Ep8: Nothing Natural About Capitalism (Part 2 of 2) with Ryan Rosshirt

In Part 2 of the series “Nothing Natural About Capitalism,” Leah talks to Austin-based activist Ryan Rosshirt about permaculture design and the challenge of building a society that supports meaningful work. Like so many Americans, Ryan was jolted into political action by the rise of Donald Trump. He quit his desk job before the 2016 election to focus full-time on canvassing and advocating for social justice and environmentalist issues. At the same time, he discovered a passion for gardening; a small vegetable patch grew into the backyard farm where he’s growing a lot of his own food today. On this episode, Ryan talks about implementing permaculture principles to repair the ecosystem in his backyard. Also, he and Leah discuss the idea of “vocations,” the structural barriers imposed by capitalism that prevent people from enjoying meaningful work, and how the Austin chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is fighting business interests big and small to improve quality of life for workers.

Article: “While paid sick leave mandate on hold, city marches on” by Philip Jankowski, Austin-American Statesman, Sept. 12, 2018.

Transcript coming soon.

Ryan working at Johnson’s Backyard Garden in 2018.

Ryan working at Johnson’s Backyard Garden in 2018.

Above: video from Austin DSA of the group’s City Council testimony in favor of the paid sick leave ordinance on February 15, 2018.

Voices in the montage of paid sick leave testimony: Jose Garza, Workers’ Defense Project; Amanda Cavazos Weems, Young Active Labor Leaders in Austin Rick Levy, Texas AFL-CIO; Luis Alavarez, Workers’ Defense Project (translated); Wendy Davis, Deeds Not Words; Ryan Pollock, DSA; Chris Wang, DSA; Greg Casar, Austin City Council Member District 4

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