MONDAY 10AM CENTRAL: Squatters in the Capitalist City
Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week
1080coreyrobin

Far from giving up a lot of the basic principles of Black nationalism - the idea that Black people have a destiny that cannot be accommodated by White America as it currently stands, that Black people should separate from White America, a firm belief in Black men as the salvation of the Black race - all of these things accompany Thomas on his migration to the right. It's not as if he gives up those principles. He certainly gives up left principles, but those are quite different and can't just be subsumed under the heading 'Black nationalism.'

Political scientist Corey Robin examines the politics of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas - from his early formative experiences with White supremacy, leftist defeatism and Black nationalism, to his formation of a deeply pessimistic, conservative realism that rejects the notion of politics as a path toward liberation.

Corey is author of the book The Enigma of Clarence Thomas from Metropolitan Books.

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

To Be Or Not To Be A Job

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Last week a friend of mine from El Salvador became a US citizen. Of course, to commemorate her joining the great red, white and blue horde, we celebrated with sushi. It's unprecedented that so many millions of people are now scrambling to get ahead of being deported in anticipation of a crazy President's actions. Traditionally the government comes and puts you and your family in concentration camps without much warning. Thank goodness Dump and the GOP Congress are so incompetent. It gives people time to worry and, if they're lucky, get themselves situated. Of course, even as a citizen, there's no guarantee Latins or any people of color won't suffer some kind of surprise new-fangled persecution under the nation's first white president.

My Salvadoran friend cleans houses and sells insurance. I remember how excited she was when she became certified to sell health insurance. Of course, I couldn't celebrate that. Back then she was taking not one, but two jobs from an American. Now that she is an American, those two jobs can now go to an American. As it should be.

One of the main perks of being a US citizen is that you can feel just about as entitled as a white person does. Not that you have the same racial privileges, but you can get as self- righteous as if you do. Just that simple designation, citizen, can give you an entirely new list of grievances. My friend got so outraged over immigrants coming up from Latin America, not learning the language, and stealing jobs from US citizens, she considered turning her mother over to ICE. But then she decided it would be too hard to find a new drug mule. And she couldn't in good conscience send her mother back to El Salvador, which the US prison system and deportation policies have turned into a gang-ruled land of violence of the type our white president likes to make out Chicago is.

As a citizen of a constitutional oligarchy like we have here in the States, my friend understands that she has certain responsibilities. It's not all just entitlements, free education, adequate housing, affordable health care, respectful, restrained police, no, it's none of those. Not even close. But even a government which has abrogated every social contract between itself and its citizens demands a duty from them. I forget what it is. It can't be the duty to be an informed voter. That doesn't help. It just... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
971lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 1:00PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:15 - Author Aidan McGarry examines the origins and persistence of Romaphobia in Europe.

Aidan is author of Romaphobia: The Last Acceptable Form of Racism from Zed Books / University of Chicago Press.

 

10:00 - Writer Eleanor Finley explores the revolutionary potential of today's municipal movements.

Eleanor wrote the article The New Municipal Movements for ROAR Magazine.

 

10:35 - Journalist May Jeong traces warlord atrocities in Afghanistan back to US training.

May wrote the feature The U.S.-Trained Warlords Committing Atrocities in Afghanistan for In These Times.

 

11:05 - Historian Herb Boyd explains how Black workers and leaders built Detroit.

Herb is author of the book Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination from Amistad Books.

 

12:05 - n+1 editor Nikil Saval looks at the rise of Uber and sees oligarchy in the driver's seat.

The editors of n+1 wrote the essay Disrupt the Citizen in their latest issue.

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen lays out the perks and responsibilities of citizenship.

Dang what happened to Jeff?

Posted by Alexander Jerri

The Futurologist's Problem

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I got together with my friend Professor Wadwa the other night for drinks. Let me explain, first of all, that this is not Professor Vivek Wadhwa, the noted academic, entrepreneur, and advocate for decency in immigration law. This is Professor Manish Wadwa, the noted futurologist, wannabe thought leader and tax consultant.

He has money, and when he's in town he treats me to drinks. He earned his money the old-fashioned way: slipping on the ice in front of Neiman-Marcus. But he's very generous because, although he considers himself a rugged individualist and a self-made man, he freely admits luck has had a lot to do with his current financial well-being.

After an evening's conversation with the professor, I'm usually left inspired and confused. Let me see if I can organize my thoughts enough to describe what we discussed.

I believe Wadwa had an idea, which can be summed up thus: what if there were a computer job exchange to divide up the jobs no one wanted to do, so everyone could do them for a little bit a week instead of some unlucky slobs having to do them all day every day for their entire lives?

Wadwa has a keen mind, but most of his brilliant ideas leave a lot of unanswered questions. "What," I asked him, "would be the incentive for the rich to do their part? They could just pay the poor people to do their share of the lousy jobs, and we'd be back where we started.

"What if it was more than a lousy-job exchange?" I went on. "What if it was a global database of everything everyone needed to have someone else do, or to have help doing? And these jobs, tasks, help on a project, they'd be divorced from money."

"Why would someone do something for no money?" Wadwa asked.

"I don't know, why did people do things before there was money? Mutual community welfare and gratitude, prestige, affection."

"But those things are impossible to measure," Wadwa countered, "that's why money's superior. Anyway, a lot of people would show their gratitude and affection with gifts, which the wealthy have more power to give."

"All right, how about this," I probed. "What if robots did everything? Our system is already computerized, we just network all the things, like an internet of things, the whole thing, and robots do everything."

"What about brain surgery?"

"A robot can do brain surgery! It's not – it's just brain surgery."

"What about... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

In 1732  – (285 years ago) – the armory at a castle in Campo Maior, Portugal — which contained some five thousand pieces of ammunition, and almost a hundred tons of gunpowder — was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. The explosion was spectacular, not only destroying the armory but starting a fire that caused major damage to the castle and its fortress,  injuring most of its inhabitants.  

In 1893  – (124 years ago) – one of the last large tracts of unassigned public land in the American West was opened for settlement in a land run at the so-called Cherokee Outlet in what is now the state of Oklahoma. The Cherokee nation had been pressured to sell the federal government six million acres of grazing land. On the morning of the land run, more than a hundred thousand people with horses and wagons prepared to race into the area to plant claim flags on some forty thousand surveyed and plotted homesteads. Some of the would-be settlers had been camping in the area for months — and though US Army troops tried to keep order, they failed to prevent a number of violators, later known as “Sooners,” from sneaking in before the noontime starting gun to grab the best plots of free land for themselves. In the manic chaos of the run, most participants failed to claim a plot. And of those who did, many would soon be disappointed to find that the dry, dusty land was no good for growing crops.  

In 1977 – (40 years ago) — Marc Bolan, star of the British pop-rock band T. Rex, emerged at four in the morning from a long dinner with friends at a restaurant in London’s Berkeley Square. He was accompanied by his girlfriend, the American singer Gloria Jones. It had been a long day and evening, and Bolan had been drinking through most of it. He gave Jones the keys to his Mini GT, and they began the drive home. Neither Bolan nor Jones wore a seat belt. Less than a mile from Bolan’s house, Jones lost control of the car — which slid off the road, crashed into a steel-reinforced fence, and came to rest at the base of a sycamore tree. Both occupants were thrown from the car. Jones survived the accident, but Bolan’s skull was ripped open by a protruding bolt on a fencepost, and he died instantly — two weeks before what would have been his thirtieth birthday.

Rotten History is... read more

Episode 970

Disaster Assurance

Sep 16 2017
Posted by Alexander Jerri
970lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 1:00PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:15 - Security analyst Azeem Ibrahim explores Myanmar's campaign of genocide against the Rohingya.

Azeem is author of The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide from Oxford University Press.

 

10:00 - Journalist Sharon Lerner examines the legacy of environmental racism the EPA ignores.

Sharon wrote the articles A Legacy of Environmental Racism and EPA Welcomed Industry Feedback Before Reversing Pesticide Ban, Ignoring Health Concerns for The Intercept.

 

10:35 - Journalist Martha Pskowski explains how Coca-Cola is sucking Chiapas dry.

Martha wrote the article Coca-Cola Sucks Wells Dry in Chiapas, Forcing Residents to Buy Water for Truthout.

 

11:05 - Author Sasha Abramsky explains how irrational fear rules, and guides, life in America.

Sasha is author of the book Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream from PublicAffairs.

 

12:05 - Sociologist Christian Parenti watches capitalism's climate-driven crisis wash away our cities. 

Christian wrote the article If We Fail for Jacobin.

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen has drinks with a wannabe thought leader and tax consultant.

Jeff's Tinder algorithm might need some retooling.

Episode 969

Fear and Loaning

Sep 10 2017
Posted by Alexander Jerri

The Cult That Wouldn't Die... Of Salmonella

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Good morning, fellow-travelers. Hillary Clinton wrote another book, this one rehashing her losing battle to become the first female President of the United States, blaming everyone but herself, which is what politicians are supposed to do. I don't fault her for this. Unlike some of you, I don't think she is a special war criminal. She is certainly no more a war criminal than Condoleezza Rice or Madeline Albright, and all three of them stand like wispy seedlings beside the mighty sequoia of US war criminals, Henry Kissinger. Have they named a sequoia after Kissinger? It's long overdue.

But neither is she such a shining light of uncompromising progressive leadership that preferring an ancient left-leaning Jew indicates a psychosexually genocidal motive.

There were certainly some Bernie supporters whom it was reasonable to suspect of hating Hillary out of misogynist resentment. Likewise, though the majority of Hillary supporters are not unself-aware auto-inductees into a reactionary, self-pitying cult of personality, some are, too many, it's embarrassing, it's grotesque, and it's disappointing to see Hillary in her new book feeding them back the very lines of thought their psychoses generated. But, again, she is a politician, and it is fair play.

Did Bernie's primary candidacy hurt Hillary? Of course. An election is a contest. A popularity contest. If the person opposing you in a popularity contest gets popular, that is by definition an injury to you. Furthermore, Bernie remained popular, but, let's be fair: trying to be popular is part of his job.

To those with an actual leftist critique of capitalism, Bernie's campaign highlighted Hillary's shortcomings in that regard. It is good that we are now, thanks to Bernie, suspicious of progressives who are unwilling to speak forcefully against the miscreants milking our communities of resources. It's unfortunate that Hillary lagged behind the rest of us in understanding that kissing corporate ass could be considered a drawback to a large portion of the liberal coalition. Now that we all understand it, though, maybe next time we can field a really good candidate who is prepared not only to go at least partway to the mat for people of color, women, and the gender non-binary, but one who also doesn't suck corporate ass like it's a cream-filled doughnut.

Yes, Obama got... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
969lineup

Listen live from 10AM - 12PM Central on Lumpen Radio 105.5FM Chicago / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

10:15 - Historian Kim Phillips-Fein traces today's austerity politics to New York's 1970s fiscal crisis.

Kim is author of Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics from Picador.

 

11:00 - Sociologist Christian Parenti watches capitalism's climate-driven crisis wash away our cities. 

Christian wrote the article If We Fail for Jacobin.

 

11:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen says 'It's not global warming, it's Hillary.'

They just blame her for everything, these guys.

Posted by Alexander Jerri
Labordayplaylist

Working:

The politics of work, organization and resistance in 21st century retail chains. - Peter Ikeler

Claiming control of work and wage requires a radical imagination. - Rhiannon Colvin

Invisible in a number of ways: Spring break with Miami's hotel housekeepers. - Michelle Chen

Survival economics and DIY markets in post-crash Detroit. - Valerie Vande Panne

Startups never stop: On work minus life in Silicon Valley. - Julianne Tveten

Understanding capital's class war on Detroit labor. - Joshua Murray

Every person a market: The case against the sharing economy. - Tom Slee

Technobabel: Against the inevitability of tomorrow's robot economy. - Curtis White

 

Not Working:

Fuck work: The case against full employment, and for guaranteed income. - James Livingston

Not working: Reclaiming time from the demands of capitalism. - Eva Swidler

The case against work: Reclaiming purpose and productivity. - David Frayne

The forever strike: Quitting this world and working on the next one. - Edward Sutton

Less work, less stuff, more time: Why we could all be working 15 hours a week. - David Skalinder