The word ‘Plebity’ refers to everyday people, and it is in this spirit that we invite people from all walks of life with valuable insights to join us in our format of unhurried, one-on-one conversations. In each interview we will sit down with our guests and have in-depth, critical discussions with them about their work.
Plebe: of the common people; the populace; plebs; plebeians
Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth by Gitta Sereny is a psychological and historical profile of Albert Speer. Speer was Hitler’s architect and later, Minister of Armaments and War Production. At one point, he was groomed as Hitler’s successor. In the Nuremberg Trials he was one of the only Nazis to admit some responsibility for the war crimes of the Third Reich and to renounce Hitler. This admission saved his life and he was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth
Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close For Comfort by Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons presents a thorough understanding of various manifestations of right wing populism in the United States. It traces the history of this socio-political movement from before the American Revolution until the year 2000. Berlet and Lyons go beyond caricatures to explore how right wing populism gains strength first by exploiting real economic, social, and political grievances, but then goes on to scapegoat perceived shadowy elitist puppet masters, typically Jewish bankers, ‘PC Police’, etc-- and perceived ‘parasites’ from below--welfare recipients of color, recent immigrants, etc. The authors show that right wing populism is often an alliance between disaffected members of the elite and the working and middle class. These movements tend to emphasize their shared “whiteness” and sense of victimhood in order to bond together.
Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close For Comfort
Murat Kurnaz was nineteen years old when he was arrested by Pakistani authorities and sold to the United States for a bounty. It was 2001 and the United States had distributed fliers in Pakistan promising money in exchange for suspected terrorists. Murat was a civilian who had not committed any crime. He ended up at the United States prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where for five years he was denied the right to due process and subjected to torture. His attorney, Baher Azmy, fought the Bush Administration to help get Murat and others released from Guantanamo.
Crossroads Episode Six: Baher Azmy on Constitutional Rights and Justice for Guantanamo Detainees
Harriet Fraad, a Mental Health Counselor and Hypnotherapist, joins us to discuss feminism and class. Dr. Fraad writes articles and has a podcast on the intersection of politics, economics, and personal life. Her podcast, Capitalism Hits Home, is produced by Democracy at Work. In this episode of Crossroads Dr. Fraad speaks about the history of the feminist movement, capitalism, and how identity politics have hurt attempts at a unified social justice movement. We also discuss current events such as the prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein, and the historic Bernie Sanders campaign.
Crossroads Episode Five: Harriet Fraad on Feminism and Class
It's Women’s History Month. But flags flying the definition of the word woman (“noun / adult human female”) for International Women’s Day were removed with an apology from town council buildings in Sefton, England after accusations that the flags represent hatred against transgender people. In December, when a woman named Maya Forstater was fired for tweeting that sex is based on biology and not internal identity, an employment tribunal judge said that her speech is not “worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
Crossroads Episode Four: Meghan Murphy on Feminism and Free Speech
Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild is a must-read for anyone interested in going beyond conventional political analysis and exploring the “deep story” worldviews that shape thinking on both the left and right of the political spectrum. Hochschild describes “deep stories” as emotional images that shapes the essence of a person’s worldview, and this book was her attempt to understand the deep story that forms the ideology of the right wing. Hochschild is a UC Berkeley sociologist who spent five years in Louisiana in an attempt to break through the “empathy walls” that divide the political spectrum in the US. She worked to overcome her own biases as a member of the left-leaning political spectrum by forming human connections with conservatives in Louisiana, many of whom were Tea Party activists.
Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild
Investigative journalist Ryan Devereaux joins us for a discussion on the politics of the border frontier. Ryan has reported for the Intercept on the U.S.-Mexico border for the past several years. In this episode, Ryan speaks about the intersections between increasing militarization and climate change, and outlines some of the human and ecological atrocities taking place in the border zone.
Crossroads Episode Three: Ryan Devereaux on the U.S.-Mexico Border
Crossroads Episode Two: Journalism for and by the Working Class: a Conversation with Julian Guerrero
Julian Guerrero is an independent journalist who has written for Socialist Worker and Jacobin Magazine. He is also a socialist organizer and activist. In this episode, Julian discusses his own podcast, Working Class Heroes, and I ask him about his thoughts on independent journalism and socialism in today’s climate.