Upstream

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Synopsis

Support us at https://www.upstreampodcast.org/support and subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/upstream/id1082594532?mt=2Upstream is a radio documentary series that invites you to unlearn everything you thought you knew about economics.

Episodes

  • Post Capitalism w/ Alnoor Ladha

    09/04/2024 Duration: 01h05min

    “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 t

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

    02/04/2024 Duration: 12min

    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 P

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

    26/03/2024 Duration: 01h07min

    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 rel

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

    19/03/2024 Duration: 20min

    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 geop

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

    12/03/2024 Duration: 01h08min

    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 insist

  • Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism w/ Kristen Ghodsee

    08/03/2024 Duration: 01h14min

    When the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin Wall was toppled, a lot was unearthed and a lot of interesting information became available to scholars and researchers in the West. One of those little bits of information was the answer to a question that a lot of people had never really thought of even asking: did women have better sex under socialism? Well, spoiler alert, but maybe not so much if you’ve read the title of today’s episode: Yes, it seems like they did. And in today’s episode, we’re going to explore why. Why do women have better sex under socialism? The answer to this question is the topic of the highly acclaimed book Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence, by Kristen Ghodsee. Kristen Ghodsee is a Professor and Chair of the department of Russian and East European Studies and a member of the Graduate Group in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of twelve books, including Red Valkyries: Feminist Lessons From Five Revolu

  • [TEASER] Palestine Pt. 7: Direct Action w/ Max Geller of Palestine Action

    05/03/2024 Duration: 11min

    You can listen to the full episode with Max Geller of Palestine Action 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. Direct action is a strategy that has been utilized for a very, very long time by the left, as a way to achieve their goals— from all tendencies: anarchists, socialists, to communists. Direct action can take a wide variety of forms, from the forest protectors doing tree sit-ins in Atlanta’s Weelaunee forest as part of the Stop Cop City movement, to residents of the Bay Area congregating early in the morning at the port of Oaklan

  • Climate Leninism w/ Jodi Dean and Kai Heron

    27/02/2024 Duration: 01h04min

    Transition is inevitable, we’re past the point of literal climate denialism. Even the fossil fuel industry, which has known about the dangers of climate change for decades now, has a plan for transition. In fact, one could argue that when it comes to being prepared and having a plan for the inevitable transition that climate change has forced upon us, the capitalist class is much, much more organized than we are on the left. Why is this the case?  Well, the answer is kind of implied in the original question: it’s a matter of organization. And right now, the left largely unorganized. In this episode, we’re going to explore the problem of organization in the context of climate action and ask how we on the left can begin to get seriously organized in a way that will allow us to actually have a set of concrete, scalable programs that can be put into action at a moment’s notice.   To do this, we’ve brought on two guests. Jodi Dean is an American political theorist and professor in the Political Science department

  • [TEASER] Voting for Socialism w/ Claudia de la Cruz & Karina Garcia

    20/02/2024 Duration: 19min

    You can listen to the full episode with Doug Henwood 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. 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 Sta

  • Be More Pirate w/ Sam Conniff

    13/02/2024 Duration: 01h15min

    What do you typically think of when you think of pirates? Parrots? Peg Legs? Eye patches? Treasure? Is there more to pirates than these things, than corny jokes and a Disney franchise starring Johnny Depp?  Our guest for today’s episode certainly thinks so. Sam Conniff’s book Be More Pirate: How to Take on the World and Win, was published in 2018, and sparked a sequel How To: Be More Pirate, a podcast titled “Be More Pirate,” and a movement of people studying the principles and strategies of Golden Age Pirates to bring them into activism and leadership in the 21st century.  In this conversation, we learn about pirate history, including their symbols, ethics, and labor policies; we discuss David Graeber’s last book published posthumously, Pirate Enlightenment, or the real Libertalia which covers lost forms of social and political order that inspire hopeful possibilities for today, and we explore invitations for how we can each be more pirate in our projects, organizations, and social movements. Although 1690 t

  • [TEASER] The Problem with Modern Monetary Theory w/ Doug Henwood

    08/02/2024 Duration: 13min

    You can listen to the full episode with Doug Henwood 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. Modern Monetary Theory, or MMT for short — if you haven’t heard of it explicitly or read about it in an economics textbook, you’ve certainly come across some of its theories and ideas out in the wild. Essentially, its proponents argue that, when it comes to the way that money and taxes work, most of us have it all wrong.  MMT is billed by its advocates as a radical new way to understand money and debt. The central idea of modern monetary theory

  • [TEASER] Socialism Betrayed w/ Roger Keeran and Joe Jamison

    06/02/2024 Duration: 11min

    You can listen to the full episode with Roger Keeran and Joe Jamison 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. If you grew up in the West, you were most likely provided with a simple, bite-sized, propagandistically persuasive explanation for the collapse of the Soviet Union: that communism simply doesn't work.  This explanation works particularly well for the hegemon who provided it, the United States, the leading enemy of global communism throughout the 20th century. But, does this explanation actually reflect reality? Did the Soviet Uni

  • Important Announcement: We Launched a Patreon

    05/02/2024 Duration: 05min

    Join the Upstream Patreon here:  https://www.patreon.com/upstreampodcast Below is a transcript of the update shared in this announcement episode — TL;DR: we've got tons of bonus episodes and other goodies as part of our new Patreon!  At least 1 bonus episode a month, usually 2-3 Early access to certain episodes Stickers If you’ve been following along with our episodes or on social media you’ve probably heard that we’ve been working on launching a Patreon account, and, voila—we did it. We’ll be sharing at least one, more likely two or three, bonus episodes every month for our Patreon subscribers, and that’s in addition to the bi-weekly, regularly scheduled episodes of course. We have 5 different tiers at which you can subscribe to our Patreon—all the details can be found here, but just to give you a sense, we the tiers start at $5/month. All tiers have access to the same number of bonus episodes per month, but as you go up in tiers there are additional benefits as well, including early access to certain epis

  • The Missing Revolution w/ Vincent Bevins

    30/01/2024 Duration: 01h16min

    The past decade or so was marked by mass protests—in fact, more people participated in protests than at any other point in human history, from Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring to the 2020 George Floyd uprisings and even more recently with millions upon millions pouring into the streets in support of Palestinian liberation. So why, then, have conditions not improved? Why have they, in many cases, only gotten worse? This is the question that Vincent Bevins set out to answer in his latest book, If We Burn: The Mass Protest Decade and the Missing Revolution. The search for an answer took Vincent all over the world, from Brazil to Ukraine, Turkey, Chile, Hong Kong, and Middle East. The answer imparts an extremely important lesson to the left: we’re simply not organized. Or, rather, we’re not organized in an effective way. The shift in the left’s tactics and strategies since the 1960s has left us with movements that rely far too heavily on horizontalism, spontaneity, and an extreme form of prefiguration that

  • Drinkable Rivers with Li An Phoa

    16/01/2024 Duration: 01h01min

    “The sign of a healthy economy should be a drinkable river,” these are the words of Li An Phoa, an environmental activist and our guest for this episode. In 2005, Li An Phoa canoed the full length of the Rupert, a river in Canada. All along the way, she was able to drink water straight from the river. When she returned three years later, this was no longer the case. The river had been poisoned from dams, mining, and industry. Fish died, people got ill, and the delicate balance in the ecosystem was destroyed. Realizing that drinkable rivers are not just a key indicator of ecological health, but community vitality and resilience as well, and that rivers can only be drinkable when economic systems are post-growth, truly democratic, place-based, and respectful of the commons and Indigenous peoples, Li An decided to dedicate her life to re-cultivating drinkable rivers.  Since then, Li An founded the Drinkable Rivers organization and Spring College and has walked many rivers, using citizen science to test the water

  • Palestine Pt. 6: One State with Ghada Karmi

    02/01/2024 Duration: 01h07min

    It may seem like a distant dream to imagine that the decades-long settler-colonial project which is Israel could finally end and transform into a state where all faiths, ethnicities, and cultures could thrive together in their diversity and equality. It seems like a distant dream because, as we all know, the reality that we’re witnessing is the opposite of that — it’s an escalation of an already ruthless and bloody ethnic cleansing campaign that officially began in 1948.  Although a democratic, multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-religious state may seem like an exercise in imagination, it’s hardly a futile pursuit. We must constantly be exercising our imagination and dreaming of a better world, not only because it’s important to exercise those muscles of hope, but because in doing so we’re also spreading the seeds of knowledge and inspiration which could themselves affect change.  To talk about what could be, we’ve brought on Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian-born academic, physician and author of many books, includ

  • [BONUS] A Winter Solstice Celebration for 2023 with Manda Scott and Nathalie Nahai

    21/12/2023 Duration: 01h23min

    Happy Winter Solstice! In this annual tradition, Della is joined by two fellow podcast hosts to reflect on the past year and set some intentions for the year ahead.  Manda Scott is a novelist, smallholder, and host of the Accidental Gods podcast, which showcases individuals and organizations at the emerging edge of our world to set the foundation for a future we’d be proud to leave to the generations that come after us. Her latest novel, Any Human Power is available for pre-order on Amazon. Nathalie Nahai is a behavior science advisor, author and host of the podcast The Hive, which focuses on psychology, technology, and human behavior. Nathalie is the author of Webs Of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion and is also the founder of Flourishing Futures Salon, a project that offers curated gastronomical gatherings that explore how we can thrive in times of turbulence and change. One of Della’s offerings in the new year is a Gaia Education course called Cultivating Regenerative Livelihoods that weave

  • Palestine Pt. 5: The Political Economy of Palestine with Adam Hanieh

    19/12/2023 Duration: 01h01min

    The ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip has been front and center in the world’s attention for the last couple of months, and it's important that we keep it there. But it's also important to remember that this latest escalation in violence is just that: an escalation, an increase in violence in a region where violence is the norm, not just militarily but also politically and economically — what we might call structural violence. The suffering in Palestine has been seen primarily as a humanitarian issue for decades now, but the reality is that reducing Palestine to a matter of humanitarian concern obscures issues of geopolitics and the political economy of the region in a way that decontextualizes much of what is taking place in Palestine, and, importantly, the material conditions and incentives driving the Israeli occupation. In this conversation, part 5 of our ongoing series on Palestine, we're going to explore the political economies of Palestine and Israel with a guest who is deeply immersed in these que

  • [BONUS] Palestine Pt. 4: False Solutions and Paths of Resistance with Sumaya Awad

    12/12/2023 Duration: 01h04min

    Before the Zionist project and the state of Israel placed their boots on the neck of Palestine, this region was a multicultural, multi-religious land, where Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived side-by-side in relative peace and harmony.  And despite what Israeli forces propagandize, this so-called “conflict” in the Middle East is not some millennia-old, intractable holy war between two religions. It's quite simply and very classically a case of settler-colonialism. When we see what's happening in Palestine from this perspective, the solution becomes quite clear: end the occupation. But despite this clarity, ending the occupation is no simple feat. Not only is there little appetite for this in Israel, of course, but with the entire cavalry of US military, financial, and PR support behind it, an end to the zionist colonization and occupation of Palestine feels, well, to put it gently, perhaps not feasible in the short term.  Of course, this doesn't mean that the fight for Palestinian liberation is a lost cause

  • Palestine Pt. 3: Settler-Colonialism and Medical Apartheid with Rupa Marya & Jess Ghannam

    05/12/2023 Duration: 01h07min

    As the ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians continues, it’s important that we also continue to raise a magnifying glass to its perpetrators, not just looking at the state of Israel as a whole or the IDF—as blood-soaked as their hands are—but also looking at the some of the perhaps less publicly scrutinized institutions complicit in this genocide.  In this episode in our ongoing series on Palestine, we’re going to focus on healthcare institutions and their complicity in the devastation and destruction taking place in Palestine. What are the underlying power structures that support and uplift settler colonialism, white supremacy, and health apartheid? Why is it that so few health institutions in the west have spoken out against Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people? What does that tell us about the failures of our healthcare systems and much of the medical community?  To discuss these questions and more we’ve brought on two guests today. Dr. Jess Ghannam is a Palestinian professor in psy

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