critic Julian Stallabrass argues that the fortunes and shape of contemporary art are deeply entangled with neoliberal globalization.

Wed 4.20.05| Rethinking Left Strategy

In the past decade we've witnessed an impressive outpouring of dissent against global capitalism, war and Bush - and yet we've achieved few victories. We could chalk it up to the strength of the right, but what about the left itself? David Solnit, Rahul Mahajan and Gene Bruskin talk about whether we're following the best strategies to build a strong movement against war, empire and neoliberalism.

Tues 4.19.05| Opposing CAFTA

Workers in Central America are out on the streets militantly opposing the Central America Free Trade Agreement or CAFTA. In Guatemala a demonstrator has been killed and many others have been injured and detained. David Bacon, Jesse Swanhuyser, and Nadia Martinez discuss the treaty and why it should be opposed by activists in the US.

Mon 4.18.05| The Anti-Zionist Left

Veteran peace activist Michel Warschawski is an Israeli, but he can't side with an Israel that wants the kind of peace that involves separation from, and rejection of, the Palestinians. In his book On the Border, he examines the history of the Israeli left, the rise of the religious right, and the shortcomings of left-wing Zionism.

Wed 4.13.05| Is Socialism Viable?

The left is suffering from a crisis of vision, it seems. While we can easily list off what's wrong with capitalism, we have a very hard time talking about what should replace it. Part of the reason for this is the dark history of the Soviet Union and other experiments with socialism. Radical thinker John Bellamy Foster addresses these issues in a recent speech.

Tues 4.12.05| Taking On The System

In 1974 Patricia Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Susan Choi's novel American Woman, based on what happened after Hearst's abduction, explores the motives and perspectives of leftist radicals living underground. David Lester's book is a Harper's Index-style catalog of capitalism's horrors.

Mon 4.11.05| Imagining Something Better

Hungry for more originality in what you read and see? Worried that creativity and rebellion are on the decline? In The Middle Mind, Curtis White criticizes dominant narratives for their banality and in some cases destructiveness, and calls for a revitalization of the imagination. (Full-length taped conversation.)

Wed 4.06.05| Francine Prose

Francine Prose's new novel A Changed Man addresses many pressing social questions, about humans' ability to change, the path of altruism, media sensationalism, and personal insecurity and obsession. But then, Prose has never been shy about sharing her penetrating insights into many facets of American culture.

Tues 4.05.05| Water, Wolfowitz and the World Bank

Without water there is no life, but under the dictates of the World Bank, water in many countries no longer is a birth right, according to activists Frederic Favolan and Muhammad Pingle. And Manish Bapna and Morrigan Phillips talk about the appointment of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank.

Mon 4.04.05| Markets and the Environment

The world's environment is in crisis. What do mainstream economists understand about the environment and the issue of resource scarcity? Can we rely on them to help fashion a solution to the growing ecological crisis? Or, as radical economist Michael Perelman asserts, is planning the only hope?

Wed 3.30.05| One Big Lie

Why do we hand over power to those who mislead and abuse us? In what ways can real individual freedom be achieved? Playwright Liz Duffy Adams invites us to consider these and other big-picture questions in her new play One Big Lie. Rebecca Novick and Paul Lancour of Crowded Fire Theater Company discuss their roles in, and impressions of, the production.

Tues 3.29.05| Poverty & Labor in the North Bay

A recent report takes a close look at issues of income inequality and poverty in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, and turns up with some quite alarming trends -- including the fact that during the high growth period of the late 1990s, many working families became poorer. The report's co-author Nari Rhee and union activist Martin Bennett talk about the findings and new strategies that organizers are using to fight for a living wage and increased unionization.

Mon 3.28.05| Camus on Resistance & Revolution

The world is absurd -- so what do we as individuals do about it? Albert Camus had a lot to say on this subject. The French writer's thoughts on revolution and its methods, as expressed in his play The Just, are currently on stage courtesy of the Shotgun Players. Camus expert Raymond Gay-Crosier puts The Just in the context of Camus's life and ideas.

Wed 3.23.05| Reforming the Media, Round II

Last year a large upswell of media activism put the kibosh on the FCC's plan to further relax the rules on media ownership. Sydney Levy of Media Alliance, Pete Tridish with Prometheus Radio Project, and Craig Aaron from Free Press take a look at the state of the media, including LPFM, cable, and wi-fi, and of media activism today.

Tues 3.22.05| C.L.R. James's Marxism

A key player in twentieth century radical thought, the Caribbean revolutionary C.L.R. James remains obscure to much of the Left. Of what value are his ideas, and his Marxist convictions, to leftists today? John McClendon III has written a new book about James in relation to thinkers like Marx, Hegel and Lenin.

Mon 3.21.05| Iraqi Trade Unions & Civil Society

Two years after the invasion of Iraq, what are the prospects for the emergence and efflorescence of left organizations and institutions? Middle East scholar Eric Davis talks about the history of working class and progressive movements in Iraq and about Iraqi civil society today. Trade union leaders Hassan Juma'a, Falah Alwan, and Ghasib Hassan speak about the occupation, democracy, and privatization.

Wed 3.16.05| The Politics of Consumption

Linda McQuaig is a Canadian journalist and author of It's the Crude, Dude: War, Big Oil, and the Fight for the Planet. At the book's launch last October, McQuaig gave a talk in Vancouver that addressed not only the politics of oil but also international law, the privatization agenda, Iran, Islamist rage, Canada and NAFTA, and global warming.

Mon 3.14.05| Rescuing Democracy

Elections are held in nations that the US bullies or invades, and Bush proclaims a victory for democracy. But what is democracy in its truest sense? Ian Angus, author of Emergent Publics, contends that real democracy both depends on and emerges from movements for social change.

Wed 3.09.05| Building a Left Vision

Has the radical Left come up with a workable alternative to capitalism? Political economist Peter Dorman thinks much more needs to be done; among other things, he wants corporations to be "socialized." Dorman also discusses some obstacles to constructive thinking on the Left.

Tues 3.08.05| Afghan Women, Post-Occupation

An International Women's Day look at the situation of women in Afghanistan, in the three and a half years since the US-led invasion of that country. Maliha Zulfacar, former Afghan Deputy Minister of Higher Education, and Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women's Mission speak about the dangers that women face from US-backed Afghan warlords and the questionable role of NGOs in the country.

Mon 3.07.05| WSF 2005 and Agrarian Reform

The unequal distribution of land in the developing world, and the role of the World Bank and IMF in shaping land reform, was a key topic at the 5th World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Mangaliso Kuhhaka from South Africa, Karem Sader from Egypt, and Sergio Soar from Brazil spoke about the struggle for land in their countries. NRP's Pauline Bartolone talks about the WSF and Brazilian Landless Workers Movement or MST.

Wed 3.02.05| Hog-Tied

The dangers of the meat and poultry industry go far beyond salmonella and rotten meat that may slip past inspectors' eyes and end up shrink-wrapped in a supermarket near you. Lance Compa, author of a new report by HRW, and UFCW's Jill Cashen talk about labor conditions at Smithfield and other meat giants.

Tues 3.01.05| Eating & Living Chinese

Veteran journalist William Wong was born and grew up in Oakland's Chinatown; his new book captures in pictures the historical trajectory and vibrancy of that community. Artist Indigo Som has turned to photography to capture the phenomenon of Chinese restaurants in localities with few Asian American residents.

Mon 2.28.05| Power, Consent and Gramsci

Should progressives be pinning their hopes of resistance to superpower hubris on so-called civil society? Perhaps a more nuanced picture of how society works -- and of how power operates -- is needed. Joseph Buttigieg believes that the ideas of Italian radical thinker Antonio Gramsci, who wrote about power, culture and consent while in a Fascist prison, need wider circulation. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 2.23.05| Witnessing Violence

We witness disturbing things all around us, on TV, in public places, perhaps in our homes. What, then, to do? Be silent, and turn away? In her book Common Shock, Kaethe Weingarten encourages us to understand our experiences as witnesses and to turn passive observation into intentional, compassionate witnessing.

Tues 2.22.05| Thomas Frank on Class

Working class people in the US call themselves "middle class" and vote for George W. Bush because he appears to be a regular guy, despite being a millionaire. What's going on here? No one has interrogated contemporary class and politics in the US like Thomas Frank and his work has drawn acclaim from Left thinkers and progressive activists alike.

Mon 2.21.05| Extreme Makeover Iraq

While the mainstream media has dropped the ball on the scandals of Halliburton, Titan, CACI, and other private military contractors in Iraq, journalist Naomi Klein has been following the story with a vengeance. She spoke on Saturday, February 19th on the subject of "War and Fleece: How Economic Shock Therapy Backfired in Iraq."

Wed 2.16.05| Imagining Something Better

Hungry for more originality in what you read and see? Worried that creativity and rebellion are on the decline? In The Middle Mind, Curtis White criticizes dominant narratives for their banality and in some cases destructiveness, and calls for a revitalization of the imagination.

Tues 2.15.05| War Propaganda

What happens to the US press when the US goes to war? The eye-opening documentary Control Room looks at media biases created by the patriotism surrounding the US invasion of Iraq, and takes us behind the scenes at the Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera.

Mon 2.14.05| The Environment and Us

We need to choose between economic development and nature, there's just no two ways about it -- or is there? World-renowned Japanese-Canadian geneticist and environmental broadcaster David Suzuki took on this issue in a recent speech titled "A False Dichotomy."

Wed 2.09.05| Looking West

Author, performance artist and academic Cornel West brought his wide-ranging intellect and electrifying oratorical style to a venue in Oakland last Saturday. He spoke about everything from imperialism to slavery to critical thinking to attitudes toward justice versus revenge.

Tues 2.08.05| The Corporation

What is a corporation? Most of us know about the immense power that companies wield in our society, but don't know why they are so powerful or how they operate. The immensely popular film "The Corporation" grapples with these questions and features interviews with the likes of Michael Moore, Naomi Klein, Howard Zinn, Edwin Black, Charles Kernaghan, and Dr. Samuel Epstein.

Mon 2.07.05| Missing Numbers

The United States is deeply divided by class and gender, race and ethnicity. What would happen if information on the disparity between groups just went away? NCRW's Linda Basch speaks about the vanishing information on women under the Bush administration. And UFW's Arturo Rodriguez and Rick Mines talk about the demise of the National Agricultural Workers Survey.

Wed 2.02.05| Iraq's Elections; China's Labor

Does Iraq's recent election, however flawed, represent a step toward real democracy? Or, as Carl Conetta claims in a recent report, was it a case of "bait and switch"? Robert Weil also weighs in, on the conditions of workers, peasants, and the Left generally in his country of specialty, China.

Tues 2.01.05| Scholarship and the Chemical Industry

What happens when academics expose the misdeeds of some of the most powerful corporations in America? Dow, Monsanto, Union Carbide, and other chemical companies are challenging the scholarship of historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, authors of Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution, using controversial and troubling methods.

Mon 1.31.05| Jessica Hagedorn

While much of Jessica Hagedorn's work addresses the experiences of Filipinos and Filipino Americans, she's always drawn on universal themes of passion, conflict, humor, corruption, romance and survival. She and actor Catherine Castellanos discuss Hagedorn's new play Stairway to Heaven, about social outcasts in San Francisco's Tenderloin.

Wed 1.26.05| Men are from Mars, Women from Venus?

Harvard president Lawrence Summers set off a firestorm when he said that women have less innate scientific ability then men. Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett, authors of Same Difference, discuss neo-Darwinism, pop psychology and the questionable scholarship behind claims about gender difference.

Tues 1.25.05| The Neoconomists Cometh

We've all heard about the foreign policy designs of the neoconservatives -- or neocons --but what about the neoconomists? Daniel Altman's new book lays out the Bush administration's plan to transform the US economy in unprecedented and alarming ways.

Mon 1.24.05| Banking on Death

Battles over the privatization of pensions have led to the collapse of governments in Europe -- while in the US, Bush wants to direct much of Social Security into the stock market. Robin Blackburn talks about the neoliberal agenda to privatize pensions -- and the progressive potential of this collective form of property. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 1.19.05| Newdow's Pledge

Michael Newdow sued to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. He discusses his years-long campaign to get religion out of government. Sally Mahé describes the efforts of the United Religions Initiative to promote interfaith cooperation.

Mon 1.17.05| Robin Kelley; Gloria Anzaldúa

Robin D.G. Kelley asks us to consider the dreams of liberation, the flights of imagination, that animated many progressive struggles. Envisioning a better world, he suggests, is at least as important as critiquing the current one. AnaLouise Keating remembers Gloria Anzaldúa, the groundbreaking theorist and writer who passed away last May. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 1.12.05| Beleaguered Sri Lanka

What happens when natural disaster strikes a country already afflicted by war and debt? Political scientist Darren Zook talks about the history of the Sri Lankan civil war and how the political effects of the tsunami disaster may shape the outcome of the conflict, while Neil Watkins discusses the need to cancel the loans of highly indebted poor countries like Sri Lanka.

Tues 1.11.05| Writing for a Change

Could the pen be mightier than the sword? Was it mightier in the early twentieth century than it is now? Lauren Coodley has a new book out about the muckraker and novelist Upton Sinclair in California. Depression-era fiction is the subject of Janet Galligani Casey's book The Novel and the American Left.

Mon 1.10.05| Co-opting Class Resentment

Bush's re-election set off a storm of handwringing over why working class people regularly vote for a party that virulently assails their interests, while lining the pockets of the rich. Thomas Frank believes it's the result of a pervasive form of conservative populism that the left has yet to challenge.

Wed 1.05.05| Reason Under Assault

Irrational thinking may sometimes be harmless and even amusing, but according to Francis Wheen idiotic policy-making and crazy ideas on both the right and the left have hurt countless people around the globe. Wheen focuses on the last 25 years in his new book Idiot Proof.

Tues 1.04.05| Looking Back, and Forward

What can the Left learn from 2004? Where might progressives and radicals go from here? Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Cynthia Kaufman and David Ruccio evaluate developments of the past year and discuss the prospects for a more imaginative, coherent and effective coalition on the Left.

Mon 1.03.05| Cheating and Competing

Cheating in school, doping in sports -- everyone, it seems, wants to get a leg up on the competition. Evan Watkins sees cheating as a symptom of something bigger: the nature of competition today. He sees collective and cooperative efforts and impulses within what others consider a monolithic political-economic system. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 12.29.04| An Alternative to Neoliberalism?

Many leftists have been looking back longingly to the days of the "state-led" development strategy of Import Substitution Industrialization in the global South, which had its heyday in the 1950s and 60s. But according to Marxist sociologist Vivek Chibber, ISI's legacy of economic development was flawed on its own terms and hazardous for labor and the left.

Tues 12.28.04| The Forgotten History of Oakland

Gertrude Stein famously said of Oakland, "there is no there there." Scholar Chris Rhomberg would beg to differ; he's written a history of social movements in the East Bay metropolis that encompasses the rise of the Klan in the 1920s, the Oakland general strike of 1946, and the explosion of the Black Panthers in the 1960s.

Mon 12.27.04| Subverting the Dominant Paradigm?

The ideas of postmodernism and poststructuralism, which have held sway over contemporary left theory for the last three decades, are simultaneously fashionable and controversial. Has postmodernism's ideological dominance advanced the cause of left political action or -- as Gramscian theorist John Sanbonmatsu argues -- impeded it?

Wed 12.22.04| Capitalism Without Empire

Since September 11th and the unleashing of the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, many progressives have concluded that we're in a new political era - an age of empire. Radical thinker Jonathan Nitzan, however, has a different take on how war and instability are profitable for capitalism.

Tues 12.21.04| Cybertarians Unite!

Hype aside, how has information technology transformed the way we work and live? Why doesn't automation lead to mass unemployment? In an age of outsourcing, what's the potential for labor organizing across national lines? These are some of the questions that political economist Ursula Huws asks and answers in her groundbreaking work.

Mon 12.20.04| 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.

Wed 12.15.04| Should We Secede?

Thomas Naylor in Vermont and Jeff Morrissette in California are incensed with the political direction of this country. They are talking secession, as in a state seceding from the union. And two cast members from Richard Greenberg's play Take Me Out discuss the production's many themes.

Tues 12.14.04| Born to be Good?

Is the world in such turmoil because human beings are inherently, well, bad? Your convictions about the possibility of fundamental social change may hinge on your answer, on your beliefs about human nature. Psychology professor Dacher Keltner believes we're hard-wired to be benevolent -- and he has the evidence to back it up. (Encore presentation.)

Mon 12.13.04| Skirting Suits

Disputes are pervasive and inevitable; some are played out in court, most are never addressed, and others are resolved through something called mediation. Jessica Notini, Shar Etebar and John Ford discuss what mediation is and how it works in a variety of settings.

Wed 12.08.04| Why Marriage?

One of society's strongest messages is that lifelong monogamous love is the ticket to a happy, secure life. But who or what is pointing us in the direction of long-term coupledom, and why? Laura Kipnis examines the social and political implications of the marriage ideal.

Tues 12.07.04| Chemicals, Cosmetics, Kleenex

Is the holiday season hazardous to your health? As people buy their biggest purchases of the year at this time we may be getting more than we bargain for, according to EWG's Sonya Lunder, including the exposure to toxic chemicals that permanently accumulate in our bodies. And Richard Brooks talks about Greenpeace's campaign against paper giant Kimberly-Clark.

Mon 12.06.04| Migrants Under Fire

There's a kind of war being waged on the US-Mexico border, and the victims are defenseless civilians. Jose Palafox connects the dots between border policy, corporate globalization, trade pacts, and anti-immigrant sentiment. Sanctuary movement co-founder John Fife describes efforts to prevent migrant deaths along the border.

Wed 12.01.04| Struggling Against HIV/AIDS

Every day 9,000 people die from the AIDS virus and yet so little real effort has been made by the rich countries to stop the spread of the pandemic in the developing world. The documentary, "Against All Odds: Hope in the Struggle," tells the stories of health workers and activists in southern Africa who are trying to make a difference.

Tues 11.30.04| The Future of the World?

It's one thing to say the world will go to hell in a handbasket under a second Bush term. It's another to make well-informed predictions about where US foreign policy is headed, and what might constrain the Bush administration agenda. Global affairs expert John Gershman weighs in.

Mon 11.29.04| Hurston Sings the Blues

Everything's coming up blues at the Berkeley Rep, which is staging a long-forgotten play by the brilliant and controversial Zora Neale Hurston. Two key players in the current production of Polk County are co-adaptor Cathy Madison and featured actor Kevin Jackson. Carla Kaplan has collected and edited hundreds of Hurston's letters.

Wed 11.24.04| Individuality and Quantum Theory

Quantum theory revolutionized the way scientists look at the world. It also, contends Peter Pesic, calls into question common notions of human identity and individuality. How unique is each person, really? Pesic draws on literature and philosophy as well as science in his investigations.

Tues 11.23.04| Soy and the Amazon

The destruction of the Amazon proceeds every year with greater speed. What is driving the clearing of "the lungs of the world"? Geographers Wendy Jepson and Jan Maarten Dros and Environmental Defense's Steve Schwarzmann talk about the role of soy production in transforming the greater Amazon region.

Mon 11.22.04| Is China Socialist?

Should China's economic system be a beacon for progressives? Martin Hart-Landsberg and Paul Burkett believe it's time for the left to take another look. In a book-length edition of Monthly Review, the two Marxist scholars challenge the idea that China offers a third way between state socialism and the evils of free market capitalism.

Tues 11.16.04| Blacks on the Rails

No, they weren't just servants, just railroad workers. The Pullman Porters and other black railworkers embodied and stood for many things, including the struggle for dignity and racial equality. Their achievements have also fascinated and inspired performer Wayne Harris and author Larry Tye.

Mon 11.15.04| Sex Discrimination at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is the most profitable company in the world, bringing in $244.5 billion in sales last year. It is also on the receiving end of the largest class suit in history, which represents 1.6 million women. Liza Featherstone and Wal-Mart worker Christine Kwapnoski talk about the largest private employer in the world's systemic discrimination against women.

Wed 11.10.04| Russell Banks Goes to Africa

Russell Banks's new novel The Darling reflects his unique political sensibilities and strong interest in race relations. The book's main protagonist, indicted by US authorities for her involvement in the Weather Underground, leaves the country for Liberia and, eventually, a confrontation with her past.

Tues 11.09.04| Onward Christian Soldiers?

Last week's election results left many of us with unanswered questions about the appeal and organizational ability of the religious right. Nikhil Aziz and Peter Montgomery discuss the Christian right -- its constituencies, methods and history -- and what we can expect in the next four years.

Mon 11.08.04| Gotanda on Male Violence

As one expert puts it, violence is primarily a man's business. Male violence in relationships has taken center stage, literally, in a new play by Philip Kan Gotanda. The internationally-acclaimed playwright, together with actor Michael Cheng, discuss the message and methods of "A Fist of Roses."

Mon 11.01.04| Post-Election Strategy; Ancient Maya Art

One thing's for certain: either Bush or Kerry will win the election. What then? Will the Left be prepared with a coherent strategy either way? Max Elbaum shares his thoughts and Bob Wing reports from Florida on voter protection and poll monitoring efforts. Curator Kathleen Berrin describes an ancient Maya art exhibition at the Legion of Honor.

Wed 10.27.04| Beyond Neoliberalism

Neoliberals argue that poor countries can only develop by following the precepts of privatization, deregulation, and economic liberalization. Economists Ha-Joon Chang and Ilene Grabel believe there are other alternatives. They discuss concrete ways that countries can move out of poverty and away from economic vulnerability in an era of "globalization."

Tues 10.26.04| Skeptics Unite!

What does it mean to have a skeptical outlook? Michael Shermer, historian of science and director of the Skeptics Society, discusses why people believe unsubstantiated things, how to find meaning in a science-dominated world, and how best to evaluate weird claims and theories.

Mon 10.25.04| Inside the Maquiladoras

Workers at the assembly plants in Mexico known as maquiladoras face many challenges: low wages, monotonous tasks, management demands, and an unsolved crime wave known as the Maquiladora Murders. Anthropologist Devon Pena is interested in the murders' social context; he's also examined worker resistance within the maquilas. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 10.19.04| Chasing Che

He's a revolutionary hero and a cultural icon, but who was Ernesto "Che" Guevara, really? His early travels have been chronicled in the film The Motorcycle Diaries; Che's entire life is the subject of a book entitled The Che Handbook. Co-author Gareth Jenkins describes Che's adventures, his ideas, and his enormous appeal.

Mon 10.18.04| The Road to Post Capitalism II

How should the left integrate immediate, daily struggles with the long term goal of systemic change? Can the left come up with a coherent understanding of electoral politics? How can we change the culture around us? These are some questions that Vijay Prashad and Robin D.G. Kelley addressed at the Life After Capitalism Conference.

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.

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.

Mon 10.11.04| The Road to Post-Capitalism

What might life look like in a post-capitalist world? That was the subject of a conference held recently in New York. Michael Albert spoke about what the left should work towards, while Naomi Klein talked about death under capitalism -- the US occupation of Iraq and what the anti-war movement in the US must do to support the resistance there.

Wed 10.06.04| Waking from a Dream

What if we are all living an illusion? What if the frenetic, anxious way we pass our days, grasping at things, pursuing this or that, is nothing more than a form of self-deception? In his book Reality, Peter Kingsley finds in the roots of Western civilization an invitation to participate in a reality far more gratifying and complete.

Tues 10.05.04| The Politics of Self-Delusion

Why are so many working-class and poor Americans on the right when it goes against their economic interests? Thomas Frank argues that blue collar people have been mobilized against abortion, gun control, evolution in school, and a number of other issues directed at the "liberal elite," while the pro-business agenda of the right has slipped through hardly noticed.

Mon 10.04.04| Cooptation and Resistance

Who's talking about race in this presidential election year? Are issues like poverty, welfare and affirmative action being sidestepped by the candidates -- and if so, why? Political scientist Robert Smith is an expert on black politics and black leadership. BRC's Jamala Rogers discusses the keys to advancing a radical black agenda.

Wed 9.29.04| Returning the Gaze

For several hundred years, artists from the West have depicted the Middle East and North Africa as places of decadence and exoticism. More recent art, popular culture and news media have added another dimension that simplifies, twists and objectifies the people of these regions. In the exhibition "Somewhere Elsewhere," Arab and Iranian artists challenge these visions, taking on the tropes of the East from Orientalism to post-9/11 panic and Abu Ghraib.

Tues 9.28.04| Reshaping Regulation

Schwarzenegger's California Performance Review would eliminate 120 boards and commissions as part of a government overhaul. But is the CPR really about streamlining bureaucracy or, as Rico Mastrodonato and Jody Freeman argue, consolidating power and removing independent oversight of air and water, workers' compensation, occupational health and safety, and other key areas of public concern?

Mon 9.27.04| Strategic Thinking

Principled, effective resistance to the status quo: if that's a key goal of the left, how can it be achieved? Michael Albert has considered and written about issues like the role of violence, elitism on the left, reformism versus revolution, human nature, and the desirability of a vanguardist approach to organizing.

Wed 9.22.04| The Racist Right

Richard Butler, founder of the Aryan Nations in the 1970s, died recently. Local activist Norm Gissel reflects on Butler's failure to build his organization in northern Idaho. SPLC's Mark Potok and author/expert Daniel Levitas contend that while white supremacist groups have relatively few hardcore adherents, the ideas they draw upon are everywhere around us.

Tues 9.21.04| Anti-Racism and Global Justice

Can race and gender privilege within social justice movements undermine efforts to achieve global justice? How important is it for energetic, well-meaning activists to face up to their own racist, sexist and other oppressive behavior? Veteran organizer Chris Crass believes anti-racist education and movement building go hand in hand.

Mon 9.20.04| Art and Protest

The Cuban revolution produced an enormous number of innovative political posters. Less appreciated, but still impressive, is the graphic art of the American labor movement. Archivist Lincoln Cushing is working to preserve the legacy of both of these bodies of work.

Wed 9.15.04| Smells Like Teen Spirit

Middle school: for many adults looking back, it was a time marked by embarrassment, humiliation, and intense awkwardness. Is being a middle schooler any different now? Washington Post reporter Linda Perlstein spent a year following around preteens at Wilde Lake Middle School in Maryland and wrote a book about their lives.

Tues 9.14.04| Paying for Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is famous for low prices and substandard wages -- but who really pays for what the giant retailer does to its workers? A recent report co-authored by Arin Dube says we taxpayers do. Scott Klinger of United for a Fair Economy discusses CEO compensation and the myth of the self-made millionaire.

Mon 9.13.04| Reducing Emissions

Electric vehicles, hybrid cars, natural gas-powered vehicles -- even hybrid SUVs. Alternatives to petroleum-fueled cars are proliferating these days, but how viable are they? And what are the larger politics of the automobile industry that may impede the development and eventual availability of vehicles, such as Ford's Th!nk car, that have less impact on the environment? Activists Russell Long, Michael Brune and Ford's Bob Natkin debate the issues.

Wed 9.08.04| A Step Forward?

A week of marches, rallies, direct action and collective outrage in New York City culminated in ... what? Did progressives win a big victory during RNC week -- or any victory at all? A31's Tim Doody, veteran agitator Starhawk, media activist Doyle Canning, and Hany Khalil of UFPJ offer their reflections and assessments.

Tues 9.07.04| In Their Own Words

Reclaiming female sexuality is a difficult task for women across the spectrum. African American women face particular hurdles given that since the time of slavery their sexuality has been fetishized and demonized by white society. Tricia Rose's ground-breaking book allows black women to speak for themselves about skin color, interracial dating, body image, menstruation, and more.

Wed 9.01.04| Death and Ideology

Susan Sontag once wrote that "death is the obscene mystery, ... the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied." Richard Lichtman is certainly not in denial, about either the brute reality of life's termination or the sociopolitical forces that compel us to deal with dying in certain ways. He contends that prevailing notions of aging and death blame individuals for what the capitalist system does to them.

Tues 8.31.04| Courts and Taxes

The future of the Supreme Court hasn't been a prominent election issue this year, but perhaps it should be. How might the court's composition change if Bush prevails -- or Kerry? Former Supreme Court clerk Edward Lazarus shares his assessment. John Bachar discusses a proposal to solve California's budget crisis by temporarily raising income taxes on the rich.

Mon 8.30.04| Paying the Piper

Overlooked in all of the hype around the Republican National Convention have been the pots of private money funding the event -- similar to the Democratic National Convention last month in Boston -- and the even larger quantities of cash going to the Bush and Kerry campaigns. Center for Public Integrity's Alex Knott and World Policy Institute's Michelle Ciarrocca discuss the role of private money in presidential politics.

Wed 8.25.04| Power to the People

Attempts to privatize publicly-owned energy generation have led to demonstrations in the streets of South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, and beyond. Resource economist Eugene Coyle and Bruno Silano, leader of CUPE which has successfully fought back electricity privatization in Canada, talk about the growing international movement to defend public power.

Tues 8.24.04| Left Behind?

Neoliberalism has accomplished a shocking upward redistribution of wealth. Lisa Duggan contends that the right, much more than the left, has successfully connected its economic goals with cultural and identity-based politics. If progressives and radicals don't respond in kind, she argues, a vibrant and truly expansive left will be impossible to construct.

Mon 8.23.04 | Reading Between the Lines

The Bush administration's No Child Left Behind policy, which links public funding to school test scores, has come under fire from many quarters. Yet educational psychologist Gerald Coles believes that critics have missed an equally insidious dimension of NCLB, known as Reading First, which is based on questionable science and troubling ideology.

Wed 8.18.04| Transnational Feminism

Globalization, nationalism, migration, political conflict: all have often unrecognized impacts on the gendered and sexual lives of people worldwide. Gaining insight into these matters, as well as the ways in which marginalized communities develop independently of US-focused narratives, is one of the projects of transnational feminism. Paola Bacchetta and Jyoti Puri organized a recent conference.

Tues 8.17.04| Cold War, Chess War

It was about chess -- and so much more. Cold War politics, iconoclastic beliefs, negotiating brinksmanship, fiery tempers: all of this permeated the 1972 world championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in Iceland. David Edmonds and John Eidinow have written an investigative account of the turbulent showdown in Reykjavik.

Mon 8.16.04| Subverting the Dominant Paradigm?

The ideas of postmodernism and poststructuralism, which have held sway over contemporary left theory for the last three decades, are simultaneously fashionable and controversial. Has postmodernism's ideological dominance advanced the cause of left political action or -- as Gramscian theorist John Sanbonmatsu argues -- impeded it?

Wed 8.11.04| Field of Dreams

Do small-scale organic farms really point the way to a more sustainable and just world? Scholar Julie Guthman has done groundbreaking research into organic farming in California. She talks about the political economy of agriculture in this state and the problems with the ways progressives tend to think about small-scale production and its relation to agroecological and labor practices.

Tues 8.10.04| Banking on Death

Battles over the privatization of pensions have led to the collapse of governments in Europe -- while in the US, Bush still wants to channel social security into the stock market. Robin Blackburn talks about the neoliberal agenda to privatize pensions -- and the progressive potential of this collective form of property.

Mon 8.09.04| From Dark Streets to the Blacklist

Long shadows, angst, people trapped in impossible circumstances -- these are the characteristics most associated with film noir. But the content and context of these films are much more complex, according to James Naremore and Dave Wagner. Noir was created from the Popular Front politics of the 1930s Left and draws on influences ranging from writers Graham Greene, Eric Ambler and Dashiell Hammett to French poetic realism and American horror films.

Wed 8.04.04| Constructing A Vision

Radical theory without practice makes no sense; radical practice without theory seems a colossal waste of time and energy. In a new book Michael Albert constructs a radical theory from the ground up, all the while relating it to practical strategizing and goal-setting. He also takes a hard look at anarchism, feminism, Marxism and nationalism.

Tues 8.03.04| Analyzing Therapy

While psychotherapy can transform people's lives, what are its limits -- and what are the limits of the conventional view that sees therapy as a science? Pychotherapist, sociologist and writer Lillian Rubin has practiced therapy for the past thirty years and talks about the shortcomings, as well as high points, of therapy.

Mon 8.02.04| Unsustainable Suburbia?

Ah, suburbia. Everyone dreams of having a large house with a large yard, surrounded by a white picket fence, removed from the dirt and crime of the city. Or at least, that's what most Americans seem to want. But the suburban way of life has a myriad of hidden costs and, according to the makers of "The End of Suburbia," it may not be sustainable in the long term.

Wed 7.28.04| Heating Costs

How should we go about tackling global warming? Is it a problem that can be effectively addressed? Roger Pielke, Jr. challenges conventional wisdom on the subject; he claims we need to radically rethink climate-related policy. Dr. Maya Rockeymoore and Michel Gelobter discuss a new report on the impact of climate change on African Americans.

Tues 7.27.04| Acting Locally

Perhaps, in this election year, you don't like all that national-level political hoopla. Perhaps you prefer making change at the local level, working for and with people in your town or neighborhood. Malia Everrete, Adam Gold, and Rev. Glenda Hope shine a spotlight on three Bay Area communities: Richmond, Oakland, and San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

Mon 7.26.04| Cheating and Competing

Cheating in school, doping in sports -- everyone, it seems, wants to get a leg up on the competition. Evan Watkins sees cheating as a symptom of something bigger: the nature of competition today, within popular culture, academia, and beyond. He sees collective and cooperative efforts and impulses within what others consider a monolithic political-economic system.

Wed 7.21.04| Toxics in the East Bay

The Bay Area boasts tremendous natural beauty, but the environmental health picture is far from rosy. How much pollution are we exposed to, and how does it affect human health? Azibuike Akaba of the Environmental Indicators Project and toxics management specialist Drew Lerer describe the dangers and suggest precautions.

Tues 7.20.04| The Color of Anarchism

Is anarchism, a mostly white movement, willing and able to embrace people of color and their political priorities? Tomas Moniz and Roger White are part of a network called Anarchist People of Color, which put on a recent Bay Area conference. POGO's Peter Stockton begins with a commentary on the security breaches at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Mon 7.19.04| Fighting Sweatshops

Sweatshop workers labor for a pittance under abusive conditions, yet their plight is invisible to most of us. Global Unions, Oxfam, and others are trying to change that this summer, by turning the spotlight on sportswear made for the Olympics. Hee Wan Khym of UNITE HERE, Alejandra Domenzain of Sweatshop Watch, and Katherine Daniels of Oxfam illuminate the ugly side of the garment industry.

Wed 7.14.04| Interpretations of the Conflict

What's the relationship between facts and political interpretation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? What if the facts of the conflict, or at least most of them, are not in dispute, but the reading of those facts are? Political scientist Norman Finkelstein laid out that view at a recent speech in Vancouver.

Tues 7.13.04| The Revolution Lives

Did the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua end when the FSLN lost the 1990 elections? Apparently not, reports poet and translator Clifton Ross, just back from an extended trip to Nicaragua. Ben Clarke believes we can learn many lessons from the dramatically successful Sandinista literacy campaigns of the 1980s.

Mon 7.12.04| Born to be Good?

Is the world in such turmoil because human beings are inherently, well, bad? Your convictions about the possibility of fundamental social change may hinge on your answer, on your beliefs about human nature. Psychology professor Dacher Keltner believes we're hard-wired to be benevolent -- and he has the evidence to back it up.

Wed 7.07.04| Abolish the State?

The radical left wants to abolish, not reform, capitalism. Anarchists on the left want something more: the elimination of the state. Only then, they contend, can people live lives truly free from domination and coercion. Scholar/activist Cindy Milstein, who's been strongly influenced by Murray Bookchin, shares her understanding of anarchism's agenda.

Tues 7.06.04| California's Pastime

Baseball's in full swing. But many fans of what's been called our national pastime don't know about its rich and storied history in California. Author and sports enthusiast Kevin Nelson documents it all, including baseball's often-contentious racial dynamics, in a new book.

Mon 7.05.04| The Threat of the Religious Right

While the Christian Right may not be getting much attention from the media, its influence in the federal government is ever-increasing, according to experts Barry Lynn and Joan Bokaer. They say we should be particularly concerned about "faith-based" initiatives -- a Trojan horse aimed at the erosion of the church-state divide.

Wed 6.30.04| Freedom Under Existentialism

The Matrix film series kept getting mentioned in relation to existentialism. But what is that philosophical movement really about? Hamilton College professor Todd Franklin has been teaching existentialism for years; his research also emphasizes the resonances between Nietzschean and African American thought.

Tues 6.29.04| Anarchism and the Left

According to historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Lucy Parsons, born in the mid-19th century, was one of the outstanding U.S. anarchists. Roy San Fillipo was part of the anarchist collective Love and Rage; now he's helped form a new group, Bring the Ruckus, that incorporates (and rejects) certain features of anarchist thinking and action.

Mon 6.28.04| Human Rights and Wrongs

Today's Supreme Court ruling on the Guantanamo detainees raises a larger question: Can human rights withstand the so-called war on terror? Amnesty International is in a position to know. AI's Dennis Palmieri talks about the group's 2004 Annual Report, and Gerald Gray, who treats torture survivors in San Jose, discusses the uses of torture and its impact on the individual.

Wed 6.23.04| Gloria Anzaldúa

Cultural theorist, activist, poet and award-winning writer Gloria Anzaldúa passed away in Santa Cruz last month. Author of Borderlands, named one of the 100 best books of the century, Anzaldúa advanced ideas for inclusionary movements for social justice. AnaLouise Keating and Ines Hernandez-Avila were longtime friends and collaborators of Anzaldúa.

Tues 6.22.04| Fueling Disaster

Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury emissions in the US, which exit from smokestacks and enter the food chain. Casey Harrell of Greenpeace and Angela Ledford of Clear the Air illustrate how the Bush administration, rather than cracking down on dirty power plants, has been working hard to weaken regulations.

Mon 6.21.04| Said on Human Rights

While revelations of torture at Abu Graib have turned the spotlight on human rights in Iraq, the case of the Palestinians has long illustrated the hypocrisy of US human rights policy in the Middle East. And who better understood that hypocrisy than the late Edward Said? Said spoke about the plight of the Palestinian people, several months before his death.

Tues 6.15.04| Landed Elites in Chiapas

The southern Mexican state of Chiapas has a long and brutal history of struggles over land and labor. When the Zapatista guerrilla army rose up there in 1994, peasants seized vast amounts of land. The left predicted a vicious backlash from landowners, but it never happened. Geographer Aaron Bobrow-Strain believes that their passivity tells a much deeper story about the shifting power dynamics in the region.

Mon 6.14.04| Goodbye to All That

The "New Economy" promised stock market riches and fulfilling high tech work for all, as well as an end to the business cycle. That is, until the bubble burst. Doug Henwood has written a post-mortem of the 1990s that looks at inequality, globalization, and -- behind the New Era hype -- the class warfare waged against American workers by Wall Street.

Wed 6.09.04| Cybertarians Unite!

Hype aside, how has information technology transformed the way we work and live? Why doesn't automation lead to mass unemployment? In an age of outsourcing, what's the potential for labor organizing across national lines? These are some of the questions that political economist Ursula Huws asks and answers in her groundbreaking work.

Tues 6.08.04| Labor Resurgence

After years of decline, is labor poised for resurgence? Dan Clawson argues that the labor movement could take off massively if workers and their unions unite with social movements, following the model of unions in the 1930s. The result, he believes, would revitalize and radicalize the left as a whole. (full-length interview)

Tues 6.07.04| Soldiers of Hindutva

While many Americans have been distracted by the threat of the right in this country, India's BJP has incited and overseen murderous attacks Muslims and other minorities with little attention paid outside the subcontinent. Radhika Desai and Angana Chatterji talk about the origins, ideology and social basis of hindutva, or Hindu fundamentalism, and the future of the fascist right in India.

Wed 6.02.04| Spinning Wheels

Well-respected mainstream media sources like The New York Times and The Economist magazine are enormously influential. But how reliable or biased is their information? Martha Starr examines how The Economist covers and presents the phenomenon of corporate globalization; Norman Solomon dissects media (and government) spin on all things Iraq.

Tues 6.01.04| Outlasting Suharto

So whatever happened to East Timor, which finally gained independence in 2002 after a brutal and prolonged Indonesian occupation? ETAN's John Miller provides an update. The Indonesian government targeted internal "enemies" as well, including the legendary writer and political dissident Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

Mon 5.31.04| Racism and Common Sense

According to Ian Haney López, a kind of everyday common sense explains why racial prejudice persists today. In a new book, the U.C. Berkeley law professor also chronicles the rise of the Chicano movement in the aftermath of the massive 1968 student walkouts in East Los Angeles.

Wed 5.26.04| COINTELPRO Then -- and Now?

Were the FBI's attempts to neutralize dissident targets, under its notorious COINTELPRO program, an aberration from or an integral element of the Bureau's continuing mission? David Cunningham, who gained access to over 12,000 previously classified documents, focuses on COINTELPRO repression of the New Left and the Klan.

Tues 5.25.04| Labor Resurgence

After years of decline, is labor poised for resurgence? Dan Clawson argues that the labor movement could take off massively if workers and their unions unite with social movements, following the model of unions in the 1930s. The result, he believes, would revitalize and radicalize the left as a whole.

Mon 5.24.04| Colonialism Redux

For people in the Middle East, the invasion and occupation of Iraq evoked a sense of déjà vu. After all, this latest intervention by the US is just another in a series of Western interventions in the region, part of a brutal legacy that dates back to the making of the modern Middle East. Rashid Khalidi's new book focuses on the roots of colonialism in the region and the backlash it is destined to provoke.

Wed 5.19.04| Left Behind?

Neoliberalism has accomplished a shocking upward redistribution of wealth. Lisa Duggan contends that the right, much more than the left, has successfully connected its economic goals with cultural and identity-based politics. If progressives and radicals don't respond in kind, she argues, a vibrant and truly expansive left will be impossible to construct.

Mon 5.17.04| Servants of Globalization

Migrant nannies, housecleaners, and other domestic workers are largely invisible members of the working class worldwide, but play a key role in the global economy. Rhacel Parreñas, Arlie Hochschild, Michele Gamburd and Joy Zarembka illuminate the many reasons why migrant women workers come to the global North to look after other people's families, while having to leave their own children behind.

Wed 5.12.04| Movement Building

Who would want to forget the largest worldwide protest mobilization ever? Not the creators of the volume 2/15, which records in photos and words the marches and protests on and around February 15, 2003. Many of the debates within and perspectives of the global justice movement are presented in the anthology Confronting Capitalism.

Tues 5.11.04| The People's Poet

Pablo Neruda would have turned one hundred this year. The most widely-read political poet of our time, winner of the Nobel Prize, former leftist legislator and then political fugitive, Neruda wrote unforgettable poems about love, politics, and the common people. Mark Eisner has edited, with the help of scholar Jaime Concha, a new collection of Neruda's poems.

Mon 5.10.04| Globalizing Justice

So much of the left's critique of globalization is based on limiting and reversing its course. But what about globalizing equality and justice? In his Manifesto for a New World Order, George Monbiot argues that many of the propositions put forward by the left, such as putting up protectionist barriers in the rich countries, would hurt the poor. Drawing from the work of John Maynard Keynes, he proposes restructuring world trade to benefit debtor nations, and calls for globalizing political consent.

Wed 5.05.04| Just Do Something!

Is the left afflicted by a poverty of ideas and long-term strategic thinking? Liza Featherstone and Christian Parenti think so. They argue that "activistism," a type of hyper-pragmatism on the left, is tied to a deep-seated anti-intellectual tendency in the US. They've co-authored a call for activists to take ideas seriously -- something the Right did decades ago that facilitated the rise of the neoliberal project.

Tues 5.04.04| Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki's latest novel is about genetic engineering, eco-activism, family dynamics, and reckoning with one's past. It's entitled All Over Creation.

Mon 5.03.04| Profiting from Information

Robert McChesney speaks about the political economy of the media, the subject of his new book The Problem of the Media.

Tues 4.27.04| Cold War, Chess War

It was far from just a chess match. Cold War politics, clashing tempers, and bizarre convictions pervaded the 1972 Fischer-Spassky chess championship match in Iceland. David Edmonds and John Eidinow have written an investigative account of the turbulent showdown in Rejkavik entitled Bobby Fischer Goes to War.

Mon 4.26.04| Sharon's Latest Proposal

Author Roane Carey dissects Ariel Sharon's "disengagement" proposal, which would deny the Palestinians the right of return and would make permanent land grabbed during the 1967 war. And acclaimed Israeli scholar Ilan Pappé talks to Beshara Doumani about how historians have written the history of Palestine -- and what they've left out.

Wed 4.21.04| Immigrants Under Attack

Since September 11th, Arabs, Muslims and South Asians in this country have faced detention, harassment and deportation. After the INS suspended requirements for the special registration of men from targeted communities, discrimination continues in other ways. Sameena Faheem from American Muslim Voice speaks out against the Clear Act and activist AiMara Lin talks about the legacy of the internment of Japanese-Americans.

Tues 4.20.04| Race and Class in San Leandro

In 1971 the city of San Leandro was named one of the most racist suburbs in America by the National Committee against Discrimination in Housing. A year later Brian Copeland's family moved there. The comedian and radio personality talks about his youth in San Leandro, the subject of his one-man show. And radical cartoonist Peter Kuper speaks about his adaptation of "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka.

Mon 4.19.04| Confronting Capitalism

A new anthology focuses on the history, composition, tactics and politics of ongoing movements against global capitalism. Eddie Yuen, co-editor of Confronting Capitalism, and contributor Iain Boal discuss some of the key perspectives and debates within the global justice movement.

Mon 4.12.04| Whose Economics?

If economics is (at least partly) about money, and money correlates with power, and if different understandings of economics point to different conceptions of a better world, isn't it worth investigating how economics is understood by activists, academics, and others? Stephen Cullenberg and David Ruccio organized a recent conference to foster such inquiries.

Wed 4.07.04| War and Migration

In "The Doll Hospital," on stage at the Brava Theatre, playwright Christine Evans takes Euripides' seminal anti-war play "The Trojan Women" and transports it to present-day Iraq. The result deals with war, the oppression of women, and the theme of migration -- enhanced by the contribution of El Teatro Jornalero, the Day-Laborers' Theatre Project, whose actors make up the play's Greek chorus. Teatro member Rosio Naranjo and Francisco Herrera join Evans in a discussion of the work's many layers.

Tues 4.06.04| Exporting Banned Pesticides

Every year the US and Europe sell millions of tons of banned pesticides to the developing world. Nicaragua Network's Kathy Hoyt and Paul Baker talk about the case of the Central American banana workers poisoned by DBCP, or Nemagon, made by Dow, Shell and Occidental Chemical. Lawyer Erika Rosenthal lays out the political and legal obstacles to compensation -- including the utilization of forum non conveniens in the courts.

Mon 4.05.04| Trinh Minh-Ha

Trinh Minh-Ha wants viewers of her films to do a lot of rethinking -- about media manipulation, life's ambiguities, non-US perspectives, gender roles, and forms of oppression. The writer and scholar's newest film, Night Passage, reflects on friendship, longing, and death in the context of a journey undertaken by three young characters.

Wed 3.31.04| Caught in the Crossfire

When national security intersects with issues of race, which prevails and who gets sacrificed? And what are the stories and faces behind the official, and officially-sanctioned, backlash against immigrant communities in this country? ColorLines editor Tram Nguyen and Pramila Jayapal of Hate Free Zone examine the costs of the war on terror.

Tues 3.30.04| The Health Hazards of Plastics

Industry has called it the sixth basic food group. It's plastic and chances are you eat, drink and breath it every day. And most likely you're permanently accumulating it in the fatty tissue of your body, with potentially hazardous consequences for your reproductive and overall health. Michael Green, Karen Susag and Paul Goettlich talk about why you should be concerned about this ubiquitous material and what you can do to protect yourself.

Mon 3.29.04| Test Questions

Many tout standardized testing as the solution to this country's education woes. But who, historically, were such standardizing efforts designed to benefit, and harm? Researcher and former teacher Andrew Hartman links standardized testing to the demands of unfettered capitalism and to racist formulations of American identity.

Mon 3.22.04| Antiwar Then and Now

Last Saturday's crowds confirm it: the antiwar movement is alive and kicking. David Harris began his peace activism in the mid-1960s; he eventually helped found that era's draft resistance movement. He shares thoughts about Iraq policy, US national security, and activism past and present.

Wed 3.17.04| War and Peace

This week marks the anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. How has it affected people in the rest of the world? At the World Social Forum, a number of activists spoke about the war from the perspective of the global South, including Malaysian political scientist Chandra Muzaffar, Beverley Keene from Jubilee South in Argentina, Filipino analyst Herbert Docena, Iraqi writer Abduk Amir al Rekaby, and Keun Soo-Hong from South Korea.

Tues 3.16.04| Individuality and Quantum Theory

Quantum theory revolutionized the way scientists look at the world. It also, contends Peter Pesic, calls into question common notions of human identity and individuality. How unique is each person, really? Pesic draws on literature and philosophy as well as science in his investigations.

Mon 3.15.04| Landed Elites in Chiapas

The southern Mexican state of Chiapas has a long and brutal history of struggles over land and labor. When the Zapatista guerrilla army rose up there in 1994, peasants seized vast amounts of land. The left predicted a vicious backlash from landowners, but it never happened. Geographer Aaron Bobrow-Strain believes that their passivity tells a much deeper story about the shifting power dynamics in the region.

Wed 3.10.04| Anatomy of a Victory

Voter approval last week of Measure H made Mendocino the first county in the nation to ban the growing of genetically modified organisms. Just how did the Yes on H campaign, badly outspent and up against the formidable biotech industry, prevail? Are there lessons here that concerned citizens can apply to other struggles? Campaigners Els Cooperrider and Doug Mosel share what they did and why.

Tues 3.09.04| Science Used and Abused

Good science is under attack -- but its defenders are rallying. A recent statement by over sixty leading scientists protested the Bush administration's misuse of science. Meanwhile, citizens' groups are fighting efforts to discredit evolutionary theory and promote creationism in schools around the country.

Mon 3.08.04| Servants of Globalization

Migrant nannies, housecleaners, and other domestic workers are largely invisible members of the working class worldwide, but play a key role in the global economy. Rhacel Parreñas, Arlie Hochschild, Michele Gamburd and Joy Zarembka illuminate the many reasons why migrant women workers come to the global North to look after other people's families, while having to leave their own children behind.

Wed 3.03.04| Anniversary Special

A special retrospective program, featuring a year's worth of highlighted commentary and culture. The almost ninety-minute show includes fourteen excerpts from some of the most provocative interviews we've hosted over the past twelve months.

Tues 3.02.04| Charlie Varon

Charlie Varon's signature on-stage monologues are a mixture of hilarity, acute political commentary, and thoughtful reflection on life's bigger questions. His latest audio production, entitled Visiting Professor of Pessimism, touches on antiwar activism, religion, strange genetic experiments, and Sigmund Freud.

Wed 2.25.04| Fetishizing Frida

Frida Kahlo's life and work are world famous -- yet what has become of the Mexican artist's radical politics? Art historian Margaret A. Lindauer argues that Kahlo's artistic legacy has been done a disservice by those who would read the painter's works off her personal life, instead of looking at the complex intellectual and political processes that created them.

Tues 2.24.04| Profiting from War

On this international day of action against the corporate invasion of Iraq, protesters are drawing attention to the billions of dollars being doled out to US corporations ostensibly for reconstruction. William Hartung of the World Policy Institute and investigative journalist Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch talk about the mega-profits of Halliburton and Bechtel, as well as military contractors like Lockheed Martin.

Mon 2.23.04| Marx and Ecology

Much of contemporary Green thinking traces the destruction of the environment to the Enlightenment -- that 17th century revolution in scientific thought -- and assigns blame also to its heir Karl Marx. John Bellamy Foster believes that this critique comes from a mistaken understanding of both the Enlightenment and Marx, whose work was imbued with an understanding of the centrality of nature.

Wed 2.18.04| The Uses of Philosophy

Christopher Phillips has traveled far and wide to hold philosophical dialogues, convinced that the six questions posed by Socrates are as relevant today as they were in Athens 2-1/2 millennia ago. Chris also believes that true philosophical inquiry leads inexorably to discussions about, and engagement with, matters of social and ecological justice.

Tues 2.17.04| Global Justice Now

The global justice movement burst onto the radar screen of mainstream politicians and media with the protests against the WTO in 1999, but the networks of opposition to corporate capitalism were put in place long before Seattle -- and continue to grow. The Notes from Nowhere collective has managed to give a remarkable, many-faceted picture of the movement in their new book, which co-editor Jennifer Whitney and contributor Jeff Conant describe.

Mon 2.16.04| Life After Capitalism

We leftists spend most of our time asserting what we're against, but very little time thinking about what we're for. At a World Social Forum panel last month, Michael Albert addressed the question: what might life look like after capitalism? He envisions a system of participatory economics, or parecon, in which workers and consumers would make crucial decisions about their lives in self-managing councils.

Wed 2.11.04| Class Matters

Philosophy teacher Gus Kostas Bagakis believes that an action-oriented class analysis should inform efforts to make the world a better place. Class-based structures and inequities are also important to speakers at the Marxism and the World Stage Conference, including Richard Wolff, Amitava Kumar and Joseph Buttigieg.

Tues 2.10.04| Global Village Idiot

Sometimes it's good to laugh. British satirist John O'Farrell has the talent of making us laugh, while exploring otherwise serious social and political issues. In his new book, O'Farrell takes aim at Dubya's intelligence, corporate behavior, technology's impact, US foreign policy, and much more.

Mon 2.09.04| Women and War

At a World Social Forum plenary titled "Wars Against Women, Women Against War," eminent feminists from the global South spoke out against the daily struggles that women face in times of both war and peace. Among them were Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy and Egyptian writer and former political prisoner Nawal el-Saadawi.

Wed 2.04.04| The Perils of Deregulation

The California energy crisis, which jacked up electricity prices and produced rolling blackouts, was blamed at the time on environmental standards and other red herrings. Resource economist Eugene Coyle argues that deregulation was the root cause of the debacle. He believes that it's time to lay to rest the notion that the unfettered market benefits the majority of us -- and move towards public power.

Tues 2.03.04| A Creek Runs Through It

Before cities sprang up in the Bay Area, water flowed to the Bay via creeks. Water still flows downhill, and creeks still exist -- but many city dwellers have no idea where they run or in what condition they are. AOI's Shannah Anderson and Friends of Baxter Creek co-founder Lisa Owens-Viani discuss the value of urban creeks and efforts to restore and "daylight" them.

Mon 2.02.04| Instruments of Imperialism

Eminent political economists from the global South spoke at a World Social Forum panel titled "Instruments of Imperialism: War, Trade and Finance." Among the luminaries were Jomo K.S., Prabhat Patnaik, and Samir Amin, talking about military Keynesianism, deflation, and imperial overreach.

Wed 1.28.04| Same-Sex Partners Under Fire

Gay marriage may become an ugly wedge issue in this year's elections. But GLBT activists aren't just pushing for state-sanctioned weddings; many also want the gay-unfriendly US immigration laws changed. Scholar Ann Pellegrini, Immigration Equality's Adam Francoeur, and immigrant Marta Donayre, now an activist, critique current policy.

Tues 1.27.04| Neoliberalism and War

At the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, activists gathered to strategize about the relationship between war-mongering and the global expansion of capital. Walden Bello, Boris Kagarlitsky, Rania Masri and Ji Giles Ungpakorn spoke about the links between corporate power and the occupation of Iraq, the demise of the neoliberal project and the rise of police states globally.

Mon 1.26.04| Communities Over Corporations

Large corporations and international trade regimes are undermining the autonomy and natural environments of localities and states. CELDF's Thomas Linzey has been fighting corporate assaults on rural communities; he's helped many localities pass anti-corporate ordinances. Washington State lawmaker Velma Veloria is concerned about agreements like NAFTA and FTAA.

Wed 1.21.04| C.L.R. James

He's been called a giant of post-Empire black thinking, but C.L.R. James explored matters that went far beyond race. Born in Trinidad in 1901, James grew up to formulate ideas on class, culture and freedom that continue to influence many progressives today. James associate Terisa Turner, Lincoln Van Sluytman of the Brecht Forum, and Ralph Dumain of the C.L.R. James Institute reflect on James's legacy.

Tues 1.20.04| Internment's Toll

Presumed guilty and disloyal: that's why 110,000 Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps in 1942. A shameful political episode, but what about internment's personal, intimate impact on people dispossessed, doubted and dismissed in their home country? Julie Otsuka's first novel examines the effects on one family of loyalties questioned and liberties lost.

Mon 1.19.04| Black America, Up Close

What if someone went to Harlem -- the epicenter of Black America, by many accounts -- and investigated how issues of race and class play out in everyday life? And what if his conclusions rebut many quick-and-easy assumptions about African American culture? John L. Jackson has gone there, done that. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 1.14.04| Power, Consent and Gramsci

Should progressives be pinning their hopes of resistance to superpower hubris on so-called civil society? Perhaps a more nuanced picture of how society works -- and of how power operates -- is needed. Joseph Buttigieg believes that the ideas of Italian radical thinker Antonio Gramsci, who wrote about power, culture and consent while in a Fascist prison, need wider circulation.

Tues 1.13.04| A Toxic Workplace?

Two former IBM workers have sued the electronics giant. Their claim: exposure to toxic chemicals in their Silicon Valley workplace gave them cancer. Hundreds of other similar lawsuits are pending. With new chemicals, emerging industries, and the movement of polluting operations abroad, what's being done to protect the health of workers and communities?

Wed 1.07.04| Struggles Against Destructive Dams

One out of every hundred people on the planet has been affected by large dam projects which displace millions of people each year. Recently dam-displaced people from 62 different countries gathered in Rasi Salai, Thailand for the Rivers for Life meeting. IRN's Aviva Imhof and Ryan Hoover were there and give an overview of dam issues worldwide.

Tues 1.06.04| Racism and Common Sense

According to Ian Haney López, a kind of everyday common sense explains why racial prejudice persists today. In a new book, the U.C. Berkeley law professor also chronicles the rise of the Chicano movement in the aftermath of the massive 1968 student walkouts in East Los Angeles.

Mon 1.05.04| The Threat of the Religious Right

While the Christian Right may not be getting much attention from the media, its influence in the federal goverment is ever-increasing, according to experts Barry Lynn and Joan Bokaer. They say we should be particularly concerned about "faith-based" initiatives -- a Trojan horse aimed at the erosion of the church-state divide.

Tues 12.30.03| US Empire in the Marianas

The US occupation of Iraq got some people wondering whether old-style colonialism is back. But many residents of Guam and the other Mariana islands aren't wondering; they've considered themselves colonial subjects for decades. Documentary filmmakers Amy Robinson and Cinta Kaipat describe efforts at self-determination and sustainability.

Mon 12.29.03| Stories About Peace

Everyone loves a story. And good stories told by master storytellers -- there's nothing better. Five storytellers of local and national renown tell stories with a profoundly important theme for these troubled times -- the theme of peace.

Tues 12.23.03| The Color(s) of Feminism

Aida Hurtado and Cynthia Kaufman have been teaching and thinking about the women's movement for many years. Kaufman devotes a section of her new book to the many facets of feminist theory; Hurtado has focused, among other things, on the relative exclusion of women of color from feminist theorizing.

Mon 12.22.03| Žižek Takes Aim

In a recent talk Slavoj Žižek, Lacanian psychoanalyst and prominent Left thinker, held forth on Bush in Iraq; utopianism; the "end of history"; and the nature of consumption. He also called into question a number of Left/liberal positions and tendencies. Max Elbaum shares impressions of his recent visit to Vietnam.

Wed 12.17.03| Meyerhold and the Theatre of Revolution

Vsevolod Meyerhold may be the greatest director of the 20th century but his legacy is known only to a few. Playwright Mark Jackson aims to change that. His play "The Death of Meyerhold," currently being performed by the Shotgun Players, brings us the life and chaotic times of the Bolshevik artist. Scholar Mel Gordon and actor Cassidy Brown talk about Meyerhold's accomplishments and "biomechanics."

Tues 12.16.03| Music's Voice in a Violent World

In a world where war and conflict seem unavoidable, how can music help us, console us, empower us? U.C. Berkeley music professor Davitt Moroney taught a freshman seminar called "Come Woeful Orpheus: Music's Voice in a Violent World"; it explored ways in which musicians have raised voices of peace and consolation in response to private trauma and international violence.

Mon 12.15.03| Hardt on the Multitude

Left theorist Michael Hardt, co-author with Antonio Negri of the book Empire, gave a talk last month on the US in Iraq; the hegemony of what he calls immaterial labor; and his and Negri's concept of the multitude.

Wed 12.10.03| Human Psychology Under Capitalism

What happens to human motivations, values and desires in capitalist societies? What attitudes and beliefs arise that help to perpetuate commodity-dominated systems? Both Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud were interested in the unconscious; can any of the latter's insights be integrated into Marxist theory? Social theorist Richard Lichtman has devoted years of research to such questions.

Tues 12.09.03| Taking Liberties

Those wonderful constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly, and public trials, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure -- they're all in danger in this era of anti-terrorism fervor. FindLaw columnists Joanne Mariner and Anita Ramasastry explain why even "innocent" folks should be concerned.

Mon 12.08.03| Neoliberalism's Woes

At the recent "Marxism and the World Stage" conference, economist James Crotty asserted that the now-dominant neoliberal regime was built haphazardly -- and was never intended to produce widespread growth and prosperity. Crotty predicts neoliberalism's demise within the next decade or two.

Tues 12.02.03| Fighting AIDS Worldwide

As World AIDS Day temporarily puts the spotlight on the global pandemic, what are the real obstacles standing in the way of treatment in developing countries? Joyce Millen and Alexander Irwin believe that HIV/AIDS can be rolled back by a combination of expanded public health, debt and poverty relief, and activist pressure on drug companies.

Mon 12.01.03| Are We Really Powerless?

Sociologist and author Saskia Sassen talked about power, powerlessness, and the dynamism of cities at the recent "Marxism and the World Stage" conference in Massachusetts. Two conference attendees spoke about the value of theoretical work and about progressive activism in a country seldom heard from -- Sweden.

Wed 11.26.03| Export Credit Agencies

Little-known, very powerful, worse than the International Monetary Fund in their impact on developing countries -- they're called Export Credit Agencies, and their funding volume far exceeds that of the World Bank and the IMF. Aaron Goldzimer and Aviva Imhoff describe how ECAs work and the socially and environmentally destructive projects they finance.

Tues 11.25.03| Struggles of the Landless

It's been called Latin America's most important social movement. The Brazilian Landless Workers' Movement has been occupying and redistributing land in the world's most unequal country for the past twenty-five years, providing a model for agrarian reform struggles in Bolivia, South Africa and Indonesia. Wendy Wolford and Angus Wright have studied the MST for many years and assess its history, successes and challenges.

Mon 11.24.03| Goodbye to All That

The "New Economy" promised stock market riches and fulfilling high tech work for all, as well as an end to the business cycle. That is, until the bubble burst. Doug Henwood has written a post-mortem of the 1990s that looks at inequality, globalization, and -- behind the New Era hype -- the class warfare waged against American workers by Wall Street.

Tues 11.18.03| What Would Confucius Say?

In current Western thought, the concept (and rhetoric) of freedom reigns supreme. What consequences does this have for the pursuit of equality and social justice? Henry Rosemont, Jr. dissects claims to individual liberty, and suggests an unusual source for an alternative way of thinking and acting: the tenets of classical Confucianism.

Mon 11.17.03| Marxian Perspectives

At a recent international conference entitled "Marxism and the World Stage," scholars, activists and artists gathered in Amherst, Massachusetts, to share news and perspectives. Amitava Kumar offered an internationalist take on September 11th; Richard Wolff spoke about revolution versus reform. David Ruccio is editor of the journal Rethinking Marxism, which organized the gathering.

Wed 11.12.03| Children of the Revolution

In his two-play cycle Continental Divide, British dramatist David Edgar examines the impact that the 1960s had on both the American Left and Right, in a work populated by Black Panthers and turncoats, tree sitters and Republicans. Edgar joins Left academic Tony Platt, the inspiration for one of the play's main characters, to talk about the legacies of the Old Left and the New Left -- and about what lessons the past holds for us.

Tues 11.11.03| What About Permaculture?

Environmental crises abound; their source is almost invariably human activity. But what if humans could be part of the solution, not the problem? Could permaculture be the path toward a truly sustainable future? Permaculturalists Penny Livingston-Stark and Larry Santoyo share their insights; Jack Shepherd explains why he's invited trainers to an urban site in Alameda, California.

Mon 11.10.03| Rights, Values and Philosophy

The decline of the West. The philosophical idea that in part accounts for how we view the rights and duties of governments, corporations, and people. The revolutionary character of international human rights law. James Syfers addresses all these issues in a new book.

Wed 11.05.03| Fetishizing Frida

Frida Kahlo's life and work are world famous -- yet what has become of the Mexican artist's radical politics? Art historian Margaret A. Lindauer argues that Kahlo's artistic legacy has been done a disservice by those who would read the painter's works off her personal life, instead of looking at the complex intellectual and political processes that created them.

Tues 11.04.03| Enjoyment under Capitalism

Does capitalism fail to deliver the enjoyment it promises? Cultural critic Todd McGowan believes that true enjoyment, rather than being located in acquisition and accumulation, needs to be reformulated by the Left. He also assails the notions that nostalgia or cynicism are effective responses to the status quo.

Mon 11.03.03| From Dark Streets to the Blacklist

Long shadows, angst, people trapped in impossible circumstances -- these are the characteristics most associated with film noir. But the content and context of these films are much more complex, according to James Naremore and Dave Wagner. Noir was created from the Popular Front politics of the 1930s Left and draws on influences ranging from writers Graham Greene, Eric Ambler and Dashiell Hammett to French poetic realism and American horror films.

Wed 10.29.03| Trade Unions in Iraq

As the US seems intent on privatizing and fleecing the Iraqi economy, what's the situation of Iraqi workers? Clarence Thomas of the ILWU was part of a US Labor Against the War-sponsored delegation to Baghdad to start building links of solidarity between international and Iraqi trade unions. He joins Middle Eastern historian of Iraqi labor Peter Sluglett and USLAW's Michael Eisenscher to talk about the past, present and future of the Iraqi workers movement.

Tues 10.28.03| Inside the Maquiladoras

Workers at the assembly plants in Mexico known as maquiladoras face many challenges: low wages; monotonous tasks; management demands; and an unsolved crime wave known as the Maquiladora Murders. Anthropologist Devon Pena is interested in the murders' social context; he's also examined worker resistance within the maquilas.

Mon 10.27.03| Syria: A Deeper Look

Will Syria be the next target of US military aggression? Perhaps it's time to take a deeper look at Syria in all its complexity -- its history, politics, economy, culture, and religious landscape. Professors Beshara Doumani (U.C. Berkeley) and Fred Lawson (Mills College) present a primer on this key player in the Middle East.

Wed 10.22.03| The Role of Theory

Social movements without a solid theoretical foundation can be disjointed or, worse, misdirected. So what theory can help guide the Left through the complexities of today's world? Author and educator Cynthia Kaufman offers up ideas and analyses, and examines ongoing debates among activists on the Left.

Tues 10.21.03| Chile: Repression and Aftermath

It's the other September 11th: the brutal overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger and the CIA. "Chile: Promise of Freedom" captures the voices of the Chilean people in rebellion, repression and exile.

Mon 10.20.03| Empire of Capital

The war in Iraq may lead some to think that another age of colonial occupation has begun. Yet eminent Marxist scholar Ellen Meiksins Wood believes that imperialism under capitalism is distinguished by a new sort of militarism -- that of war without end. The drive for endless war results from the tension between capitalism's global reach and its continued reliance on the nation-state as an instrument of administration and coercion -- and presents significant opportunities for the Left.

Tues 10.14.03| Recolonizing Iraq

Noted writer, filmmaker and public intellectual Tariq Ali has extensively studied the history of resistance in Iraq from the days of the British empire. In a speech provided by Working TV, he talks about why we should be hopeful in these dark times.

Mon 10.13.03| North Korea's Mindset

Is North Korea the US military's next target? Could be. But contrary to reports that Kim Jong Il is irrational, psychotic, or even insane, North Korea's policies are logical and consistent, driven in large part by US threats and aggression dating back more than a century. John Feffer describes the way things look from the North Korean perspective.

Wed 10.08.03| Art of California Labor

Artists inspired by the workers movement have produced some of the most compelling pieces of California art -- like the murals at Coit Tower, the Rincon Annex post office, and the Pacific Stock Exchange. Leading Chicana artist Yolanda M. Lopez, curator Mark Dean Johnson, and longshoreman Glen Ramiskey talk about the SF exhibition "At Work" which highlights this legacy.

Tues 10.07.03| Baghdad Exit

The film "Forget Baghdad" traces the lives of four Iraqi Jews -- all at one time members of the Communist Party of Iraq -- who left their homeland for Israel in the early 1950s under pressure from both Iraqi Rightists and the new Zionist state. The movie, made by Iraqi filmmaker Samir, delves into the complexities of Jewish identity, moving beyond the simplistic dichotomy of Jew vs Arab, while illustrating the disintegration of internationalism in the Middle East.

Mon 10.06.03| Media, Democracy, and KPFA Elections

Does the US media promote or hinder democracy? Veteran critic Robert McChesney has strong opinions on the matter. Do upcoming KPFA listener elections represent a fundamental shift in station governance? Pacifica historian Matthew Lasar provides historical context, while Max Blanchet spells out the election rules and mechanics.

Wed 10.01.03| Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek is a philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, and cultural critic. His books combine scholarly forays into social and political issues with illuminating references to popular culture. In his latest book The Puppet and the Dwarf, Žižek addresses everything from the nature of belief to the paradoxes of hedonism to the subversive underside of ideology.

Tues 9.30.03| Train Travel: Derailed?

Do cuts in federal funding for Amtrak point to the imminent demise of US passenger rail transit? Why does this country need trains anyway? And what should we make of a union plan to stage an imminent walkout of Amtrak employees? NARP's Ross Capon, Vukan Vuchic, and TWU's Charles Moneypenny discuss policy, prospects, and the labor angle.

Mon 9.29.03| Violent Legacies

Shouldn't Koreans and Filipinos be grateful for US intervention in the past, and present? Perhaps not. Perhaps a long legacy of violent repression needs to come to light. Committed to this process of education are Korea activists John Choe and Dahn Choi and Filipino agitators Dorotea Mendoza and Jose Maria Sison. They spoke at July's Other Battlefronts event in NYC.

Wed 9.24.03| Empire of Capital

The war in Iraq may lead some to think that another age of colonial occupation has begun. Yet eminent Marxist scholar Ellen Meiksins Wood believes that imperialism under capitalism is distinguished by a new sort of militarism -- that of war without end. The drive for endless war results from the tension between capitalism's global reach and its continued reliance on the nation-state as an instrument of administration and coercion -- and presents significant opportunities for the Left.

Tues 9.23.03| Policing the Americas

Fear mongering about crime is a regular theme of political campaigns in the US -- and even more so in Latin America where economic liberalization has resulted in soaring violence and the proliferation of police officers. The question, according to academics Cathy Schneider, Diane E. Davis, and Mark Unger, is how much of this violence is coming from the police themselves?

Mon 9.22.03| The Third Wave

The Democratic presidential contenders. California's recall mess. Lost in the media's frenzied election reporting is what some of the progressive third parties are thinking about and strategizing around in the run-up to 2004. The Socialist Party USA's Don Doumakes, Dan Cantor of the Working Families Party, and CPUSA's Sam Webb describe party platforms and goals.

Wed 9.17.03| What's Wrong with Tolerance?

Tolerance as practiced today is exclusionary; we need an alternative. True sexual freedom requires true religious freedom. Gay rights advocates should stop claiming that homosexuality is innate. Author/scholars Janet Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini make these and other provocative claims.

Tues 9.16.03| Latino Power -- and Potential

Media observers are fond of calling Latinos, with respect to the US electoral process, a sleeping giant. What's really going on with Latino voter turnout? Have and will racially-charged ballot measures stir them to greater political activity? Two long-time activists, LULAC's Brent Wilkes and Lydia Camarillo with SVREP, share facts and trends.

Mon 9.15.03| Empire Building

Architect Bernard Maybeck's most popular work is San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts. But most people don't know about the structure-cum-landscape's relationship to empire-building and growth-obsessed hubris. Historical geographer Gray Brechin draws connections between imperialism, oil/mining, and urban architecture.

Wed 9.10.03| Traditional and Electronic Music

What's the fate of traditional music from around the world in our era of rapid change and globalization? Is electronic music that samples world music something we should be concerned about - or embrace? Kutay Derin Kugay, DJ Janaka, and Capital debate these issues.

Mon 9.08.03| Disabling Globalization

What could the history of agrarian struggles in South Africa teach us about globalization? A great deal, according to South African scholar Gillian Hart. She has worked for the past decade in Kwa-Zulu Natal studying the transnational linkages between South Africa and Taiwan -- and her conclusions point to the problems in Left conceptions of globalization.

Wed 9.03.03| Unmasking Neoliberalism

Many Leftists declare neoliberalism the enemy of democracy and social justice. David Kotz's research suggests that neoliberalism in fact hurts big capitalists over the long term. Does Kotz, an author and economist, nevertheless yearn for a return to the welfare state? Far from it.

Tues 9.02.03| Speaking Volumes

The contents of any bookstore reflect conscious choices made by its proprietors. So what motivations, influences, and philosophies lie behind the quirky offerings of indie booksellers Diesel (in Oakland) and City Lights (in San Francisco)?

Wed 8.27.03| Hegel's History -- And Yours

G.W.F. Hegel, who died in 1831, had some pretty mind-bending ideas about history, freedom, and the alienation of the individual. Philosophy professor Kosta Bagakis says reading Hegel has changed his life. He'll facilitate a Hegel discussion group as part of the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library's new East Bay Marxist Forum.

Tues 8.26.03| Worked to Death

Workers in both blue collar and white collar jobs are exposed to a myriad of toxic hazards. Two million workers around the world die either on the job or of work-related injuries every year, and many more are made sick. Robin Baker from the Labor Occupational Health Program and Fran Schreiberg with WORKSAFE! talk about the dangers we all face.

Mon 8.25.03| Another Battlefront

While progressives focus on US aggression in the Middle East, other nations continue to suffer from this country's military excesses. Last month, at an event in New York called "The 'Other' Battlefronts," activists addressed US intervention in, among other places, the Philippines.

Wed 8.20.03| The Blair Witch Project

Who wouldn't love Harry Potter? After fears in the West about falling literacy, he's inspired the PlayStation generation to read again. But as cultural critic Andrew Blake argues, the Potter books have also unleashed an orgy of consumption, while embodying the ideological concerns of Tony Blair's New Labour in the UK.

Tues 8.19.03| Iran's Contradictions

Fifty years after prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq was toppled by a CIA-backed coup, Iran's future hangs in the balance. Will the reform movement prevail? Will Iran's hardliners take control? Will the US target Iran next in its War on Terror? Historian Maziar Behrooz and journalist Kaveh Ehsani provide some much-needed context.

Mon 8.18.03| Insomnia

Most of us have missed a night's sleep once or twice and could hardly function afterwards. Imagine living that way on a daily basis, subsisting on two or three hours a night. That's the fate of chronic insomniacs. And yet there has been surprisingly little serious research into the causes of the affliction. Academic Gayle Greene is trying to change that.

Wed 8.13.03| Orthodox Economics vs. Marxism

Neoliberal prescriptions applied around the globe have left many progressives skeptical of orthodox economic theory. And yet what alternative theories exist? Labor economist Michael Yates argues that Marxism provides us with a means of understanding our world, with all its poverty and inequality, in a way that isn't abstracted from reality.

Tues 8.12.03| Creative Impulses

Life becoming too predictable, set, monotonous? Maybe it's worth injecting more creativity into the way we think and act. Peggy Chung and Debra Greene co-teach a class on the creative process at California College of the Arts.

Mon 8.11.03| Bertolt Brecht

Mother Courage and Her Children, now being staged by the Shotgun Players, just might be Bertolt Brecht's greatest play. Patrick Dooley and Trish Mulholland of the Shotgun Players, along with Brecht scholar Bluma Goldstein, discuss both the play and the legendary thinker behind it.

Wed 8.06.03| Black America, Up Close

What if someone went to Harlem -- the epicenter of Black America, by many accounts -- and investigated how issues of race and class play out in everyday life? And what if his conclusions rebut many quick-and-easy assumptions about African American culture? John L. Jackson has gone there, done that.

Tues 8.05.03| Why Suicide?

More than thirty thousand Americans kill themselves each year. Among people aged 15 to 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. What's going on? Who's most at risk? And what should we make of recent news about Internet suicide pacts? Experts John McIntosh and Nancy Salamy discuss trends, factors, and prevention.

Mon 8.04.03| From Piers to Plantations

What lessons do past radical struggles hold for us today? In the 1930s and 40s, the ILWU fought to build a union in the plantations of Hawai'i that would unite a highly segregated labor force of Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, and native Hawai'ian workers. The fight is laid out in a powerful radio documentary created by Ian Ruskin of the Harry Bridges Project.

Wed 7.30.03| Tamim Ansary's Afghanistan

Remember that anguished post-September 11th email penned by an Afghan American, which reached millions of people? Tamim Ansary has also authored a powerful memoir about his upbringing in Afghanistan, his investigations into Islam, and his life in the US.

Tues 7.29.03| The War Against the Palestinians

Israeli scholar Baruch Kimmerling believes that the government of Israel has tried to commit what he calls politicide against the Palestinian people -- that is, their systematic destruction as a national entity -- since the inception of the Jewish state. Roane Carey talks about Dr. Kimmerling's argument and the role Ariel Sharon has played in ratcheting up the level of violence in the Middle East.

Mon 7.28.03| Envisioning a Better World

Tired of the same old protest politics? Robin D.G. Kelley, one of the most dynamic Left thinkers around, asks us to consider the dreams of liberation, the flights of imagination, that animated some of the most energetic progressive struggles. Envisioning a better world, he suggests, is at least as important as critiquing the current one.

Wed 7.23.03| Children of Immigration

Immigrant children now make up one-fifth of America's youth. How are they faring? Why do some succeed and others fail? And how have schools and other institutions addressed their distinctive needs? Carola and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco have spent two decades studying the immigrant experience.

Tues 7.22.03| Understanding Existentialism

The film The Matrix Reloaded keeps getting mentioned in relation to existentialism. But what is that philosophical movement really about? Hamilton College professor Todd Franklin has been teaching existentialism for years; his research also emphasizes the resonances between Nietzschean and African American thought.

Mon 7.21.03| Limiting the Work Week

Are you feeling overworked? Despite increasing productivity, Americans are working more and more hours -- a full nine weeks more per year than European workers -- and it's taking a heavy toll. John de Graaf and activist Barbara Brandt talk about the historic labor struggles that shortened working hours in the US and possible solutions, like reducing the work week to 30 hours, for working people today.

Wed 7.16.03| Open Relationships and Free Love

"The personal is political" -- it's a pillar of radical thought, but translating it to our own lives is not easy. Anarchist Emma Goldman saw free love as an essential part of her politics and her vision of non-monogamy resonates to this day. Goldman scholar Candace Falk and spoken word artist Wendy-O Matik talk about the rewards and challenges of open relationships in the third of our Wednesday series "Going Beyond the Nuclear Family".

Tues 7.15.03| The Left in Palestine and Israel

The obstacles are immense. How can radicals forge a strong secular Left in Palestine and Israel in the face of Israel's unrelenting onslaught and the accomodationist Palestinian Authority? Palestinian Toufic Haddad and Israeli Jew Tikva Honig-Parnass, co-editors of the Jerusalem-based magazine Between the Lines, talk about the need for a new Left paradigm, going beyond the two-state solution.

Mon 7.14.03| What We're Capable Of

Themes of evil, identity and vulnerability pervade Octavio Solis's current play Bethlehem. Cartoonist, squatter and anarchist Fly lets people tell their own stories in her new book Peops.

Wed 7.09.03| Validating Singleness

No one wants to be single -- or at least that's what society and the media tell us. But the number of single people in the United States is growing, in spite of a huge matchmaking industry. So is it time to move beyond the ideal of partnered life? Sociologist Kay Trimberger, author of the forthcoming Single, But Not Alone, talks about her work.

Tues 7.08.03| Lies and More Lies

While the mainstream media steps gingerly around the issue of whether Bush and company misled the American public about Iraq, AlterNet's Christopher Scheer points to no fewer than ten "appalling lies" offered up by the warmakers. Scheer's colleague Lakshmi Chaudhry has her own critique, of how the mainstream media reported on the invasion and its aftermath.

Mon 7.07.03| Human Psychology Under Capitalism

What happens to human motivations, values and desires in capitalist societies? What attitudes and beliefs arise that help to perpetuate commodity-dominated systems? Both Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud were interested in the unconscious; can any of the latter's insights be integrated into Marxist theory? Social theorist Richard Lichtman has devoted years of research to such questions.

Wed 7.02.03| The Family in Decline?

We hear so much about the disintegration of the American family, supposedly the by-product of the sexual revolution and the women's movement. But how much of this is just catastrophism? Was there ever a golden age for the family in US history? Academic Stephanie Coontz separates fact from fiction and talks about how social institutions need to adapt to the changing realities of our lives.

Tues 7.01.03| Greens Chef Annie Somerville

For more than two decades, Greens restaurant in San Francisco has taken vegetarian cooking to new levels. Executive chef Annie Somerville, author of the new cookbook Everyday Greens, weighs in on organic produce, green markets, and other aspects of the ongoing food revolution.

Mon 6.30.03| Tamim Ansary's Afghanistan

Remember that anguished post-September 11th email penned by an Afghan American, which reached millions of people? Tamim Ansary has also authored a powerful memoir about his upbringing in Afghanistan, his investigations into Islam, and his life in the US.

Wed 6.25.03| Russia's Environment

Illegal logging, nuclear contamination, endangered wildlife, oil spills: Russia has a host of environmental problems, without the political will to address them. Why isn't environmental protection a national priority? What are local NGOs doing to improve matters? David Gordon and Eliza Klose speak from long experience with environmental activists in Russia.

Tues 6.24.03| Affirmative Action's Deeper Meaning

The US Supreme Court has upheld an affirmative action program used by the University of Michigan's law school. But what is affirmative action's deeper meaning, historical context, true importance? Georgetown law professor Mari Matsuda shares her insights in this special archive presentation.

Mon 6.23.03| The Boom in Bioweapons

You've heard about pesticides, Terminator seeds, and genetically modified crops -- all highlighted this week at the Agriculture Expo in Sacramento. But have you heard about US goverment biowarfare research? Dr Robert Gould and activist Inga Olson discuss the perils of "biodefense" development, which may be coming soon to a lab near you.

Wed 6.18.03| Patenting Knowledge

What are the consequences for society and ideas when corporations buy up the rights to seeds, human genes, and centuries of accumulated knowledge? Economics professor Michael Perelman lays out the underlying dynamics, and frightening results, of ever-expanding intellectual property rights.

Tues 6.17.03| Experimental Improv

Improvising on stage sure looks difficult -- so how does BATS Improv in San Francisco continue to churn out inspired, hilarious improvisational theater? BATS members Dan Klein, Gerri Lawlor and Tim Orr discuss and demonstrate their craft.

Mon 6.16.03| Trafficking in Human Organs

As medical science has made it easier to transplant organs from one stranger to another, what are the hidden costs behind the global trade in human body parts? UC Berkeley's Nancy Scheper-Hughes has done deep investigation into the ethics of the organ trade, from the slums of Manila and Sao Paulo to the surgeries of Istanbul and Beijing.

Wed 6.11.03| Whither the Antiwar Movement?

A massive and militant antiwar movement flexed its muscles in San Francisco. Then the US-led invasion of Iraq began. Protests and civil disobedience continued, but the question remains: where does all that energy and activism go from here?

Tues 6.10.03| Making Sense of Abstract Art

Two weeks remain of SF MOMA's "Treasures of Modern Art" exhibition -- and yet many people dislike abstract art. Is there a way to make nonrepresentational art accessible, even enjoyable? Art historian Nancy Heller suggests ways of approaching and appreciating abstract art works.

Mon 6.09.03| The Economics and Politics of Drugs

Drugs -- the US government annually pours billions of dollars into Latin America to stamp out their production. But, as experts JoAnn Kawell and Adam Isacson point out, narcotics are also the mainstay of many weak economies south of the border, and drug eradication -- were it possible -- would leave most social problems unresolved.

Wed 6.04.03| Idealizing the Peasantry

Peasant scholar Tom Brass and Haripriya Rangan, author of Of Myth and Movements: Rewriting Chipko into Himalayan History, question the Left's simplistic view of the peasantry. They discuss rural conflict and class differentiation within the peasantry, looking at Chipko and the new farmer's movements in India, in this last installment of the Free Radicals Series.

Tues 6.03.03| Life and Work of Walter Benjamin

History professor John McCole and Oakland-based musician Jewlia Eisenberg discuss the critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin's views on history, Marxism, art, capitalism, and technology. Jewlia also speaks about her CD Trilectic, which is based in part on Benjamin's Moscow Diaries, in this second installment of the Free Radicals Series.

Mon 6.02.03| Beyond Globalization

The Left constantly criticizes globalization -- but do most of us understand it properly? Not really, say Leftists Doug Henwood and Leo Panitch. They present an alternative conception of globalization, and how we should confront it, in this encore presentation of the Free Radicals Series.

Wed 5.28.03| Imperialism Today

Are classical radical characterizations of imperialism, most dating back to the pre-WW1 period, sufficient for our time? Or has the nature of imperialism changed over the course of the twentieth century? Leading Left thinkers John Bellamy Foster and Leo Panitch debate the meaning of imperialism in our era.

Tues 5.27.03| Virginia Woolf's Night and Day and Beyond

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? Certainly not Eileen Barrett, a scholar who's focused on the legendary writer's feminist ideas and lesbianism. Tom Clyde is similarly unafraid; the Transparent Theater co-founder has adapted Woolf's novel Night and Day for the stage.

Mon 5.26.03| Economy in Crisis

The sluggish US economy affects us all. How did things get to be this way? What caused the the stock market boom of the late 1990s? And what does recent economic history say about the viability of capitalism? Robert Brenner, UCLA historian and author of The Boom and the Bubble, shares his insights.

Wed 5.21.03| Enron's Real Legacy

Energy giant Enron may be gone, but what Vijay Prashad calls the Enron Stage of Capitalism lives on. Vijay, author most recently of Fat Cats and Running Dogs, traces corporate and government complicity in the ongoing neoliberal assault on developing countries.

Tue 5.20.03| Watts, Internment, Race Relations

There's a rising lesbian voice of color in American fiction: her name is Nina Revoyr. Nina's latest novel Southland touches on the Japanese American internment camps, the 1965 Watts uprising in L.A., sweatshops, police brutality, interracial relationships -- and it's a murder mystery to boot.

Mon 5.19.03| Daodejing: A New Translation

How to translate into English the Daodejing, the classic Taoist text of philosophical wisdom? Roger Ames and the late David Hall used recently-discovered versions of the document to fashion a new translation, complete with interpretation and commentary. Roger Ames, an authority on the Chinese philosophical tradition, discusses their new rendering of this timeless text.

Wed 5.14.03| Empire: An Interview with Michael Hardt

Michael Hardt, co-author with Antonio Negri of Empire, the groundbreaking work of Left theory, suggests that there is a new, emerging form of global sovereignty, which he and Negri call Empire. He believes Empire is in the process of overcoming imperialism and the sovereignty of nation-states.

Tues 5.13.03| Poet and Revolutionary Gioconda Belli

She's spent much of her life resisting US intervention in her homeland, Nicaragua. Gioconda Belli, renowned writer and former Sandinista revolutionary, talks about her stunning new autobiography The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War.

Mon 5.12.03| Third World Marxism: Lessons for Today

Max Elbaum has chronicled the rise and demise of the New Communist Movement, a collection of Third World Marxist-oriented groups that flourished in the late 60s and early 70s. He discusses their programs, successes and shortcomings, and addresses what lessons today's left might draw from this long-neglected strain of radical thought and activism.

Wed 5.07.03| What to do with Feral Cats?

You love cats? What about feral and stray cats - what impact do they have on their surroundings, and what's a humane way of dealing with free-roaming cats that reproduce and hunt and sometime pose a nuisance? Fix Our Ferals' Linda McCormick and the Audubon Society's Arthur Feinstein present differing proposals.

Tues 5.06.03| Export Credit Agencies

Little-known, very powerful, worse than the International Monetary Fund in their impact on developing countries -- they're called Export Credit Agencies, and their funding volume far exceeds that of the World Bank and the IMF. Aaron Goldzimer and Aviva Imhoff describe how ECAs work and the socially and environmentally destructive projects they finance.

Mon 5.05.03| Station Manager Jim Bennett

Jim Bennett reflects on his three-plus years' tenure as KPFA's interim general manager, discusses where KPFA and its parent organization the Pacifica Foundation stand today, and comments on the appointment of incoming station manager Gus Newport.

Wed 4.30.03| More Socialist Scholars

Michael Klare, Gilbert Achcar and Roger Normand spoke at last month's Socialist Scholars Conference about Iraq's infrastructure, the US-Saddam Hussein nexus, and the neoconservative agenda. Normand briefly updates his assessment of post-war Iraq.

Tues 4.29.03| A Crisis in Left Thinking?

The war in Iraq is winding down; where does the anti-war movement go from here? John Sanbonmatsu discusses the need for a unified, proactive Left agenda for systemwide change, and what he thinks are the obstacles to such an agenda's formation.

Mon 4.28.03| Poetry, Feminism, and Queer Theory

Gay liberation, feminist politics, queer studies, and the poetry of Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich -- they're all connected, says feminist thinker, author and Santa Clara University professor Linda Garber. She thinks queer theory and activism need to draw more on their roots in lesbian feminism.

Wed 4.23.03| Syria: A Deeper Look

Will Syria be the next target of US military aggression? Perhaps it's time to take a deeper look at Syria in all its complexity -- its history, politics, economy, culture, and religious landscape. Professors Beshara Doumani (U.C. Berkeley) and Fred Lawson (Mills College) present a primer on this key player in the Middle East.

Tues 4.22.03| ALEC's Right-Wing Agenda

What if environmental activism were criminalized? Legislation's being pushed to do just that. Spearheading the effort is the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful right-wing group that operates in obscurity. Shining the spotlight on ALEC's agenda and influence are Ann Beaudry of People for the American Way and Robert Dewey of Defenders of Wildlife.

Mon 4.21.03| The Hybrid Project

Dance, rapping, theater, poetry, drumming -- what if it could all be combined in front of a live audience in an effort to answer life's big questions? Check out the Hybrid Project, directed by Sean San Jose and featuring, among others, Tommy Shepherd, Erika Shuch and Dan Wolf.

Wed 4.16.03| Drilling in the Arctic?

It's many environmentalists' worst nightmare, but House approval of an energy bill last weekend makes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge more likely than ever. NRDC's Craig Noble, Defenders of Wildlife's Rob Simpson, and biologist Pamela Miller examine what's at stake, both politically and environmentally.

Tues 4.15.03| Training Tomorrow's Leaders

Okay, so maybe you don't like this country's leaders. What about creating leaders of our own, folks responsive to grassroots demands for social justice? WILD's Tina Bartolome, CTWO's Lian Cheun, and author/activist Rinku Sen discuss the ins and outs of identifying and training tomorrow's leaders.

Mon 4.14.03| Michael Parenti on War and Empire

Now that the US has subdued the Iraqi regime, what's next, both for Iraq and other so-called rogue states? Is the US serious about exporting democracy? And how does this all relate to an escalation of US deficit spending? Author and analyst Michael Parenti examines the lack of constraints on US militarism and reveals who stands to benefit from future interventions.

Wed 4.09.03| Left Strategy and the Anti-War Movement

US aggression toward Iraq has generated an anti-war movement of unprecedented proportions -- and yet could it fade quickly, or will it grow into a broader, more proactive force with a unifying agenda? Philosophy professor John Sanbonmatsu and UK activist John Rees look at the Left's past successes and shortcomings, and suggest ways of moving forward.

Tues 4.08.03| Tibetan Political Prisoner Ngawang Sangdrol

Paroled recently after 11 years behind bars and released to the US 11 days ago, Buddhist nun and Tibet freedom activist Ngawang Sangdrol is -- now was -- one of Tibet's most famous political prisoners. In the first extended interview she's granted to US media, she talks about her convictions, experiences, and plans for the future. Mary Beth Markey of the International Campaign for Tibet puts Ngawang's situation in context.

Mon 4.07.03| Self-Reflection: The Cure for Intolerance?

Is the war on terror a product of intolerance, rooted in a perception of the US as a model for the rest of the world? Is intolerance in the form of Hindu fundamentalism now an integral part of India's political landscape? Is moving from intolerance to the embracing of difference realistic at a time of rampant nationalism and patriotism? Angana Chatterji and Richard Shapiro stir things up.

Wed 4.02.03| Iraqi-Americans Speak Out

FBI questioning, immigrant deportations, hate crimes, surveillance and monitoring -- Iraqi-Americans who oppose the US-led invasion of Iraq could be excused for not speaking out publicly. Ghida Alaskari and Andy Shallal, founders of Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives, aren't the silent type.

Tues 4.01.03| Human Shields and Beyond

In Iraq, Gaza and many other zones of conflict, civilians have volunteered to act as human shields, or unarmed bodyguards, or election monitors. The Nonviolent Peaceforce, a new international NGO inspired by the work of Peace Brigades International, hopes to build and train a new international cadre of nonviolent peaceworkers.

Mon 3.31.03| Oil, Weapons and Capitalism

Conflict and instability in the Middle East -- which elements of the US capitalist class thrive on it? Is the US invasion of Iraq an effort to secure cheap, free-flowing oil? Political economist Jonathan Nitzan offers surprising answers, and in the process illuminates the power dynamics underlying current trends in capitalism.

Tues 3.25.03| War's Psychological Toll

News outlets, when they mention Iraqi civilians at all, focus on casualties -- those killed or injured. But living through a war, even for those who escape physical harm, has far-reaching emotional consequences. And anti-war folks in this country -- they are enduring their own kind of trauma.

Mon 3.24.03| Vijay Prashad on Iraq and Beyond

Trinity College professor and author Vijay Prashad thinks anti-war activism has altered the US-led coalition's invasion strategy. He also discusses the US's anti-left agenda in the Arab world, both past and present, and the prospects that an authoritarian Ba'athist strongman will, with US backing, succeed Saddam Hussein.

Thurs 3.20.03| Special: Anti-War Coverage

The US-led war on Iraq begins; anti-war protestors shut down San Francisco. Along with updates from the streets, we get reactions to the war's onset from veteran anarchist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Afghan American writer Tamim Ansary, and Marxist thinker John Bellamy Foster.

Wed 3.19.03| Left Responses to War

Last weekend more than 2,000 left thinkers and activists gathered in Manhattan to share ideas and strategies for the crisis-ridden times ahead. Three speakers at the Socialist Scholars Conference -- Rahul Mahajan, Tariq Ali and Peter Gowan -- offered incisive analyses of US war plans and their implications.

Tues 3.18.03| Artist Fred Wilson

What's left after war? MacArthur "genius" Fred Wilson addresses that question and others in an exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum. The New York-based African American artist, recently selected to represent the US at the Venice Biennale, discusses his ongoing efforts to shake up minds and institutions.

Mon 3.17.03| Stories About Peace

Everyone loves a story. And good stories told by master storytellers - there's nothing better. Hear five storytellers of local and national renown tell stories with a profoundly important theme for these troubled times - the theme of peace.

Wed 3.12.03| Militarization of the University

Universities as bastions of liberal thought and progressive activism? To some extent yes, but many campuses have long-standing links with this nation's military and national security establishments. Our guests, including a student activist from U.C. Santa Cruz, raise hard questions about the militarization of knowledge - especially at U.C. and Harvard.

Tues 3.11.03| Native Plant Protection

What impact do native and nonnative plants have on this state's ecosystems? Should you buy only natives for your gardening and planting projects? And are state and federal authorities doing enough to safeguard native species? Members of the movement to promote and protect California's native plants make their case.

Mon 3.10.03| Poet and Revolutionary Gioconda Belli

She's spent much of her life resisting US intervention in her homeland, Nicaragua. Now she's active in the movement to oppose a US war on Iraq. Gioconda Belli, renowned writer and former Sandinista revolutionary, talks about her stunning new autobiography The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War.

Wed 3.05.03| Direct Action to Stop the War

Some folks are willing to put their bodies and their freedom on the line to stop a US war on Iraq. They include someone you might not expect: a former president of the Pacific Stock Exchange. Warren Langley is part of an effort to stage a day-after-the-attack mass protest in San Francisco. What role should nonviolent direct action play in antiwar activism?

Tues 3.04.03| Absurd Theater for a Crazy World

With the world situation growing crazier every day, it's worth considering the life and work of absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco. Ionesco's plays, like Rhinoceros and The Chairs, continue to make people squirm, laugh, and think. No wonder, then, that Bay Area theatres continue to stage his provocative works.

Mon 3.03.03| Economy in Crisis

The sluggish US economy affects us all. How did things get to be this way? What caused the stock market boom of the late 1990s? And what does recent economic history say about the viability of capitalism? Robert Brenner, UCLA historian and author of The Boom and the Bubble, shares his insights.

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