Episodes
Two of the biggest world powers, Russia and China, have formed an alliance based on common interest, despite a very complex history. Seven months into the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, what is the state of the relationship? Brian is joined by Marco Fernandes, researcher with Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, member of Dongsheng News collective & organizer with the No Cold War campaign. Please make an urgently-needed contribution to The Socialist Program by...
Published 09/29/22
On today's episode Walter Smolarek and Prof. Richard  Wolff discuss how the Federal Reserve’s relentless campaign to raise  interest rates is having profound consequences not just in the United  States, but around the world. As rates rise in the United States, the  value of other currencies is plummeting, intensifying inflation and a  whole host of other economic and social issues. Professor Richard  Wolff is an author & co-founder of the organization Democracy at  Work. You can find his...
Published 09/28/22
The far right is on the move, installing themselves in key places  throughout the election infrastructure of the country. States are  considering further attacks, like eliminating early voting, after  Republicans have spent decades filling the state legislatures. These  attacks are racist, undemocratic, and coming to a head this November. Brian is joined by Esther Iverem, a longtime journalist, producer and  host of the show ‘On the Ground: Voices of Resistance From the Nation’s  Capital,’...
Published 09/27/22
The Ukraine war is escalating—dramatically. Russian President Putin & U.S. President Biden both made major and dramatic speeches in the last day, after a successful and U.S.-backed Ukrainian counter-offensive earlier in the week. What did Putin and Biden reveal in their addresses and where is this headed? Brian is joined by Eugene Puryear, the host of the BreakThrough News podcast The Punch Out, co-host of the BT live video show The Freedom Side, and a writer, including the article...
Published 09/22/22
On today's episode Brian Becker and Prof. Richard Wolff discuss how fears of an all-out economic crisis are deepening as FedEx announces that it expects a global recession based on a sharp decline in world shipping activity, and a higher-than expected inflation report deepens the federal reserve’s determination to raise interest rates. The capitalist class remains determined to drive the economy off a cliff to eviscerate workers’ living standards and bargaining power. Professor Richard Wolff...
Published 09/21/22
The assault on our democratic rights within the United States is growing. The right wing of the U.S. ruling class, using the Supreme Court and other undemocratic institutions, has begun eviscerating hard-fought economic, social, and political rights that have been achieved in past decades. This will be an epic struggle. Producer Nicole Roussell and Brian discuss how we got here and what's next. Please make an urgently-needed contribution to The Socialist Program by joining our Patreon...
Published 09/20/22
The U.S. government has destroyed cities, countries, and towns around the world, through bombs and air raids, military ground invasions, naval attacks, economic sanctions and strangulation, coups, and more. Some say U.S. force is never ending, others say it’s on a fast decline, almost gone forever. Vijay Prashad and Noam Chomsky argue in their new book, “The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power,” that U.S. military might is somewhere in the middle: it’s...
Published 09/15/22
On today's episode Walter Smolarek  and Prof. Richard Wolff discuss how the corporate-owned media has been  consumed with wall-to-wall coverage of the death of the Queen, fawning  over the British monarchy. But the lifestyle that’s being celebrated is one based on plunder and empire. While their “subjects” live in  poverty, the royals live a life of total luxury – all because they were  lucky enough to be born into the right family. Professor Richard Wolff is an author & co-founder of...
Published 09/14/22
The United States is in the midst of a political upheaval right  now, after the 2020 uprising, the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, and  the Dobbs decision that overturned one of the Supreme Court's biggest  decisions -- access to abortion under Roe v. Wade. The right wing is on  the move and the left needs a clear understanding of just where they're  headed and how to be able to effectively fight back. What does Dobbs  indicate for other democratic rights that we thought were...
Published 09/13/22
The United States and South Korea put on the biggest military war  games in four years, while Russia and China also ran military drills.  Will the world become multipolar and is that enough to fully counter  U.S. imperialism? Is major power conflict on the horizon? Producer Nicole Roussell and Brian discuss what  multipolarity means for the international working class, what is needed  to end U.S. imperialism, and what geopolitics are evident in Ukraine. Please make an urgently-needed...
Published 09/08/22
On today's episode Walter Smolarek and Prof. Richard  Wolff discuss how Europe has plunged into an even deeper energy crisis  as Russia cuts off imports through the Nord Stream pipeline in response  to western sanctions. While US and European leaders pledged that  sanctions would quickly bring the Russian economy to its knees, is the  reality in fact the opposite? Professor Richard Wolff is an author  & co-founder of the organization Democracy at Work. You can find  his work at...
Published 09/07/22
In this August 2022 patrons-only seminar, Brian discusses the legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union before its dissolution, who is being lionized by the capitalist media after his death on Tuesday. Brian also discusses the 1-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal of from Afghanistan, the drying up of the Colorado River due to climate change, education under capitalism versus socialism, and more. Check out the preview now and subscribe at...
Published 09/01/22
In this special crossover episode, Rania Khalek of Dispatches sits  down with Brian to talk about the impact of severe repression on the  socialist, communist and Black Liberation movement in the United States  during the past decades. Rania Khalek’s Dispatches program is on  BreakThrough News, and is available on video at  YouTube.com/BreakThroughNews and as a podcast on Google, Apple, and  anywhere you get your podcasts. Please make an urgently-needed contribution to The Socialist Program...
Published 08/25/22
A political, social, economy, and class struggle has been intensifying in Turkey. What are the demands of the people and the progressive forces like the   TKP, the Communist Party of Turkey? Brian is joined by Kemal Okuyan, who is the secretary general of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), for an inside look. Please make an urgently-needed contribution to The Socialist Program by joining our Patreon community at patreon.com/thesocialistprogram. We rely on the generous support of our...
Published 08/23/22
A second congressional delegation went to Taiwan this week, less than two weeks after Pelosi visited. These trips have sparked a sense of outrage among many Chinese people, who demand respect for their sovereignty and for their impressive social and economic achievements. This includes massive poverty reduction and surpassing the United States in key indicators like life expectancy. How is U.S. aggression against China related to their continuous rise? Brian is joined by Tings Chak,...
Published 08/18/22
On today's episode Walter Smolarek and Prof.  Richard Wolff discuss the housing market as the Federal Reserve-induced  economic downturn takes shape. The situation is rapidly deteriorating  for both renters and prospective home buyers, with  evictions on the rise, prices rising and interest rates spiraling out  of control. Professor Richard Wolff is an author & co-founder of the organization Democracy at Work. You can find his work at rdwolff.com. Please make an urgently-needed...
Published 08/17/22
The month of Black August  focuses on the importance of the continued struggle for Black liberation  and honors the lives and struggle of political prisoners—and calls for  their freedom. While many have been released, like Albert Woodfox, who  was released in 2016 and passed away earlier this month, many still  linger behind bars, even in solitary confinement and in their 80s or  sick. What does the ongoing treatment of these organizers and fighters  tell us about the nature of the...
Published 08/16/22
A massive fire in Matanzas, Cuba, is coming under control after five days due to tireless efforts by firefighters and specialist crews. But the U.S. blockade, which worsened under Trump with 243 additional coercive measures, and which Biden has largely kept in place, has deprived Cuba of the equipment and resources necessary to handle this disaster. Brian is joined by Manolo De Los Santos, a central organizer of the Let Cuba Live campaign and the co-executive director of The People’s Forum...
Published 08/11/22
On today's episode Brian and Prof. Richard  Wolff analyze the Senate's spending bill entitled the "Inflation  Reduction Act" for the effect it could have on inflation. It falls far  short of what’s desperately needed to address the overlapping crises  causing so much suffering for working people. Professor Richard Wolff is an author  & co-founder of the organization Democracy at Work. You can find his  work at rdwolff.com. Please make an urgently-needed contribution to The Socialist...
Published 08/10/22
A deadly fire broke out over the weekend in Cuba from a lightning storm  that struck near an oil storage facility and caused an explosion. At  least one person has been confirmed dead, and dozens more are injured  and missing. This tragic natural disaster could have happened in any  country, but is even harder on Cuba due to the U.S. war against  them...including many of Trump’s policies that Biden hasn’t touched. Nicole  Roussell is joined by Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the Cuba and...
Published 08/09/22
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island of Taiwan this week, in an unprecedented escalation toward China. What will the fallout be? Could Pelosi have made this trip without the administration’s blessing? Will this surprise visit anger US allies in the region? Brian is joined by Dr. Ken Hammond, professor of East Asian and Global History at New Mexico State University, founding director of the Confucius Institute at New Mexico State University, and activist with Pivot to Peace. Please...
Published 08/04/22
On today's episode Walter Smolarek and Prof. Richard  Wolff discuss a leaked memo written by a top Bank of America economist  that reveals in explicit terms the strategy of the capitalist class:  cause as much suffering among workers as possible  to rebalance the economy in favor of the rich. As the U.S. begins to  experience an intentionally-caused recession, it is now even clearer  that this is a matter of class struggle. Professor Richard Wolff is an author & co-founder of the...
Published 08/03/22
In a huge moment for the state and for the country, Kansas is voting today on a constitutional amendment that would effectively ban abortions if passed. Kansans are mobilized and fighting against this attack on women. In this edition of The Socialist Program, we air three presentations from a convening at The People’s Forum in New York called Free, safe, legal abortions now! Justice is ours to make! The first speaker who is introduced is Claudia De La Cruz, co-executive director of The...
Published 08/02/22
Texans revolted against Mexico’s rule in 1836—because Mexico was moving to abolish slavery. The fascist element in the state has links into modern day, and the history of Texas is crucial as this decade unfolds. Brian is joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, who holds the Moores Professorship of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston and is the author of many books. His newly published book, “The Counter Revolution of 1836: Texas slavery & Jim Crow and the roots of...
Published 07/28/22