This week, on a very special episode of CounterPunch Radio, Eric gets in touch with his feelings. OK, not really…but he does chat with CounterPunch Managing Editor Joshua Frank and Business Manager Becky Grant about the fund drive and the importance of donating to CounterPunch to keep it going strong. Eric, Josh, and Becky talk about the day to day operations of CP, the challenges and the successes, and the necessity of maintaining integrity and independence. Becky regales listeners with tales of Alex Cockburn and his Puma fetish, Josh discusses how he went from groupie to lead guitarist, and Eric makes biblical references for no apparent reason. Another fun conversation on CounterPunch Radio.
This week Eric welcomes to the show presidential candidate from the Socialist Party USA Mimi Soltysik to discuss his campaign, the importance of movement-building, and the state of the Left in 2016. The conversation begins with a discussion of the SPUSA’s campaign, and the central question for every non-establishment party: Why bother running a presidential campaign at all? From there Eric and Mimi discuss how the Left might consider moving forward as the US and the world face the daunting challenges of war, economic crisis, and ecological meltdown. They touch on a wide variety of issues from the viability of the Green Party as a vehicle for revolutionary change to the necessity for non-electoral solutions in local communities and much more. Don’t miss this episode of CounterPunch Radio.
This week Eric sits down with author and academic Mark Crispin Miller to discuss the controlled corporate media and its grip on discourse in the United States, conspiracy theories versus conspiracy facts, US elections as both farce and illusion, and much more. Eric and Mark begin with a discussion of the history of media propaganda, and how the corporate media we know and loathe came to be the monolithic servant of power it is today. The conversation then turns to the issue of conspiracy theories and the importance of nuanced analysis that is skeptical of power but also avoids the pitfalls, and outright fascism, of the online conspiracy world. The final part of the program shifts into vote fraud and the controlled and manipulated election system in the US which, Eric and Mark both argue, simply cannot be trusted. So much ground is covered in this wide-ranging discussion on CounterPunch Radio.
Also, check out the Forbidden Bookshelf series edited by Mark Crispin Miller.
Musical Interlude: The Doors – “Strange Days”
This week Eric welcomes to the show activist and presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Gloria La Riva, to discuss social justice movements, her campaign, and the future of the Left. The conversation begins with first-hand analysis of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and occupation, and the resurgence of indigenous resistance. Eric and Gloria discuss what is happening on the ground, the nature of the movement, and the importance of the convergence of multiple social justice movements for the American political landscape. The conversation touches on the issue of “normalizing socialism,” and the importance of anti-capitalism as an ideological and organizational focal point. From the Dakotas to Baton Rouge, from San Francisco to Charlotte, social movements are on the rise and on the move – time to be part of the conversation.
Musical Interlude: Lee “Scratch” Perry and Errol Walker – “In These Times”
After a short absence, Eric returns with another episode of CounterPunch Radio, this time welcoming to the show author and frequent CounterPunch contributor Rob Urie to discuss his new book Zen Economics published by CounterPunch. Eric and Rob discuss capitalism and the question of it being natural or unnatural, as well as the historical/anti-historical dichotomy, a theme running throughout the book. The conversation explores everything from the western understanding of time to Lenin and the formulation of imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism. Eric and Rob also question the very meanings of wealth, choice, and freedom under the conditions of capitalism and the modern world. These any many other issues come together for a fascinating conversation on CounterPunch Radio this week.
Musical Interlude: Boukman Eksperyans – “Jou Nou Revolte”
This week Eric welcomes back to the show writer, activist, and now US Vice Presidential candidate from the Green Party, Ajamu Baraka. The conversation gives some insight into Ajamu’s background, and the experiences that shaped his politics and worldview, making into the renowned human rights leader that he is. Eric does not shy away from the smear campaign being waged by liberal corporate media against Ajamu, instead taking the opportunity to discuss with him the mental illness of contemporary liberalism – or is it corporate imperialism? Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. They also explore the development of the Green Party in a radical direction, the importance of non-electoral community-based programs and networks, the existential crises facing all of us today, and the necessity of developing a true political resistance immediately. Another great conversation with the inimitable Ajamu Baraka.
This week Eric sits down with author Nicholas Schou to discuss his new book Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood. Eric and Nick explore the history of CIA manipulation of the media going back decades, and how it has evolved into the propaganda consensus we see today. The conversation touches on everything from Nicaragua and the Reagan counter-revolution to the sycophantic relationship between Hollywood and Langley. From Robert Parry to Robert Kagan, from South Vietnam to Baghdad, the story of CIA information warfare is a long and sordid one, and Schou’s new book is an important contribution in telling it.
Musical Interlude: Wire – I Am the Fly
This week Eric sits down with economist, and former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis to discuss the shifts in the political landscape of both Europe and the US, and what they mean for political activism and progressive politics. Eric and Yanis discuss the nature of the EU and whether it can be reformed or democratized, as well as the forces at play within it. The conversation also touches on the US election as Yanis and Eric debate the utility of “lesser evil” politics, while also examining the ascendance of the fascist right in Europe and the US, with particular attention to the Brexit vote and its implications. The bond bubble and potential economic collapse, the long view of the 2008 crisis, the importance of addressing climate change, the necessity of internationalism, and many other topics are discussed in this wide-ranging interview with one of the best economic minds in the world today.
Music: Errol Walker & Lee “Scratch” Perry – “In These Times”
This week Eric welcomes to the show activist and scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro to discuss his recent trip to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, and what he learned about the Trump movement. The conversation touches on the class character of the Trumpen Proletariat, and whether or not this represents a transformation of the Republican Party, and potentially US politics as a whole. Eric and Tony examine the nature of fascism, how it has manifested in the US today, and what the future may hold. They go into everything from the ascendance of the far right in Europe, to the potential for substantive solutions and movement-building here in the US. All this and so so much more in this lively chat between two friends on the radical left.
Musical Interlude: The Doors – “Strange Days”
This week Eric welcomes to the show writer and sociologist Andrew Smolski to discuss the latest devevlopments in Mexico, and to place them in the context of neoliberal privatization and the US-backed militarization that goes along with it. Eric and Andy examine the strike actions by Mexico’s teachers, including the recent upsurge in Oaxaca, and connect that to the other issues at play in Mexico. They also discuss the role of the cartels and US drug policy in shaping the current chaos both in Mexico, and throughout Latin America. In the final part of the show, Eric and Andy also discuss the nonsense of “lesser evil” voting as espoused by Noam Chomsky and others. Shall we go with the guillotine or the hemlock? Tune in to CP Radio this week to find out.
Musical Interlude: Chumbawamba – “Bella Ciao”