zero books and diet soap


Starting in January of 2015 I will be the new publisher for zero books. Despite the drama that precedes me, this is a task I’m taking on with real excitement. Tariq Goddard and his crew have built a great imprint and while I expect that some substantial part of what was zero books will follow Tariq to Repeater, I look forward to making zero my own.

If you’ve got a book on left theory, post-Kantian philosophy, aesthetics, or radical history please go to the zero books submission page and make a pitch.

The news for Diet Soap listeners here is that the old podcast is changing but not quite ending. I’ll be continuing interviewing authors and others on left/philosophical subjects just the same as I’ve always done over the last five years, but from now on many more of those authors will be from zero. Still, I do promise to keep talking about Value theory and Slavoj Zizek as much and as often as possible.

Here are the changes that are coming:

1. I’ll be changing the opening theme music and saying goodbye to the voice of Rick Roderick.

2. I’ll be shying away from sampling pop music in my audio collages and tending to use music in the public domain.

3. I’ll be sticking to a weekly schedule like clockwork.

Here’s what’s staying the same:

The sound of a tape cassette player being opened and closed.

Last note: The Titanic Factoid will not be returning.

18 Oct 2014, 3:05pm
Diet Soap Update


Diet Soap Podcast #225: Were Top Corporate Executives Really Hogging Workers’ Wages?


CEOs, Supermanagers, and other rich people are the subject this week as Andrew Kliman asks the question “Were Top Corporate Executives Really Hogging Workers’ Wages?”

Professor Andrew Kliman is a professor of economics and Pace University and the author of the books Reclaiming Marx’s Capital and The Failure of Capitalist Production,” and the answer he gives as he discusses his essay at Truthdig may surprise you.

Here’s an excerpt from that essay:

Thomas Piketty attributes rising inequality in the U.S. primarily to huge increases in the salaries of CEOs and other top executives, but he misinterprets the evidence. Rising salaries of top executives actually explain very little of the rise in inequality, and they depressed other employees’ pay by only a negligible amount.

It’s Monday, October 13th, 2014, and I’m Douglas Lain the host of this podcast.

I’d like to thank Andy M, Jacob L, John Lewis, James H, John S, and Phillip L for donating to the podcast, and urge regular listeners to the Diet Soap podcast to find the paypal button at or look for the paypal buttons at which will be going up in the next few days. Also, the podcast is available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation.

Diet Soap Podcast #224: Pop the Imperialism


Imperialism is the subject this week as C Derrick Varn and I bring back Pop the Left and discuss Lenin’s pamphlet “Imperialism: The Highest Form of Capitalism.”This was to be a discussion of the notion of the labor aristocracy, but we decided to start slow and see if we could understand Imperialism first.

From Lenin’s pamphlet, here’s the definition:

[Imperialism features]

(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life
(2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy
(3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance
(4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves
(5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.

Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.

I’d like to urge regular listeners to the Diet Soap podcast to find the paypal button at Also, the podcast is also available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation

Double Feature Review: Cabin Fever or Cabin in the Woods


Cabin Fever along with Cabin in the Woods make up the double feature for this month’s Double Feature Review podcast. Also featured in this episode are comments on the movie Grosse Point Blank, the television show Roseanne, and the Jim Farris’ endless grumbling.

One time pornographer and screenwriter for Universal Studios, Jim Farris begins the episode by noting our hiatus. “What is wrong with Douglas Lain?” Or to quote him directly, “WTF is wrong with you?” Listen closely for Lain’s retelling of his thirteenth mid-life crisis nervous breakdown.

Follow Douglas Lain and Jim Farris on if you can.