In Part Two of an interview with Jonathan Nitzan, the Canadian political economist brings up corporate profit-taking, the sabotage by capitalists of industry, and conflicts over energy. He also contends that the concept of the economy as a distinct, objective category needs to be discarded. Also, Charlie Varon talks about his new show at The Marsh.
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride month, yet the distance between queer liberation and gay pride has become quite wide. That, at least, is the argument made by queer critic and writer Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. She posits that LGBT politics have been dominated by an elite gay establishment pushing a conservative agenda, by advocating for lesbians and gays in the military, gay marriage, and draconian hate crimes legislation. She discusses the rifts within the gay community that even the left media tends to ignore.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.