Episode 39 - Modern Cuba

In this one we sat down with Nick to discuss his time spent in Cuba, the things he learned there, as well as other interesting discussions about the new constitution, agriculture, biotech, and so on.

Suggested Reading: 

"Che: A Revolutionary Life" by Jon Lee Anderson

"Cuba: A New History" by Richard Gott

New Cuban Constitution

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

"Yo Aprendí" by Danae Suárez

Episode 38 - Burkina Faso

In this one, the crew sat down to discuss the history of Burkina Faso, what created the atmosphere of revolution, some of Sankara's legacy, and what happened after his assassination.

- Jamaica was never a French colony; it was a British colony.
- "The US is a one-party state[...]" quote was from Julius Nyerere, the president of Tanzania and not Kwame Nkrumah.

Suggested Reading: 

"A Certain Amount of Madness: The Life, Politics and Legacies of Thomas Sankara" - Amber Murrey, ed.
"Thomas Sankara Speaks" - Thomas Sankara
”A United Front Against Debt”: Speech to the Organization of African Unity - Thomas Sankara
"Burkina Faso: A History of Power, Protest, and Revolution" - Ernest Harsch
"Burkina Faso: Processus de la Revolution" - Babou Paulin Bamouni (in French)
"Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man" (documentary)
”Thomas Sankara” - Revolutionary Left Radio (podcast)

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

National Anthem of Burkina Faso

Episode 37 - Communist Democracy

In this one, we sat down with Colette from Ad Vincere Mundi to discuss the history of democratic centralism, and how it has been developed over the years, as well as other forms of democracy from ostensibly socialist origins.

Suggested Reading:

 Constitution of the Communist Party of the Philippines: https://bit.ly/2MojGOC

Constitution of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: https://bit.ly/33IRj30

Parliamentary System of the DPRK: https://bit.ly/2H9bo91

The Soviets and Ourselves: Two Commonwealths by K.E. Holme: https://bit.ly/2YXEYt5

Stalin and the Struggle for Democratic Reform by Grover Furr: https://bit.ly/2ZclRef

Anarchists in the Russian Revolution: The Makhno Myth by Jason Yanowitz: http://www.isreview.org/issues/53/makhno.shtml

Democratic Centralism by Bay Area Socialist Organizing Committee: https://bit.ly/2Owsq1U

Who runs China? https://bit.ly/2THbQAL

Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder by Lenin: https://bit.ly/2YYuhq8

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

Vladimir Konovalov Jazz Orchestra "The Legend of the Araratsky Valley"

Episode 36 - Canadian Communists

In this one, we sat down with Clara Sorrenti of the Canadian Communist Party to talk about a few important historical figures in the Canadian Communist movement, as well as answer some AMA questions.

Correction: Canada entered WW2 when Britain did, but the Communist Party didn't support the war until after the Soviet Union was invaded.

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

"The Communists Have the Music" by They Might be Giants

Episode 34 - Eugenics and Reproductive Rights (Or Lack Thereof)

In this one, we sat down with Pres to discuss the long and depressing history of Reproductive Rights, Patriarchy, Eugenics and how they all tie together. SPOILER ALERT: deathtoamerica

CORRECTION: The Proles were lied to; Dep (Depo Prevera) is an injection that is re-administered every three months, whereas the arm implant referred to in the episode is Nexplanon (formerly Implanon) which lasts three years. IUDs can last three to ten years depending on the type.

@marxymarx2 to contact Pres.

Suggested Reading:

Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram X. Kendi
The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance of the Origins of the United States of America, Gerald Horne

When The Welfare People Come: Race and Class in the US Child Protection Service, Don Lash
Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty, Dorothy Roberts
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, Harriet Washington  
Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination, Alondra Nelson  
The Social Transformation of American Medicine:  The Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry, Paul Starr (More liberal standard academic text)
Labor's Love Lost: The Rise and Fall of the Working-Class Family in America, Andrew Cherlin (more liberal  standard academic text)   
The Zero Trimester: Pre-Pregnancy Care and the Politics of Reproductive Risk, Miranda Waggoner  
Women, Race, and Class, Angela Davis    
On how men's reproductive health is under represented: sci-hub.tw/10.1177/1557988314556670  On China's One Child Policy (Warning! This paper is super orientalist/racist and very liberal--read at your own peril. Only snippets of what comes out of this paper are actually interesting and what Pres used in the episode): sci-hub.tw/10.2307/3115224  
On Puerto Rico's sterilization program: sci-hub.tw/10.1177/0094582X7700400405  
Sterilization as part of plea deal for man: https://insider.foxnews.com/2014/06/24/va-man-required-get-vasectomy-part-plea-deal 

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

"A Single Spark" by Xiangyu (you can order the album here)

Episode 32: Soviet Spies

In this one, the Proles talk about 5 of the most interesting communist spies and the lies, philandering, and political maneuvers that shaped the 20th century! Spies covered are Noel Field, Richard Sorge, Kim Philby, Anna Filonenko-Kamayeva, and Mannfred Ramminger.

Suggested Reading:

"My Cambridge Friends" by Yuri Modin

"My Silent War" by Kim Philby

"True Believer" by Kati Marton

"Operation Splinter Factor" by Stewart Steven

"An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin's Master Agent" by Owen Matthews

"The Man With Three Faces: The True Story of a Master Spy" by Hans-Otto Meissner

"Ningen Zoruge" by Ishii Hanako

Anna Filoneno-Kamayeva Wiki (portugese)


Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

"Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers

Episode 31: Stalin Was A Mensch - A Look at the "Antisemitism" of the USSR

In this special and spicy episode, we sat with Talia from Proles of the Minyan to discuss antisemitism in the USSR, especially Stalin-era. What of the Doctor's Plot? Or the Night of the Murdered Poets? Tr*stky?

Suggested Reading:

Almazoṿ, S. Ten years of Biro-Bidjan, 1928-1938. New York: ICOR. 1938.

American Icor Commission for the Study of Biro-Bidjan and Its Colonization. Report. New York: Icor. 1929.

Aptheker, Herbert. The fraud of "Soviet anti-semitism". Sydney: Current Book Distributors. 1963.

Brossat, Alain, Sylvia Klingberg, and David Fernbach. Revolutionary Yiddishland: a history of Jewish radicalism. 2017.

Davies, Dave. “Anti-Semitism and the Soviet Anti-Zionist Campaign.” Australian Left Review no. 76 (1981): 24-30.

Furr, Grover. Blood lies: the evidence that every accusation against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands is false. New York: Red Star Publishers. 2014.

Furr, Grover. Khrushchev Lied: The Evidence That Every "revelation" of Stalin’s (and Beria’s) "crimes" in Nikita Khrushchev’s Infamous "Secret Speech" to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956, Is Provably False. Kettering, OH: Erythros Press and Media, 2014.

Hoffman, Matthew, and Henry Felix Srebrnik. A vanished ideology: essays on the Jewish communist movement in the English-speaking world in the twentieth century. 2016.

Kochan, Lionel. The Jews in Soviet Russia since 1917. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

Losurdo, Domenico, and Luciano Canfora. Stalin: storia e critica di una leggenda nera. Roma: Carocci. 2015.

Mandel, William M. Soviet but Not Russian: The "other" Peoples of the Soviet Union. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1985.

Martens, Ludo, and John Plaice. Another view of Stalin. 1st ed. Raleigh, NC: Proles Press. 2018.

Miller, Moses. Soviet "Anti-semitism": the big lie. New York: Jewish Life. 1950.

Novik, Paul. Jews in the Soviet Union impressions of a two months' visit to the USSR, November-December, 1964. New York: Morning Freiheit. 1965.

O'Connor, Tom. The truth about anti-semitism in the Soviet Union: exposing the fraud perpetrated on the American people. New York: American Committee of Jewish Writers, Artists & Scientists. 1949.

Pinkus, Benjamin. The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Rabinovich, Solomon. Jews in USSR. Moscow: Novosti Press Agency, 1967.

Szymanski, Albert. Human Rights in the Soviet Union:. London: Zed, 1984.
Tartakower, Arieh. "The Jewish Problem in the Soviet Union." Jewish Social Studies 33, no. 4 (1971): 285-306.http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.slpl.org/stable/4466668.

Intro music: 

"Proles Pod Theme" by Ransom Notes

Outro music:

"Oy, Ir Narishe Tsionistn" (Oh You Foolish Little Zionists) - a Yiddish anti-Zionist song

Episode 30: The History of Art, part 1

In this long, information-packed episode, Ethan and our guest Mitch Malloy of Wild Blue Studios go through most of the history of art from millions of years ago back before Homo sapiens was a thing up into the very early 20th century. We very briefly cover the Soviet Union and the birth of socialist realism as well as talk about the CIA spreading certain art forms! 

The document with the images and artwork referenced can be downloaded here.

Also the audio is slightly garbled at a few points in the first several minutes, but it gets better! Sorry about that.

There will be a second episode dedicated to twentieth century art movements, so wait up for that!

Suggested reading / sources used:

Ways of Seeing, John Berger
The Work of Art In the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin
Marxism and Art, ed. Maynard Solomon
Prehistoric Cave Paintings, Max Raphael
”Towards Decolonizing Gender: Female Vision in the Upper Paleolithic," Catherine McCoid & LeRoy McDermott
The Social History of Art, Arnold Hauser
A History of Theatre in Africa, ed. Martin Banham
The Necessity of Art, Ernst Fischer
Art as a Cultural System, Clifford Geertz
The Soviet Theater, Laurence Senelick
ReNew Marxist Art History, ed. Barnaby Haran, Warren Carter, Frederic Schwartz
Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels on Literature and Art, ed. Stefan Morawski
A Smuggling Operation: John Berger's Theory of Art, Robert Minto
"The Quickest History of 20th Century Art in Russia"
"The Art of Russia" 

 Outro music: "Rings", Aesop Rock 

Episode 29: Live from ProlesCon 2019

In this episode, we recorded a live episode at ProlesCon 2019 in Englewood, Colorado with Breht from RevLeftRadio and a bunch of wonderful comrades who hung out with us all weekend. We discussed left media in general, took a handful of audience questions, and then wrapped it up with a "We Could Do a Whole Episode On That" about the true story of "The Hunt for Red October."

Please subscribe on your favorite podcast app. All episodes and a bunch of resources are available on prolespod.com.

 Suggested Resources:

Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama, Diane Carol Fujino
Passing It On: A Memoir, Yuri Nakahara Kochiyama 
Women, Race, and Class, Angela Y. Davis
Women, Culture, and Politics, Angela Y. Davis

Intro music:

Proles intro by Ransom Notes 

 Outro music:

Full Proles intro by Ransom Notes 

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