BTS 4/22/11: Koch Brothers; The "S" Word; Marx at the Margins

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We begin tonight with Mark Ames, who has an explosive story with Mike Elk in The Nation. “Big Brother: Thought Control at Koch Industries” reveals that Koch Industries has advised its 55,000 employees who to vote for and warning them about the dire consequences to their families, their jobs and country should they choose to vote otherwise. Mark has seen it all before – he investigated, chronicled and reported on the Russian “transition” which transferred power and money from the State to the oligarchs throughout the Yeltsin and early Putin years. Mark returned to the US just as the financial system crashed and sees in the Koch Brothers’ activities some very familiar tactics – and strategy. We’ll ask him if Russia showed America its future.

We then turn to John Nichols for an update on the Wisconsin Supreme Court election recount. We also talk to John about his latest book, The “S” Word: a Short History of an American Tradition...Socialism. That “S” word re-entered the vernacular in 2008 and 2010, when the right claimed that American government and media had been infiltrated by socialists, a more disturbing threat than that ‘from foreign terrorists.’ John rescues the long and proud American history of socialism and its many socialists including Emma Lazarus, Walt Whitman, Helen Keller, but also reminds us that Tom Paine was enamored of the early socialists, Horace Greeley employed Karl Marx as a correspondent, and there is a strong case for socialist ideas today.

And continuing on the theme of socialism, Marx and even the Civil War, we talk to Kevin Anderson about his new book, Marx at the Margins that directly challenges the conventional wisdom that Marx was Eurocentric, making an overwhelming case for the importance of Marx's views on non-Western societies, ethnicity, nationalism, and race to our interpretations of his thinking. We’ll talk to Kevin about Marx’s letter to Abraham Lincoln and views of the American Civil War. We’ll also ask about current revolutionary struggles outside of Europe – the “Arab Spring,” Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions and continuing struggles in Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and beyond.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Mark Ames, co-founder with Matt Taibbi of the eXile newspaper in Moscow - indispensable for visitors and the best investigative journalism you'll see anywhere along with a lot of raunchy writing. If you don't want to visit their website (amazing experience) you can get their book, The eXile: Sex, Drugs And Libel In The New Russia with Matt Taibbi. Now Mark has published Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion, From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond (Soft Skull Press).

2. John Nichols is the Washington Correspondent of The Nation, where he also blogs the “Online Beat”. John is also associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times, and is author of several books, including The Genius of Impeachment (The New Press), Dick: The Man Who is President (The New Press), and with Robert McChesney, It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories) and Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press).

3. Kevin B. Anderson is a Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Feminist Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. Before coming to UCSB, he was a Professor of Political Science, Sociology and Women’s Studies at Purdue University and earlier, a Professor of Sociology at Northern Illinois University. He holds an MA and a PhD in Sociology from the City University of New York Graduate Center, and a BA in History from Trinity College, Hartford. His other books include: Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism (University of Chicago Press), and The Rosa Luxemburg Reader (Monthly Review Press),