Radicals in Conversation
Workers Resisting Amazon

Workers Resisting Amazon

September 30, 2020

Amazon is the most powerful corporation on the planet. Now with a net worth in excess of $200 billion dollars, its CEO, Jeff Bezos, has become the richest person in history, and one of the few people to profit from the global pandemic. Amazon’s dominance is so profound that it has reshaped the global economy itself: we now live in the age of 'Amazon Capitalism'.

Servicing the expansion of its e-commerce empire, Amazon has in turn become one of the world's largest logistics companies as well, and its highly profitable Amazon Web Services (AWS) now accounts for more than half the world’s public cloud infrastructure market.

Covering some of the corporation’s uniquely troubling facets - including automation, surveillance and the disruption of local democracy - we also discuss Amazon workers' resistance and organising over issues such as pay and working conditions, and developing networks of international solidarity. 

On the panel are:

Jake Alimahomed-Wilson, Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. Jake is the co-editor of Choke Points: Logistics Workers Disrupting the Global Supply Chain as well as the new book The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy (Pluto, 2020);

Ellen Reese, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside, and co-editor of The Cost of Free Shipping;

Nantina Vgontzas, a labor activist and postdoctoral researcher at the AI Now Institute at New York University. Their research explores the global renewal of the labor movement amid growing crises of public health, climate change and authoritarian ascent;

and Christian Zamarrón, a member of Amazonians United in Chicago - an autonomous, worker-based movement fighting for workers’ rights, better conditions and the democratization of their workplaces.

---

Podcast listeners can buy The Cost of Free Shipping with 50% off, via plutobooks.com/podcastreading. Use the coupon 'PODCAST' at the checkout.

The full, unabridged version of this episode is available exclusively to Pluto Patreon members. Join today and support independent, radical publishing. 

Vagabonds and the Revenge of Capitalism

Vagabonds and the Revenge of Capitalism

August 18, 2020

A global pandemic; the onset of a massive economic crisis; and the reinvigoration of a powerful social movement for racial justice - these are just some of the seismic events that have defined 2020, a year that still has several months to run, and yet already has few historical parallels.

In July, Pluto launched a new series of short books, 'Vagabonds'. Intended as radical pamphlets to fan the flames of discontent, these books delve into the urgent questions of healthcare, racial injustice and capitalism in crisis, that have come to define 2020.

This month we speak to two people who have been instrumental in the creation of Vagabonds:

Max Haiven, Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University in Canada, and director of the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL). Max is the series editor for Vagabonds and his most recent book is Revenge Capitalism: The Ghosts of Empire, the Demons of Capital, and the Settling of Unpayable Debts (Pluto, 2020).

Cassie Thornton, an artist and activist from the US, currently living in Canada. She is the author of The Hologram, one of the first new books in the Vagabonds series. Cassie is also currently the co-director of RiVAL.

---

Podcast listeners can buy all the books discussed in this episode with 50% off, via plutobooks.com/podcastreading. Use the coupon 'PODCAST' at the checkout.

The full, unabridged version of this episode is available exclusively to Pluto Patreon members. Join today and support independent, radical publishing. 

A People’s History of Tennis

A People’s History of Tennis

July 10, 2020

Pristine lawns, tennis whites, strawberries and cream - tennis is synonymous with the upper echelons of society, but scratch beneath the surface and you'll quickly discover a different history, one of untold struggles on and off the courts.

From the birth of modern tennis in Victorian Britain to the present day, A People's History of Tennis lays bear struggles around sexuality, gender, race and class that have transformed the nature of tennis and sport itself.

In this episode of Radicals in Conversation, we speak to David Berry, author of A People's History of Tennis; Emily Bootle, Editorial Assistant at the New Statesman; David Cohen, Investigations and Campaigns Editor at the London Evening Standard; and Niek van der Spek from Smashing Pink Tennis Club in Amsterdam, Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ tennis club.

---

Podcast listeners can buy A People's History of Tennis with 50% off, via plutobooks.com/podcastreading. Use the coupon 'PODCAST' at the checkout.

The full, unabridged version of this episode is available exclusively to Pluto Patreon members. Join today and support independent, radical publishing. 

The New Intellectuals: The Rise of the Right in Latin America

The New Intellectuals: The Rise of the Right in Latin America

July 1, 2020

In this episode, Jordan T. Camp speaks with popular educator Stephanie Weatherbee Brito about the rightwing turn in Latin America and its connection to U.S. and imperial interests in the region.

Pandemic Solidarity: Mutual Aid during the Covid-19 Crisis

Pandemic Solidarity: Mutual Aid during the Covid-19 Crisis

June 24, 2020

'Mutual aid, solidarity and commoning become most visible during periods of deep crisis. This is when the structures of the state and of capitalist markets not only fail to address the emergency situation, but they often show their complicity in making it worse. When solidarity is revealed to the majority as the practice that makes a difference, it is as if society en masse were to whisper in our ear its desire to evolve: "I want to evolve, I want to evolve, but my evolution depends on you," says society. And again: "Make this relational care embedded in solidarity the new gravitational point around which a new world is built."' - Massimo de Angelis

This month we are joined by three contributors to the new book, Pandemic Solidarity, about which the above words were written. The book brings together a collection of stories from around the world, revealing what an alternative society could look like, post-pandemic, and what skills and relationships we need in order to create that society. Discussing the book, and with particular reference to experiences in Portugal and Brazil, are: 

Lais Duarte, a Ph.D candidate at the Anthropology department of CUNY, who studies solidarity networks, immigrant integration policy and decolonisation praxis. Lais also co-authored the chapter on Portugal in the book;

Marina Sitrin, Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY Binghamton, New York. Co-editor of Pandemic Solidarity and author or co-author of several books including Horizontalism, Everyday Revolutions and They Can’t Represent Us!;

and Vanessa Zettler, a teacher, sociologist, translator and writer living in São Paulo, where she is also an activist building community through music. Vanessa authored the book’s chapter on Brazil. 

---

Podcast listeners can buy Pandemic Solidarity with 50% off, via plutobooks.com/podcastreading. Use the coupon 'PODCAST' at the checkout.

The full, unabridged version of this episode is available exclusively to Pluto Patreon members. Join today and support independent, radical publishing. 

The New Intellectuals: The Death and Life of Safdar Hashmi

The New Intellectuals: The Death and Life of Safdar Hashmi

June 1, 2020

This month Jordan T. Camp talks to actor and director Sudhanva Deshpande about his new book, Halla Bol: The Death and Life of Safdar Hashmi (LeftWord Books).

Hidden San Francisco

Hidden San Francisco

May 18, 2020

This month we join San Francisco-based historian, tour guide and author Chris Carlsson in a discussion centered around his new book, Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical Histories (Pluto, 2020).

Chris is in conversation with fellow historians Nicole Meldahl, Liam O'Donoghue and LisaRuth Elliott. They discuss the genesis of the Shaping San Francisco project in the '90s, what it means to engage in 'history from below', the power of podcasting, how to do oral history, and why you should interview your family.

They also highlight some of the key grassroots movements in the city's history: from the Save the Bay and Anti-Freeway movements, to the successful 1950's campaign to stop a nuclear power plant being built on the San Andreas fault.

---

Podcast listeners can buy Hidden San Francisco with 50% off, via plutobooks.com/podcastreading. Use the coupon 'PODCAST' at the checkout.

The full, unabridged version of this episode is available exclusively to Pluto Patreon members. Join today and support independent, radical publishing. 

The New Intellectuals: The Civil War in the United States

The New Intellectuals: The Civil War in the United States

May 1, 2020

Jordan T. Camp is joined by historian Andrew Zimmerman to discuss his edited volume of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' writings, The Civil War in the United States (International Publishers).

 

‘Split: Class Divides Uncovered’ with Ben Tippet, Grace Blakeley and Emily Scurrah

‘Split: Class Divides Uncovered’ with Ben Tippet, Grace Blakeley and Emily Scurrah

April 16, 2020

Covid-19 has thrown the idea of class, and class society, into sharp relief, ridiculing many of our economic system’s foundational premises - for one, the idea that as a worker, your pay cheque is a reflection of your value to society. Facing the possibility of economic collapse and a new great recession, the overton window has shifted dramatically on state intervention in the economy, the value of public services, and the credibility of ideas such as universal basic income. But how is the current crisis likely to shift the balance of power between capital and labour? How can working people build class power amidst the lockdown? And how can we express meaningful solidarity, at the community, national and international level?

In our latest episode of Radicals in Conversation, these questions are foregrounded, amidst a wider discussion of the meaning of class today. Joining us on the panel are Ben Tippet, author of Split: Class Divides Uncovered; Grace Blakeley, author of Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialisation, and Emily Scurrah, a researcher at the New Economics Foundation.

---

Podcast listeners can get an exclusive discount on Split and other books related to this episode, at plutobooks.com/podcastreading.

The full, unabridged version of this episode is available exclusively to Pluto Patreon members. Join today and help support independent, radical publishing. 

The New Intellectuals: Race for Profit

The New Intellectuals: Race for Profit

April 2, 2020

In the first episode of The New Intellectuals, Jordan T. Camp's guest is scholar-activist Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, who discusses her new book, Race for Profit: How Banks and Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

---

The New Intellectuals is a monthly interview podcast produced for Pluto Press and The People’s Forum. Hosted by author, editor, and TPF director of research, Jordan T. Camp, it features interviews with intellectuals invested in the struggles of the poor, working class, and the dispossessed in North America and the world. Inspired by Antonio Gramsci, it identifies 'new intellectuals' as the authors, scholars, organizers and permanent persuaders of political and social movements.

Play this podcast on Podbean App