Old Mole Variety Hour
The Old Mole burrows down to the roots of the great issues of our time – the struggles of ordinary people for democratic and sustainable ways of life. The Mole goes where corporate media fear to tread, supporting grassroots challenges to top-down authority and giving voice to movements that shake the foundations of an unjust society. The Moles' perspective is democratic, broadly socialist, and feminist. (We count Karl Marx as a friend).
Our graphic lettering is by Charlie Ertola.
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Radical musicologist Brad Duncan talks with Bill Resnick about the political rap artists The Welfare Poets, Chosan, and Black Skeptik. We hear samples of their music followed by a discussion of their music as the poetry and the politics of everyday life. Here are links to videos of Black Skeptik, "Rent"; Chosan, "This is My America;" and The Welfare Poets, "Warn Them."
Kristian Williams, Portland writer and author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America, continues his discussion of last week with Bill Resnick about police violence. In this second part of the interview, Bill and Kristian look at what it would take to make policing non-violent.
Examining the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the young Nigerian man who tried set off an explosion on a plane from Amsterdam as it approached Detroit on Christmas day, Clayton Morgareidge suggests that terrorist acts can result from the frustration of the democratic desire for solidarity. For the text of this commentary and links to sources, go here.
Alain Badiou enunciates the communist hypothesis: The subordination of labor to a dominant class, (whether it be a class of capitalists or a class of party bureaucrats) is not inevitable. If so, then the existence of a coercive state, with the violent policing we heard about at the beginning of this show, is not inevitable either. Here is the Old Mole’s Frann Michel making the case for this hypothesis, and for the courage to weather the hard times of struggle. You can read the text and find her sources here.
Hosted by Clayton Morgareidge, this first show of 2010 proposes that another, better world is possible. Portland writer Kristian Williams tells Bill Resnick what it would take to provide domestic security without violent policing. Clayton reflects on the recent terrorist attempt on an airliner to find connections between terrorism and the frustration of social connection. Psychologist Felix Warneken describes experiments showing that toddlers want to help others -- indicating that humanity is capable of living cooperatively. And Frann Michel explains Alain Badiou's "communist hypothesis": that the subordination of labor to a dominant class is not inevitable.
To hear the whole show (and how all the pieces hang together and support each other), use the play button below. To hear individual pieces and find more information, follow these links:
Are human beings capable of living in a better society in which cooperation predominates over competition? Harvard psychologist Felix Warneken discusses experiments showing that kids of 18 months have a spontaneous impulse to help others in need. More about this here.
Dianne Feeley is a retired auto worker who writes about the industry and the United Auto Workers Union. She talks with Denise Morris about the future of the industry and the situation of the workers today. You can read an essay of hers here.
Brooke Jacobson comments on the current film about a high-flying guy who fires people for a living. Some of the actors are real people recently laid off.
Why is violence such a feature of police work? Kristian Williams is the author of two books on this topic, including Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America. Williams examines the populations most often subjected to police abuse and the forms that abuse takes, delving into the role of police brutality in repressing political dissent and in preserving existing structures of inequality. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick. On next week's Old Mole (Jan. 4), the conversation will continue, focusing on what police work would be like in a better world.
Our book mole Larry Bowlden takes up Jeffrey Eugenides's Pulitzer Prize novel Middlesex. It is about gender ambiguity, immigration, working in the auto industry in Detroit, and family history. You can read more of Larry's reviews here.