Mon 6.11.12 | Rethinking Capital

Jonathan Nitzan & Shimshon Bichler, Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder Routledge, 2009 (free pdf)

Bichler & Nitzan, "Capital as Power" Philosophers for Change

The Bichler and Nitzan Archives


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If capital accumulation is the single most important process of capitalism, then what is capital? We all might assume capital is an economic entity rooted in production and consumption, but Jonathan Nitzan claims otherwise. He argues that capital is, instead, a mode of power. Nitzan also describes the separation of economics from politics and the bifurcation of the economy into the real and nominal spheres. (Part One of a two-part interview; Part Two airs Wednesday.)
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Wed 6.06.12 | The Conquest of Bread

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf Beacon, 2012





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Wonderbread vs artisanal bread. It may seem like a simple choice between variants of the same thing, but for many the two are a universe apart -- one representing industrial production and American hubris; the other a wholesomeness that bespeaks a different way of being in the world. Food scholar Aaron Bobrow-Strain has written a social history of white bread. He discusses the unexpected consequences of trying to change the world with food.

Tues 6.05.12 | Celebrating Consumption

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Could spending be virtuous and thrift bad? Left-wing economic and cultural historian James Livingston thinks so. He suggests -- taking on the 19th century Populists, the Frankfurt School, and current economic orthodoxy along the way -- that consumption is good for social justice and the environment. Livingston argues that, in place of austerity and frugality, investment should be socialized, wages increased, and the workweek shortened. (Encore broadcast.)

Mon 6.04.12 | Unionizing a Catholic Hospital

Adam D. Reich With God on Our Side: The Struggle for Workers' Rights in a Catholic Hospital Cornell University Press, 2012






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For nine years, workers struggled to unionize a Santa Rosa hospital run by one of the most progressive orders of nuns in the country. The workers ultimately won, but the battle was protracted and difficult, as the nuns waged a full blown anti-union campaign. Sociologist Adam Reich, who participated in the unionization drive, reflects on the challenges of organizing in the caring industries, especially those owned by religious organizations.

Wed 5.30.12 | Democracy: A Labor of Love?

Michael Hardt

Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire Penguin, 2005 (paper)

Hardt & Negri, Commonwealth Harvard U. Press, 2011 (paper)

Is love a political concept? Can evil be explained -- or be explained away? What's the significance of a proletariat that includes millions of workers who produce not physical things but rather feelings of well-being in the people they help or serve? Michael Hardt discussed his and Antonio Negri's conception of the multitude and its relation to labor, love, and the concept of evil. (Audio not for public mp3 distribution.)

Tues 5.29.12 | Art, Politics, and the Gentrification of San Francisco

Reflections on Komotion International 

Mat Callahan, The Trouble With Music AK Press, 2005





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Why has the Bay Area been such a cauldron for the melding of art and politics?  And what did a period of heightened gentrification do to San Francisco's radical culture? Komotion International, the legendary artist collective and performance, music, and art space -- which nurtured musicians like Michael Franti, Consolidated, and Primus -- epitomized the spirt of rebellion and creativity, leaving a deep mark. Collective co-founders Robin Balliger and Mat Callahan discuss Komotion's glory years and eventual demise during the "code wars."

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