On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush and author of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the growth of the charter school industry.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses restoring America’s justice system with legal scholar Edgar Cahn. Cahn is a law professor, former counsel and speechwriter to Robert F. Kennedy, and co-founder of the Antioch School of Law which placed emphasis on serving the poor and trained prospective lawyers in social activism. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil examines the collapse of our legal system.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Eugene Puryear, the 2008 and 2016 vice presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation and author of Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America. They discuss the emerging radicalism among American youth and how to end mass incarceration. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the rise of America’s militarized police state.
In cities and towns from New Delhi to New York the socio-political policies that led to the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London are being repeated; redevelopment and gentrification, the influx of corporate money and the expelling of the poor, including families that have lived in an area for generations. To this, add austerity, the privatization of public services and the annihilation of social housing and a cocktail of interconnected causes takes shape. Communities break up, independent businesses gradually close down, diversity disappears and another neighbourhood is absorbed within the expensive homogenized collective.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Russell Banks, author of Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter and Lost Memory of Skin. In his books, screenplays and short stories, Banks uncovers the humanity of the marginalized. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil explores deindustrialization in the US.
It constitutes the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War affecting huge numbers of people and demanding all that is best in us. Yet instead of compassion, understanding and unity, all too often intolerance, ignorance and suspicion characterise the response to the needs of refugees and migrants.
Anxiety and depression are at unprecedented levels worldwide and the numbers are growing. The World Health Organization (WHO) describe it as an epidemic, and estimate that 615 million people are suffering from one or other of these debilitating diseases. A staggering number, that in all likelihood is an indication only of the depth of the problem; anxiety as documented by the WHO, is primarily a developed nation’s issue. The 800 million living in extreme poverty in India for example are not polled, and are too overwhelmed by the daily demand for survival to even question if they feel depressed or anxious; so too the 500 million living on the margins of life in sub-Saharan Africa, or rural China.
A basic income — the concept of everybody getting a regular check from the government regardless of circumstance — is one of those ideas that sound wonderful on the surface but proves to be much less so once we examine the details.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses playwright Eugene O’Neill’s shattering of the American myth in the play “Mourning Becomes Electra”. Hedges is joined by his wife Eunice Wong who is playing Lavinia Mannon in Target Margin Theater’s production of the play and director David Herskovits.
The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been championed by both progressives and conservatives. Not everyone on the left, however, is behind the idea. Is the UBI a means of redistributing wealth, attacking poverty and protecting workers from technological displacement? Or will basic income serve to advance an agenda of austerity and privatization?