Left Anchor

By Ryan Cooper & Alexi the Greek

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Philosophy, politics, and the left.

Episode Date
Episode 204 PREVIEW - America‘s 20-Year War Bender

In this excerpt we make the case against sanctioning Afghanistan. To hear the full episode subscribe here

Sep 18, 2021
Episode 203 - Socialism and Nature

Today we are talking with Alex from the Providence Leftist Radio Podcast (also see their Patreon here) about Chapter 5 in Nikolai Bukharin's book Historical Materialism, "The Equilibrium between Society and Nature," as well as Friedrich Engels' essay "On Authority." Enjoy!

Sep 12, 2021
Episode 202 EXCERPT - The Afghanistan Withdrawal with Lyta Gold

In this first half of this episode, we talk about the situation in Afghanistan with Lyta Gold, particularly the media freakout about America's imperial humiliation. To hear our following discussion of The Green Knight, subscribe here

Sep 04, 2021
Episode 201 PREVIEW - Caught in the Gears of Capitalism with Nate Holdren
Aug 28, 2021
Episode 200 - Beholding Humanity with Brad Evans

Today we've got Professor Brad Evans to talk about his recent book Ecce Humanitas: Beholding the Pain of Humanity. We discuss his arguments against privileging sacrifice, why liberalism is dead, and how to create something better. Enjoy!

Aug 21, 2021
Episode 199 PREVIEW - Climate Politics and Hungary Discourse

In this preview we discuss the ways that America really is better than Hungary, and the ways that it is an international embarrassment. Subscribe now to hear the whole thing!

Aug 13, 2021
Episode 198 - The Jersey Machine with Imani Oakley

Today we've got an interview with Imani Oakley, who is running to represent New Jersey's 10th District in Congress next year. We talk about what the district is like, why she got into politics, the political splits in the Black community, and more. Enjoy! 

Aug 07, 2021
Episode 197 PREVIEW - Climate Hell Is Here

In this excerpt, we discuss a (partial) list of one week's worth of climate disasters, and the recent Kim Stanley Robinson book The Ministry for the Future. Subscribe now to hear the full episode

Jul 31, 2021
Episode 194 UNLOCKED - Critical Race Theory, Real and Imagined

Ryan has been off on vacation for the past 2 weeks, so we are unlocking this one as a treat while we get the next one produced. This time we talk about both the fake smear campaign version of critical race theory as invented by professional conservative liars, and the actual body of thought. Enjoy!

Links to articles we mentioned: one by Sam Kriss, one by Damon Linker, and one by John Ganz.

Jul 26, 2021
Episode 196 - PREVIEW - The Coconut Revolution with Manu Saadia

Enjoy this PREVIEW of our latest bonus episode with Trekonomics author and friend of the podcast Manu Saadia

Manu joins us to discuss the greatest eco-socialist revolution you've never heard of: "The Coconut Revolution." 

Subscribe now to listen to the rest!


Jul 16, 2021
Episode 195 - Waiting on the Thunder with Matt Karp
Today we've got historian Matt Karp on to talk about his recent article in Harper's on the 1619 Project and right-wing attempts to suppress anti-racism in the classroom.   Items mentioned in the episode: John Ganz on the 1619 Project; Frederick Douglass on the 4th of July, America's composite nationality, and his eulogy for Lincoln, and John Mercer Langston on the world anti-slavery movement.   Also don't forget to pre-order Ryan's book!
Jul 09, 2021
Episode 194 PREVIEW - Critical Race Theory, Real and Imagined

In this preview we discuss the history of McCarthyism and why conservatives are trying to re-created with their fake version of CRT. Subscribe now to hear the rest!

Jul 03, 2021
Episode 187 UNLOCKED - Thomas Paine with Harvey Kaye

In this episode we talked to Professor Harvey Kaye to talk about his book Thomas Paine and the Promise of America. We discuss how Paine ended up in America, his role in the French Revolution, and how he is likely the author of the hottest and most powerful take in American history. Enjoy!

Jul 01, 2021
Episode 193 PREVIEW - Thomas Piketty and Theories of Justice
Jun 20, 2021
Episode 189 UNLOCKED - The Legacy of the New Deal, with Eric Rauchway

Today we've got historian Eric Rauchway on talk about his new book Why the New Deal Matters. We discuss how New Deal projects and programs shape our everyday life for good and ill to this day, how Eleanor Roosevelt was such a badass, why a Green New Deal is so relevant and necessary, the political value of activist government, and more. Enjoy!

Jun 11, 2021
Episode 192 PREVIEW - Disability History with Chelsea Chamberlain

Today we've got historian Chelsea Chamberlain on to talk about her recent paper "Challenging Custodialism," about the history of an institution for disabled folks called Elwyn (still in operation). The Nursing Clio article mentioned in the episode can be found here. Also reach out if you'd like to read a copy of the paper.

Subscribe now to hear the whole thing!

Jun 06, 2021
Episode 191 - Remaking the World with Astra Taylor

Today we've got Astra Taylor on to talk about her new essay collection, Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions. We talk about the student debt crisis, the politics of refugees, what she calls "fauxtomation," and more!

Links to things we discussed: the Debt Collective (which has so far erased some $2 billion in student debt!), Astra's short documentary You Are Not a Loan, and her previous film What Is Democracy? (which she discussed on a previous episode). 

May 29, 2021
Episode 190 PREVIEW - Glenn Greenwald's Right Turn

In this excerpt, we discuss the strange trajectory of The Intercept's co-founder. Subscribe now to listen to the rest of the episode

May 22, 2021
Episode 183 UNLOCKED - The Semiconductor Situation

We've got some requests to unlock this episode, so here you go! It's a briefer discussion just from Ryan on two articles about the history and current state of the American semiconductor industry, why understanding the details of the production process matter for socialists, and then some talk about the bad state of diplomatic relations between China and the US. Enjoy!

May 18, 2021
Episode 189 PREVIEW - The Legacy of the New Deal, with Eric Rauchway

Franklin D. Roosevelt: America's first social justice warrior?? Subscribe now to hear the full episode!

May 13, 2021
Episode 188 - Collective Dedication, with Pete Davis

Pete Davis comes on the show to talk about his book Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing. We talk about the value of committing to social institutions, Pink Floyd, whether tradition is really conservative, the devious politics of the self-help industry, and more. Enjoy!

May 07, 2021
Episode 187 PREVIEW - Thomas Paine with Harvey Kaye

How did an English corset-maker end up writing the most powerful take of all time? Subscribe now to find out!

May 01, 2021
Episode 186 - The Fight for Homeless Justice in Austin, with Chris Harris

Austin has seen a major campaign away from the criminalization of homelessness over the last two years. But that effort is running into a backlash, and there will be a city referendum on May 1st to determine if the reforms will be overturned. We've got organizer Chris Harris on to talk about the fight for homeless justice, how the reform efforts have played out, and the state of the referendum campaign.

The No on Prop B website can be found here. The story of Philly Mayor Jim Kenney's attempt to outlaw spitting is here

Apr 19, 2021
Episode 184 - Jersey Shore Marxism, with Gabriel Raeburn

Today we've got historian Gabe Raeburn to discuss his recent article The Rise and Fall of Marxist Perspectives: Eugene Genovese and the Fight for Hegemony in Radical American Historiography. This was an ambitious left-wing historical journal that aimed to unite various warring factions on the left and push Marx-inflected history, but collapsed after just two years thanks to Genovese's compulsive feuding and domineering personality. We talk Eric Foner, Gramsci, Christopher Lasch, the importance of personality in politics, and more. Enjoy!

Apr 02, 2021
Episode 182 - The Movements of 2020 with David Kaib

Friend of the pod David Kaib has been conducting multiple reading groups of the classic book Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed and How They Fail, by Francis Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, over the past year. The book has perhaps never been more relevant given the the historic protests over police brutality, the coronavirus pandemic, and economic inequality of late. We talk about what lessons might be drawn from the successes and failures of these protests, and how we should think about movement strategy going forward. Enjoy!

Mar 24, 2021
Episode 181 PREVIEW - The Year from Hell

Subscribe now to hear the whole thing!

Mar 18, 2021
Episode 180 - The Felt Blanket of M4A, with Abdul El-Sayed and Micah Johnson

Today we've got Dr. Abdul El-Sayed and Dr. Micah Johnson on to talk about their new book Medicare for All: A Citizen's Guide. We talk about what the pandemic revealed about the broken American health care system, and how universal Medicare could fix both the immediate problem and help us be more prepared for future heath disasters.

Abdul's newsletter The Incision can be found here.

Mar 09, 2021
Episode 179 PREVIEW - The Austerity Debate and Gramsci's War of Position
Mar 03, 2021
Episode 178 - Messing with Texas, featuring Kate Aronoff

Why did the Texas electricity system collapse during the recent cold snap? We've got Kate Aronoff, co-author of A Planet to Win and sole author of the forthcoming book Overheated, on to discuss what went wrong. It turns out that carbon power is screwing up human society in basically every imaginable way, who knew? Enjoy!

Feb 24, 2021
Episode 177 - The Fascism Question, with John Ganz

Today we've got writer John Ganz on to discuss what relationship fascism has to Trump and the U.S. far right, and the bizarre spectacle of people trying to work up a red-brown alliance. (This has not worked out well in the past!)

Check out John's Substack here.

Feb 13, 2021
Episode 176 UNLOCKED - The Revolution Will not Be Monetized, with Doug Henwood

Thanks to popular demand, we are unlocking this one. We've got Doug Henwood, author of the excellent book Wall Street, on to talk about GAMESTONK and what it all means. While it may be funny to see a couple hedge funds getting pantsed by Reddit, the fact is that financial speculation is no way to provide material security to the working class.

Feb 08, 2021
Episode 176 PREVIEW - Doug Henwood on GAMESTONK
Feb 05, 2021
Episode 175 - America's Tradition of Egalitarian Freedom, with Mike Konczal

We've got Mike on to discuss Freedom from the Market, a great book that examines how the "free" market has in fact been a source of tyranny and oppression throughout American history, and how Americans have mobilized in many since-forgotten ways to expand their freedom by protecting themselves from the market. Enjoy!

Jan 30, 2021
Episode 174 PREVIEW - The New Government
Jan 26, 2021
Episode 117 UNLOCKED - The Socialist Anti-Imperialism of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we are hoisting up an episode from the archives in celebration of MLK Day. We discuss King's advocacy of democratic socialism and his argument that civil rights were inadequate without an equal share of economic production. Then we turn to his foreign policy views, including his speech attacking the Vietnam War, and how his argument for a brotherhood of nations is more vital than ever in the age of climate change. 

The MLK Nation article "Let Justice Roll Down" can be found here.

Jan 18, 2021
Episode 173 - The Organizer Ben Fletcher, with Peter Cole

Today we're bringing back Peter Cole to talk about the second edition of his book Ben Fletcher: The Life and Times of a Black Wobbly. Fletcher was one of the most impressive labor organizers of the early 20th century -- a guy who successfully organized the very diverse workforce of the Philadelphia docks into one of the keystone unions of the IWW. If you've heard of Fred Hampton, you should know about him. Enjoy!

Jan 14, 2021
Episode 172 PREVIEW: The Trump Putsch
Jan 10, 2021
Episode 171 - Socialist Freedom

Alexi is out, so Ryan briefly discusses how the coronavirus pandemic blows apart the conservative/libertarian conception of freedom, and illustrates the value of a socialist version of same. Hope you all had a good holiday, and enjoy!

Jan 05, 2021
Episode 170 PREVIEW - America Is Pottersville
Dec 25, 2020
Episode 168 UNLOCKED - The Worst Excerpts from the Obama Memoir

Thanks to popular demand, we are unlocking this one for everyone. We couldn't decide how we wanted to tackle such a gigantic book, so we decided we'd each pick out 10 quotes that drove us furthest up the wall, and talk about them. Enjoy!

Support the show here!

Dec 19, 2020
Episode 167 - The Work of Politics with Steven Klein

Today we are talking with Steven Klein, a professor of political theory at King's College London, about his book The Work of Politics. How does the welfare state interact with traditional conceptions of political activity and struggle? Klein has complex and interesting answers to this question. Enjoy!

Dec 06, 2020
Episode 166 PREVIEW - How Social Security Created the Senior Vote, with Jeff Spross
Dec 02, 2020
Episode 165 - Dehumanization with David Livingstone Smith

Today we've got philosopher David Livingstone Smith on to discuss his book On Inhumanity. We discuss how people can come to believe others are less than human, how that is related to various atrocities, whether the entire idea of "races" should be abolished, and more. Enjoy!

Nov 22, 2020
Episode 164 - The Post-Trump Future with Osita Nwanevu

What happens after Trump? We've got The New Republic's Osita Nwanevu on to discuss his recent article on why the left should take to the streets immediately, broader questions of political possibility, how American democracy might be defended, and more. Enjoy!

Nov 14, 2020
Episode 163 PREVIEW - Bye Bye to the LOSER Donald Trump
Nov 08, 2020
Episode 162 PREVIEW - Greenwald Drama and Election Stakes

Subscribe now to hear the whole thing! 

Nov 03, 2020
Episode 161 - The Fratelli Tutti Encyclical, with Matthew Sitman

Today we've got Matt Sitman, who is co-host of the excellent Know Your Enemy podcast, associate editor at Commonweal, and editorial board member of Dissent, on to discuss the quite remarkable papal encyclical from a few weeks ago. We talk the politics of Catholicism, how Pope Francis relates to his predecessors, how to live well in such a terrible age, and more. Enjoy!

Oct 26, 2020
Episode 160 PREVIEW - Life, Death, and Democratic Socialism, Part II

On this episode we discuss the LARB symposium on Martin Hägglund's book This Life. Subscribe now to hear the whole thing!

Oct 21, 2020
Episode 159 - Oil and the American Empire with Robert Vitalis

Today we've got Professor Robert Vitalis on to discuss his book Oilcraft, and how a mistaken understanding of how the oil supply works has bedeviled both imperialists and anti-imperialists. Enjoy!

PS: Alas, despite our best efforts we once again had a few audio glitches, thanks it seems this time to internet connection problems. Apologies!

Oct 12, 2020
Left Anchor 158 PREVIEW 2: The Trump-Biden Debate

In the second half of our latest bonus episode we discuss the presidential debate, the Amy Coney Barrett nomination, and judicial theories of originalism. Subscribe now to hear the whole thing!

Oct 07, 2020
Episode 158 PREVIEW 1: Trump's Got the Covid

Subscribe now to hear the full episode!

Oct 06, 2020
Episode 157 - Imperial Rollback with Daniel Bessner

Today we've got Daniel Bessner, University of Washington professor and recently inaugurated Foreign Exchanges columnist, on to discuss various foreign policy topics: the motivations and functioning of the American empire, how we should think about China regarding the Uyghur abuses and climate change, and how one might go about rolling back the imperial system. Enjoy!

Sep 29, 2020
Episode 156 PREVIEW - RIP RBG

Subscribe now to hear the full episode! 

Sep 24, 2020
Episode 155 - Socialism vs. Antitrust with Marshall Steinbaum

Today we've got Marshall Steinbaum from the University of Utah to discuss whether socialism and antitrust (or antimonopoly) inherently trade off, or can complement each other. The Gabriel Winant review of Goliath we discuss can be found here. Enjoy!

PS: Unfortunately we had some more technical glitches during recording. Apologies, but everything should be reasonably comprehensible.

Sep 12, 2020
Episode 149 UNLOCKED - The Four Freedoms with Harvey J. Kaye

Today we've got Professor Harvey Kaye on to discuss his book The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great. We discuss the radical content of this doctrine, how the Democratic Party has forgotten its own history, and how the "Greatest Generation" has been sanitized by morons like Tom Brokaw. Enjoy!

Sep 07, 2020
Episode 153 - Healing Politics with Abdul El-Sayed

Today we've got Dr. Abdul El-Sayed on to talk about his new book, Healing Politics. We discuss the coronavirus pandemic, health care reform, the experience growing up in an immigrant community, what he's learned from his faith, and more. Enjoy!

Aug 29, 2020
Episode 152 - The Thought of MLK with Meena Krishnamurthy

Today we've got political philosopher Meena Krishnamurthy on to talk about her writings on Martin Luther King, Jr. We discuss distrust and solidarity, how individualism strangles American government, how his thought bears on the Black Lives Matter movement, and more. Enjoy!

Her article on the democratic value of distrust can be found here.

(PS: Apologies for the occasionally scratchy audio, there was an unnoticed problem during recording. Alas, bit of an occupational hazard for podcasters during quarantine.)

Aug 23, 2020
Episode 151 PREVIEW: Did Kamala Harris Have to Be Tough on Crime?

We discuss Peter Beinart's argument that black politicians can't be as progressive as white ones in this preview. To hear the whole thing, subscribe here!

Aug 15, 2020
Episode 150 - Monopolized America with David Dayen

Today we've got Dave Dayen of The American Prospect on to talk about his new book Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power. Enjoy!

Aug 08, 2020
Episode 149 PREVIEW - The Four Freedoms with Harvey Kaye
Aug 02, 2020
Episode 148 - Randian Moochers with Tobi Olowe

Here we've got Tobi Olowe, host of the Impressions of America podcast, on to talk about the life and legacy of Ayn Rand, and her eponymous institute's decision to get on the coronavirus welfare train. Enjoy!


PS: The very funny Whittaker Chambers review of Atlas Shrugged can be found here.

Jul 26, 2020
Episode 147 PREVIEW - Life, Death, and Democratic Socialism

Subscribe here to listen to our full discussion of Martin Hägglund's book This Life.

Jul 20, 2020
Episode 146 -American City Government with Bill Humphrey

Today we've got an interview with Bill Humphrey, a city councilor for Newton, Massachusetts. We ask him about how he got into politics, how he ran his successful campaign, and what it's like being a leftist in government during pandemic times. Enjoy!

You can find Bill's radio show Arsenal for Democracy here.

Jul 10, 2020
Episode 145 PREVIEW - The Coronavirus Resurgence and Democratic Primaries
Jul 01, 2020
Episode 144 - Primarying Bad Democrats with Arati Kreibich

Today we've got Arati Kreibich, who is running in the Democratic primary for New Jersey's 5th District against Josh Gottheimer, one of the most pro-Trump Democrats in the House. (New Jersey voters take note, the primary is July 7.) Enjoy!

Jun 24, 2020
Episode 142 - The Power of Protests and The End of Policing: Part II, with David Kaib

Today we continue our discussion of what a post-police society might look like with David Kaib, who has taught some DC DSA night school classes on the subject.

Links to articles we mentioned: Ryan on the Nordic style of policing, Alex Vitale's book The End of Policing, and this Jacobin article on the abolition of police and prisons. Enjoy!

Jun 17, 2020
Episode 141 PREVIEW - The Power of Protests and The End of Policing: Part I

Subscribe here to listen to the whole episode!

Jun 06, 2020
Episode 140 - Breaking into the Democratic Machine with Nikil Saval

Today we've got Nikil Saval, candidate for the upcoming primary in the Pennsylvania First Senate District on June 2nd. We talk about how he got into organizing and politics, what it's like interacting with the Philadelphia Democratic machine, his advice for others considering a run for office, and more. Enjoy!

May 28, 2020
Episode 139 - The Keynesian Movement with Zach Carter

We've got journalist Zach Carter on to talk about his new book The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes -- an intellectual biography that he's been working on for years. We talk about Keynes' fascinating personal life, the development of Keynesian doctrine, and how "bastard Keynesianism" stripped of most of its interesting elements took root in American economics departments. Enjoy!

May 23, 2020
Episode 138 UNLOCKED - The Coronavirus Death March with David Dayen

We've got David Dayen, the executive editor of the The American Prospect, on to discuss his latest coverage of the pandemic -- the utter failure of the national government response, the timidity of congressional Democrats, why monopolist agribusiness is spreading the virus, and more. Enjoy!

Here are links to subscribe or donate to support the Prospect's excellent work.

May 19, 2020
Episode 138 PREVIEW: The Coronavirus Death March with David Dayen

Subscribe now to hear the full episode!

Also subscribe or donate to The American Prospect to support the great work of David and his colleagues!

May 11, 2020
Episode 137 - Political Religion with Jack Jenkins

We've got religion reporter Jack Jenkins on to talk about his forthcoming book American Prophets: The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country. We talk about the struggles of the religious left to counter the religious right, whether evangelical Christianity is really a cult of Mammon, why Jeremiah Wright was way ahead of his time, and more. Enjoy!

May 06, 2020
Episode 136 Preview: Why Bernie Lost, Part II

Subscribe here to listen to the whole thing!

Apr 30, 2020
Episode 135 - Why Bernie Lost with David Sirota

We've got former Bernie Sanders speechwriter David Sirota on to talk about why the Democratic establishment ultimately defeated Bernie Sanders. We ask whether he could have done anything differently, how much of it came down to luck, and what lessons the left can take away for the future. Enjoy!

PS: We'll have an extended discussion of this question coming up soon for subscribers, so stay tuned!

Apr 25, 2020
Episode 134 - UBI vs. Job Guarantee with Jeff Spross

Enjoy this preview of our latest bonus episode, where we talk with Jeff Spross about our previous episode with Rohan Grey. To hear the whole thing, subscribe here!

Apr 16, 2020
Episode 133 - The Radical FDR with Harvey Kaye

Today we are talking with Harvey Kaye about his new book FDR on Democracy: The Greatest Speeches and Writings of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We discuss how Roosevelt's radical politics can be discerned well before he became president, his extraordinary political agility and boldness, how he used history to paint a new picture of America, and more. Enjoy!

Apr 13, 2020
Episode 132 - Tara Isabella Burton & Strange Rites

We've got author Tara Isabella Burton on to talk about her forthcoming book Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World, to talk about spirituality and belief in an age when traditional religious forms are collapsing. We discuss the faith-like activities and beliefs of the religious "nones," the blasphemous theology of the Prosperity Gospel, how people might discover collective moral views during the coronavirus pandemic, and more. Enjoy!

Apr 07, 2020
Episode 131 PREVIEW - The Coronavirus General Strike

Subscribe now to hear the whole episode

Apr 02, 2020
Episode 130 - Rohan Grey on #MintTheCoin

We're talking with Rohan Grey today about a proposal he worked on with Rep. Rashida Tlaib on funding massive cash aid to Americans funded with two $1 trillion platinum coins. We talk about the balance of power between the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, what it would mean for the Treasury to reclaim the authority to print money, a UBI versus a job guarantee, and more. Enjoy!

PS: This essay Ryan wrote on a similar idea might be useful background.

Mar 28, 2020
Episode 129 - NOlympics with Anne Orchier

This time we've got a bit of an off-beat interview, talking with Anne Orchier about the effort to stop Los Angeles from hosting the Olympic Games in 2028. It's not directly relevant to the coronavirus pandemic, but it does have a lot of the same themes, in that the Olympics have become a locus of disaster capitalism where rich elites wreak terrible social carnage to make a quick buck. Enjoy!

Mar 25, 2020
Episode 128 UNLOCKED - Epidemic Solidarity with Manu Saadia

Once again we're talking coronavirus, with returning guest Manu Saadia. We talk about what is to be learned from the various approaches different countries have taken, how Democrats are bungling the crisis, and how we might seize the moment to change prevailing ideological orthodoxy, and push through vital reforms. Enjoy!

You can find Manu's book Trekonomics here.

Mar 19, 2020
Episode 127 - A.C. Grayling on Democracy

Today we've got A.C. Grayling on to talk about his book The Good State, which provides his model of how an ideal democratic system should be set up. It's a bit off the news but we thought it would be a nice break for people worried about the coronavirus pandemic. Enjoy!

Mar 17, 2020
Episode 125 - The Case Against Joe Biden

Today we do a deep dive into Joe Biden's terrible record in the Senate, and marginally-less terrible record as vice president. Then we turn to electability, and why a Biden nomination would screw up almost all of the strongest arguments against Trump -- on protecting Social Security and Medicare, on trade, on #MeToo, on abuse of immigrants, on corruption, and on mental fitness.

Links to stuff mentioned in the discussion: Corey Robin on Clarence Thomas, Emma Caterine on bankruptcy, Ryan's episode on the bailout disaster, Branko Marcetic on Biden's record, and Jon Walker on Obamacare's technical defects

Mar 08, 2020
Episode 124 PREVIEW - Super Tuesday and Warren Drops Out

In this excerpt we discuss how to help Democratic voters realize that a Biden nomination is the risk it is. Subscribe here to hear the whole thing!

Mar 05, 2020
Episode 123 - Interview with PA-175 Candidate Jeff Dempsey

Today we've got Jeff Dempsey, who is running a progressive campaign in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania's 175th House district -- our first in-person interview and our first with a live audience! We discuss the characteristics of the 175th (which is part of Philadelphia), why he's running, and the troubles he has had with the local Democratic machine. Enjoy!

You can find Jeff's campaign website here, a donation page here, and a page detailing apparently fishy signature collection-efforts from his opponent here.

Feb 29, 2020
Episode 122 PREVIEW - Nevada Results, the Sanders Coalition, and Pete Buttigieg
Feb 24, 2020
Episode 121 - The American Midwest with Phil Christman

Today we take a break from exhausting primary news to have writer and University of Michigan lecturer Phil Christman on to discuss his upcoming book Midwest Futures (you can pre-order here). We discuss the history and nature of the Midwest, what he learned growing up there, how the Trump era has changed his political thinking, and more. Enjoy!

Also, you can subscribe to Phil's newsletter here.

Feb 22, 2020
Episode 120 Preview - The Bloomberg Menace

Here we discuss why we won't vote for Michael Bloomberg if he is nominated. Subscribe here to hear the full episode!

Feb 18, 2020
Episode 119 - Why It Matters if Bernie Sanders Becomes President

Just Ryan today with a quick pre-New Hampshire episode going through Reed Hundt's excellent book A Crisis Wasted about the presidential transition in 2007-8 and Obama's consequential early decisions as president. We go through how Obama allowed Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to set the priorities for the bank bailout (thus ensuring Wall Street would not be cut down to size), how Obama allowed his Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to turn homeowner assistance policy into a quiet backdoor bailout of the banks, and how the Obama administration definitely could have gotten a bigger stimulus but chose not to. Having the right person in the presidential chair matters a great deal.

Links to the episodes and articles mentioned: Eric Rauchway on the Hoover-FDR transition, Carolyn Sissoko on the bailout disaster, and David Dayen on what the next president could do without passing any new laws.

Feb 11, 2020
Episode 118 - Bernie Won Iowa

Ryan is back from vacation so we return with a discussion of the Iowa clusterfuck: How Bernie edged out Pete Buttigieg in the popular vote and tied in pleged delegates, how Biden collapsed, how and why the caucus was bungled so horribly, and what it maybe means for the next few primaries. Enjoy!

Feb 06, 2020
Episode 117 PREVIEW - The Socialist Anti-Imperialism of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jan 23, 2020
Episode 116 - The Problem with Economics, with Max and Zak Alvarez

Today we have the Brothers Alvarez -- Maximillian and Zak -- of the Working People Podcast on with a crossover episode. We discuss what Zak learned from his time in the University of Chicago economics department, how they were both radicalized by the financial crisis, and more. Enjoy!

Jan 19, 2020
Episode 115 UNLOCKED - The Bernie-Warren Flap

With New Hampshire coming up, we've unlocked our episode on the Bernie-Warren competition.

Jan 17, 2020
Episode 114 - Losing the War, by Lee Sandlin

Bit of a different episode today: Ryan reads a very long 1997 essay about the Second World War by the late Lee Sandlin called "Losing the War" (with permission from Nina Sandlin). Though it takes three hours to finish, it's a remarkable piece about the way the nature of the war was obscured from public view, why wars happen, and what we should remember about it today. Enjoy!

Jan 12, 2020
Episode 113 PREVIEW - The Soleimani Assassination with Derek Davison

Subscribe now to hear the whole thing!

Jan 07, 2020
Episode 112 - The True History of FDR and the New Deal, with Eric Rauchway

Today we've got UC Davis Professor of History Eric Rauchway on to talk the history of the New Deal, particularly the transition period in the winter of 1932-33 covered in his book Winter War. We take apart the common false belief, held by both Republicans and Democrats (including Barack Obama) that FDR deliberately refused to help Herbert Hoover fix the Great Depression so he could get the New Deal passed, when in fact it was Hoover who refused to help in an effort to get Roosevelt to abandon all his campaign promises. We then take down the liberal idea expressed by Jonathan Chait and Jonathan Alter that FDR was really a secret moderate, and talk about how ideological the 1932 campaign really was. Enjoy!

Rauchway's other book The Money Makers can be found here, and his essay in The Presidency of Barack Obama can be found here.

Jan 03, 2020
Episode 111 UNLOCKED - Union Organizing with Max Lyons and Nela Hadzic

Today we've got two professional union organizers on to talk about the state of labor organizing in 2019 -- the tactics of the union busters, the hostility of the Trump administration, and the brushfire labor militancy that has sprung up across the country. 

Read more about Google's union-busting tactics here, and find the essay about progressive union-busters here

Dec 28, 2019
Episode 110 Preview - The Corbyn Defeat and Hope in Dark Times
Dec 15, 2019
Episode 109 - Nicole Fabricant on the Bolivian Situation

We've got Professor Nicole Fabricant from Towson University to discuss what's going on in Bolivia. We talk about Evo Morales' flawed but decent record, the source of right-wing authoritarian sentiment, and the military coup that displaced him. Enjoy!

Her book Mobilizing Bolivia's Displaced can be found here.

Dec 14, 2019
Episode 108 UNLOCKED - Ezra Levin on Political Organizing

Today we've got Ezra Levin, co-author of the book We Are Indivisible (along with his wife Leah Greenberg) to talk about how he fell, by his own account, ass-backwards into leading a national political movement. We discuss the nature of political organizing in the online age, what objectives Indivisible is focusing on, and what lessons others might learn from them. Enjoy!

Dec 05, 2019