Episode 17 – Capitalism vs. Socialism

In this episode I have the big debate with some great fellows I found at the CapitalismVSocailism sub-reddit. This long conversation covers several of the large controversies in the way the two sides view economic and philosophic arguments. Specifically, this conversation gets a bit bogged down in the question of value and of profit. The aim of this was to have a discussion and too speak sensibly about these issue to get at what the real disagreements are, and to that end, I think we succeeded. You can decide for yourself if that’s true – its up for debate!

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Episode 16 – The Question of Elections & More – with Ginger Jentzen

In this episode I speak with Ginger Jentzen an activist and organizer with Socialist Alternative. Ginger was a candidate for Minneapolis city council in 2017, the executive director of 15 Now, along with previous working including Occupy homes in the Minneapolis area. The strategy of electoral politics has long been debated within the Socialist community. Here we talk about a number of different issues, including the whole questions of elections and the view from the so-called flyover states.

Ending Song: Stop Drop –  Stitches

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Episode 15 – Socialism or Social Democracy (or Democratic Socialism) – with Nima Ghafari

In this episode I talk with my Law school colleague, Nima Ghafari. Nima is working on a software project currently, but was able to take some time to discuss with me some of his issues with socialism. Now Nima is no standard capitalist, but rather considers himself a Democratic Socialist (like Bernie or Ocasio-Cortez) but has some serious issues with the more nitty-gritty details of socialism and communism.

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Episode 14 – Review of “Sorry to Bother You.”

*Spoilter Alert* I do ruin the ending if you haven’t seen this movie. You have been warned.

This week, before we get to some good interviews, I wanted to briefly talk about what I thought about Boots Riley’s Sorry to Both You.

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Episode 13 – Myths, Misunderstandings, and Strawmen (Ft. Ben Shapiro)

In this episode we discuss Ben Shapiro’s “arguments” against socialism. What we find is that he is a disingenuous interlocutor when it comes to socialism – and much else. However, Shapiro’s arguments are quite common and mainstream, so in this episode we try to dispel some myths, misunderstandings and straw men, as displayed by Ben Shapiro himself.

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Episode 12 – Why I am a Socialist (A Response to David Pakman)

In this episode I reply to David Pakman’s video – Why I am not a Socialist. I give my responses to his critiques and shed some light on where I come from as a (hopefully sensible) socialist.

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Ending Song – Andover – Revonda

 


 

Episode 11 – Russiagate (w/ Michael Melinchok)

Russiagate – the tangeld web of lies, deceit, hacking, and – of course – Russia. In this episode I speak with Socialist Alternative DC member Michael Melinchok about taking some perspective in a time of hysterics. We cover Russiagate, the Helsinki press conference, American Foreign Policy, and much more.
Ending Song: Stop Drop – Cheap Box Wine

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Episode 10 – Worker Self-Directed Enterprises and Socialism (With Dr. Richard Wolff)

In this episode I speak with Dr. Richard Wolff, of Democracy @ Work, about worker cooperatives and socailism. Dr. Wolff was named by New York Times Magazine as the Worlds Foremost Marxist economist. I am a proud member of D@W-DC, a working group for Democracy at Work in the nation’s capital. We discuss what a worker self-directed enterprise is and how it relates to socialist ideas.

Ending song – Propagandhi – Resisting Tyrannical Government

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Episode 9 – Marxist-Leninism

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This week I speak with Daniel who hails from the Marxist-Leninist tradition of the radical left. In this episode we discuss what Marxist-Leninism is, how Marxist-Leninists view the Soviet Union and China, among many other topics. Check it out!

 


Episode 8 – Towards a Coalition of the Radical Left


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Donate – Donate to IWOC

In this short episode I talk about the news articles below and a subject we’ve touched on in a few episodes- the need for a new united workers party. I talk about why I think a congress of the radical left for the purpose of founding a new radical left party in the United States. Introduced in this episode is the League for the Emancipation of the Working Class (more soon!)

Articles Mentioned

An Interview With Cynthia Nixon – Jacobin

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, In Her Own Words – Jacobin

The Importance of Being Uncivil – Socialist Worker

One Year after $15 an Hour Passes in Minneapolis – Lessons for Saint Paul – Socialist Alternative

Trump executive order lets bosses bully federal workers – People’s World

DSA Grows To 21,000 – Toward A New Socialist Party! – Socialist Alternative

Other Useful Links

People’s Congress of Resistance

What is to be Done?

 


Episode 7 – Socialist Organizing and Identity Politics


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This week I speak with Eljeer Hawkins about Socialist organizing and identity politics. Eljeer is a community, labor and antiwar activist, and has been a member of Socialist Alternative/Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) for 23 years and writes regularly on race, the criminal legal system, Black Lives Matter and the historic Black freedom movement and has also lectured at a number of different places around the world including, but not limited to Harvard University, Hunter College, Oberlin College and University of Toronto.

Books Mentioned

Walter Rodney – How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

American Revolution II: Battle of Chicago

W. E. B. Du Bois – Black Reconstruction in America: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America

Ending Song: Andover – Silhouettes and Sirens

 


Episode 6 – A Vision for a Communist Future

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In this shorter episode we talk about a vision for a communist future. What do we mean when we say a communist society? Isn’t it just Utopian?

Is there an example we can look to?

I think so, the final frontier.

Ending Song – Hard Times- The Starlight

 


Episode 5 – American Communism (with Josh Morris)

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In this weeks episode I talk to Josh Morris, a historian at Wayne State, about the history of American Communism. We cover a lot of topics and it goes for a while. Buckle up and check it out!


Episode 4 – 20th Century Socialism

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Socialism doesn’t work, just look at Russia, or China or Cuba. Communism killed millions of people! Communism inevitably leads to dictatorship and violence. How should socialist think about these criticisms. In a nutshell, this is my version of the “not real communism” argument.

Closing Song – Two Tone Runts – You’re Not Alone


Episode 3 – The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto is usually the first stop for many who want to know about what socialism and communism is all about. It is important, though, to put it in historical context and explain a little bit about what was going on when it is written.

Closing Music: Operation Death Squad – Iconoclast

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Episode 3a – Text of the Communist Manifesto

Communist Manifesto Text on Marxists.org

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Episode 2: Definitions

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In this episode we discuss some important definitions of words that are often misused and will be used (hopefully correctly) in future episodes. I tried to be succinct and clear, If you disagree with these definitions, let me know.

Frederick Engles – Socialism, Scientific And Utopian


Episode 1: Introductions

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Welcome to the Sensible Socialist podcast! This is our first episode of the podcast so it seemed appropriate to begin by way of introduction to give you a sense of who I am, what the podcast is about, why do the podcast and what do I hope to achieve with it. So in this 30 minute episode I quickly talk about why am I doing this podcast, how did it come about, who I am, how I got here, and why should you care what I think.

Ending SongOperation Death Squad – Punk of the State

If you’d like to hear a version of the lecture mentioned in the podcast you can see it here