Eighty-three years ago today, the Nazis unleashed a vicious pogrom known as Kristallnacht, using as their pretext the assassination of a Nazi official in France. The assassin: a 17-year-old German-Polish Jewish boy named Herschel Grynszpan.
Sasha Lilley is the co-host and co-producer of the radio show Against the Grain, the author of Capital and Its Discontents: Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult, and co-author of Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth.
The United Farm Workers is often seen as a simple extension of labor giant Cesar Chavez. But the UFW’s rank-and-file workers were a militant, organized core that won inspiring strikes and formed the true heart of the union.
The roots of the modern US right lie in the California fields of the 1930s, where large growers ferociously resisted farmworker organizing. It’s a reminder that opposing working-class power has been central to the US right from the very beginning.
Richard Pryor revolutionized stand-up comedy with his sharp wit and deeply personal monologues. He also held up a mirror to US society, revealing its brutal realities of inequality and racism.
Karl Marx gave us an extraordinarily rigorous study of capitalism — not out of idle academic interest but because he wanted to understand what structures would have to be overcome in order to win a world free of domination.
In the 1980s, the Reagan administration used Central America as a testing ground to rehabilitate US imperial “hard power” after defeat in Vietnam. The results were predictable: death squads, massacres, and murderous repression of left-wing movements.
Socialist leader Salvador Allende became Chile’s president fifty years ago today. Allende’s election inaugurated a unique experiment in radical democracy that was cut short by Augusto Pinochet’s brutal US-backed coup.
The violent overthrow of Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973 brought to a brutal close a thousand days of popular participation and radical democratic ferment.