161 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

    [TEASER] Degrowth vs Eco-Modernism

    [TEASER] Degrowth vs Eco-Modernism

    You can listen to the full episode "Degrowth vs Eco-Modernism" by subscribing to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/upstreampodcast
    As a Patreon subscriber, not only will you get access to at least one bonus episode a month, usually two or three, as well as early access to certain episodes and other benefits like stickers and bumper stickers, depending on which tier you subscribe to, but 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.
    Debates on the left can often seem overly dramatized or indulgent—the result of too much time spent in online rabbit holes or needlessly arguing over manufactured controversies. But this is not always the case. There are many important debates among the left and many internal contradictions which are not compatible—what dialectical materialists would refer to as antagonistic contradictions. In this episode, we're going to explore one of these seemingly irreconcilable differences. 
    Degrowth is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of tendencies on the left which broadly proclaim the need to end or at least curtail economic growth. Degrowth thinkers include past guests like Max Ajl, Kai Heron, and Jason Hickel. Alternatively, left eco-modernism is a tendency on the left that argues the opposite: growth is not only necessary, but the assertion that we must end or curtail growth actually presents a barrier to our liberation. Left eco-modernists include past guests like Matt Huber. 
    In this episode, we're doing something a bit different. We're going to explore the antagonism between these two broad tendencies by reading an article and interspersing it with our own real-time analysis. The article is a piece by Kai Heron published by Verso titled "Forget Eco-Modernism: Recent years have seen renewed debate on climate strategy on the left. Here, Kai Heron responds to the arguments of the proponents of a left ecomodernism, and argues that it risks reactionary political consequences."
    Join Robert as he presents the text, unpacks its arguments and analyzes them in real time, and brings in commentary and thoughts on a wide variety of topics related to degrowth, climate change, Marxism, and much more. 
    Further resources:
    Forget Eco-Modernism by Kai Heron Upstream: The Green Transition Pt. 1: The Problem with Green Capitalsim Upstream: The Green Transition Pt. 2: A Green Deal for the People Upstream: Climate Leninism w/ Jodi Dean and Kai Heron Upstream: How Degrowth Will Save the World with Jason Hickel Upstream: A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things with Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore Upstream: What Is To Be Done? with Breht O'Shea and Alyson Escalante If Books Could Kill: The Population Bomb 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.

    • 13 min
    Post Capitalism w/ Alnoor Ladha

    Post Capitalism w/ Alnoor Ladha

    “Post capitalism is not simply another ‘ism’ to replace previous ideologies. It’s not a euphemism for socialism or anarchism or Nordic capitalism—although it may contain some elements of each. Post capitalism is a conceptual container for social pluralities based on shared values that stem from an experience of the shortcomings of the existing system and the lived experience of life-centric alternatives.”
    These are words written by today’s guest, Alnoor Ladha, along with his co-author Lynn Murphy from their book Post Capitalist Philanthropy: Healing Wealth in the Time of Collapse. We’ve brought on Alnoor to share more about what post capitalism is and how we can embody it and encourage it in our lives and activism. 
    Alnoor is an activist, journalist, political strategist and community organizer. He was the co-founder and executive director of The Rules and he is currently the council chair for Culture Hack Labs and co-director of the Transition Resource Circle. 
    In this conversation Alnoor takes us upstream to the ontological root causes of colonialism and capitalism, he describes the importance of cultivating what he calls spiritual-cultural praxis, he cautions against the commodification and exploitation of plant medicines, and invites us to study culture, become conscientious objectors of capitalism, and contribute to the collective prayer and movement for co-liberation of all beings.
    Further resources and related episodes:
    Post Capitalist Philanthropy: Healing Wealth in the Time of Collapse Upstream: Buddhism and Marxism with Breht O'Shea Cooperative and Regenerative Economic Design course w/ discount 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 5 min
    [TEASER] Palestine Pt. 9: Palestine 2031 w/ Nadia Zanghari

    [TEASER] Palestine Pt. 9: Palestine 2031 w/ Nadia Zanghari

    You can listen to the full episode with Nadia Zanghari by subscribing to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/upstreampodcast
    The revolutionary practice of dreaming, imagining, or simply hoping for a better world is an exercise whose importance is often overlooked. Not only are these practices crucial to keeping the embers warm in an increasingly dark age of capitalism and imperialism, but they can often serve as an instruction manual or roadmap leading to the world that we want to see. A kind of thru-topian exercise of envisioning.
    Living solely in the realm of utopian imagination can certainly devolved into a form of navel gazing which can potentially untether one from the realities of day-to-day living, but also, to quote Oscar Wilde, “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at…” And one of the most rich and potent spaces for this kind of imagination is in the world of artistic creation—particularly fiction writing.
    In this very special and unique Patreon episode, we're going to share a beautiful piece of fiction that invites us to imagine and dream—and also learn. 
    Nadia Zangari is a diaspora Palestinian whose grandparents were survivors of the Nakba. She recently wrote a piece titled “Palestine 2031” in which she tells a fictionalized account of traveling to what has become a free Palestine seven years from now.
    Interspersed between inspirational vignettes and powerful prose, Nadia tackles some very interesting and open questions about what a free Palestine could look like and how we might get there. From cross-country hitchhiking adventures to volunteer-led reconstruction efforts, to the question of reparations, Nadia’s piece, which she will be reading for us today, is a masterful exercise of astute imagination. 
    So we invite you to settle in, feel your feet on the ground or the wind in your hair or your hands on the steering wheel if you're driving—or however you're listening to this, we invite you to slow down and feel your breath as Robert introduces Nadia and as she reads “Palestine 2031”.
    Further resources:
    Palestine 2031, by Nadia Zanghari Nadia's friend's family's fundraiser: Help us escape the genocide in Gaza  Upstream: How We Show Up w/ Mia Birdsong 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.

    • 12 min
    Palestine Pt. 8: Indigeneity and Settler-Colonialism w/ Krystal Two Bulls & Sumaya Awad

    Palestine Pt. 8: Indigeneity and Settler-Colonialism w/ Krystal Two Bulls & Sumaya Awad

    As the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people continues, it's crucial that we continue to critically scrutinize and dismantle many of the myths and deadly ideologies that Israel and its Zionist supporters use to try and legitimize their project. We began our ongoing series on Palestine with a critical exploration of Zionism, and in this episode, Part 8 of this series, we’ll be zooming in on one particular element of Zionism: the claim of indigeneity.
    Zionists claim that the Jewish people as a whole have a right to the land between the river and sea because they are, quote, indigenous, to that region. Putting aside the question of whether this assertion can be substantiated—what do we do with this claim of indigeneity, especially as we see it being weaponized by the forces of Zionism?
    This is a huge question, and in this episode we’ll explore what it means to be Indigenous—both in the context of settler-colonialism and also as a relationship to land—and how our understanding of indigeneity relates to ongoing liberation struggles. And we’ve brought on two incredible guests to help us in this exploration.
    Krystal Two Bulls is an Oglala Lakota/Northern Cheyenne grassroots organizer, former Director of the NDN Collective’s Landback Campaign, and Executive Director of Honor the Earth. Sumaya Awad is Palestinian writer, analyst, and socialist organizer. She’s the Director of Strategy and Communications at the Adalah Justice Project and a contributor to and co-editor, along with brian bean, of Palestine: A Socialist Introduction, published by Haymarket Books. 
    What does it mean to be Indigenous? How does one's relationship to the land inform our ideas about indigeneity? How does the structure of settler-colonialism form a contradiction in dialectical relationship to indigeneity? And how are the struggles of Indigenous people, from here in the so-called United States, to those in Palestine, interrelated? These are just some of the questions that we explore in this conversation with Sumaya Awad and Krystal Two Bulls.
    And before we get started, Upstream is almost entirely listener funded—we couldn't keep this project going without your support. There are a number of ways in which you can support us financially: you can sign up to be a Patreon subscriber which will give you access to bonus episodes, at least one a month but usually more, at Patreon.com/upstreampodcast, and you can also make a tax-deductible recurring donation or a one-time donation on our website, upstreampodcast.org/support. Through your support you’ll be helping us keep Upstream sustainable and helping to keep this whole project going—socialist political education podcasts are not easy to fund so thank you in advance for the crucial support.
    Further resources:
    Honor the Earth Adalah Justice Project Palestine: A Socialist Introduction co-edited by Sumaya Awad and brian bean 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 Donate to Middle Eastern Children's Alliance (MECA) Anera: Provide urgent humanitarian aid to Palestinians Write your member of Congress to demand an immediate ceasefire Neither Settler nor Native  The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities by Mahmood Mamdani Khobs by Samih al-Qasim
    Same old story / same old song / like bread on the banquet of eternity. / So let the vacant heads / and the croaking throats / during the hour of ablution - / enter your filthy bathrooms, / o fortress of sorrow, o city of crime!
    This episo

    • 1 hr 7 min
    [TEASER] Nationalism and the Error of Patriotic Socialism w/ Sina Rahmani and Nick

    [TEASER] Nationalism and the Error of Patriotic Socialism w/ Sina Rahmani and Nick

    You can listen to the full episode with Sina Rahmani of East is a Podcast and Nick of The Intervention Podcast by subscribing to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/upstreampodcast

    As a Patreon subscriber, not only will you get access to at least one bonus episode a month, usually two or three, as well as early access to certain episodes and other benefits like stickers and bumper stickers, depending on which tier you subscribe to, but 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.
    The United States is the world’s leading purveyor of immiseration, destruction, death, and instability—as the swamp that sustains our current world order of monopoly capitalism and imperialism, the United States is still, and has been for a century now, the leading global hegemon, the imperialist super power that calls the shots on the world stage. Its drive towards accumulation and geopolitical dominance has wrought hell on the rest of the world’s nations and the planet itself. So why, then, are some so-called Marxists out there trying to wrap themselves up in a flag of U.S. patriotism?
    Patriotic socialism, MAGA communism, red patriotism—these are just some of the names that have been used to describe a recent phenomenon that, although certainly has its antecedents in things like the LaRouche movement of the mid-20th century, has begun, again, to creep its way into the discourse, albeit mostly online, of the left.
    What is this phenomenon and what does it get wrong? Why is it an error to attempt to wed U.S. nationalism with Marxism and communism? These are the questions we explore in this Patreon episode with our two guests: Nick, an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, or PSL, and a co-host of The Intervention Podcast, and Sina Rahmani, a podcast producer and host of the show East is a Podcast.
    In this wide-ranging conversation we unpack the phenomenon of so-called patriotic socialism, and in doing so, explore many related topics ranging from nationalism more broadly, to the distinction between nationalism of the oppressed versus nationalism of the oppressor, the United States’s role of global hegemon, imperialism, and the revolutionary potential of the western working class.
    Further resources:
    The Intervention's Linktree The East is a Podcast Why The Rage Against The War Machine Rally Is #AntiWarSoWhite, Black Agenda Report   

    • 20 min
    [UNLOCKED] Voting for Socialism w/ Claudia De La Cruz & Karina Garcia

    [UNLOCKED] Voting for Socialism w/ Claudia De La Cruz & Karina Garcia

    There’s that saying that you’ve probably heard a million times: doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results is a sign of psychosis. Whether or not that’s something you might find in the DSM-5 manual, it certainly has a strong ring of truth to it. And it’s also something that rings profoundly true when we think about much of the broader left and liberal left strategy when it comes to presidential elections in the United States: just keep voting for the lesser of two evils and eventually things will sort themselves out. But all it takes is one brief look at our current conditions to understand that that attitude is, well, not exactly aligned with reality.
    When we survey either our current political, economic, ecological—really, any landscape, it’s beyond doubt that conditions have deteriorated—drastically. The far right, the hegemony of capitalism and imperialism, and the forces of reaction have all continued to grow in strength as we continue to acquiesce to the Democratic Party’s insistence that they are the bulwark against these forces and that by voting for the Democrats, we’re assuring that our democracy stays in tact. So we keep voting for them, and they keep breaking their promises—in fact, they don’t even really bother to promise much anymore because they know they’ve got us cornered—there’s nowhere else to go.
    But what if we could break this cycle? What if there was somewhere else to go? In this Patreon episode, we’re exploring an alternative to the two-party duopoly, an alternative to the two factions of capital that call themselves the Democrats and the Republicans.
    Claudia De la Cruz and Karina Garcia are running for President and Vice President with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, or PSL. In this conversion, we explore why Claudia and Karina are running, what platform they’re running on and what policies they’re proposing, and why it’s more important than ever for the working class to start building power and building its own party as an instrument for not just participating in electoral politics, but for building class consciousness, getting folks involved in organizing, and in providing a platform for political education that presents a clear alternative to the dismal and defeatist messages coming from the two corporate parties that rule over us on behalf of capital.
    Further Resources:
    Claudia and Karina 2024  Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) Upstream: A Marxist Perspective on Elections with August Nimtz  Thank you to Karla Reyes of the Claudia and Karina 2024 campaign and Carolyn Raider for this episode's cover art. Upstream theme music was composed by Robert Raymond.
    This episode of Upstream was made possible with support from listeners like you. 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

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
1.5K Ratings

1.5K Ratings

Tomato Betty ,

To say this podcast changed my life is not even hyperbolic

Have you ever had the experience of hearing your thoughts spoken aloud by someone you’ve never met? That’s what this podcast does. Questions we all have, solutions we’ve all fantasized, and now finally realizing that we can build community around these values. I learn so much every episode. Innumerable “YAAAASSS”s. We can and will do better than capitalism. If you’re curious and interested in building a better world, please listen to this thing.

sillygoose27 ,

Amazing

I love the hosts, the guests, and the conversations. Learn so much from each episode. Really helps crystallize and synthesize a lot of disparate ideas floating around in my head. And their Patreon is great too!! Highly recommend!!

Jerrytrainor ,

No compromises

Good stuff, focuses on a future w/o empire. Speaks to the actual humanity we’re all striving for which requires the destruction of our god: the dollar.

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