CounterPunch Radio is hosted and produced by Eric Draitser, you can follow him on Twitter @stopimperialism.
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This week Eric welcomes Jason Moore to the program to discuss his fascinating new book Capitalism in the Web of Life. Eric and Jason explore the concepts of nature and society, the interrelation between the two, and why Jason argues that we need to reevaluate how we think about both. The conversation explores some of the central themes of the book including the notion of “world-ecology,” the crisis of capitalism as the era of cheapness comes to an end, as well as the dangers of dualistic thinking in our politics. Just in case any listeners got too despondent, Eric and Jason also explore ways in which the arguments in the book can inform activism and the political work of building a new and better society integrated with the web of life. Lots of ground is covered in this in depth conversation.
Musical interlude: I See Hawks in LA – Raised by Hippies
This week Eric welcomes back to the show CounterPunch Editor Jeffrey St. Clair to discuss the passion of Bernie Sanders, and the sorrow and/or pity of the Sandernistas. Eric and Jeff begin with an analysis of Sanders’s campaign, the mistakes and shortcomings, and the positive developments to be taken from it. While neither #FeelTheBern, Eric and Jeff examine what this “movement” means for the future of activism and socialism in the US. In the second half of the show, Eric and Jeff discuss how a real grassroots movement can emerge in the US, the important lessons for the Sandernistas, the Green Party and its own shortcomings, and much more. It may sound all negative, but there is much to be hopeful about, even after listening to Jeff and Eric, we promise.
Musical Interlude: Parliament – Mothership Connection (Star Child)
This week Eric Draitser chats with journalist and activist Carmelo Ruiz about the situation in Puerto Rico, and why this small US colony is so relevant to contemporary issues. Eric and Carmelo begin with a discussion of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, and the policies and actions that have made it into Latin America’s Greece, with specific attention paid to the role of Wall Street and neoliberal finance capital in creating the crisis. In the second half of the program, Eric and Carmelo discuss the ongoing agriculatural activism in Puerto Rico as peasants and concerned citizens join together to stop Monsanto, Bayer, and the chemical and agribusiness corporations. The conversation also touches on Bernie Sanders, the role of Puerto Rico in hosting US-backed right wing counter-revolutionaries, and the importance of understanding Puerto Rico in context of the right-wing ascendance in Latin America.
Musical Interlude: The Mekons – “Last Night on Earth”
This week Eric welcomes to the show UK-based Kurdish activist and organizer Elif Sarican to discuss the situation of the Kurds in the midst of the war in Syria, as well as the onslaught by the Turkish government. Eric and Elif begin by discussing the current military and political situation with particular attention to the brutal actions of the Turkish military, in addition to the changing reality on the ground on the Syrian side of the border. The conversation also touches on the geopolitical conflicts at play, alliances with the US and Russia, Israel’s position, and much more.. The second half of the program delves into the ideological orientation and practice of the Kurds of Rojava, the political evolution of the region, and the role of western leftists in solidarity with Kurds.
Musical Interlude: Chumbawamba – “Bella Ciao”
This week Eric welcomes back to the program Laura Carlsen, director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy, to discuss the ongoing disappearances of activists in Mexico, the reassertion of US hegemony in Latin America, and how militarization and free trade are the cornerstones of US imperial power in the region. Eric and Laura begin with an analysis of the recent kidnappings of Mexican activists and the frightening similarities with the infamous Ayotzinapa disappearances of 2014. The conversation then shifts to Central America and Honduras, and the role of Hillary Clinton and the US in that country. Eric and Laura also discuss how the Trans-Pacific Partnership and privatization are at the heart of much of the negative developments in the Americas, and how this drive is connected to geopolitical and strategic considerations. All this and much more in this wide-ranging conversation.
This week Eric chats with political scientist Immanuel Ness about his new book “Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class,” and the implications of the shift in industrial production to the Global South. Eric and Immanuel explore the themes of the book which include the changing nature of labor struggle, in depth analyses of working class resistance in the “Third World,” and how these struggles must shape and inform the discussion of solidarity on the Left, particulalry in the developed world. The conversation also touches on the nature of contemporary imperialism, the evolution of non-western capital as a quasi-alternative to western capital’s hegemony, the role of organized labor, and much much more.
Musical Interlude: Billy Bragg – “There Is Power in a Union”
This week Eric sits down with economist Richard Wolff to discuss capitalism, its inefficiencies, and its discontents. They examine how the US and European economies have evolved in the era of neoliberalism, how financialization has pervaded every aspect of our economic lives, and how debt has become the central pillar of modern capitalism’s house of cards. Eric and Richard also focus on solutions to the crisis of capitalism including the need for cooperative, worker self-directed enterprises and the democratization of the workplace. Putting the means of production in the hands of workers is no fantasy, but rather increasingly seems to be an absolute necessity.
Musical interlude: Ali Farka Toure – “Soya”
This week Eric Draitser welcomes to the program Vice Presidential candidate from the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) Eugene Puryear to discuss the future of socialism in the US, the role of leftist activism at the grassroots level, and the importance of connecting issues of capitalism, imperialism, and identity. While millions still #FeelTheBern, there are many like Eugene Puryear on the streets trying to unite young people, workers, and marginalized communities for the long-term struggle that will continue well after the election is over. It’s not enough to complain, we must build! Eric and Eugene explore just how that might be done.
Musical Interlude: Marcel Cartier – “I’m a Socialist”
This week Eric welcomes investigative journalist Steve Horn to the show to discuss a little known energy lobbying organization, the connections between the Clinton and Trump campaigns and Big Energy, and some of the geopolitical issues surrounding Israel-Palestine and energy extraction. Steve outlines his investigation of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and how it operates as both a lobbying group and a shaper of energy policy at the state and federal levels while it works to undermine environmental legislation. Eric and Steve also touch on Hillary Clinton and the Big Oil-Israel connection in her political machine, while also examining Donald Trump, whose energy policy advisers are likeiwse focused on Israel and the energy question. All this and much more in this week’s CounterPunch Radio.
Musical interlude:Wire – “I Am the Fly”
This week Eric welcomes author and columnist Paul Street, and radical envrionmentalist and political activist Kevin Hester to CounterPunch Radio. First, Eric chats with America’s leading ultra-sectarian ideological criminal Paul Street about why he’s having second thoughts about Bernie Sanders, and why the ruling elites might be as well. Eric and Paul discuss the Sanders campaign, what it means for grassroots activism, and whether or not it’s a dead end for those seeking radical change. They also touch on The Donald, the trumpen proletariat, and the danger of a fascist state in a post-President Trump scenario.
In the second part of the show Eric connects with Kevin Hester out on his isolated island in New Zealand to discuss the looming climate catastrophe and the unraveling of the biosphere. Eric and Kevin discuss the bleak, dystopian future of abrupt climate change, the latest report from James Hansen, and why everyone should be conscious of what is to come. Also, they examine the connection between climate change, the environment, and imperialism. Not exactly the rosiest picture, but an important reality.
I See Hawks in LA – Raised by Hippies
Gospel Beach – California Steamer
Freedom: Sove Peyi Mwen
Beachwood Sparks – Talk About Lonesome