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Episode 80 – Dustin Beilke

This week Eric sits down with journalist Dustin Beilke to discuss the continued privatization of public education, and the forces behind it. The conversation begins by examining the latest push for school vouchers by President Trump and his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and what this means for the future of public schools. Eric and Dustin touch on the inefficacy of school vouchers in improving educaitonal outcomes, as well as the backdoor assault on teachers’ unions using everything from vouchers and charter schools to Teach for America and similar programs.The second half of the show explores the continuity of policy from Obama to Trump, pointing out that the Obama Administration was viciously anti-teacher and pro-privatization: more evidence of the single corporate agenda of both parties. Eric and Dustin also talk about some of the resistance from teachers and communities throughout the country, and what that means for the movement to defend public education going forward.

Music: Constantines – “Young Lions”

Rebecca Gordon – Episode 79

This week Eric sits down with author and academic Rebecca Gordon to discuss the evolution of war in Imperial America, torture in the Age of Trump, war criminals-in-chief, and so much more. The conversation begins with a discussion of Gordon’s latest book, American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes, and how the criminality of the US regime is not dependent on a given administration. From there, Eric and Rebecca examine the changing nature of war in American life, and what that tells us about the society, culture, and collective psyche of early 21st Century America. The second half of the show features a discussion of Trump and the new horrors to be unleashed by Midtown Mussolini and his gaggle of fascists, as well as the importance of building a truly independent resistance. All this and so much more in the latest episode of CounterPunch Radio!

Music: Minutemen – “The Big Stick”

Chris Hedges – Episode 78

This week Eric sits down with author and journalist Chris Hedges to discuss Trump, the Democrats, resistance, and more. The conversation begins with an assessment of the political and psychological impact of Trump on America in the early days of his administration. Eric and Chris touch on the nature of Trump’s regime, the fascist ideological and historical framework from which the politics emerges, and the seamless transition of Empire from one administration and party to the other. The second half of the discussion examines the attempt by Democrats to co-opt and commodify the resistance as they continue to serve the interests of Wall Street, the insidious role of the media in bolstering the Empire’s narratives, the emergence of the concept of “fake news,” the importance of defending independent media on the Left, and so much more. Don’t miss this week’s show!

Music: Devendra Banhart – “Heard Somebody Say”

Emery Wright – Episode 77

This week Eric chats with Emery Wright, community organizer and Co-Director of Project South. Eric and Emery discuss the development of people’s assemblies across the US, and what that sort of organizing work means in the current political context. The conversation touches on structures, organization, and decision-making in grassroots movements, and how those movements are addressing both political and economic questions in oppressed communities. The second half of the conversation focuses on the urgency of organizing in the Age of Trump with racism, chauvinism, and fascism becoming ever more normalized. So many topics covered in this wide-ranging discussion on CounterPunch Radio.

Music: John Lennon – “Power to the People”

Mickey Huff – Episode 76

This week Eric sits down with Mickey Huff, Director of Project Censored, to discuss fake news, the narrative surrounding Trump and the “Deep State,” and the rightward trajectory of US politics. The conversation begins with a discussion about fake news: how it was popularized by Clinton and the DNC and is now a potent weapon in the hands of Trump. From there, Eric and Mickey discuss the danger Trump represents both now and into the future as the far right grows its power. The mainstreaming of the concept of “the Deep State” and the problem with the conversation around it. The discussion also probes how the fascist right and the Trump administration are using victimhood and manufactured oppression as weapons in their political and ideological war, the importance of activism and media literacy, the debate about force in confronting the far right, and so much more. Don’t miss this wide-ranging conversation this week on CounterPunch Radio!

Music: HiM – “Many in High Places Are Not Well”

Arun Gupta – Episode 75

This week Eric sits down with journalist Arun Gupta to discuss Trump and the rise of the trumpen proletariat, the open wounds of liberal trauma, and the role of violence in opposing the fascist upsurge. The conversation begins with an in-depth examination of the forces that propelled Trump into the White House, with Arun relaying his experiences talking with white workers in Indiana and around the country. From there the discussion shifts to Trump as the liberal trauma and whether or not it could lead to a political awakening. The last part of the show focuses on Nazi punching, riots, Black Bloc, and the merits of violence both as a tactic and as a means to a political end. This lengthy and far-reaching conversation covers a lot of really important ground that the Left desperately needs to critically examine. Don’t miss this week’s CounterPunch Radio!

Music: Nouvelle Vague – “Guns of Brixton”

Ben Norton – Episode 74

This week Eric sits down with journalist Ben Norton to discuss the early days of the Trump Administration: what’s happened, what it means, and where it’s going. Eric and Ben explore the nature of the new administration, the forces that propelled it into power, and the political and economic circumstances that allowed it to emerge. From there, the conversation probes some uncomofortable questions about the current state of anti-war and anti-imperialist causes, and what that tells us about the political reality of 2017. From the rise of fascism throughout the Western world to the Syria question and the nature of resistance in the era of Trump, Eric and Ben tread some rather uneasy territory in hopes of understanding what we’re witnessing around us, and charting a path forward for the Left. These and many other topics in the latest CounterPunch Radio. Don’t miss it.

Music: Linton Kwesi Johnson – “Fite Dem Back”

Karl Grossman – Episode 73

After a couple weeks MIA, CounterPunch Radio is back! This week, Eric sits down with journalist and author Karl Grossman to discuss the exciting news that Indian Point, one of the oldest and most dangerous nuclear plants in the US, will be closed in the next few years. Eric and Karl examine the background and implications of the agreement between Entergy (the operator of the plant) and the state of New York, as well as some of the history of the nuclear industry, from weaponization to corporate-state monopolization. Additionally, the conversation goes in depth on Fukushima, the health and environmental impacts of nuclear power, alternative sources of energy, and the responsibility of activists for having brought us to this point, and further into the future. As Karl Grossman noted, “Get active, or get radioactive!”

Musi: Lee “Scratch” Perry & Errol Walker – “In These Times”

Dr. Hawzhin Azeez – Episode 72

This week Eric sits down with scholar and activist Dr. Hawzhin Azeez speaking from Kobani, Syria about Aleppo, competing narratives in the Syria war, the development of Rojava and Kurdish self-determination, and much more. The conversation begins with a discussion about media coverage of Aleppo and the future of Syria, as well as the role of the international left in the Syria conflict. From there, Eric and Hawzhin examine the outside actors involved in the war, and the prospects for peace in the country. The second half of the show focuses on developments in the Kurdish part of Northern Syria, the continued development of the confederal Rojava system, and the role of Kurds both in the war, and in a future, post-war Syria. This episode covers a lot of ground that is entirely ignored in most conversations you’ll hear about Syria. What are you waiting for? Download or stream it now.

Music: Heaven 17 – (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang

Sabia Rigby – Episode 71

This week Eric welcomes to the show peace activist Sabia Rigby to discuss her experiences working with refugees both in Europe and in the Global South. The conversation begins with a discussion of Sabia’s time working in the refugee camp known as “The Jungle” in Calais, France where she interacted with many refugees, each telling their unique story. Eric and Sabia discuss some of the critical aspects of the refugee issue including the politics behind the crisis, the nature of the racist narratives and their political and cultural expressions, the class nature of the refugees that have made it to Europe, and much more. From French fascists to blankets for Afghan children, this episode of CounterPunch Radio has everything to make you lose your faith in humanity, only to see it restored.

Music: Max Romeo – “Socialism Is Love”