“Movements are messy,” says Astra Taylor. She knows this not only from studying activist history, but also from personal experience as a co-founder of the Debt Collective. Their work succeeded in canceling over $2 billion of student debt. Astra’s new short documentary You Are Not a Loan (free on The Intercept) brings together students and professors to discuss changing the cost of education. She’s also published a new book of essays Remake the World. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talks to Astra about both new works. She reflects on the legacy of Occupy Wall Street and on her friend David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, who died last year
Cold open: What is Democracy?Outro: Jeff Mangum and Guy Picciotto at the Rolling Jubilee telethon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztyj7kE9tNcExtremely excited to be joined by Astra Taylor – acclaimed author, activist, filmmaker, and dream TMK guest – for a wide-ranging discussion about engaging with big important things like democracy, debt, and technology, about putting politics into practice to improve people’s lives, about paying close attention to not just the operators of the machine, but those who are thrown into its gears, and about so much! Grab Astra’s latest book: haymarketbooks.org/books/1635-remake-the-world Follow Astra: twitter.com/astradisastra Subscribe to hear more analysis and commentary in our premium episodes every week! patreon.com/thismachinekills TMK shirts are now available: bonfire.com/store/this-machine-kills-podcast/ Hosted by Jathan Sadowski (twitter.com/jathansadowski) and Edward Ongweso Jr. (twitter.com/bigblackjacobin). Production / Music by Jereme Brown (twitter.com/braunestahl)
This week, our guests are Astra Taylor and Robert Reich. Taylor is an activist, author, and documentary filmmaker whose films include What is Democracy? (2018) and An Examined Life (2008). Last year, at the onset of the pandemic, Taylor joined economist Robert Reich to discuss his just-published book, The System. It was the very beginning of COVID-19’s complete upheaval of normal life, and Reich made a plea for government to understand the moment as a health crisis, not an economic one. On April 19, 2021, Taylor and Reich returned to reflect on the past year, from racial reckoning to widening income inequality – and to discuss Taylor’s new book, Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions. In it, Taylor invites us to imagine how things could be different while never losing sight of the strategic question of how change actually happens.
Medical Debt Special with Astra Taylor and Elizabeth Bruenig
Finance editor Sparky Abraham is joined by contributing editor Eli Massey, activist and filmmaker Astra Taylor, and journalist Elizabeth Bruenig to discuss the American medical debt crisis—who's behind it, what's being done about it, and potential paths to eradicating it."Churches Step In Where Politicians Will Not": https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/27/opinion/covid-medical-debt-church-charity.html"A Saint's Sins": https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/16/opinion/junipero-serra-catholic-saint.html https://debtcollective.org/This episode was edited by Dan Thorn of Pink Noise Studios in Somerville, MA.
Dianne Feinstein is losing her marbles and Covid relief hangs in the balance. Writer and organizer Astra Taylor joins Francesca and comedian Nato Green to talk about pushing Biden to immediately abolish all student debt, an idea that’s catching on even with Chuck Schumer. Plus how the GOP is embracing minority rule, and finally a Hanukkah-themed segment about what we’ll need to make a political Revolution last for at least 8 nights! Featuring: Astra Taylor, writer & organizer (@astradisastra) Nato Green, comedian (@natogreen) Francesca Fiorentini (Host, @franifio) Give The Bitchuation Room Podcast 5 Stars on iTunes.Follow TBR on TwitterWatch LIVE every Sunday 6/9pmEST on YouTube and Twitch.Special Thanks to Becca Rufer, Kelly Carey, and Dorsey Shaw.
ASTRA TAYLOR on Voting, Democracy, and People Power /206
For The Wild
In past US general elections, about 60% of the eligible population voted, and while this may be the year that changes, it’s been shown that democracy is suffering globally - with total declines not just in participatory voting, but in political rights and civil liberties. This leaves us wondering, do we truly yearn for democracy? Are elections our only avenue for democratic participation? This week we are joined by the indomitable Astra Taylor who reminds us that “elections matter, but they are not synonymous with democracy”. As we find ourselves in the thick of an overloaded election year; we’ve all been thinking about what voting does and doesn’t accomplish, or whether or not it inadvertently upholds the system driving our demise. Is voting simply harm reduction at best? How can we engage in democratic processes beyond the ballot box?Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director of three acclaimed philosophical documentaries: What Is Democracy?, Examined Life, and Zizek!, all of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Taylor is the author of the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, her latest book -- Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone -- is just out in paperback and audiobook. Named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by the LA Times, she co-founded the Debt Collective, a groundbreaking membership organization that has won over a billion dollars of debt relief for poor and working people. Music by Tan Cologne and Leyla McCalla. Visit our website at forthewild.world for full the episode description, references, and action points.
Politics Theory Other //Covid-19 and transforming the global food system w/ Astra Taylor and Troy Vettese
Astra Taylor and Troy Vettese join me to talk about their recent article in the Guardian in which they argue that the principal driver of zoonotic diseases is the factory farming of animals and that the covid19 pandemic shows that we need to transition away from a meat-centred global food system. We also talked about an article Troy co-wrote in Jacobin, entitled The Climate Crisis and COVID-19 Are Inseparable.
#92 Covid-19 and transforming the global food system w/ Astra Taylor and Troy Vettese
Politics Theory Other
Astra Taylor and Troy Vettese join me to talk about their recent article in the Guardian in which they argue that the principal driver of zoonotic diseases is the factory farming of animals and that the covid19 pandemic shows that we need to transition away from a meat-centred global food system. We also talked about an article Troy co-wrote in Jacobin, entitled The Climate Crisis and COVID-19 Are Inseparable.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/16/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-food-animals https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/05/climate-change-crisis-covid-coronavirus-environment
ASTRA TAYLOR, What is Democracy? Is it alive and well?
Free Forum with Terrence McNally
ASTRA TAYLOR takes democracy seriously. In her documentary WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? and the companion book, Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, she explores its early roots as well as its current embattled state. She reminds us that real democracy—fully inclusive and egalitarian—has never existed. Both ancient Athens and the original US were slave states. Can we restore rule of the people to the current American rule of the wealthy? Can democracy handle big challenges like the Coronovirus pandemic and climate change?