41 episodes

A podcast where two social studies teachers discuss history, American empire, US politics and their own lives. Traditional narratives regarding American history are challenged in a tone that ranges from playful to hostile.

In the Context of Empir‪e‬ Jonathan Lancaster and Matthew McKenna

    • History
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

A podcast where two social studies teachers discuss history, American empire, US politics and their own lives. Traditional narratives regarding American history are challenged in a tone that ranges from playful to hostile.

    Episode 41: The War Industry Vs. Humanity with Christian Sorensen

    Episode 41: The War Industry Vs. Humanity with Christian Sorensen

    The military industrial congressional complex consists of war profiteers, both obvious and less apparent. Matt was joined by Christian Sorensen for a wide ranging conversation about some of the most nefarious aspects of the war industry. Christian is a veteran of the United States Air Force and the author of Understanding the War Industry. He is also a prolific investigator of government contracts offered within the MIC at warindustrymuster.com. 



    Discussed in this Episode:

    - Christian's background in going from a member of the Air Force to a prolific enemy of the war industry

    - The ways in which the war industry influences policy through the use of retired military personnel and lobbying Congress

    - The nefarious weaponization of "imperial feminism" to promote war and militarism

    - The complicity of mainstream media in promoting war

    - Christian's article, Who Are the Ultimate War Profiteers? U.S. Air Force Veteran Removes the Veil, about the lesser known role of the financial industry in propagating US imperial violence

    - Christian's list of euphemisms that serve to sanitize the violent behavior of the US empire 

    - Responding to critics... is this whole MIC thing a conspiracy theory?

    - Christian's and Matt's outlooks for the future

    Our Work:

    Read our "In the Context of Empire" blog with corresponding and expanded posts to this content!

    Matt's related article about imperial euphemisms

    Social Media: Twitter- @JonTheContrary and  @Mattylongruns.

    • 1 hr 46 min
    Episode 40: The Pathology of Government Secrecy, the Value of Wikileaks, and the Realities of Julian Assange's Case with Kevin Gosztola

    Episode 40: The Pathology of Government Secrecy, the Value of Wikileaks, and the Realities of Julian Assange's Case with Kevin Gosztola

    The gravest threat to press freedom right now is the US government's attempt to prosecute Julian Assange. The work of Assange, and more broadly Wikileaks has been a great service to the world. Through their work, they  removed some of the cloud of secrecy that allows the most powerful figures in the US empire to commit crimes with immunity. Matt was joined by Kevin Gosztola to discuss the US persecution of Julian Assange, the value of Wikileaks and their revelations, and the plight of whistleblowers more broadly. Kevin is a Journalist who writes at Shadowproof. He is also the host of Dissenter Weekly and the Co-Host of the Unauthorized Disclosure podcast with Rhania Khalek



    Discussed in this Episode:

    Kevin's professional background and his interest in leaks and whistleblowers

    Wikileaks' origins and purpose

    Wikileaks greatest hits including the Afghan War logs, the Iraq War logs, the State department cables, the Guantanamo Files, and the Vault 7 leaks

    The realities current Julian Assange case, common misconceptions, and why everyone should be concerned about this grave threat to press freedom

    Kevin's thoughts about why so few journalists are covering this case, even as it could have major implications for their own journalism

    Our Work:

    Read our "In the Context of Empire" blog with corresponding and expanded posts to this content!

    Matt's related article concerning the recent history of Iran and the United States

    Social Media: Twitter- @JonTheContrary and  @Mattylongruns.

    • 2 hr 1 min
    Episode 39: Challenging Settler Colonialism in Hawaii and the Philippines with Ellen-Rae Cachola

    Episode 39: Challenging Settler Colonialism in Hawaii and the Philippines with Ellen-Rae Cachola

    Matt was joined by Dr. Ellen- Rae Cachola to discuss US imperialism in Hawaii and the Philippines. Dr. Cachola is a lecturer of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and the evening supervisor and archives manager University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law. Dr. Cachola's writing on the subject of settler colonialism in the Pacific Islands can be found here. 



    Discussed in this Episode:

    - Dr. Cachola's background and her interest in the legacy of US imperialism in the Pacific Islands.

    - The violent origins of US imperialism in these islands

    - Neo-colonialism in the Philippines and the struggle from sovereignty

    - The subjugation of the Philippine economy and subsequent diaspora of Filipinos

    - The malignant effects of both the US military and the tourism industry in Hawaii and the Philippines

    - Dr. Cachola's work on Detours, walking tours in Hawaii that are designed to teach the value of decolonization

    -  The structured and sociological oppression inflicted upon colonized peoples that extends even to subjugating minds of the colonized 

    - The need for solidarity and intersectionality in the struggle against US imperialism



    Our Work:

    Read our "In the Context of Empire" blog with corresponding and expanded posts to this content!

    Social Media: Twitter- @JonTheContrary and  @Mattylongruns.

    • 59 min
    Episode 38: The Long and Complicated Relationship Between Iran and the United States with John Ghazvinian

    Episode 38: The Long and Complicated Relationship Between Iran and the United States with John Ghazvinian

    Jon and Matt were joined by Dr. John Ghazvinian to speak about the complicated history of the Iran and the United States. While many listeners are likely familiar with the more recent decades of this relationship, in which the US has been engaged  in aggression against Iran since 1953, the relationship is actually far older, more complicated, and offers some hope for the future. Dr. Ghazvinian is the executive director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of Untapped, the Scramble for Africa’s Oil and most recently, America and Iran: A History from 1720 to the Present



    Discussed in this Episode:

    - John's background and and origins of his interest in this subject

    - Colonial America's fascination with Iran

    - Iran and Islam

    - Foreign influence in Iran 

    - The US was viewed.. as an anti-imperialist power!

    - The consistent Western interference to thwart democracy in Iran 

    - Mohammad Mossadegh and the tragic events of 1953

     - The rise and fall of the Pahlavi dynasty

    - How the US helped to create the environment wherein the 1979 Islamic Revolution occurred

    - The barbarity of sanctions and suggestions for how to talk about alleged human rights abuses of the Iranian government

    - The future of Iran and the United States,  Dr. Ghazvinian's concerns and hopes for the relationship

     

    Our Work:

    Read our "In the Context of Empire" blog with corresponding and expanded posts to this content!

    Matt's related article concerning the recent history of Iran and the United States 

    Social Media: Twitter- @JonTheContrary and  @Mattylongruns.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Episode 37: Parsing Through the Convoluted Logic of US Foreign Policy with Danny Sjursen

    Episode 37: Parsing Through the Convoluted Logic of US Foreign Policy with Danny Sjursen

    Matt was joined by Danny Sjursen to speak about the confusing pattern of the United States being supportive of some uprisings, while seeking to crush others. They also discussed the wildly inconsistent reactions the United States has to various forms of terrorism. Danny is a retired Major in the United States Army, a historian, has taught at West Point Military Academy. He is also a prolific writer at many outlets include The Nation,  antiwar.com, Scheerpost, and The American Conservative and many other places. He is the author of several books including Ghost Riders of Baghdad, Soldiers, Civilians and the Myth of the Surge Patriotic Dissent and the upcoming  A True History of the United States. Check Danny's website for more of his work!



    Discussed in this Episode:

    Comparing and contrasting US reactions to uprisings in variety of theaters including:

                    - Syria and Ukraine

                    - Western Sahara and Libya

                    - Egypt and Venezuela

                     - Palestine and Kashmir

    Definitions of "terrorism" and the subjective nature of the word

    US hypocrisy and inconsistency in its reactions to different forms of terrorism

    The complex realities of different groups that have been branded as terrorist organizations by the US 



    Our Work:

    Read our "In the Context of Empire" blog with corresponding and expanded posts to this content!

    Matt's recent article concept of terrorism, its uses and misuses

    Social Media: Twitter- @Mattylongruns.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 36: Imperial Hypocrisy with Ben Norton

    Episode 36: Imperial Hypocrisy with Ben Norton

    Matt was joined by journalist Ben Norton to speak about a variety of topics that highlight the hypocrisy of the US empire. The dicussion covers a range of topics including the mainstream media's deference to the national security state, concepts terrorism and genocide, and the treatment of Julian Assange. Ben writes for the Grayzone and hosts the  Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. 



    Discussed in this Episode:

    - Ben's interest in national security reporting and why so many Western journalists have a deference to US imperial institutions

    - The Grayzone's origins and irrational vitriol they receive for doing good journalism

    - How character assassination becomes deployed by critics with no actual coherent argument

    - Bens article, US backs al-Qaeda in Yemen while dubbing its Houthi enemies ‘terrorists’

    - The concept of genocide, and its application to various situations. Matt wrote an article about the subject. 

    - US involvement in the Syrian Civil War,: the dirty war the US has been engaged in through arming "moderate rebels" and conducting a massive propaganda campaign. Discussed further in Ben's article, Leaked docs expose massive Syria propaganda operation waged by Western govt contractors and media

    - How do speak about countries currently being targeted by US imperialism

    - The need to be skeptical about all claims made the the US about official US enemies- the long history of the US lying 



    Our Work:

    Read our "In the Context of Empire" blog with corresponding and expanded posts to this content!

    Matt's recent article concept of terrorism, its uses and misuses

    Social Media: Twitter- @Mattylongruns.

    • 1 hr 59 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Pennypie123 ,

One of the best podcasts I listen to

Deep dives into topics no one else is even covering, thoughtful discussion of how to make change! Love this show, Wish I had discovered it sooner!

Not Batman Bruce Wayne ,

Wide Ranging Critical Conversations on American History

Two progressive educators work through, in real time, the question of how to learn from American history to effect social change. At a time when the radical teaching of history is under direct assault, this series provides an informative and provocative take on the enduring American mythologies that have shaped our nation’s sense of itself. They feature an excellent list of guests who share stories from their writing and political activism. Reviews of local beer are an extra.

LadyLovinFan172 ,

thought provoking and real!

First time listener! I started with the most recent episode, Declaring War on “Patriotic Education”, and I was really blown away. This discussion was so thought provoking and honestly, very captivating especially from the lens of history teachers. What really stuck with me the most is this idea that teaching the facts about American history is somehow unpatriotic... meanwhile the people who categorize, teaching facts about American history as “unpatriotic”, are the same people that are performative in their patriotism (i.e, singing the national anthem and saying the pledge of allegiance but NOT supporting policies that would that serve the greater good for Americans especially marginalized a Americans). GREAT discussion and I can’t wait to listen to all the episodes :)

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