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freedom and reason

a path through late capitalism

If you are tired of left-wing news and analysis from a progressive standpoint but committed to the traditional left-wing concerns of civil rights, environmentalism, feminism, secularism, and working class politics, then Freedom and Reason is your spot for news and analysis. Freedom and Reason is a left-libertarian deep dive into the issues of the day and the historical path these took to get here. The methodology worked here is not what those claiming to be on the political and cultural left are offering you. Critical theory, postmodernism, and all the rest of it are here the targets of critique, not the elements of it. The work of freedom and reason is what the sociologist of power C. Wright Mills called “plain Marxist.”

My name is Andrew Austin. I’m an artist, democrat, humanist, feminist, liberal, libertarian, populist, republican, scientist, and teacher. I’m on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. I blog here at Freedom and Reason as often as I can. You can watch my pod/videocast, The FAR Podcast on Rumble and YouTube. In my academic work, I research and teach on, among other things, crime and justice, political economy, political sociology, race and ethnicity, and the sociology of religion. In other work, I am a musician and songwriter, founding several rock bands in Nashville, Tennessee, the two most well known are Critical Mass (1983-1988) and Numb Skull (1989-1993).

You can read my writings in numerous articles, essays, and reviews published in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers. My work has appeared on the pages of Capitalism Nature Socialism, Crime, Law and Social Change, Critical Sociology, Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Journal of Men and Masculinities, Journal of Poverty, Journal of World-Systems Research, Labor History, Nature, Society, and Thought, Project Censored, Sociological Spectrum, Teaching Sociology, and TruthOut.

I was honored in 2002 with the Spectrum Award for outstanding article for my widely cited paper on the anti-environmental countermovement, “Advancing Accumulation and Managing its Discontents.” My two chapters in Devastating Society: The Neo-Conservative Assault on Democracy and Justice (Pluto Press/University of Michigan Press) have been translated into the German, Arabic, and Indonesian languages (as well as English). I am the author of numerous articles for Sage’s Encyclopedia of Social Deviance and their Encyclopedia of Prisons and Correctional Facilities, Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, and Rutledge’s Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities.

I have chaired, presented, or had papers read at more than two dozen professional conferences, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems. In 2006 and 2007 I traveled to Amman, Jordan where I lectured on the politicization of religion and democracy and human rights at the United Nations University. In 2018, I penned the preface to the Skyhorse edition of The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ classic theoretical treatise and political pamphlet.

I have taught numerous college courses, including Criminal Justice Administration, Criminal Justice Process, Criminology, People, Machines, and Monsters, Foundations of Social Research, Freedom and Social Control, Historical Perspectives on Social Change, Juvenile Delinquency, Law and Society, Power and Change in America, Race and Ethnic Relations, Critical Legal Studies, Inequality and the Law, Race, Class, and Crime, Social Theory, Social Problems, and Sociology of Religion. I have won numerous teaching scholar appointments and, in 2018, I was award the Founders Association Award for Excellence in Institutional Development at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for the years 2016-2017.

I started Freedom and Reason in 2007 because I came to believe that it was important to make my ideas available to audiences beyond academic outlets and the classrooms. It was originally launched on Blogger but due to frustration with that platform and sporadic activity due to my duties as chair of Democracy and Justice Studies, which involved a bottom up revision of the program, program review, and rebuilding the faculty, I decided to move my blogging to WordPress. I was spurred to regularly blog again after witnessing the results of the migrant crisis in Sweden in 2018. The move from Blogger has meant rebuilding my audience, and a lot of work migrating the best of my previous work there to WordPress (work that is still in progress) but, so far, it has worth it.

You may use the table of contents on the lefthand side to navigate to a post that interests you. I moderate comments, so if you wish to communicate with me but don’t want your comment to publicly appear be sure to let me know in the comment and I will not publish it. I appreciate comments! Subscribe to my blog and, if you do, like the content! Share with others! This will help me reach more people with my takes on authoritarianism, censorship, class, crime, culture, economics, media and propaganda, politics, race, and religion. Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog! Freedom is precious. Join me in defending it!