Tom Becker hosts this edition of the Old Mole featuring discussions of the November elections and the psychology of political activism.
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Paul Sonn, of the National Employment Law Project (NELP), speaks with Laurie Mercier about recent successes of state and city minimum wage campaigns, and new grass-roots strategies for promoting living wage jobs. Here is a good online resource for action on this issues. 13:15 minutes (9.1 MB)
In the last years of his life, Karl Marx returned to the themes of his early writings: the possibility of a society beyond private property and alienation, inspired by what he read about the Iroquois in the work of anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan. Clayton Morgareidge reads selected passages from an essay by Franklin Rosemont. The full article, which is worth reading by anyone interested in Marx and Marxism, is here. 8:07 minutes (7.43 MB)
Bill Resnick and Patrick Mazza discuss Naomi Klein's promising new book about capitalism and the environment, "This Changes Everything: captalsism vs. the climate". They consider the books merits, but also how it does not adequately deal with the challenges it raises against capitalism. They talk about corporate environmentalism, how Naomi ties the great social movements of the last couple centuries to environmentalism, but also her soft-pedaling on the big-business approach to sustainable energy, and the need for radically democratic solutions that devolve centralized forms of power in society, the economy, and energy grid.
Benjamin Parzybok's novel, Sherwood Nation, is a futuristic story of Portland, post-drought. It explores the possibility of creating fairly small city-states that are self-governing and dependent on neighborhood volunteers for protection and services. The novel raises a number of important questions about what political action means for regular folks who seem to have little control over their lives in contemporary, allegedly democratic, societies. 6:40 minutes (6.1 MB)