Episode 28 - Grover Furr

In this episode, we sat down with the man, the myth, the legend: Grover Furr himself. We chatted about his newest book, Stalin: Waiting for...the Truth, which is a clap-back at Stephen Kotkin's dishonest biography "Stalin: Waiting for Hitler". We also talked about Anti-communism in general, as well as the importance of Stalin's legacy and why he isn't, as many people accuse him of, a "Stalin apologist." It's spicy as hell, so buckle up. 

Direct Source Documents/Topics discussed in the show:

Frinovsky's Statement

Budyonny's Letter to Voroshilov concerning the military conspiracy

Transcript of the Tukhachevsky Trial in Russian

Suggested Reading:

Stalin: Waiting for...the Truth by Grover Furr

The Moscow Trials as Evidence by Grover Furr

Trotsky's Collaboration with Germany and Japan by Grover Furr

The Fraud of the Dewey Commission by Grover Furr

The Mystery of the Katyn Massacre by Grover Furr

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

"Soviet National Anthem" by the Red Army Choir

Episode 25 - Bolivarian Revolutions

We sit down with Ethan (but not our Ethan) and Taylor (our Taylor) to talk about Simón Bolívar,  Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, the coup attempts, the gains of the revolutions, and the US fuckery in Venezuela.

Suggested reading:
Hugo Chávez  and the Bolívarian Revolution, Richard Gott
We Created Chávez: A People's History of the Bolívarian Revolution, George Cicariello-Maher

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:
"Uh Ah, Chávez No Se Va,” Madera

Episode 24 - Guatemala and the Silent Holocaust

In this one we sit down with Phil after a trip to Guatemala where he reconnected with his family, revolutionary past, and their incredible story, one as old as time, of the US propping up fascists and killing communists.

If you have any questions or comments, DM us on either of those platforms or email us at prolespod@gmail.com.

Suggested Reading:

"Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution" by Piero Gleijeses

"Bitter Fruit" by Stephen Schlesinger

"Killing Hope" by William Blum

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

"Poesia Venenonsa" by Rebeca Lane

Episode 23 - Western Media is a F***

In this one we sit down with China Daily reporter, Ian Goodrum, and talk about how western media has portrayed China through its history, and communist countries broadly, as well as a bunch of great anecdotes, and discussions about how we might interpret media. And of course a brief history of The Peoples' Liquor.

Suggested Reading:

Anti-poverty Drive

Red Star Over China by Edgar Snow

How to Visit a Socialist Country

China in the Modern Day

And of course, China Daily

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

"Soviet Official" by Apathy and OC (edited for content)

Episode 22 - Indigeneity

(*Disclaimer: One of our microphones cut out about 1/3 of the way through recording, and so we were forced to cut most of the banter after that point. We apologize, but are grateful that Andrea had a ton of incredibly interesting information to tell, and so we feel the content didn't suffer.)

The Proles sit down with Andrea (@andrea_lakota on Twitter) to discuss how Indigenous folks, decolonization, and a lot of misunderstood terms intersect. It is chock full of amazing knowledge. 

Suggested Reading:

The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism by Jodi A. Byrd

The ABC's of Decolonization: www.onkwehonwerising.wordpress.com

Outro music - "Mushuk" by Los Nin

Episode 21 - The Rise of, Life In, and Fall of the German Democratic Republic

We talk about the splitting up of Germany after World War 2, the creation of both the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, discuss what rights GDR citizens had, how many damn Nazis were in the West after the war, and what happened in 1989.

Suggested Reading:

Stasi State or Socialist Paradise?: The German Democratic Republic and What Came of It, Bruni de la Motte & John Green
The Triumph of Evil: The Reality of the USA's Cold War Victory, Austin Murphy
From My Life, Erich Honecker
Behind the Scenes in Two Worlds, Elaine & Harry Mensh

Outro music: "Es Bleibt Die Sonne," Gerd Michaelis-Chor

Episode 20 - Paul Robeson

We go through the life of actor, singer, civil rights activist, and communist Paul Robeson and talk about how he laid the groundwork for the civil rights movement in the US, how the capitalist powers tried to destroy him, and why it's important for us to remember him.

Update: we did more research and found the colleges that wouldn't play Rutgers b/c Robeson was on the football team! William & MaryGeorgia Tech, and Washington & Lee

Suggested Listening:

"Joe Hill"
"Anthem of the Soviet Union"
"Shlof, Mein Kind"
"The Volga Boatmen"
"Go Down Moses" 

Suggested Reading:

Paul Robeson, Martin Bauml Duberman
Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary, Gerald Horne
Paul Robeson: A Watched Man, Jordan Goodman
Paul Robeson's Testimony before HUAC, 1956 

Outro music: "Old Man River" - Paul Robeson

Live Anniversary Episode

It's been a whole freaking year since we first recorded and posted our animated first episode on the German Revolution! We are amazed and humbled by all that has happened since then, and in celebration we took live calls for two hours to meet and chat with some fantastic people and answer a few questions. Join us as we let our hair down, drink too much, and talk to ya'll.

 Outro Music: "Dr Wily's Castle Theme" by Takashi Tateishi

Episode 19 - China in the Era of Xi

In yet another spicy episode that is sure to anger some folks, we talk with Ty (@spirit_of_17 on twitter), who got back not too long ago from a year living in China, and wanted to give us his take on what he experienced and saw, and what we think of where China is in the era of Xi.

 Suggested Reading:

Guide on general anti communist myths here.

Reading guide on China specifically here.

Outro Music: Xiangyu "Rumors and Slanders" Translated video can be found here.

PRT Episode 18 - Marxist Feminism

What better way to ring in the New Year than this spicy episode on feminism, where we take shots at feminist movements of the past, men (of course) and some of the left. Special guest @socializm_ brings the fire. Y’all are guaranteed to either love it, or hate it. 

 Suggested Reading-

Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici

Undemocratic Legacies: First Wave Feminism and the Somocista Women's Movement in Nicaragua by V. Gonzalez-Rivera

Is Capitalism Gendered and Racialized? by Joan Acker

The Dialectic of Sex by Shulamith Firestone (The Dialectic of Sex was utilized to cover the history of the first wave feminism in the United States. For that reason we recommend the book merely for the first chapter. However, the author offers iffy analysis against Marx and misquotes Engels that makes their overall argument faulty. This work has been critiqued by Ghandy [CC member of the CPI] in her work “Philosophical trends in the modern feminist movement.” We still recommend that chapter spoken about but keep that in mind when you read the works in its entirety.)

 Outro Music: "Rocky's Revenge" by Rocky Rivera

PRT Episode 17 - Nuclear Weapons

In this episode, we go from the discovery of nuclear fission up to the most recent state getting a nuclear weapon, and in between we talk about the Manhattan Project, Soviet spies, Hiroshima, US nuclear testing, and the DPRK having a nuke. This episode has some of the darkest moments we've had on the podcast and also some incredible silliness. Enjoy!

Suggested Reading/Viewing - 

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Kai Bird & Martin Sherwin

Stalin's Great Science: The Times and Adventures of Soviet Physicists, Alexei B. Kojevnikov

Before The Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima, Diana Preston

Hiroshima's Shadow: Writings on the Denial of History, Kai Bird & Lawrence Lifschultz

The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Modern Arms Race, Priscilla Johnson McMillan

Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters,Kate Brown

Hiroshima, John Hersey

Yellow Dirt: A Poisoned Land and the Betrayal of the Navajos, Judy Pasternak

Bombshell: The Secret Story of America's Unknown Atomic Spy Controversy, Joseph Albright & Marcia Kunstel


A Bomb in the Basement: Israel's Nuclear Option


Outro music: Gang of Four - "I Found That Essence Rare"

PRT Episode 16 - The End of History

Join The Proles and Breht from Revolutionary Left Radio in this collabo to end all collabos where we discuss history. Yep. But HOW do we interpret history? How do we tell history. What is truth? This is the peak, y'all. It's all downhill from here.

Suggested Reading: 

Silencing the Past, by Michel-Rolph Trouillot
Europe and the People Without History, Eric Wolf
Liberalism: A Counter-History, Domenico Losurdo

Outro Music: "Waiting for the Great Leap Forward" by Billy Bragg

PRT Episode 13 - Soviet Cinema

Have you ever wondered where the montage came from? Do you enjoy hearing Ethan plug theatre in an episode about cinema? Do you never tire of hearing Justin defend Stalin even when he clearly did some things wrong? Then you will LOVE this raucous and informative episode on the history of film and cinema within the Soviet Union (and a bit before)!

 *CORRECTION* While Prussia was a principality in the HRE, Prussia was never part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Our bad!

Further reading:

Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film, Jay Leyda

The Red Screen: Politics, Society, Art in Soviet Cinema, ed. Anna Lawton

Ways of Seeing, John Berger

Directory of World Cinema: Russia, Birgit Beumers

Film viewing:

Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein (1925)

Man With A Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov (1929)

October: Ten Day That Shook The World, Sergei Eisenstein (1928)

Volga-Volga, Grigori Aleksandrov (1938)

Solaris, Andrei Tarkovsky (1972)

Moscow Doesn't Believe In Tears, Vladimir Menshov (1980)

 Outro Music: "At Dawn" by Alyens

PRT Episode 12 - Iraq and Sanctions

Do you enjoy really directionless conversation that has incredible anecdotes and a ton of great information? Then you will love this one as the Proles sit down and discuss the modern history of Iraq, sanctions, and how the policy towards Iraq modeled the US foreign policy moving forward.

Sources/Suggested Reading: 

The Longest War: The Iran-Iraq Military Conflict. Dilip Hiro. Psychology Press, 1991.

Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions. Joy Gordon. Harvard University Press, 2010.

The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace. Ali A. Allawi. Yale University Press, 2008. 

Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq. Kanan Makiya. University of California Press, 1998. 

Outro Music: Immortal Technique "The Martyr"

PRT Presents: Dialectics After Dark

Spicy content warning! Join the proles as they unveil the hilarious, soon-to-be patreon-only spinoff, Dialectics After Dark, where we read through headlines and news and react, let our hair down, and spend a little more time being ridiculous. Being that this is our first run-through with this format, please forgive the roughness. It will polish up a bit in the future

For those who don't know already, you can get access to these, as well as other great perks by donating at www.patreon.com/prolespod

Here's that link Ethan wanted to put in the show notes: https://keywordsforcapitalism.com/