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The REAL Martin Luther King

with Professor Tony Monteiro

This week, as America marks the birthday of one of its greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Eric sits down with Professor Tony Monteiro to discuss King's life and legacy.  Specifically, Eric and Tony examine who King really was by destroying the false narrative that has been constructed by the ruling class.  They discuss MLK's intellectual development and those who had a great influence on his thought and action as well as some of the challenges he faced in his struggle.  Eric and Tony ground their analysis in the political and discursive issues of King's time and relate them directly to the major events and struggles of today.  Most importantly, they place King in a historical context and explain the various ways in which King was truly a great American revolutionary.

Tony Monteiro is Professor of African-American Studies at Temple University.  He is a veteran political activist and organizer as well as an internationally renowned scholar of W.E.B. DuBois.  Professor Monteiro is also the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought at Temple University.

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American Nightmare: Racism and the Prison-Industrial Complex

with Solomon Comissiong

In this week's episode, Eric examines one of the most complex and misunderstood issues in America today: the prison-industrial complex and its relation to deeply rooted racism in this country.  Eric touches on the various ways in which mass incarceration and the prison system is perpetuated and used as a weapon against the poor and primarily people of color.  He analyzes the profit factor, denouncing the dishonest nature of the prison system as little more than a source of cheap labor.  He also discusses the effect on young people whose lives are utterly destroyed by this system.

Eric's guest this week is Solomon Comissiong - professor, author, activist. Solomon and Eric touch a number of issues including the "New Jim Crow" and the ways in which the corporate media frames the discussion on this issue. Also, they get into some of the hidden sociological forces at play in this issue. Eric and Solomon cover a wide range of topics in this lengthy and detailed conversation.

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As much of Latin America braces itself for the possibility of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's death, observers around the world would do well to note the stark contrasts that exist within the region.  On the one hand, there are the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas) countries, united by Chavez in their rejection of US imperialism and neoliberal capitalism.  On the other hand, there are those countries which are still very much living under the hegemony of the United States.  In El Salvador, this means subservience to Washington and international investors who seek nothing less than total control of that nation's economic destiny.  This attempt at economic monopolization can be summed up with one word: privatization.  It is precisely this strategy with all the union-busting, wage gouging, and propaganda disinformation that it entails, that is rearing its ugly head in El Salvador. [read entire article]

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“Consensus and Collaboration: The Fiscal Cliff and the Privatization of the Postal Service”

with Jamie Partridge

In this week's episode, Eric examines the "fiscal cliff" deal struck between Republicans and Democrats with particular attention to the more insidious aspects of the legislation. He explains how this is merely a way to create the illusion of positive change while masking the fact that it is yet another giveaway to Wall St. and the ruling class. Eric analyzes some of the less publicized elements of the bill including tax breaks and subsidies to giant corporations and yet another veiled attack on the middle class. Additionally, Eric investigates the continued bipartisan assault on the US Postal Service as both parties attempt to privatize this venerable American institution, bust the postal workers union and corporatize yet another public institution. Eric also sits down with Jamie Partridge of Community Postal Workers United, one of the brave activists who lead a hunger strike in Washington to draw attention to this critical issue.

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This week’s elective conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa highlighted what has become an ever more apparent and painful reality to working people in that country and political observers around the world – the revolution of 1994 effected little more than cosmetic change.  The ruling class in South Africa, though fronted by black faces, continues to work in the service of Western finance capital and the neoliberal agenda, lining their own pockets while the streets, mines, and slums ring with the cries of the workers and the poor demanding justice. [read entire article]

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Capitalism in Crisis?

with Richard Wolff

This week, Eric sits down for an extended conversation with Richard Wolff, one of America's leading economists and critics of the economic system.  Prof. Wolff explains why his critique is of capitalism itself and not merely its contemporary manifestation.  He and Eric examine the current "debate" regarding the so-called "fiscal cliff" and how this is merely austerity by another name.  Prof. Wolff provides his interpretation of the various strategies used by either side in propping up this economy while also explaining how there could be a third way, one that is focused on solutions not beholden to the current economic order.  He and Eric also analyze the nature of class and how class analysis is not only relevant but necessary in the United States of the 21st Century.

Richard Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is currently Visiting Professor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School in New York.  His work appears regularly in The Guardian and Truthout.org.

Visit his website rdwolff.com as well as the website for his new project DemocracyAtWork.info.

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Eric interviews Jamie Partridge, one of the activists leading a hunger strike in Washington to protest the bipartisan attack on the US Postal Service.  Eric and Jamie discuss the reasons behind this attack as well as its connection to a broader austerity agenda.  Jamie explains some of the specific cuts being made, including the Obama-supported move to eliminate Saturday delivery which would cost tens of thousands of jobs.  Eric and Jamie also examine the closure of mail sorting facilities, the privatization of mail trucking and the general attempt to bust the postal workers union.

Jamie Partridge is one of the founders of Community & Postal Workers United.  He is a retired letter carrier and postal activist based in Portland, Oregon.

Visit cpwunited.com for more details on how you can get involved.

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