Back in America

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March 27, 2021  

Derrick Jensen: Are We at the End of the World or just the End of our Civilization?

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In this episode, Stan Berteloot continues to explore how leading American collapsologists thinkers conceive of the collapse of our Western civilization.

Since the 1990s, scholars have been predicting that the end of the Cold War and the struggle between capitalism/communism will also bring about “the end of history.” But, are these worries founded? What are we to make of the last 30 years?

After previous episodes with John-Michael Greer and Richard Heinberg, Stan sat down with Derrick Jensen, an American author, ecophilosopherradical environmentalist, and anti-civilization advocate. He once said that “We’re going to watch the end of the world on television until the TVs go out.”

For Jenson, the solution is essentially to return to the Stone Age. You say that’s ridiculous?!

Well, his movement, the Deep Green Resistance (DGR), is gaining international traction in the West. In any case, many people agree that, whether we want it, our civilization is on the brink of extinction.

March 8, 2021  

International Women’s Day - Listen Again - Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings: Black Feminism, Civil Rights…

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Today is March 8, International Women's Day, and on this day I suggest that we listen to Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and her work for civil justice.

This episode was previously released on Jan. 22, 2021. In this episode of Back in America, I speak with Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, political consultant, and activist. She recently ran to represent Maryland’s 7th District in Congress after undergoing a double mastectomy.

Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings is the widow of Congressman Elijah Cummings, a good friend of former Congressman John Lewis. When Lewis died in 2020, hundreds of Twitter account accidentally posted memorial photos of Cummings since the two looked so much alike!

On Back in America, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore. Cummings discusses the ongoing fight for civil rights. “I fight for the right to exist. I fight for the right of everyone to be recognized on the level of our common humanity. I fight for the history in this country that has been suppressed. I am the fourth generation from slavery in this country. My parents grew up in the Jim Crow South. My late husband, Elijah Cummings grew up in the Jim Crow South. They were born into a world that denied African Americans the right to exist,” she said.

We also spoke of Black feminism and the importance for Black women to take charge of their struggle against racist and institutionalized patriarchy.

In recent months, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings has been working to publish We're Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy, her husband’s final, unfinished book. The book came out last September and she talks to me about the importance of getting her husband’s voice out there.

We're Better Than This - My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy

 

March 4, 2021  

Who should get the vaccine first? We didn’t know so we asked a philosopher

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As countries worldwide scramble to vaccinate their citizens against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, governments have to make the uncomfortable calculus of who deserves to get the vaccine right now. The ones who are spreading it the most? The ones in essential high-risk jobs? People over a certain age? That threshold is unclear and hotly contested. With several months to go before vaccines are readily available to any desiring American adult, legislators have to ask The Question: who first? And, as more vaccine becomes available, they will also have to ask whether it is morally justified for the U.S. government to mandate every citizen or every healthcare worker to take the vaccine? If many states mandate every child to be vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella, is COVID-19 significantly different?

 

In August 2020, Justin Bernstein, a philosopher at Florida Atlantic University, co-authored a paper answering precisely this question. And while the state of the world has changed significantly since then, the core question of how governments value their citizens, when, and why remains constant (if you’re curious, the U.S. government places the monetary value of a human life at roughly $10 million).

Podcast Editor Josh Wagner sat down with Justin to ask precisely these burning questions. For Justin, vaccines are just like any other vital resource that the government needs to allocate. And, in his mind, while our government has been failing in its mandate to protect public health, it is still the best means we have. 

 

Listen in to find out the answers to these questions and more!

 

Justin’s website

Alexander Guerrero’s blog post about dividing up the United States

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