The Dig

The Dig

www.thedigradio.com/podcast-episodes
The Dig hosted by Daniel Denvir, from Jacobin magazine.


Socialist Manifesto with Bhaskar Sunkara
Aug 16 • 125 min
Dan talks to Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara about his book The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality. We must study socialism’s history and plan for its future. Thanks to Verso Books. Check out their huge…
On the Clock with Emily Guendelsberger
Aug 10 • 121 min
Jobs have in recent years gotten much worse for millions of service workers at Amazon, McDonalds and call centers. Dan interviews Emily Guendelsberger on her book On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane. Thanks to…
Race and Class in the Liberal Suburbs with Lily Geismer
Aug 2 • 119 min
Dan interviews Lily Geismer, the author of Don’t Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party. While Boston whites fought school busing in the streets, suburban liberals along Route 128 maintained and benefited from the…
From the archives: Aziz Rana on Two Faces of American Freedom
Jul 26 • 70 min
Dan is taking his first week off ever in Dig history to finish his book. Here’s a classic from deep in the archives: our first interview with Aziz Rana, on his book The Two Faces of American Freedom, aka episode 62. If you’ve already heard this one and…
The Struggle in Chile with Alondra Carrillo & Pablo Abufom
Jul 19 • 164 min
Dan’s lengthy interview with two brilliant Chilean social movement organizers: Alondra Carrillo and Pablo Abufom. Carrillo organizes in the country’s massive feminist movement. Abufom works in the labor-backed movement for a just pension system. Read…
Abolish the Family with Sophie Lewis
Jul 11 • 103 min
View Transcript Dan interviews Sophie Lewis about her new book Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family. Something is deeply wrong with commercial surrogacy—but it’s just not what you might think. What’s wrong is the brute labor exploitation taking…
Astra Taylor on Socialism, Democracy, Liberalism
Jul 5 • 60 min
For much of the 20th century, Cold War politics defined socialism as the antithesis of democracy. Today, an insurgent democratic socialist movement is transforming US politics. It is socialism that is at the forefront of a fight for a radical deepening of…
Our History Is the Future with Nick Estes
Jun 29 • 164 min
Dan’s lengthy interview with Nick Estes on his remarkable book Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance. The problem that settler colonialism was repeatedly trying to solve…
Russia Beyond Putin with Tony Wood
Jun 19 • 123 min
Russia intervened and Trump is a criminal who committed obstruction of justice and is surrounded by constant criminality. But it’s no doubt also true that this situation and the hawkish liberal response to it have dangerously damaged US-Russia relations.…
The Italian Situation with David Broder, Lorenzo Zamponi, and Marta Fana
Jun 15 • 72 min
There is perhaps no more depressing situation in Western Europe than that which prevails in Italy: a coalition government between the far-right Lega party and the now subordinate, bizarre, amorphously anti-corruption, internet-fetishist, pseudo-directly…
The Spanish Situation with Carlos Delclós and Magda Bandera
Jun 13 • 68 min
In Spanish politics, the center-left Socialist Party has demolished the conservative Popular Party and checked risk of a major far-right surge. But meanwhile, the once very plausible-feeling dream of an insurgent radical left Podemos gaining power has…
The French Situation with Sebastian Budgen and Danièle Obono
Jun 8 • 74 min
The radical left has been unable to electorally capitalize on the Yellow Vest movement, a massive revolt against a vicious, unequal and alienating neoliberal order. Instead, French electoral politics has pit an insurgent far-right against a zombie liberal…
Labour’s Brexit Bind with Grace Blakeley, Maya Goodfellow, and Richard Seymour
Jun 7 • 97 min
Brexit has so dominated UK politics that it has put the Labour Party in a profoundly difficult and perhaps untenable position of strategic ambiguity toward how to handle the never-ending matter of leaving the EU. Today, in part two of our five-part series…
The European Situation with Chris Bickerton and Jerome Roos
Jun 5 • 83 min
This week and next, we’re bringing you five episodes on European politics. Today, we’re starting things off with Chris Bickerton and Jerome Roos for an overview of the European situation and the debate on the European left over how to approach Europe and…
Rashida Tlaib
Jun 3 • 35 min
View Transcript US Rep. Rashida Tlaib on the local struggles that guide her work on behalf of the working class in Congress, the urgent need for a politics that puts people over profit, the question of impeachment, and why American people are coming…
Bernie and Black Voters with Malaika Jabali and Wendi Muse
May 30 • 108 min
Dan has in-depth discussion on Bernie’s approach to race and what he must do to win over Black voters with Malaika Jabali and Wendi Muse. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Sanders isn’t unpopular with Black voters. In fact, he has done rather well with…
Doug Henwood on DSA
May 25 • 60 min
DSA’s explosive growth continues; it has already, in a few short years, become the center of a renewed American socialist movement. Dan interviews Doug Henwood, who recently published a lengthy article in The New Republic entitled “The Socialist Network:…
Capitalism and Slavery. Part 2.
May 22 • 157 min
Three interviews: historian Seth Rockman, scholars Crystal Eddins and Zachary Sell, and public historians Akeia Benard, Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, Elon Cook Lee and Marco McWilliams. Dan conducted six interviews on capitalism and slavery at The Dig’s…
Capitalism and Slavery. Part 1.
May 15 • 133 min
Three interviews: historians Linford Fisher, Christy Clark-Pujara and Joanne Melish, and Emily Owens. Dan conducted six interviews on capitalism and slavery at The Dig’s recent Slavery’s Hinterlands symposium here in Rhode Island. This first of two…
Cyborg Revolution with Donna Haraway
May 8
Donna Haraway’s work defies disciplines, combining insights from both biology and feminist thought, and drawing on her own involvement in political projects organized around feminism and radical science. Haraway’s most recent book, Staying With the…
Real Estate Capitalism and Gentrification with Samuel Stein
May 2
What is gentrification? It isn’t just about what was once known as the hipster and is still known as the artist, the telltale warning signs of impending demographic change. It’s part of an entire political-economic order that has made real estate global…
Un laboratorio del socialismo en Chile. Entrevista con Daniel Jadue.
Apr 26
*This episode of The Dig is a special Dig in Spanish. Visit Jacobin for a transcript in English. Este episodio de The Dig es un Dig especial en español. Entra a Jacobin para una transcripción en inglés.* Cuando se piensa en Chile desde el extranjero,…
Empire and the War in Yemen
Apr 17
The US has played a major role in fomenting violence across Yemen, backing the Saudi and United Arab Emirates-led forces attacking the country while also conducting a direct war against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula under the guise of counterter…
Chinese Class Conflict with Jenny Chan
Apr 10
In the US, China is often viewed at best as a nefarious and enigmatic rival and at worst as a civilizational enemy. But these stories of national rivalry that permeate both major parties and the mainstream media function as a mystification, shrouding the…
Against Idiocy with Kafui Attoh
Apr 5
Car dominance, public transit austerity, and the neoliberal political-economy within which both are embedded have fomented what Marx called idiocy, in its classical sense of privatized social isolation. Dan talks to geographer Kafui Attoh, the author of…
Strike! with Jane McAlevey
Mar 27
The strike is back, and big time. Teachers in particular have been walking off the job not only to demand higher wages but also to fight for an end to privatization and for a transformation of the educational system for their students. These strikes,…
Why Socialism Wins in Chicago
Mar 23
Four of the five candidates endorsed by the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America either won outright or advanced to the runoff election on April 2, leading to talk of a Socialist Caucus on the city council. And other progressive candidates throughout…
End of the Myth with Greg Grandin
Mar 20
American liberty has since its foundation relied upon the dispossession of indigenous people and Mexicans, upon African enslavement and, ultimately, upon the constant fleeing outward that created an empire that none dare call by its name. As historian…
A Theory of ISIS with Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou
Mar 13
Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou explains: it’s not just that the War on Terror has warped American and European politics and society; it’s that the War on Terror and Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS have become mutually-critical facets of a larger, more…
Green New Deal Architect Rhiana Gunn-Wright
Mar 9
It’s irrelevant whether establishment liberals are sincerely aware of the threat posed by climate catastrophe because they are constitutionally hemmed in by a small-bore, technocratic and profoundly neoliberal ideology. But the climate justice movement…
Feminism for the 99% with Tithi Bhattacharya
Mar 6
Striking women have begun to reclaim feminism as a project of working-class struggle against not only patriarchy’s domination of women by men but also against capitalism’s domination of the many by the few—a system that sexism serves. As Cinzia Arruzza,…
Hegemony How-To with Jonathan Matthew Smucker
Feb 27
Dan’s guest is long-time organizer Jonathan Matthew Smucker, the author of Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals. The book is both a critique of the radical left’s traditional style of politics and a how-to guide to fighting and winning, from…
Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire with Dylan Riley
Feb 20
Dan discusses The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte—Marx’s take on revolution and reaction in mid-19th century France, the broader theories he develops about history and the relationship between politics and the class war, and how this all might…
Contradictions with Eric Levitz
Feb 16
Dan talks to Eric Levitz—who at New York magazine provides the sort of consistently thoughtful and deeply contextualized analysis that is often quite hard to find on mainstream new sites—about the increasingly-impossible to reconcile immanent…
2020 with Briahna Gray, Dave Weigel and Waleed Shahid
Feb 13
What might Bernie 2020 look like, particularly now that almost everyone claims to be for Medicare for All (whatever they might mean by that)? Will Harris’ track record as a law-and-order prosecutor doom her, or will her appeal as a woman of color rally a…
Palestine Politics with Linda Sarsour
Feb 6
View Transcript Two left-wing Muslim women newly elected to Congress—Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib and Somali-American Ilhan Omar—are resetting the Congressional debate over Palestine. In response, they have been met with slanderous attacks. On the…
Venezuela
Feb 1
Alejandro Velasco, Gabriel Hetland and Naomi Schiller on the profound economic, social, and political crisis in Venezuela. More than three million refugees and migrants have fled the country. Opposition figure Juan Guaidó has declared himself president.…
The Drug War in Mexico with Anabel Hernández
Jan 30
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, a leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, is on trial in New York. After twice making his way out of Mexican prisons, he was extradited to the United States. This is what counts as a major victory in the never-ending US war on drugs,…
Populism’s Power
Jan 23
Democracy is the proposition that the people should govern themselves. But who are the people, and how should they govern? Populist movements attempt to answer these questions. In response, establishment figures insist that it is the people and their…
LA Teachers Strike with Sarah Jaffe
Jan 18
The teacher strike wave continues as more than 30,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles walk picket lines not only for the higher wages that they deserve but also for the well-funded and great schools that the city’s working-class students of color…
Astra Taylor on Democracy
Jan 16
Jacobin editor Alyssa Battistoni interviews Astra Taylor on her new film What is Democracy?, in which Astra asks ordinary people and political philosophers alike just that. The answers are often extraordinary and far more incisive than the mindless pablum…
Rethinking Migration with Aziz Rana
Jan 9
Typically, people think about migration as immigration: people crossing international borders from one nation-state to another. And for the past half century in the United States, people have tended to think about that immigration in a binary way: legal…
Family Values with Melinda Cooper
Jan 4
Dan interviews Melinda Cooper about her book, Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism, which makes the case that neoliberalism and social conservatism have been consistent collaborators in creating an economy that…
The Green New Deal with Kate Aronoff
Dec 27, 2018
Trump and fossil-fueled conservatives have pit working-class prosperity against environmentalism. This, of course, is incredibly dangerous. It’s also premised on a misreading of environmental politics as having nothing to do with human wellbeing. But…
Crashed with Adam Tooze
Dec 18, 2018
Historian Adam Tooze, the author of Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, explains how crisis in an unprecedentedly powerful and interconnected global banking system coursed through American homes and European sovereign debt…
Yellow Vests with Danièle Obono and Jerome Roos
Dec 15, 2018
There has been no greater exemplar of zombie neoliberalism in power than French President Emanuel Macron’s imperial technocracy. Now, with the rise of the Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) movement, there no clearer evidence that zombie neoliberalism is bound…
Bad Objects with Andrea Long Chu and Marissa Brostoff
Dec 11, 2018
Marissa Brostoff and Andrea Long Chu discuss Sex and the City and The X-Files, unraveling the tangled history of Marxism and queer theory, Cynthia Nixon the democratic socialist versus Miranda the straight corporate lawyer misrecognized as a lesbian,…
Haddad and Varoufakis Fighting Right-Wing Populism
Dec 4, 2018
On Saturday, Dan was in New York to interview Fernando Haddad and Yanis Varoufakis. Haddad is the former Workers Party mayor of São Paulo who recently lost Brazil’s presidential election to far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro. Varoufakis was the Greek…
The Left Knows No Borders with Richard Seymour
Nov 28, 2018
How unlucky it was for Angela Nagle to make her so-called left case against immigration the same week that Hillary Clinton reprised her neoliberal case for border crackdowns. In reality, solidarity with immigrant workers has long been a core tenant for…
Jeff Sessions’ Brutal Legacy
Nov 25, 2018
Guns in general, and American gun culture in particular, have created a horrific bloodbath. But much of the liberal gun control movement has, in concert with the NRA and Republican Right, worked to make the war on guns a central facet of mass…
Barbara Ransby on Black Lives Matter
Nov 21, 2018
Black Lives Matter is a poignant slogan and a powerful force for social transformation. It’s also shorthand for a huge array of organizations, mostly led by people that you’ve never heard of, working the daily hard grind of ordinary organizing that…
A History of Neoliberalism with Quinn Slobodian
Nov 14, 2018
Neoliberalism: we all hate it, but what does it mean? Dan talks to intellectual historian Quinn Slobodian about his book Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism, which tells the story of neoliberalism’s Geneva School—in…
The Roots of White Power Violence with Kathleen Belew
Nov 7, 2018
The man who carried out the massacre in Pittsburgh was apparently motivated by a belief that Jewish people were conspiring to destroy the white race by way of orchestrating mass immigration. It’s a conspiracy theory with deep roots in America’s violent…
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the Life of Howard Zinn
Nov 3, 2018
Historian Howard Zinn remains a model for left-wing intellectuals who want to not only convey ideas to a public beyond academia but also take action to transform the world that it is their profession to explain. Dan interviews Keeanga Yahmatta-Taylor, a…
Madawi al-Rasheed on Saudi Royal Brutality
Oct 30, 2018
The brutality of the Saudi royal family had been hiding in plain sight. It was an open secret convenient to the political, media and business elites for whom the Kingdom means big business and an invaluable geostrategic proxy. But the brutal murder and…
The Color of Economic Anxiety
Oct 28, 2018
Recently, Dan spoke to Nikhil Pal Singh about the unfortunate and never-ending debate over whether it was economics or racism that got Trump elected. This is a sequel to that discussion: because what Malaika Jabali powerfully exposes in a Current Affairs…
Rossana Rodríguez-Sanchez, a Socialist for Chicago
Oct 26, 2018
Jacobin Managing Editor Micah Uetricht pulls Dave-Davies-duty for Dan and interviews Rossana Rodríguez-Sanchez, a DSA member running for alderwoman in Chicago. Rodríguez-Sanchez moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico, where the brutal austerity imposed on the…
Economics Discounting Climate Catastrophe. REPOSTED.
Oct 24, 2018
CORRECT EPISODE NOW POSTED. Today’s episode is on the alarming new report out from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and how it is that William Nordhaus—an economist whose work is dedicated to arguing that that it would be too…
Explaining Brazil’s Crisis with Alfredo Saad-Filho
Oct 19, 2018
Brazil is headed toward fascism by way of Jair Bolsonaro, a sexist, homophobic, and violent militarist clown nostalgic for a murderous dictatorship. How did this happen? Alfredo Saad-Filho, a Professor of Political Economy at SOAS University of London,…
Sawant on Socialism Against the Amazonification of Seattle
Oct 17, 2018
Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant was elected to Seattle City Council way before socialism became a cool thing. Today, Dan’s talking to Sawant about how socialists can build power and win at the local level—and how in Seattle, that mean…
Reasonable Men Calming You Down with Moira Weigel
Oct 13, 2018
Today, we’re addressing one of the most obnoxious corners of the identity politics debate. And that is the corner occupied by Right Liberals who believe that any desire to change the world is a divisive symptom of maladjusted affluenza emanating from…
Lessons from the New Left with Max Elbaum
Oct 9, 2018
Let’s ensure that the history of American socialism doesn’t repeat as farce. That’s one reason that Max Elbaum wrote Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che, an account of the little-remembered New Communist Movement that…
Lisa Duggan on the Open Secret of Sexual Assault
Oct 6, 2018
Christine Blasey Ford and other women have revealed that our political-economic elite is pervaded by profound intimate violence, forms of brutal interpersonal domination that are the everyday and microcosmic connective tissue of systems of domination as a…
Reclaiming Philadelphia
Oct 3, 2018
An interview with three members of Reclaim Philadelphia, which emerged from the Bernie 2016 campaign in Philly and has since—in a remarkably short amount of time—played a key role in getting Larry Krasner elected District Attorney, effectively won a state…
Patrick Blanchfield on Serious Men
Sep 25, 2018
Serious people in Washington are seduced by vapid and self-serving accounts of their savvy operation of the machinery of government—works like Bob Woodward’s latest exercise in extended stenography Fear: Trump in the White House. The problem with…
#AbolishDEA
Sep 23, 2018
The United States today exceeds at perpetually waging wars that it are destined to fail to meet their purported objectives. The War on Terror is one such war. The War on Drugs is another. In both cases, failure never leads to much official questioning of…
The Problem with the Problem with Appalachia
Sep 19, 2018
For many, conservatives and liberals alike, Appalachia provides a skeleton key for interpreting changes in American politics that might otherwise be difficult to comprehend. But the way conservatives and liberals talk about Appalachia tells us a lot more…
Beyond Economism with Nancy Fraser
Sep 12, 2018
Legendary critical theorist Nancy Fraser argues that a total analysis of capitalism requires taking Marxism beyond a narrowly economistic view. Throughout its history, capitalism has been defined not just by labor exploitation but also by the disavowal of…
Matt Bruenig Spreads the Wealth Around
Sep 9, 2018
What socialism should offer is freedom by way of power and democratic control over our polity and economy—and thus over our future as a society. Matt Bruenig has one proposal (https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/projects/social-wealth-fund/) out at his…
Race or Class? Bad Question. With Nikhil Pal Singh.
Sep 5, 2018
Nikhil Pal Singh on the unfortunate obsession shared by certain pundits, journalists and social scientists: definitively proving that Trump won because of racism, and racism alone. What drives so many people to dedicate so much time to arguing that either…
Organizing Amid Rising Tides
Aug 31, 2018
Dan speaks to Elizabeth Rush, the author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, a lyrical, mournful but ultimately hopeful account of people dealing with amongst the most tangible effects of global warming right now: the rising seas that are…
Eco-Socialism and the Climate Crisis
Aug 29, 2018
Today’s episode is a long one. It’s the first of two this week on climate politics: a live event that I hosted at Verso Books in New York a couple weeks ago. Or, at least part of it is. The event livestream, which we grabbed the audio from, malfunctioned…
Criminal Injustice with Josie Duffy Rice
Aug 25, 2018
Josie Duffy Rice on Justice in America, her new podcast from The Appeal that she co-hosts with with Clint Smith, media coverage of criminal justice, carceral feminism and domestic violence, and the disturbing liberal affection for federal law enforcement…
Russia Beyond Caricature
Aug 22, 2018
Russia: the more your average American thinks about it, the less they seem to know. National security-state enthused liberals blame Putin and for creating what is an obviously-if-incomprehensibly made-in-America monster. Trump, in turn, cannot seem to…
Aslı Bâli on Syria, Part II
Aug 17, 2018
Part two of a two-part interview with Aslı Bâli on the Syrian civil war and the larger geopolitical conflicts that shape the Middle East—with an emphasis on the role played the United States. During part one, which you should definitely listen to first,…
Aslı Bâli on Syria, Part I
Aug 15, 2018
Aslı Ü. Bâli joins Daniel for part one of a two-part interview on the Syrian Civil War and the murderously instrumentalized geopolitics that fuel it. Syrians continue to suffer and to die while various actors treat the conflict as a proxy for their own…
Making Sense of Soros
Aug 11, 2018
That right-wing people in the US and Europe have made George Soros the answer to so many troubling questions is not very surprising: he’s a billionaire, he’s Jewish and, unlike most of his cohort, he is an actual intellectual who spends much of his money…
Boots Riley on Sorry to Bother You and Communism
Aug 9, 2018
Sorry to Bother You is a hilarious film about the dead serious shitiness of life under neoliberalism’s flexibilized and precarious labor regime, a system teetering upon a thin line between free labor exploitation and a form of expropriation reminiscent of…
Kerri Harris Runs for Delaware Upset
Aug 3, 2018
If Kerri Evelyn Harris wins in Delaware, she will have knocked out an incumbent US Senator. And that would be a really big deal. Harris, a left candidate backed by Justice Democrats, is Dan’s guest today. She is the latest candidate putting forward the…
Stop Whore Stigma with Melissa Gira Grant
Jul 31, 2018
The SESTA/FOSTA law purportedly aims to curb sex trafficking. But as my guest Melissa Gira Grant explains, it actually denies sex workers access to online platforms to more safely conduct their business. It received just two “no” votes in the Senate: from…
Kaniela Ing Is Fighting for Aloha
Jul 27, 2018
Kaniela Ing (kanielaing.com) is a DSA member running in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, calling for an end to imperialism and rule by the wealthy, and for housing rights, a green New Deal, Medicare for All, and free college. And he’s Dan’s guest.…
A Post-Janus Plan for Labor
Jul 24, 2018
Janus was an entirely expected and atrocious decision. The conservative business interests that successfully obliterated private sector unions hope it will do the same to their public-sector counterparts. Chris Maisano, a contributing editor at Jacobin,…
Mistaking Identity Politics
Jul 18, 2018
Checking your privilege. Invisible knapsacks. Intersectionality. In his new book from Verso, Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump (https://www.versobooks.com/books/2716-mistaken-identity), Asad Haider questions the terms and concepts that…
A New Party of a New Kind
Jul 15, 2018
The last episode in this week’s Ocasio-Cortez super series. First, an interview with Seth Ackerman on his essay “A Blueprint for a New Party,” which lays out a strategy for building independent socialist power effectively, which means opportunistically…
Julia Salazar Brings Socialist Insurgency to Brooklyn
Jul 12, 2018
This week’s super series on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory and the future of left politics continues with Julia Salazar, a DSA member running for a Brooklyn state Senate in New York’s District 18. Salazar’s campaign worked hard for Ocasio-Cortez; now,…
Bernie Sanders on Ocasio-Cortez: We’re seeing it all over this country
Jul 11, 2018
Capitol Hill used to be a lonely place for a leftist. And, frankly, it still is. But now that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears to be headed to Washington, Senator Bernie Sanders will likely have some powerful company. Today, Sanders is Dan’s guest, and…
Cynthia Nixon on Challenging Cuomo in Wake of Ocasio-Cortez Win
Jul 10, 2018
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory should make New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a larger-than-life bully and ideologically-chameleon Democrat, very afraid. He faces a challenge from Dan’s guest today, Cynthia Nixon, who has spent the years after her time on…
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Winning Power
Jul 9, 2018
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a 28-year old Latina working-class champion committed to social transformation who beat one of the most powerful men in Congress: the King of Queens. Dan had an extended conversation with her about how organized people won her…
AMLO Shatters Mexican Establishment
Jul 7, 2018
Leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO, won an overwhelming victory in Mexico’s presidential election, shattering a corrupt, old party system that brought ordinary Mexicans rampant violence and economic immiseration. But AMLO faces powerful…
The Italian Left’s Collapse with David Broder
Jul 3, 2018
Today, we’re talking about Italy, where a so-called “populist” alliance of the Five Star Movement and right-wing League just took over the government with anti-migrant and Euro-skeptic agenda. Dan’s guest is David Broder, a historian of French and Italian…
The Trump Doctrine and Its Mandarin Detractors
Jun 29, 2018
Stephen Wertheim, a Lecturer in American and international history at Birkbeck, University of London, breaks cuts through the suffocating foreign policy debate that shapes American Empire under Trump. Peace has broken out across the Korean Peninsula—or,…
Whither White Ethnics with Matthew Frye Jacobson
Jun 27, 2018
Everyone wants to know what’s wrong with Appalachia. But beginning in the 1960s, it was “white ethics”—Italians, Irish, Polish, Jews and other non-WASPs—who broke from the New Deal coalition, embracing their Ellis Island immigrant roots in reaction to the…
Child Casualties of the Border War
Jun 22, 2018
Vox immigration reporter Dara Lind, one very bright spot in an often disappointing landscape of mainstream immigration journalism, discusses the historical, political and legal context of Trump’s family separation policy. Dan also just wrote a lengthy…
David Harvey on Capital
Jun 20, 2018
David Harvey has taught Capital to huge numbers of people everywhere. Dan interviews him about his latest book, Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason. Harvey explains why he thinks all three volumes are of Capital are key, why we’re still…
Naomi Klein and Mercedes Martínez: The Battle for Puerto Rico
Jun 12, 2018
The US colony of Puerto Rico has been repeatedly shocked and Puerto Ricans are traumatized. That is precisely what successful shock doctrines like this one—which wants to remake the island into a utopia for rich Americans and crypto-bros and a dystopia…
Spain Part II: Rajoy Falls
Jun 9, 2018
Last week, we posted an interview Dan recorded in Barcelona on Spanish politics—specifically the question of Catalan independence, and also the municipalist movement governing cities like Barcelona. What we didn’t really talk much about was the fact that…
Democracy in Chains with Nancy MacLean
Jun 5, 2018
For libertarians, liberty means something different. It’s about liberty for property owners. And in their quest to preserve that absolute freedom for the ownership class—whether their assets be human slaves, factories or extractive industries—democracy…
Two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal
Jun 2, 2018
Fifty years ago, a mainstream group of high-profile Americans declared the following: “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal. Reaction to last summer’s disorders has quickened the movement and deepened the…
Left Out of Spain’s National Question
May 30, 2018
Spanish politics are complicated. Dan speaks to Carlos Delclós, Kate Shea Baird and Bécquer Seguín to help clarify the Catalan independence movement, the radical municipalist governments that now govern major Spanish cities including Barcelona, and the…
Resisting the School-to-Prison Pipeline
May 27, 2018
The steady pace of school massacres has revived calls to put more cops in school. And so atrocities committed by white students are exploited to make schools more like prisons, and ensure that the former remain a rapid-fire pipeline into the latter. Dan’s…
Telling a New Story with George Monbiot
May 23, 2018
A laundry list of modest policy solutions is not enough, it turns out. It’s not just that technocratic fixes-around-the-edges spectacularly fail to meet people’s needs; in failing to articulate a big picture vision of how the world ought to be…
Free Palestine with Noura Erakat
May 18, 2018
Israel is massacring Palestinians daring to approach a fence that occupation forces have built to shore up an ethno-state founded on the principle of apartheid. Nothing could be more clear. But you wouldn’t no that from the at best muddied coverage that…
The Law in Its Majestic Equality
May 15, 2018
“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.” The rule of law: the #resistance has construed it to be a cornerstone of opposition to Trump. It is certainly…
Dorothy Roberts: Policing Poor Black Families
May 12, 2018
Recent cases of horrific child abuse have elicited widespread media attention. What the media coverage often misses is what these incidents reveal about a two-tiered child protection system that systemically surveils, punishes and destroys poor black…
Struggle and the State
May 9, 2018
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Bernie, Krasner, Keeanga and Premal
May 5, 2018
Dan just moderated a discussion in Philadelphia with Senator Sanders, along with Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, scholar and frequent Dig guest Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and veteran defense lawyer and advocate Premal Dharia. Bernie came to…
The Right to Have Rights Part II
May 4, 2018
This is part two of Dan’s interview on Hannah Arendt’s notion of “the right to have rights.” This episode covers a lot, including why we must fight not only to expand the democratic political community but also to deepen its power—all at a time when the…
The Right to Have Rights Part I
May 1, 2018
What are rights worth when government denies people the very right to have rights? Political theorist Hannah Arendt recognized this loss of “the right to have rights” as millions of refugees found themselves without a national home in the wake of world…
Comey Liberal Cop Fetish
Apr 27, 2018
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Radicalizing Jackson with Chokwe Antar Lumumba
Apr 24, 2018
It’s yet the latest installment in our ongoing series on the left and electoral politics. Dan’s guest is Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. Last year, Mayor Lumumba pledged to make Jackson “the most radical city on the planet.”…
Dave Weigel: These Primary Colors Don’t Run
Apr 21, 2018
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DSA at the Ballot Box
Apr 17, 2018
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 15.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} The latest installment in…
Petro-Imperialism with Timothy Mitchell Part II
Apr 13, 2018
Historian and political theorist Timothy Mitchell joins Dan for the second of a two-part interview on his book Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, published in 2011 by Verso. In part 1, we talked about a lot of things, including how the…
Petro-Capitalism with Timothy Mitchell Part I
Apr 10, 2018
Historian and political theorist Timothy Mitchell joins Dan for the first of a two-part interview on his book Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, published in 2011 by Verso. In this first episode, we talk about how the rise of coal made…
Aziz Rana: Reviving Resistance to Empire
Apr 7, 2018
It’s our 100th episode and the launch of our spring fundraising drive! Aziz Rana returns to The Dig 15 years after the invasion of Iraq to reflect on the paucity of substantive anti-imperialist politics across much of the American left. Socialism isn’t…
Student-Debt Capitalism
Apr 3, 2018
It’s obvious that student debt can be an excruciating financial burden. But anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom explains that it has also done a lot to make American families into plunderable financial mines, part of a larger capitalist system that…
No Human Being Is Illegal with Mae Ngai
Mar 27, 2018
Many Americans take the existence of so-called “illegal immigrants” for granted, whatever their opinion of the matter. But illegality isn’t a property of immigrants; rather, it’s a creation of positive law. And we can only understand how immigrants are…
Real Sanctuary Means Ending Mass Policing with Kade Crockford
Mar 25, 2018
Perhaps nothing has more defined the monstrosity of Donald Trump than his racist demonization and targeting of immigrants from Mexico, Muslim-majority countries and those nations he deems to be “shitholes” or, according to another account, “shithouses.”…
MLK, Political Philosopher. With Tommie Shelby and Brandon Terry.
Mar 21, 2018
Tommie Shelby and Brandon M. Terry talk about their new book To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. King is often remembered for his soaring oratory. But the commonplace emphasis on his rhetoric in place of his…
Lamb Is Not Enough. Three Leftist Women Run in Pennsylvania
Mar 17, 2018
Democrat Conor Lamb’s victory is a stunning rebuke of Republicans. But Lamb is far from an ideal candidate, and so the race also raises a perennial debate between the left and liberal center over what kind of alternative to the Republican Right we need.…
West Virginia and Labor after Janus with Sarah Jaffe and Gabriel Winant
Mar 13, 2018
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} In West Virginia, a focal point of Trump-era liberal armchair ethnography, teachers have won a historic…
Gun Culture is Neoliberalism with Patrick Blanchfield
Mar 9, 2018
Neoliberal culture is one that expects little from government and everything from plucky individuals—including, apparently, the self-sacrificing courage to charge an AR-15 wielding gunman while your classmates cower behind bulletproof backpacks. Writer…
Gun Culture and Masculinity in an Age of Decline with Jennifer Carlson
Mar 6, 2018
How does gun culture get built from the ground up? What are the everyday politics of guns? Sociologist Jennifer Carlson does ethnographic fieldwork that provides answers to these questions, showing how men see guns as a way to be a protector in a time of…
Nomiki Konst on the Fight Inside the Democratic Party
Mar 2, 2018
Nomiki Konst, a correspondent for The Young Turks and Sanders appointee to the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission, talks about the Berniecrat struggle against a corrupt neoliberal establishment to democratize the Democratic Party. This is the first in a series…
Glenn Greenwald: Surveillance Hypocrisy Amid Russiagate Mania
Feb 27, 2018
Did the “Woke Blacks” Instagram account really cost Clinton the election? Glenn Greenwald returns to the show to ask basic but rarely asked questions about the troll army’s presumed efficacy, explain his often mischaracterized position on Russiagate, and…
It’s Iron Stache
Feb 20, 2018
Dan talks to Randy Bryce (@IronStache), the Berniecrat ironworker taking on Paul Ryan, about how he plans to knockout the House Speaker, Scott Walker’s decimation of unions and Foxconn’s con against the people of Wisconsin. Thanks to our supporters at…
Aziz Rana: The Cold War’s Late Demise
Feb 14, 2018
What if the Cold War only just ended in November 2016, as Donald Trump grotesquely encircled and then captured the presidency, finding it, to his surprise, unguarded? The Cold War proper, of course, ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. But Aziz…
Frances Fox Piven: Movements Still Matter
Feb 7, 2018
Four decades ago, Frances Fox Piven and her husband Richard Cloward published Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail, a classic, clear-eyed analysis of just what the title suggests. Piven, a legendary scholar and activist, talks to Dan…
Baltimore’s Crisis Continues with Lester Spence
Feb 3, 2018
The uprising following the police killing of Freddie Gray drew national media attention to Baltimore and the abusive law enforcement agents that discipline and control those most exploited and excluded by contemporary American capitalism. As is often the…
Building an American Empire with Paul Frymer
Jan 30, 2018
We are living on land from which indigenous people, over hundreds of years, were violently removed. On some level, everyone knows this—yet it’s mostly nowhere to be found in stories that Americans tell themselves about who we are as a country, and how we…
Why Democrats Fought Then Folded on DACA with Jeff Stein
Jan 25, 2018
Excitement that Democrats had developed a spine in the fight for Dreamers reverted to familiar despondency and fury when they capitulated and voted to reopen the government on Monday. @JStein_WaPo offers his analysis of the role that the media and the…
The Militant 70s Labor Movement You Never Heard of with Lane Windham
Jan 24, 2018
Everyone agrees that the 1970s was the beginning of the end of capitalism as we had known it since the New Deal. But historian Lane Windham makes it clear that it wasn’t for a lack of worker struggle in her new book, Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union…
Workers’ Rights Are Students’ Rights
Jan 19, 2018
Student workers at Rutgers University are fighting for $15 an hour. Undergraduate history major and dining-hall worker Danny Taylor of @RutgersUSAS talks about their struggle. Thanks to Verso Books for their support. Check out Alt-America: The Rise of the…
A New Poor People’s Campaign with Nijmie Dzurinko
Jan 16, 2018
Martin Luther King Jr. launched the Poor People’s Campaign alongside other organizers shortly before he was assassinated 50 years ago. Today, organizers nationwide are relaunching that movement as The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral…
That Trump Book Tho with Patrick Blanchfield
Jan 13, 2018
Your first Diglet of the new year, and we’re talking about that Trump book. At n+1 Patrick Blanchfield makes the case that Fire and Fury is not, as some might think, a bunch of meaningless palace-intrigue that has distracted us from what Trump is doing to…
Killing the Black Body with Dorothy Roberts
Jan 9, 2018
Chattel slavery made black women’s reproduction the source of private property—and in doing so invented race and American racism. Ever since, the denigration and regulation of black women’s childbearing has been central to the construction of white…
Troop Veneration and US Empire with Catherine Lutz
Jan 3, 2018
The protest movement against the onset of the Iraq War was countered by a call to “support our troops” from militarists on the right. Venerating American soldiers, of course, is not about supporting actual American soldiers but is rather a rhetorical…
Bhaskar on the Bolsheviks
Dec 27, 2017
At the close of the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara discusses his new article on the Bolsheviks and what we can learn from and blame on them—and also what might be forgiven and moved beyond. Thanks to our sponsors at…
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Recovering Identity Politics from Neoliberalism
Dec 19, 2017
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor returns to The Dig to discuss her new book How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Forty years ago, a group of black feminists coined the term “identity politics” in the Combahee River Collective…
Revisiting Racecraft with Barbara and Karen Fields
Dec 13, 2017
A lengthy interview with historian Barbara Fields and sociologist Karen Fields on their seminal essay collection Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life. Dan talks to the sister scholars about the book; how Ta-Nehisi Coates’ primordialist view…
The Destruction of Black Wealth with Ryan Cooper
Dec 8, 2017
Journalist @ryanlcooper talks about the new paper he wrote with @MattBruenig, founder of the @PplPolicyProj, a new left-wing think tank founded by Bruenig and funded by the people. Foreclosed: Destruction of Black Wealth During the Obama Presidency…
Peace Can Happen in Korea with Tim Shorrock
Dec 5, 2017
The prospect of nuclear war with North Korea sits near the top of the list of things that have been unthinkably bad about Donald Trump’s presidency. But the conflict with North Korea didn’t begin with Trump. It’s critical that we understand the Koreas and…
Clintonism’s Dreadful Legacy with Robert Reich
Dec 1, 2017
Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s Labor Secretary, explains one of Clintonism’s most dreadful results: President Trump. The new film Saving Capitalism, available on Netflix, is Reich’s quasi-autobiographical documentary about the origins of contemporary…
The Origins of the Opioid Crisis with Leo Beletsky
Nov 28, 2017
The drug war is a cause of, not solution to, the overdose crisis. Law and public health scholar @LeoBeletsky explains the origins of the opioid overdose crisis and how drug prohibition, policing, interdiction and incarceration are at its root—and continue…
Bonus: Alex Vitale v. Heather MacDonald
Nov 27, 2017
We’ve got a bonus episode for you today, which is audio from a debate between Alex Vitale—a recent guest on this show, sociologist and author of The End of Policing—and Heather Mac Donald, one of the leading intellectual champions of urban…
A Monstrous Tax Plan That Might Fail with Arthur Delaney
Nov 24, 2017
The GOP tax plan is a monstrous giveaway to corporate America but it might not pass thanks to the same contradictions within the Republican coalition that repeatedly sunk efforts to repeal Obamacare, as journalist @ArthurDelaneyHP explains. Thanks to our…
The Reality of Central American Migration with Noelle Brigden
Nov 21, 2017
Trump’s demagogic rhetoric on MS-13 is designed to obscure the truth about the reality and origins of mass Central American migration: the roots of migration from Central America lie in significant part in the violence unleashed by US-backed dirty wars…
DSA Kicking Ass with Lee Carter and David Duhalde
Nov 17, 2017
Last week was a bad week for Republicans and a good week for Democrats—and for Democratic Socialists. It’s now pretty clear that Republicans will pay a price for the fact that large numbers of Americans detest our dotard-in-chief. But last week’s election…
A History of Human Caging with Kelly Lytle Hernández
Nov 14, 2017
Historian Kelly Lytle Hernández tells the story of human caging in Los Angeles, from the Spanish Conquest to the mid-twentieth century, in her new book City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965. It’s a…
Don’t Criminalize Sex Work with Melissa Gira Grant
Nov 10, 2017
Journalist @melissagira eviscerates a newspaper investigation that conflates sex work with trafficking. She examines how reporters unwittingly fall into a savior complex, which ends up criminalizing workers in the name of defending women’s dignity. Thanks…
The Hollow Center with Molly Ball and Eric Levitz
Nov 7, 2017
Centrist business elites believe in an America that doesn’t exist. Two guests this episode: first, @mollyesque talks about her piece ”On Safari in Trump’s America” for The Atlantic. Her article follows the centrist organization Third Way on a “listening…
Policing for the Market with Brenden Beck
Nov 3, 2017
Why have the size of American police departments grown so dramatically in recent decades, even as crime rates have fallen? One factor may have been the growing centrality of real estate for urban economies, according to a new article published in the…
Universalizing American Liberty with Aziz Rana
Oct 31, 2017
Aziz Rana discusses his pivotal book, The Two Faces of American Freedom. Rana overturns conventional accounts of American history, from settlement and Revolution to the Populists and the present day. In reality, settler-colonialism, empire, and a brutally…
Alex Press on Collective Action to Fight Sexual Harassment
Oct 27, 2017
The exposure of Weinstein’s predations has reignited widespread fury over the longstanding problem of sexual harassment and assault—especially in the workplace. Jacobin editor @alexnpress discusses two new pieces she wrote on how dealing with these…
Corey Robin: Trump’s Reactionary Mind
Oct 24, 2017
@CoreyRobin points to a tension that has defined conservatism from the get-go, between two competing conceptions of virtue and nobility: one defined by political and military distinction and another by entrepreneurial acumen and accumulated wealth. Robin…
Bonus: Ending the War on Drug Dealers
Oct 23, 2017
Dan was on a panel last week on ending the war on drug dealers at the Drug Policy Alliance conference in Atlanta. The panel was moderated by asha bandele and included Daryl Atkinson, Constanza Sánchez Avilé, Lyn Ulbrich, Kemba Smith and Dan. Thanks for…
Let’s Elect Left Candidates with Joe Dinkin
Oct 20, 2017
Since Bernie Sanders’s success in the 2016 Democratic primary, much of the Left, from progressive Democrats to socialists, has had its sights set on something we had long at least implicitly assumed was impossible: state power and governing. The question…
We must end policing as we know it with Alex Vitale
Oct 17, 2017
In his new book The End of Policing Brooklyn College sociologist @avitale makes the case that technocratic reforms won’t fix American policing. In reality, we can only fix policing by ending the carceral state and defeating neoliberalism. Thanks to Verso…
Matt Christman rants, raves, and ruminates
Oct 11, 2017
Chapo went on The Dig. Dan talks to @cushbomb about optimism, pessimism, Manitowoc, reptilians, why the internet might be mostly bad, and Dan’s personal connection to the PizzaGate coverup. Toss us some cash love at Patreon.com/thedig and check out The…
Nina Turner: Let’s Keep the Political Revolution In Motion
Oct 6, 2017
Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner talks about being horrified by Trump, why single-payer is suddenly hot among likely 2020 Democratic contenders, and the work that Our Revolution is doing nationwide to fight the Democratic Party’s neoliberal…
Beware Carceral Gun Control
Oct 6, 2017
Prevailing debate obscures the fact that we already have a form of gun control in the United States. As legal scholar Ben Levin explains, the problem is that it’s a form of gun control that is mostly about locking up poor black men in huge numbers. The…
Bonus Episode: Larry Krasner’s Full Interview
Oct 4, 2017
Here’s Dan’s full interview with civil rights attorney and Democratic nominee for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. You heard some of it yesterday on the first in a four-part series on mass incarceration that we are co-producing with Cited, a…
Part One: The Story Behind America’s Mass Incarceration Experiment
Oct 3, 2017
In the late 1960s, criminologists like Todd Clear predicted America would soon start closing its prisons. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Interviews with Clear, formerly incarcerated poet and legal scholar Dwayne Betts, and civil rights attorney and…
Marisol LeBrón & Brandy Jensen: Puerto Rico, Austerian Disaster; Roy Moore, Perfect Republican
Sep 29, 2017
Today’s Diglet is not really diminutive at all. Dan has two interviews with two separate guests because too much has happened over the past few weeks and there are too many smart people to analyze it all. First, scholar @marisollebron on how Wall…
Khaled Beydoun: The War on Terror Made Trump’s Islamophobia A Reality
Sep 26, 2017
Islamophobia is conventionally regarded as racist and bigoted views about Muslims expressed by ignorant individuals, including the one who somehow became president. But legal and critical race scholar @KhaledBeydoun (https://twitter.com/KhaledBeydoun)…
Eve Peyser: What Happened Is Not About What Actually Happened
Sep 22, 2017
For this Diglet, Dan and Eve discuss Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened. Eve also talks about spending time with Jill Stein recently, and argues that it’s wrongheaded to blame Stein for Trump. Thanks to our supporters at University of California…
Stephen Wertheim: America Was Never Exceptional But We Used to Think It Was
Sep 19, 2017
Trump is normal in more ways than people care to admit, but he is different in that he parts from the bedrock ideology of American exceptionalism that has governed this country from its violent founding. Foreign policy scholar @stephenwertheim…
An Olympic-Size Swindle in LA with Molly Lambert and Jules Boykoff
Sep 15, 2017
The so-called Olympic spirit doesn’t match the reality of a highly-corporatized Games that often leaves taxpayers picking up the tab, engenders abusive policing and justifies the remaking of cities for the rich at the expense of ordinary and poor people.…
Houston: A Segregated Disaster in a Segregated City
Sep 12, 2017
This two-hour episode is a look at inequality in Houston from slavery to the present. First, Dan talks to Tyina Steptoe, historian at the University of Arizona and author of “Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City.” Then Robert D. Bullard,…
César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández: On DACA
Sep 8, 2017
Immigration law scholar @crimmigration breaks down the lies, misdirections and bigoted absurdities conveyed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he announced that the Trump Administration would cruelly make some 800,000 young people who came to this…
Kate Aronoff: Populist Revolt Against The Climate Crisis
Sep 6, 2017
The devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey has made the denial of climate change all the more dangerous. But @KateAronoff says that mainstream liberals and environmental groups, touting cap-and-trade and business-friendly reforms, have put forward an…
Emily Atkin: Harvey Is Political
Sep 1, 2017
New Republic reporter Emily Atkin (@emorwee) talks about why Harvey is already and inherently political thanks to climate change and the potential for petrochemical disaster in Houston. When people criticize “politicizing” the disaster they are being…
Adrian Chen: Factcheck.org Won’t Save America
Aug 29, 2017
Is the internet good or bad? The debate is more often than not a proxy for one about politics more generally and populism in particular. But the real issue with the internet is this: unaccountable businesses wield oligopoly power over the digital public…
Alex Pareene: Trump’s Happy Place Is Racism
Aug 25, 2017
Dan talks to Splinter Politics Editor Alex Pareene about his recent piece “Charlottesville Was a Preview of the Future of the Republican Party” and about why Phoenix is Trump’s happy place. This second weekly episode costs time and money. We can only keep…
Andrew Bacevich: This Is the War That Never Ends
Aug 22, 2017
This is the war that never ends. The War on Terror’s permanence should be remarkable. It should be an outrage. But it is precisely because the war has become permanent that it has long since been rendered normal. Dan’s guest is historian Andrew Bacevich.…
Sarah Jones: Why Establishment Dems Punch “Alt-Left”
Aug 18, 2017
New Republic writer Sarah Jones joins Dan to talk about Trump’s invocation of the “alt-left” and to explain the term’s unseemly centrist history. And more. We’re gonna try doing two episodes each week now: the regular long Dig on Tuesdays and a shorter,…
Forrest Hylton: What’s Next for the Colombian Left?
Aug 15, 2017
The FARC peace accord is a historic victory for Colombian society. But the struggle to build an urban left strong enough to take on the country’s powerful right remains a daunting one. Today’s guest is Forrest Hylton, the author of Evil Hour in Colombia.…
Christy Thornton: Confronting the Neoliberal Narco-State in Mexico
Aug 8, 2017
With Trump, Mexico is the symbol and source of so many things that are wrong with the United States. Oftentimes, these stories told about Mexico in the United States aren’t just wrong but serve to obscure the true source of our shared problems—which, more…
R.L. & Ella: Here Comes the DSA Convention
Aug 1, 2017
We’re taking a quick break halfway into our four-part series of interviews on Latin America because this week is a big week for the American left: Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, is holding its first national convention since the organization…
Alejandro Velasco: Explaining Venezuela’s crisis
Jul 25, 2017
Hugo Chávez’s rise to power inspired leftists around the world. But today, Venezuela is in a profound economic and political crisis. A huge decline in oil prices gutted the revenue stream that Venezuela depended on to bankroll its social spending. The…
Thea Riofrancos: Left Power and Environmentalism in Ecuador
Jul 18, 2017
In Ecuador, the left won reelection this year, after Alianza PAÍS candidate Lenin Moreno, former President Rafael Correa’s vice president, narrowly won election this year. It was a major victory given the crisis hitting the pink tide of left governments…
Dara Lind: Trump’s uncomfortable resemblance to Obama on immigration
Jul 11, 2017
What Trump has accomplished is spread fear through immigrant communities and, with the Muslim and refugee travel bans, made bigotry the explicit cornerstone of immigration policy. But on immigration, as on other matters, Trump does not emerge from a…
Sarah Jaffe: We Didn’t Start the Class War
Jul 5, 2017 • 0 min
Workers have for years faced a neoliberal onslaught administered by a bipartisan establishment of technocratic elites who have ensured the redistribution of wealth into the hands of the rich. This is an elite that has abetted the decimation of labor…
Naomi Klein: No Is Not Enough
Jun 27, 2017
Donald Trump appears to many in the guise of a terrifying aberration. But in reality, he is the outcome of trends that are far too normal. We need movements to come together to not only defeat Trump but to take on the system that made him possible. Naomi…
James Forman Jr.: Locking Up Our Own
Jun 20, 2017
Mass incarceration controls poor people and populations that have been excluded from the labor market. Politically, tough-on-crime rhetoric has for decades been a tool for politicians to appeal to white voters’ racism. But what’s less discussed is the…
Richard Seymour: Labour’s Got Momentum
Jun 13, 2017
Bernie would have won. And in the UK, he sort of did last week. The Labour Party, under left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn (full name: Jeremy Bernard Corbyn) came far from behind and stripped Prime Minister Theresa May of her majority in parliament — after…
David Dayen: Consider the Vampire Squid
Jun 6, 2017
Nothing that so exposes Donald Trump as a snake oil salesman as the fact that he ran a campaign pitched at white working-class anger toward so-called globalism and then stacked his administration with representatives from Big Finance. A decade after Wall…
Peter Andreas: Trump’s Wall Is Already Built
May 31, 2017
Donald Trump won the presidency in significant part by pledging to do something that his predecessors had already mostly accomplished: building a big, beautiful wall on the border with Mexico. For liberals and centrists, the wall now shares a toxic…
Rick Lines: The drug war is winding down and heating up
May 23, 2017
The drug war is winding down and heating up all at the same time. States are legalizing recreational weed while prosecutors around the country are charging dealers, including small-time ones, with murder when their drugs contribute to someone else’s fatal…
Sarah Jones: What’s the Matter with Appalachia? Capitalism
May 16, 2017
What’s the matter with Appalachia? Many liberal elites think they know the answer. Since Trump’s campaign first took off, the region has become a symbol of all that is wrong with Red State America: guns, bigotry, a willingness to get swindled by…
Liza Featherstone on the Fight Against Lean-In Feminism
May 9, 2017
The Women’s March on Washington sent a clear message that women would be at the lead in battling the right in the years to come. But it left unresolved significant divides that pervaded the 2016 primary campaign, as the many signs paying homage to Hillary…
Dean Baker on Trump’s Tax Plan for the Rich
May 4, 2017
Why do Republicans only seem to care about deficits and debt when they’re trying to cut social welfare programs? Dan’s guest for this special episode is Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). He discusses Trump’s…
Adam Johnson: All the fake news that’s fit to print
May 2, 2017
The media has become a part of the story like perhaps never before. Journalist probing has irritated our touchy president. But media outlets have also played a role in Trump’s rise. During the campaign, cable news outlets provided him with wall-to-wall…
Neoliberal vs. Neofascist in France
Apr 27, 2017
The Dig normally serves up ice cold, well-digested takes. Sometimes, however, something important happens and Dan finds someone who can help us understand it quickly. Last weekend’s election in France, which advanced the far-right National Front’s Marine…
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on Black Liberation and Socialism
Apr 25, 2017
Putting “black faces in high places,” scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor argues, has not only failed to benefit the working class and poor black majority; it has actually harmed them by legitimating an individualistic, meritocratic narrative that blames poor…
Mass incarceration is everywhere
Apr 18, 2017
Prisons don’t just keep inmates in; they keep the public out. Even at a moment when mass incarceration is under unprecedented criticism it is quite hard for people on the outside to empathize with people who they cannot see or speak to. My guests today…
Is Neoliberalism Over? With Nicole Aschoff
Apr 11, 2017
Trump’s oligarchic regime is an extreme version of the imperial and economic vision that has guided presidents of both major parties. But the popularity of Trump’s chauvinist, xenophobic appeal points to a major crisis in the ideological and…
Matt Bruenig on Why Welfare is Great and Why We Need More
Apr 4, 2017
Medicaid expansion saved Obamacare from repeal. There’s a lot to hate about Obamacare, but that expansion did something very good on a very large scale — and it made just enough Republicans very nervous about taking it away. It’s an important lesson about…
Corey Robin on the Reactionaries’ Minds Under Trump
Mar 28, 2017
What a moment to read, or to re-read, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, Corey Robin’s 2011 collection of essays — especially if you need to disabuse friends and family of the notion that Trump is some historic…
The Democratic Socialists of America and the Fight Against Trump
Mar 21, 2017
The Democratic Socialists of America are growing — suddenly and explosively. Last June ahead of the Democratic National Convention, DSA counted 6,500 members. Today, after a presidential bid from a self-proclaimed democratic socialist and Trump’s…
Dave Weigel: What the media doesn’t get about the left
Mar 14, 2017
On the Left, few forms of mainstream journalism are more detested than political reporting. It often substitutes the horse race for substance, dresses up conventional inside-the-Beltway wisdom as real analysis, and resorts to the false balance of…
Charlene Carruthers: Fighting for Black Lives Under Trump
Mar 7, 2017
Fighting for Black Lives Under Trump The Movement for Black Lives’ insistence that black lives matter is deceptively straightforward and minimal. But it has transformed black politics, and American politics as a whole. From the tension and contradiction…
Marie Gottschalk: Mass incarceration and Trump’s carceral state
Feb 28, 2017
Mass incarceration should be central to any analysis of American political economy. It’s also a moral monstrosity. But before The New Jim Crow and anti-mass incarceration activists across the country loudly insisted this was the case, it received little…
Jed Purdy: The courts, Trump and politics in the context of ecological crisis
Feb 21, 2017
All eyes have turned to the judiciary. It’s the one potential institutional check on Trump—aside, of course, from the shadowy national security state— at the federal level. The courts have the power to stop and strike down laws and actions that violate…
Mark Blyth: How Austerity Brought Us Donald Trump​
Feb 14, 2017
Mark Blyth wasn’t surprised by the rise of Donald Trump, nor Brexit, nor the crises spreading across Europe. He actually predicted them all. Blyth, the author of “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea,” explains how economic crisis has led to…
‘White genocide’ with George Ciccariello-Maher
Feb 7, 2017
George Cicariello-Maher is professor of political science at Drexel University and author of several books, including Building the Commune: Radical Democracy in Venezuela, published by Verso as part of the Jacobin Series. He recently drew the ire of white…
Fighting the Trump bans: Linda Sarsour and Nicholas Espíritu
Jan 31, 2017
Today, we bring you two interviews. The first is with Nicholas Espíritu from the National Immigration Law Center, one of the groups mounting legal challenges against the ban, who will explain the legal and constitutional challenge to the Muslim and…
Diane Ravitch on Trump, DeVos and the corporate ed “reform” agenda
Jan 29, 2017
Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos, a free-market, far-right Christian billionaire dedicated to privatizing public schools, to be his Secretary of Education. In her confirmation hearing, DeVos made it painfully clear that she has little understanding…
Jacobin’s All-Star Socialist Anti-Inauguration Extravaganza
Jan 21, 2017
This week we re-broadcast Jacobin Magazine (https://www.jacobinmag.com), Verso (https://www.versobooks.com/), and Haymarket Books (https://www.haymarketbooks.org/)’ anti-inauguration event from The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC. featuring Naomi Klein,…
Building a diverse working class movement to transform America
Jan 17, 2017
What is to be done? How can I get involved? Those are questions that a lot of people are asking now that Donald Trump is about to become president of the United States. Today, I speak to Nijmie Dzurinko, a Black woman who grew up poor in the…
Glenn Greenwald on Trump and the national security state
Jan 10, 2017
Presidents Bush and Obama both presided over an expansive War on Terror and a national security state with a lethal and global reach. Permanent war and warrantless snooping have become the bipartisan consensus backdrop of American politics—an immutable…
Trump didn’t invent being terrible on immigration: César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández & Chris Newman.
Dec 21, 2016
Donald Trump launched his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and pledged to build a “a big, fat, beautiful wall” on the southern border that, of course, Mexico is going to pay for. It’s no surprise that Trump’s message struck a chord:…
Americans in Revolt: Sarah Jaffe on social movements
Dec 13, 2016
Journalist Sarah Jaffe’s new book Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt chronicles the movements for economic and racial justice that will be at the forefront of the fight against Trump. Daniel interviewed Sarah before a live audience at AS220 in…
Why Trump Won: Stephanie Coontz, Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Matt Karp
Dec 6, 2016
Donald Trump’s election was shocking, if actually not so surprising, and has prompted widespread protests against a cresting right-wing reaction taking shape as a strange and potent combination of white nationalism, make-believe economic populism,…
Pilot: Ending the drug war means legalizing drugs
Sep 24, 2015
This was the pilot episode for The Dig, a podcast exploring the politics of American class warfare. This month features a discussion about ending the drug war with Sharda Sekaran of the Drug Policy Alliance and Jacob Sullum from Reason magazine. Drug…