Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Sad Heart At the Supermarket

New World Notes #486, 28:32 (June 27)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Why is supermarket shopping so tiring and depressing? Maybe it's the constant vigilance required to prevent your getting fleeced.

KD contrasts the supermarket's celebration of deception, swindling, and bad faith (all legal) with the eccentric charm of the small shops of Pittsburgh in the 1970s.

Adding to the critique of corporate agro-marketing are two short talks by Jim Hightower and a song by David Rovics.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Russia, China, and the Crisis of the US Ruling Class

Part 1: New World Notes #484, 28:43 (June 13)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #485, 29:22 (June 20)
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In a recent talk in Hartford, Glen Ford insightfully dissects US geostrategic policy. He explains how the current anti-Russia hysteria--and, more importantly, the US's disastrous and failing military interventions in the Middle East--are part of a larger effort to contain China. The US ruling class's "crisis" is genuine: the increasing threat that China poses to the US rulers' global hegemony.

To control China, the world's current rulers have to control the oil of the Middle East. But after the Iraq debacle, they lack the public support they would need to commit tens of thousands of American soldiers. So they hire local armies of radical Islamic jihadists as mercenaries. These desperate alliances cannot be publicly acknowledged. So the ruling class works hard to distract the US public.

Glen Ford (2013). Photo by Kenneth Dowst*

Ford spoke at the University of Hartford on May 15, 2017. David Schonfeld recorded the talk live and provided New World Notes with a copy. Many thanks.

* Photo: Creative Commons license granted (BY-NC).

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Backlash Against Women

New World Notes #483, 28:50 (June 6)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Jennifer Roesch explores the apparent contradiction in our culture: rampant hypersexualiztion and commodification of women but also increasing repression of women's sexuality. In combatting the former, she argues, we should not promote the latter. Let's not recreate the 1950s--the late 1960s are a better model of progress and liberation.

For Roesch, the ultimate cause of both sleaze and repression is capitalism run amok. And we can't have sexual freedom without social and economic freedom.

Roesch spoke at the Socialism 2013 conference, June 27, 2013.  Audio (which I have condensed and edited for radio) courtesy of

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #380, in June 2015. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, may be identified by that program number.