175 episodes

Conversations and audio documentaries exploring a wide variety of themes pertaining to economics and politics, hosted by Della Z Duncan and Robert R. Raymond

Upstream Upstream

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 1.5K Ratings

Conversations and audio documentaries exploring a wide variety of themes pertaining to economics and politics, hosted by Della Z Duncan and Robert R. Raymond

    Breaking Up with Capitalism w/ Malaika Jabali

    Breaking Up with Capitalism w/ Malaika Jabali

    As socialists in the United States one of our most important tasks—at least under our current material conditions—is to raise class consciousness among the mass of people: the basic work of tuning people in to the existence of structures and systems that define and limit our lives. 
    As much as we on the left might take these things for granted, it’s always important to remember that many, many folks out there don’t think of the world in terms of socialism, capitalism, Marx, Engels—certainly not the relations of production under monopoly capitalism. But that doesn’t mean they don’t get it. If you live under capitalism, you get it. If not theoretically or in terms of political analysis, you get it because you might hate your boss, or your landlord, or you might wish you could spend more of your day watching your kids grow up, or you might have had to skip a pill here or there because you couldn’t afford refills from the pharmacy. Most people get it. They just might not have an ideological framework within which to situate their frustration, their anger, their sadness, their hopelessness.  
    So, in light of this, sometimes it’s helpful for us to frame issues of anti-capitalism and socialism in ways that are easily relatable and accessible. This is what our guest in today’s episode has accomplished in her latest book, which uses relationship analogies to provide you with everything you need to know about what a healthy relationship with our political economy could actually look like, issue by issue—from healthcare and housing to the whole concept of American democracy. Malaika Jabali is an award-winning journalist, policy attorney, life-long socialist, and author of the book, It’s Not You, It’s Capitalism: Why It’s Time to Break Up and How to Move On. In this conversation we have a wide-ranging discussion about raising class consciousness, Malaika’s organizing work in the midwest and the deep south, what different visions of socialism look like, and why it’s not too late to break up with your toxic partner and begin a new, thriving relationship with your new boo: socialism.
    Further resources:
    It's Not You, It's Capitalism by Malaika Jabali Malaika Jabali Related episodes:
    Upstream: Worker Co-ops Pt. 1: Widening Spheres of Democracy Upstream: Worker Co-ops Pt 2: Islands Within a Sea of Capitalism Intermission music: "Cost of Living" by Mom Friend
    Cover artwork: Kayla E.
    This episode of Upstream is brought to you in part by Alluvium Gatherings. Alluvium Gatherings designs, plans, and produces events for social and environmental justice movements that allow people to come together to solve the challenges of our time. Learn more at alluviumgatherings.com
    Upstream is a labor of love — we couldn't keep this project going without the generosity of our listeners and fans. Subscribe to our Patreon at patreon.com/upstreampodcast or please consider chipping in a one-time or recurring donation at www.upstreampodcast.org/support
    If your organization wants to sponsor one of our upcoming documentaries, we have a number of sponsorship packages available. Find out more at  upstreampodcast.org/sponsorship
    For more from Upstream, visit www.upstreampodcast.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Bluesky.

    You can also subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

    • 54 min
    [TEASER] Capitalism and the Weight Loss Industry w/ Johann Hari

    [TEASER] Capitalism and the Weight Loss Industry w/ Johann Hari

    Listen to the full episode by subscribing to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/upstreampodcast
    As a Patreon subscriber you will get access to at least one bonus episode a month (usually two or three), our entire back catalog of Patreon episodes, early access to certain episodes, and other benefits like stickers and bumper stickers—depending on which tier you subscribe to. You’ll also be helping to keep Upstream sustainable and allowing us to keep this project going. Find out more at Patreon.com/upstreampodcast or at upstreampodcast.org/support. Thank you.
    Weight loss has become a fully fledged industry in the United States—another classic trick by the capitalist class: manufacture a problem to make profits, and then sell a half-solution back to the population to purportedly address that problem. Are you experiencing health issues from the poisonous food manufacturing industry in the United States? No problem, we got you. Here’s a drug. 
    You might have heard of a drug called Ozempic—if not, don’t worry, we’ll bring you up to speed soon, but for now, all you need to know is that it’s a brand new weight loss drug that swept its way through Hollywood a couple of years ago and has now found its way into the bathroom mirrors of people around the world. Some predictions actually suggest that in a few years, a quarter of the U.S. population will be taking these drugs. In fact, it’s become so widespread that there’s been a decline in the stock value of companies like Krispy Kreme, the doughnut brand, which analysts have directly attributed to the growing popularity of drugs like Ozempic. 
    But what problem are these miracle weight loss drugs really trying to solve? If they are meant to increase our health and well-being, how do they actually impact health indicators? And what if the ultimate solution to the problem of increasing stress under capitalism and a poisonous food industry is more complicated than injecting yourself with appetite suppressing hormones? 
    These are the same questions that led today’s guest on a journey from Iceland to Minneapolis to Tokyo to find some answers about the impacts of industrial food manufacturing and “miracle” drugs. The answers aren’t black and white, and they take us through a deep and widely varying conversation that spans from body positivity movements, to weight loss drugs, fast food, anorexia, body dysmorphia, health and healing, and much more. 
    Johann Hari is the author of the books Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope, Stolen Focus: Why you Can’t Pay Attention, and, most recently, Magic Pill: The Extraordinary Benefits and Disturbing Risks of the New Weight-Loss Drugs. In this episode Johann tells us about his experience experimenting with Ozempic, the benefits and drawbacks of the drug, what it taught him about shame, willpower, and healing, and whether these magic little pills are a pathway towards liberation from diabetes, cancer, and an early death, or if they’re just another symptom of and false solution to a system that poisons us for a profit.
    Further resources:
    Magic Pill: The Extraordinary Benefits and Disturbing Risks of the New Weight-Loss Drugs, by Johann Hari Related episodes:
    Upstream: Stolen Focus with Johann Hari Upstream: The Political Economy of Food with Eric Holt-Gimenez Upstream is a labor of love — we couldn't keep this project going without the generosity of our listeners and fans. Subscribe to our Patreon at patreon.com/upstreampodcast or please consider chipping in a one-time or recurring donation at www.upstreampodcast.org/support
    If your organization wants to sponsor one of our upcoming documentaries, we have a number of sponsorship packages available. Find out more at  upstreampodcast.org/sponsorship
    For more from Upstream, visit www.upstreampodcast.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Bluesky.

    You can also subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify

    • 18 min
    Righteous Indignation, Love, and Running for President w/ Dr. Cornel West

    Righteous Indignation, Love, and Running for President w/ Dr. Cornel West

    Righteous indignation, truth, justice, and, maybe most important, love. These are some of the pillars that support the work that Dr. Cornel West, today’s guest, has been committed to throughout his entire life.
    Dr. West, as you may likely already know,  is a longtime political activist, philosopher, theologian, and public intellectual. He is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary where he teaches courses in Philosophy of Religion and African American Critical Thought. He’s the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Dr. West has written 20 books and has edited 13, and is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters. Dr. West is running for President of the United States with Vice Presidential candidate Melina Abdullah with the Justice for All Party.
    In this conversation, we explore what inspired Dr. West to take up the electoral path and take a stand against the corporate parties of our decaying empire—the Democrats and the Republicans. We talk about electoralism as a tool in a much larger toolkit of the left, a toolkit which includes trade union organizing, direct action, and building class consciousness. We talk about the importance of love and art in our movements as an antidote to capitalism’s totalizing, soul crushing hegemony in these dying years of the U.S. empire, and we discuss why it’s necessary to infuse our struggles here in the United States with an understanding of imperialism and the impact that the United States has on a global scale.
    Further resources:
    Cornel West 2024 Related episodes:
    Upstream: A Marxist Perspective on Elections with August Nimtz Upstream: The Political Economy of Jazz with Gerald Horne Upstream's Series on Electoralism Intermission music by Noname
    Cover art by Berwyn Mure
    Upstream is a labor of love — we couldn't keep this project going without the generosity of our listeners and fans. Subscribe to our Patreon at patreon.com/upstreampodcast or please consider chipping in a one-time or recurring donation at www.upstreampodcast.org/support
    If your organization wants to sponsor one of our upcoming documentaries, we have a number of sponsorship packages available. Find out more at  upstreampodcast.org/sponsorship
    For more from Upstream, visit www.upstreampodcast.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Bluesky.

    You can also subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
     

    • 1 hr 20 min
    [TEASER] Palestine Pt. 11: Israel and the U.S. Empire w/ Max Ajl

    [TEASER] Palestine Pt. 11: Israel and the U.S. Empire w/ Max Ajl

    You can listen to the full episode "Israel and the U.S. Empire w/ Max Ajl" by subscribing to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/upstreampodcast
    As a Patreon subscriber you will get access to at least one bonus episode a month (usually two or three), our entire back catalog of Patreon episodes, early access to certain episodes, and other benefits like stickers and bumper stickers—depending on which tier you subscribe to. You’ll also be helping to keep Upstream sustainable and allowing us to keep this project going. Find out more at Patreon.com/upstreampodcast or at upstreampodcast.org/support. Thank you.
    There’s a widespread misconception among a significant number of people—including many on the left—that when it comes to the U.S./Israel relationship, it’s Israel that’s pulling the strings. It’s the belief that Israel is pulling the United States into something that it doesn’t want to be involved in, that the Israel lobby has held our policymakers hostage, and that the United States actually really, sincerely cares about the wellbeing of Palestinians, but that the White House, the State Department, and Congress, are all beholden to nefarious Israeli actors. Some even think that blackmail is involved. 
    There’s something compelling to some about this narrative—it allows them to ignore reality, hiding the blood-soaked stains of U.S. empire under the rug. It conveniently dismisses the fact that the United States is literally built on the bones of the murdered, whether ethnically cleansed Indigenous children, enslaved Africans and their ancestors, or the child workers of the 19th century—to name just a few examples. The U.S. has no qualms about dead children, let alone innocent adults. 
    And when it comes to so-called Israel, the United States’ relationship with the zionist entity is a relationship with a client state—a state which ultimately serves the interests of U.S. capital and U.S. imperialism more broadly. Don’t be distracted by liberal bloviations and other forms of erroneous analysis—the United States is willfully committed on all levels. 
    And if you’re asking, well, why? Why is the United States so committed to its relationship with Israel? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to be discussing with this week’s guest. Max Ajl is a Research Fellow at the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Tunis, a Fellow at the University of Ghent, and a researcher with the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment. He’s also the author of A People’s Green New Deal and, most recently, a two-part article titled “Palestine’s Great Flood.” Max was also featured prominently in our two-part audio documentary The Green Transition. 
    In this Patreon episode, Max provides us with a Marxist-Leninst analysis of the U.S.’s relationship with Israel, unpacking how Israel has served as a watchdog for the U.S. in East Asia and how Israel has served the U.S. empire in crushing radical left movements globally—particularly, of course, in Palestine. We also discuss the role of the Israel lobby, the mechanics of imperialism and capital accumulation on a global level, and where the sick, twisted, morbid relationship between the United States and Israel might be headed.
    Cover illustration: Berwyn Mure
    Further resources:
    Max's ResearchGate page Palestine's Great Flood Pt. 1 Palestine's Great Flood Pt. 2 A People's Green New Deal Related episodes:
    Upstream's Ongoing Palestine Series [UNLOCKED] How the North Plunders the South w/ Jason Hickel Dialectical Materialism w/ Josh Sykes Donate to Middle Eastern Children's Alliance (MECA) Anera: Provide urgent humanitarian aid to Palestinians Gaza Mutual Aid Upstream is a labor of love — we couldn't keep this project going without the generosity of our listeners and fans. Subscribe to our Patreon at patreon.com/upstreampodcast or please consider chipping in a one-time or recurring donation at www

    • 14 min
    Palestine Pt. 10: Healing from Zionism w/ Meital Yaniv

    Palestine Pt. 10: Healing from Zionism w/ Meital Yaniv

    "What Israel is doing right now has nothing to do with antisemitism. What Israel is doing right now is a genocide. What Israel has been doing for the past 75 years is apartheid, is occupation. There is no need for any one of us to serve in the IDF. The IDF should not exist. The state of Israel should not exist." These are the words of a former Israeli soldier turned anti-Zionist organizer: Meital Yaniv.
    Meital describes themself as a “death laborer tending to a prayer for the liberation of the land of Palestine” and has recently written the book Bloodlines which traces their paternal lineage being survivors of  the Holocaust and subsequently migrating to Palestine. From there, Meital traces their lineage through indoctrination into Zionism and as settler-colonists, and defenders of the so-called “state of Israel.” Meital then describes their refusal to serve in the IDF and their subsequent departure from Israel and development into a death doula for Zionism and Israel.
    In this conversation with Meital, we hear about what it’s like to be raised “extremely Zionistic” and to serve in the IDF. We learn about the consequences of trauma that is passed down intergenerationally and what is necessary to truly heal individually and collectively. We explore how to talk to people who defend Zionism and the state of Israel and what the tradition of Judaism would say about Zionism and the genocide of the Palestinian people. And finally, Meital offers invitations for how we can all contribute to bringing the state of Israel to an end for the liberation of Palestine. 
    And finally, Meital offers invitations for how we can all contribute to bringing the state of Israel to compassionate just death for the liberation of Palestine. 
    Further resources:
    Bloodlines by Meital Yaniv Meital Yaniv's website Related episodes:
    Upstream: Palestine Pt. 1: A Socialist Introduction with Sumaya Awad Upstream: Palestine Pt. 2: Justice for Some with Noura Erakat Upstream: Palestine Pt. 3: Settler-Colonialism and Medical Apartheid with Rupa Marya & Jess Ghannam Upstream: Palestine Pt. 4: False Solutions and Paths of Resistance with Sumaya Awad Upstream: Palestine Pt. 5: The Political Economy of Palestine with Adam Hanieh Upstream: Palestine Pt. 6: One State with Ghada Karmi Upstream: Palestine Pt. 7: Direct Action w/ Max Geller of Palestine Action Upstream: Palestine Pt. 8: Indigeneity and Settler-Colonialism w/ Krystal Two Bulls & Sumaya Awad Upstream: Palestine Pt. 9: Palestine 2031 w/ Nadia Zanghari  Donate to Middle Eastern Children's Alliance (MECA) Anera: Provide urgent humanitarian aid to Palestinians Gaza Mutual Aid Intermission music: “Arvoles Yoran Por Luvias (Trees Cry For Rain)” performed by Gloria Levy
    Upstream is a labor of love — we couldn't keep this project going without the generosity of our listeners and fans. Subscribe to our Patreon at patreon.com/upstreampodcast or please consider chipping in a one-time or recurring donation at www.upstreampodcast.org/support
    If your organization wants to sponsor one of our upcoming documentaries, we have a number of sponsorship packages available. Find out more at  upstreampodcast.org/sponsorship
    For more from Upstream, visit www.upstreampodcast.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Bluesky.

    You can also subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    [UNLOCKED] How the North Plunders the South w/ Jason Hickel

    [UNLOCKED] How the North Plunders the South w/ Jason Hickel

    The imperial core—which is comprised of settler-colonial states like those in Western Europe, as well as states like the United States, Canada and Australia—have been stealing the resources and labor of the Global South—or the periphery—for centuries. It started with the direct colonial violence and resource exploitation that marked much of the last few centuries, but it didn’t end there.  
    Neo-colonialism—a term that you’re probably familiar with—is broadly defined as the use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former colonies. But what does it actually look like in practice? How is the imperial core still plundering and pillaging the periphery? The practice of widespread crude, cruel, brute force that marked direct colonialism may not exist in the same exact form as it once did—but the outcome is still the same: mass extraction and exploitation from the Global South which has resulted in a staggering net transfer of resources, wealth, and labor to the Global North. 
    In this episode, we’re going to discuss the mechanisms and extent of neocolonial extraction and exploitation as they manifest today, and we’ve brought on the perfect guest to walk us through it. 
    Jason Hickel is a professor at the The Institute for Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the author of the books The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions and Less is More: How Degrowth will Save the World, and the the lead author of two papers that we’ll be focusing on today: “Imperialist appropriation in the world economy: Drain from the global South through unequal exchange, 1990–2015” published in journal Global Environmental Change, and "Unequal exchange of labour in the world economy" forthcoming in the journal Nature Communications.
    In this conversion we explore the theory of uneven exchange and how it sheds light on neocolonialism in practice, we discuss some of the key findings from Jason’s research on imperialist appropriation in the world economy, we dispel some of the myths perpetuated by those claiming that capitalism has lifted “millions out of poverty,” we talk about what a just degrowth transition of the global economy would look like and, crucially, how we might achieve it.
    Further resources:
    Jason Hickel “Imperialist appropriation in the world economy: Drain from the global South through unequal exchange, 1990–2015” published in journal Global Environmental Change Related Episodes:
    Upstream: The Divide – Global Inequality from Conquest to Free Markets with Jason Hickel Upstream: International Development and Post-capitalism with Jason Hickel Upstream: How Degrowth Will Save the World with Jason Hickel Upstream: The Green Transition Pt.1 – The Problem with Green Capitalism Thank you to Berwyn Mure for the covert art.
    Upstream is a labor of love — we couldn't keep this project going without the generosity of our listeners and fans. Subscribe to our Patreon at patreon.com/upstreampodcast or please consider chipping in a one-time or recurring donation at www.upstreampodcast.org/support
    If your organization wants to sponsor one of our upcoming documentaries, we have a number of sponsorship packages available. Find out more at  upstreampodcast.org/sponsorship
    For more from Upstream, visit www.upstreampodcast.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Bluesky.

    You can also subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
1.5K Ratings

1.5K Ratings

EK reviews ,

Excellent podcast

So informative, inspiring, uplifting. Extremely well done.

hederafemme ,

Revolutionary, accessible, and hope-inspiring

Great content and hosts, with fascinating interviews and visionary ideas. It is hope-inspiring and so important in these dark times. A better world is possible.

Millennial momma ,

Transformative

This show has been transformative for me. In these times it has been profoundly important. It truly has been like therapy for me.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Hot Mess with Alix Earle
Unwell
Cancelled with Tana Mongeau & Brooke Schofield
Cancelled & Audioboom Studios
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion
Shawn Ryan Show
Shawn Ryan | Cumulus Podcast Network
Hysterical
Wondery | Pineapple Street Studios
Let's Be Clear with Shannen Doherty
iHeartPodcasts

You Might Also Like

Revolutionary Left Radio
Revolutionary Left Radio
Guerrilla History
Guerrilla History
The Red Nation Podcast
The Red Nation
Millennials Are Killing Capitalism
Millennials Are Killing Capitalism
Red Menace
Red Menace
The Dig
Daniel Denvir