Alternative Radio

Sunday mornings at 10:00 am
  • Hosted by David Barsamian

One of America's most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists, David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio—now in its 32th year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His forthcoming book with Noam Chomsky is Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media, the economic crisis and global rebellions.

The Institute for Alternative Journalism named David Barsamian one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.

Alternative Radio airs Sunday mornings at 10:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / streaming @ radio.krcb.org / Comcast channel 961 throughout the Bay Area / Download the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes & Google Play!

The latest phase of Capitalism, neoliberalism, has left a train wreck in its wake. It’s produced a new Gilded Age. The gap between theoretical Capitalism and its actual workings is jaw dropping. The chasm is a far cry from the courses in economics taught in colleges and universities. We are told the system relies on the market. In fact, it depends heavily on government intervention. When the big capitalists are in trouble states are there to bail them out. Really existing Capitalism works for the few at the expense of the many. Look at the Trump tax cut.

Overcoming adversity alone is a tough road to hoe but when you act with others it’s not as difficult. There is nothing like solidarity. There’s unity and strength in numbers. Most movements have very modest beginnings. Take women’s rights. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a handful of other woman met in Seneca Falls in Upstate New York in 1848 to launch the women’s rights movement. The odds were against them. The naysayers were out in force with their patronizing comments such as: Why bother? Don’t get involved.

The scourge of male violence against women will not end if we dismantle the forces of global capitalism. The scourge of male violence exists independently of capitalism, empire and colonialism. It is a separate evil. The fight to end male violence against women, part of a global struggle by women, must take primacy in our own struggle. Women and girls, especially those who are poor and of color, cannot take part in a liberation movement until they are liberated.

"You wanna read a real history book?" Matt Damon asks Robin Williams in the movie Good Will Hunting. "Read Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States. That book'll knock you on your ass."

Humorist Will Rogers used to quip: "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat." We can all have a good chuckle at that. But the deep problems with politics in the U.S. are too serious to laugh at. The Democratic Party has in recent decades abandoned to a great extent its New Deal social welfare roots. The party of Roosevelt and Truman has embraced Wall Street bankers, hedge fund managers and financiers. The interests of corporations and the business class have immiserated the working class.

On the next Alternative Radio, Arun Gupta. Large numbers of evangelical Christians in the United States are ardent nationalists and fervent believers in capitalism. They are an influential part of what is called the president’s base. Eighty-one percent of evangelicals who voted in the 2016 presidential election cast their ballot for him. How could so many evangelical Christians have voted for a thrice-married casino mogul, who has a penchant for mendacity and cavorts with porn stars and playboy bunnies?

In the immortal words of Howard Beale, the TV anchor played by Peter Finch, in the classic film Network,  “Things are bad, they’re worse than bad. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore. Things have got to change.” If you are feeling that way you’re not alone. In facing adversity some choose to do nothing and sit on their hands, others rise to the moment and resist.