We created this podcast in recognition that there are a number of podcasts for the American “left,” but many of them focus heavily on the organizing of social democrats, progressives, and liberal democrats. Aside from that, on the left we are always fighting a war of ideas and if we do not continue to build platforms to share those ideas and the stories of their implementation from a leftist perspective, they will continue to be ignored, misrepresented, and dismissed by the capitalist media and as a result by the general public.
Our goal is to provide a platform for communists, anti-imperialists, Black Liberation movements, ancoms, left libertarians, LBGTQ activists, feminists, immigration activists, and abolitionists to discuss radical politics, radical organizing and share their visions for a better world. Our goal is to center organizers who represent and work with marginalized communities building survival programs, defense programs, political education, and counterpower.
We also plan to bring in perspectives on and from the global south to highlight anti-capitalist struggles outside the imperial core. We view solidarity with decolonization, indigenous, anti-imperialist, environmentalist, socialist, and anarchist movements across the world as necessary steps toward meaningful liberation for all people.
Too often within the imperial core we focus on our own struggles without taking the time to understand those fighting for freedom from beneath the empire’s thumb. It is important to highlight these struggles, learn what we can from them, offer solidarity, and support with action when we can. It is not enough to Fight For $15 an hour and Single-Payer within the core, while the US actively fights against the self-determination of the people of the global economically and militarily.
We recognize that except for the extremely wealthy and privileged, our fates and struggles are intrinsically connected. We hope that our podcast becomes a meaningful platform for organizers and activists fighting for social change to connect their local movements to broader movements centered around the fight to end imperialism, capitalism, racism, discrimination based on gender identity or sexuality, sexism, and ableism.
If you like our work please support us at www.patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism
"The Only Way We Win Is With Each Other" - The Struggle to Defend the UC Townhomes with Rasheda Alexander and Sterling Johnson
In this episode we interview Rasheda Alexander and Sterling Johnson. They are both participants in the struggle to defend the UC Townhomes, which residents have renamed the People’s Townhomes in Philadelphia. This one of the most recent flashpoint struggles in Philadelphia in a long struggle to defend the neighborhoods Black Philadelphians were originally segregated into from the forces of gentrification and displacement. Sterling who is an organizer with Philadelphia Housing Action joined us previously in part 1 of our conversation on the book How We Stay Free to talk about the massive housing struggles for homeless people in Philadelphia in 2020.
In this episode both Rasheda and Sterling offer personal context, overarching analysis, and talk about the issue of housing among other things as a racial justice issue, as a disability justice issue, and as an issue of justice for the elderly.
Rasheda provides listeners with a concrete understanding of the liberatory potential of struggles like this, how they can transform relations among participants and be an example of abolition in practice. Sterling provides a great deal of analysis and context around the forces housing organizers have to fight, and advocates for a proliferation of encampments as a tactic in that struggle.
It is important context to know that the protest camp, by which I mean basically the pallets and the tents, was removed by the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office this past Monday. When we had spoken on July 27th it was supposed to originally have been removed on that day. It was through organizing, resistance, and support from other groups in Philly including organized labor that the encampment lasted as long as it did. I’m going to play a quick clip of audio of Philadelphia’s Sheriff who brands herself as a “social justice warrior” as she is removing the encampment. In the background you can hear residents and protesters chanting “we ain’t goin’ nowhere,” which has been a clarion call of the Save UC Townhomes movement.
Even with the encampment’s tents and barriers removed, the protest and the fight to Save UC Townhomes will continue. Please connect with them by following them on social media for more updates on how to support their struggle. And get involved in housing struggles in your own community. Even if it is not your home being impacted, these fights affect all of us.
We’ll include more links in the show notes, including an Opinion piece that came out in the Philly Inquirer after the demolition of the encampment:
“We are still waiting for the Mayor’s Office to respond to our demands. However, I am grateful for all of the support that our protest camp has received, and look forward to continuing our fight regardless of the court or the sheriff’s decision to dismantle it. I cherish this community and I will continue to fight for it until I can’t anymore.”
That quote by Maria Lyles, who is a resident of UC Townhomes, sums up the perspectives from residents who have been struggling to defend their community in this fight. It also echoes much of Rasheda’s sentiment in this conversation.
An editors note, this episode was a live conversation much of which the interviewees were outside, or at UC Townhomes. So there were a couple parts that had to be clipped, and there are still some issues that remain in the audio, in all cases they are brief and clear up quickly.
At Millennials Are Killing Capitalism we had an initial goal of adding 25 patrons this month to keep up with attrition. We’re only 6 patrons away from hitting that goal as we publish this on August 11th, so hopefully we can exceed that goal this month. Thank you to all the folks who support us on patreon, and if you would like to join them you can do so for as little as $1 a month on patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism.
Our music is provided by Televangel.
Now here is our conversation with Rasheda Alexander and Sterling Johnson.
"Everybody Changes In The Process Of Building A Movement" - Ruth Wilson Gilmore on Abolition Geography
In this episode we are honored to welcome Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore to the podcast.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Co-founder of many grassroots organizations including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, she is author of the prize-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California.
In this episode, we ask questions primarily from Wilson Gilmore’s latest book Abolition Geography: Essays Toward Liberation. Along the way we talk about consciousness, conjunctural analysis, the horizon of abolition, and various modes of organizing against premature death. We also ask a couple of questions facing abolitionists today, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore offers some insights into the various forms of struggle in which she finds hope.
We strongly encourage folks to pick up Abolition Geography which is packed full of insights from Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s past 30 years of thinking and writing about abolitionist struggle, much of which she participated in directly.
Our music as always is provided by Televangel.
We want to give a huge thank you to all of our patrons for supporting the show. Our work here is only possible because of your support. We don’t sell ads, we don’t put our episodes behind a paywall and we don’t charge guests fees. We don’t do any of those things because we don’t want any corporate interests influencing our content, and we want all of our episodes to be freely available to anyone who wants to listen. So if you aren’t already a patron, and you enjoy this conversation please become a patron of the show. You can do so for as little as $1 a month or $10.80 per year at patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism.
"Law Can Never Be A Substitute For Politics" - Instructions For Thinking About The Law With Politics In Command with Sophia G and Nathan Y
In this interview we wanted to do a discussion about the law, politics and abolition. We thought that this was an important thing to have some discussion on, in light of all the recent Supreme Court rulings which have rightfully caused a lot of anger, indignation, protest and organizing.
Our guests for this week are Sophia G and Nathan Y. Sophia is a lawyer defending criminalized immigrants and a PIC and border abolitionist. Nathan is an abolitionist lawyer defending criminalized immigrants and defending Cuba from economic imperialism.
In conversation they both work to demystify concepts like the law and rights as neutral concepts or principles. They emphasis the importance of seeing courts as a site of struggle, where any wins or losses made do not come a result of good legal arguments, but as a result of larger social forces and power struggles.
Both emphasize the importance of keeping politics front and center, and of viewing the law as something to be understood, only so that we can disrespect it and overcome it, rather than putting it on a pedestal. And that lawyering like any other skill or trade, needs to be put in service of social movements, which means dispensing with the mythology and decorum of the law, and liberal understandings of it.
Along the way they discuss interesting tactics, such as jury nullification (Beyond Criminal Courts Jury Nullification toolkit) in the wake of Dobbs and new anti-abortion laws and mass participatory defense campaigns for people facing criminalization and deportation. They also talk about some of the work of Survived and Punished New York. So also follow them on social media for ways you can support struggles like the ones described by Nathan and Sophia in this episode.
This is an important discussion for organizers, activists, people who have been activated by recent Supreme Court decisions, and for attorneys and law students who are trying to understand how they can use their legal skills in ways that frankly are pretty foreign to most folks in the legal profession.
One struggle mentioned near the end of the episode:
"Assia's community is calling on folks to sign her pardon petition (https://bit.ly/AssiaPetition) and is inviting folks to a speakout featuring her and other criminalized New Yorkers facing deportation. The speakout will highlight how New York's tools of criminalization facilitate mass deportations—and will call on the governor to grant clemency to the speakers fighting for their right to remain in the US. Details: August 8, 2022, 6:00 PM ET. Tentative Title: "New York's Complicity in the Deportation Machine: Beyond 'Sanctuary' and Other So-Called Protective Laws." Zoom link: https://bit.ly/NYDeportationMachine Meeting ID: 882 5834 8400 / Passcode: 295136 One tap mobile
+16468769923,,88258348400# US (New York)"
This is our fifth episode of July at Millennials Are Killing Capitalism. Every episode we do requires many hours of research, preparation, recording, editing and production. We operate the show totally independently and without any advertising or financial backing other than the support of our listeners. It’s super easy to become a patron of the show and you can do it for as little as $1 a month or $10.80 per year at patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism. By doing that you will of course be notified of each new episode as well as every time we start up a new session of our ongoing study groups.
"Commune or Nothing" - Chris Gilbert on Venezuelan Communes, the Program of Hugo Chávez & Theory of Mészáros
In this episode Chris Gilbert returns to the podcast.
Chris Gilbert is a professor of Political Science in the Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela. His articles have appeared in Venezuela Analysis, Monthly Review, CounterPunch and various other publications. Gilbert is the creator of the Marxist educational program “Escuela de Cuadros,” broadcast on Venezuelan public television. Along with Cira Pascual Marquina, Chris is also the co-editor of the book Venezuela: The Present As Struggle: Voices From The Bolivarian Revolution which we did a two-part episode on last year.
This conversation is framed around a recent article of Gilbert’s that was published in the Monthly Review. The piece is called “Mészáros and Chávez: The Philosopher and the Llanero” and it tells the story of the relationship, personal, theoretical and practical between István Mészáros and Venezuelan revolutionary and former president Hugo Chávez.
At the heart of the discussion is the question of the commune. And the theory of communes as the basis for a transition to socialism, as while as the practice of communes in Venezuelan society. Along the way, Gilbert also contextualizes the discussion in Mészáros’ theory, Chávez’s programs and experimentation, and in the material practice of existing communes in Venezuela today.
We also discuss Mészáros’ critiques of 20th Century Socialism and his explanation of the Capital System as a metabolic system, that must be broken down and replaced by a completely new metabolism.
And of course Gilbert reminds people in the US, Canada and Europe that they should be pressuring their governments to end the inhumane sanctions on Venezuela.
We hope you enjoy this episode. We want to thank all of our patrons for your support. If you like what we do and can afford a small monthly or yearly contribution, head over to patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism. Our podcast is 100% funded by our patrons and we put out new episodes every week.
The piece this episode is in dialogue with
Part 1 of our discussion Gilbert & Marquina's book Venezuela The Present As Struggle
Part 2 of that discussion.
Huge Chávez's speech "Golpe De Timon" or "Strike At The Helm"
Hugo Chavez's - Aló Presidente Teórico #1 (since we coudln't find a full English translation we linked two related pieces: Venezuelanalysis /Utopix on Aló Presidente Teórico #1
Angel Prado The Commune Holds the Solution to the Crisis
A film referenced by Gilbert on the episode as well: 5 Factories Film - Worker Control In Venezuela
Our music is by Televangel
"We Make Our Community By Defending It" - Tracy Rosenthal on the Homeless Industrial Complex, Housing and Tenant Union Organizing
In this conversation we interview Tracy Rosenthal who is a co-founder of the Los Angeles Tenants Union. Their book, Abolish Rent, written with Leonardo Vilchis, is forthcoming from Verso.
We talk to Tracy about their recent piece “Inside LA’s Homeless Industrial Complex” which discusses the aftermath of LA’s Echo Park encampment from 2020, and current trends in social control with respect to unhoused people in Los Angeles. Tracy examines the relationship between police and ostensibly social service oriented nonprofit organizations in developing new forms of carceral containment, under the auspices of so-called interim housing.
We also talk a bit about some of the organizing that unhoused folks are undertaking in response to these trends. As well as the work Tracy and others are doing with the LA Tenants Union and the Autonomous Tenants Union Network.
And we are as always working to maintain our capacity to bring you these shows as frequently as we do. Doing that requires monetary support. We appreciate every single one of our patrons. If you are looking to join them in financially sustaining this show, you can become a patron for as little as $10.80/year, or $1/month at patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism. And if you’re not able to give monetarily, boost the patreon link on your social media or share an episode with someone. It all helps.
Music for our podcast is provided by Televangel.
Articles discussed in the episode:
“Inside LA’s Homeless Industrial Complex”
"101 Notes On The LA Tenants Union"
Tenant Organizing: LA Tenants Union and the Autonomous Tenants Union Network.
"A Threat To This Day" Jared Ball on the Distortion and Erasure of Black Revolutionaries in Corporate Media
In this episode Dr. Jared Ball returns to the podcast. Jared Ball is a professor of communication studies at Morgan State University. He is the author of The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power and I Mix What I Like!: A Mixtape Manifesto and he is the co-editor along with Dr. Todd Steven Burroughs of the book A Lie Of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X.
He is one of the founders of Black Power Media and the host of the iMiXWHATiLIKE program, which can be found on that platform. He is also a co-host of BPM’s Remix morning show.
This time around we focus on his work in the realm of media criticism. In particular Jared has for many years engaged in criticism around representations of Black Radical figures in both mainstream media and academic work created for the mass market.
In this conversation we talk about the tactics used to distort, misrepresent, or erase entirely the legacies of figures like Malcolm X and Kwame Ture. We also get Jared’s take on whether or not Judas and the Black Messiah represents a break from a history of demonization of Black revolutionaries in US mainstream media.
On top of that we have a lot of fun talking about some of Jared Ball’s favorite radical movies.
We encourage folks to watch and support Black Power Media if you don’t already, you can find them on YouTube or at BlackPowerMedia.org. And we’ll include links to some of Jared Ball’s work that informed this discussion.
Thank you as always to all of our patrons for your support. And if you like what we do, our conversations are totally supported by our listeners. You can become a patron for as little as $10.80 per year, or a dollar a month over at patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism
Prior appearances of Jared Ball on MAKC
Great Harlem Debates (Jared Ball cites this in the show with reference to Barack Obama's presidency)
Journalism For Liberation and Combat Seminar Series
The Vernon Philosophy of Black Media Avoidance
Defining Black Power: Jared Ball Debates Peniel Joseph
The Assassinations of Malcolm X Literal and Posthumous: A Contributors Roundtable
Myth: The Malcolm X Movie is Accurate (w/ Dr. Jared Ball) - The Black Myths Podcast Bonus Cut
Revolutionary Reflections, Revolutionary Vision: Kwame Ture at 80
From Black Power Back to Pan-Africanism
Selma, Media and Dr. John Henrik Clarke Remembered
Judas & the Black Messiah - JAB's first thoughts & Chairman Fred Hampton Jr & Rosa Clemente discuss Judas & The Black Messiah with Jared Ball
This podcast radicalized me
I can’t actually recall precisely how I stumbled across this podcast. I know it was during the Trump administration, when I was still a liberal but very disillusioned by the Democratic Party. I found myself eager for political education that went beyond electoral politics. Four years later, I am a proud Patreon subscriber, avid listener, and a radical leftist who is probably an anarchist but still has a lot to learn. Thank you, Jay and Josh, for this fantastic podcast and for all the work y’all put into bringing on amazing and knowledgeable guests in order to hold important and necessary conversations about liberation and the necessity of both theory and praxis.
Serious, in depth discussions
Host and guests engage deeply with the issues. Fuel for the revolutionary mind. Just became a subscriber but so far my faves have been Kali Okuno and the Journalism for Emancipation series. Love the long-form interviews that dont feel rushed or over-edited. Keep up the great work!!
excellent political education
this podcast has incredible breadth in the topics they cover. I came for the Joy James interview, and was overjoyed to find an archive with four years worth of quality interviews. They cover topics that the other leftist interview podcasts I like (like the Dig or Know Your Enemy) rarely ever cover. You won’t always agree with the guests, but I’ve learned something valuable from every interview. Also, the special episode about MF DOOM is just awesome!