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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Tom Becker hosts this Old Mole and we hear about Hugo Chavez and Venuzuela, the new drug-war action film Snitch, wage-slavery and republican visions of liberty, and space warfare.
- Bill Resnick talks with Michael Fox about Hugo Chavez and what's next for Veneuzalans.
- Jan Haaken and Mike Snedecker review "Snitch", a new drug-war action film.
- Joe Clement interviews Alex Gourevitch about the early-American critique of wage-slavery.
- Tom Becker reads excerpts of an essay about space warfare and the future of US global power.
- Title: OMVH3112012
- Length: 56:11 minutes (22.51 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 56Kbps (CBR)
Today words like "republican" or "independence" or "liberty" are likely to conjure ideas about the freedom of business, right to work laws, and the aggrandizement of owner-entrepreneurs. Joe Clement interviews Alex Gourevitch's about his recent article for Jacobin Magazine on "Wave Slavery and Republican Liberty", which argues against this grain.
Gourevitch encourages readers (especially working-class organizers) to revisit early American arguments about liberty, in particular some of their radical orientations toward equality and independence. He argues we can find an interesting tradition of revolutionary agitation around liberty in the 18th and 19th centuries, which he says at the time was as much about freedom from economic dependence as freedom from immediate interference. To this end, it was appropriated to great effect by Workingmen's Party organizers in the 1820s and '30s to condemn economic inequality and the wage-slavery it generates, going so far as demands to radically equalize property. But then, Gourevitch shows, later generations of who he calls worker-republicans, like the Knights of Labor and even the Industrial Workers of the World, build on these ideals.
Joe and Alex consider that history and its implications for 20th and 21st Century class-struggle. The first 15 minutes is what was heard on air, and focuses on the earliest history of the worker-republicans. The second part was recorded before and after the on-air portion, where they talk about later worker-republican agitation, the shifting ideology of liberty, as well as race and gender as potentially unmet challenges for worker-republicans.
Radical LGBT activists see the fight for gay marriage as a distraction from the more important struggle for economic justice. Joseph Nicholas DeFilippis is one such activist -- a writer for A New Queer Agenda. Here he talks with the Old Mole's Denise Morris about how LGBT people are affected by economic injustice. For more on this, see the website Queers For Economic Justice and this interview with Denise and Catherine Sameh, Associate Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, and managing editor of The Scholar & Feminist Online.
Hosted by Joe Clement, this show covers recent developments in Italian politics, experiences in public healthcare, challenges to voting rights laws in the Supreme Court, and why economic justice is an issue for LGBT activists.
To hear the whole show, use the play button below. To hear individual segments, follow the links.
Politics in Italy has always been entertaining, with its frequently falling governments. In the most recent elections there, a real entertainer named Beppe Grillo ("Joe Cricket"), leading a new party with a rhetoric combining progressive and reactionary positions, leaped into the fray with surprising success. Steve Hellmen is a an expert on Italian politics, and he talks here with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about Grillo and the Five Star Movement he leads.
in this personal account, Old Mole Iven Hale recounts some harrowing experiences as a community healthcare worker trying to help folks who are doubly challenged with both serious illness and poverty.
Justice Anthony Scalia has compared civil rights-era voting legislation to welfare entitlements, as if protecting the right to vote were a "government handout". Well Read Red Frann Michel looks into the challenge to this legislation that has now reached the Supreme Court.
Bill Resnick talks with economist David Weiman about the political forces encouraging the growth and maintaining of prisons and punitive policing in the USA. They consider not only media influence and legislators desire to keep jobs in their areas but also the fear-enhancing effects of social isolation and division and the correlation between inequality and incarceration. They discuss the impact of widely available guns and lobbying in support of gun rights. They consider the role of mental health professionals, the use of psychoactive drugs, and the likelihood that mental illness is a consequence of incarceration rather than a cause of crime. Weiman provides a brief history of the relation between drug laws and mass incarceration: although NY's Rockefeller drug laws became a model for Nixon's war on drugs, they did not initially increase incarceration rates because the NY police and legal system declined to implement them punitively until Ed Koch came to political prominence. The interview touches on the connection between drug crime and lack of economic alternatives in good jobs.
Larry Bowlden reviews the novel Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple , and finds the young narrator's story of life with her professional-class parents, and her mother's disappearance, very funny and engaging.
Alan Wieder talks with local singer-songwriter-activist David Rovics about his work, about living in Oregon, where the police have killed more black men per capita than anywhere else, about releasing songs online for free download, and about his new online book Have Guitar Will Travel.