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Laura Carlsen – Episode 42

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.

Immanuel Ness – Episode 41

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”

Richard Wolff – Episode 40

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”

Eugene Puryear – Episode 39

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”

Steve Horn – Episode 38

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”

Paul Street & Kevin Hester – Episode 37

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.

Musical Interludes:

I See Hawks in LA – Raised by Hippies
Gospel Beach – California Steamer
Freedom: Sove Peyi Mwen
Beachwood Sparks – Talk About Lonesome

Alexander Reid Ross – Episode 36

This week Eric welcomes to the show author and activist Alexander Reid Ross to discuss the history and contemporary landscape of fascism in Europe and the US. Eric and Alexander discuss his latest book Against the Fascist Creep, going into detail about the long and sordid history of fascism from its earliest manifestations in pre-WWI Europe, to its modern form after Mussolini, to the current trends in fascism today. And then, of course, the obligatory “Is Trump a Fascist?” portion of the conversation gets quite interesting. Does Alexander Reid Ross make a case for fedualism? Tune in to CounterPunch Radio this week to find out!

Interlude: Billy Bragg & Wilco – “All You Fascists”

Alice Backer – Episode 35

This week Eric chats with lawyer, social media strategist, and podcaster Alice Backer about the political situation in Haiti today, the insidious role of the Clintons, and the historical importance of the island nation as the leading edge of anti-colonial resistance. Eric and Alice explore the electoral drama unfolding in Haiti, and what it means for the future of the country. Of course, no discussion of the issue would be complete without an accounting of Hillary and Bill’s criminal exploitation of the island over the last 25 years, up to and including today. The conversation also explores just why Haiti has been repeatedly subjected to the kind of repression and subjugation it has these last two centuries. All this and so much more in this wide-ranging discussion.

Musical interlude: Boukman Eksperyans – Jou Nou Revolte

Douglas Lain – Episode 34

This week Eric sits down with author Douglas Lain to discuss his new book After the Saucers Landed, and a veritable menagerie of mostly related topics including identity and subjectivity, authenticity, the overlap between politics and art, and so much more. Science fiction nerds and avant-garde art geeks rejoice! There’s much to salivate over in this wide-ranging discussion where Philip K. Dick is elevated to the status of demigod, and Soviet Suprematism and Constructivism are discussed pretentiously *AND* unpretentiously. Also, both bearded and unbearded philosophers may hold hands in prayer as reference is made to everyone from Descartes to Derrida, from Barthes to Baudrillard. So much more to tell, just listen already!
Be sure to also check out Douglas Lain’s podcast Zero Squared.

Musical interlude:

Parliament – Mothership Connection (Star Child)

Robert Hunziker & John LaForge – Episode 33

This week Eric discusses threats to the planet and human civilization with regular CounterPunch contributors Robert Hunziker and John LaForge. First, Eric welcomes back to the show environmental journalist Robert Hunziker to discuss climate change, the latest research from the Arctic, and ways of reorienting our thinking to tackle these immense problems. The discussion touches on the record warmth of January and February, the melting Arctic and Antarctic ice, and the interconnected nature of the global ecosystem. Eric and Robert also discuss lifestyle modifications, new technology, and the importance of these issues to millennials as they have families of their own.

In the second part of the show Eric sits down with John LaForge to talk about Fukushima five years later, and the active threat of nuclear power to the environment, and life on this planet. They talk the conspiracy of silence over Fukushima, the “ticking time-bomb” at Indian Point (New York), and the political and economic obstacles to shutting down the nuclear facilities. John and Eric also discuss potential solutions, and the state of the anti-nuke movement.

Musical Interludes:

Gospel Beach – “California Steamer”
Ali Farka Toure – “Soya”
Chumbawamba – “Enough is Enough”