Detailed
Compact
Art
Reverse
August 4, 2020
On dollar hegemony.   Dutch disease has long been seen as the curse of resource-rich economies in which a currency appreciates and jobs are lost overseas. But what if the greenback is having the same effects on the US economy, the largest in the world? Many historians and economists have studied the global effects of having the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. But what is the effect on the US economy itself? The authors of an influential essay on this question join us to talk about the feedback effects of dollar hegemony.    Readings: The Class Politics of the Dollar System, Yakov Feygin & Dominik Leusder, Phenomenal World Dollar and Empire, Herman Mark Schwartz, Phenomenal World
July 28, 2020
The episode is for patrons only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacastThe protests in the US against police violence - and their globalisation - prompts us to discuss radical proposals for what to do about the police. We look at the US, the UK and Brazil, each in their own national contexts, and debate how policing is structure and what makes realistic responses to state repression a political priority. Readings: Symposium on Policing, NonSite, various authors incl. Dustin Guastella, Christian Parenti Global Perspectives on Policing, Verso Books blog, various authors incl. Alex Hochuli
July 24, 2020
Reading Club episodes are only available to patrons $10+. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacastThis month we discuss Wolfgang Streeck's reading of Friedrich Engels which appeared recently in the New Left Review, which deals with the Marxian understanding of war and technology, how they relate to social development, and what this all means for our understanding of the state.   Engels's Second Theory: Technology, Warfare and the Growth of the State, Wolfgang Streeck, New Left Review
July 21, 2020
On British decline.Much ink has been spilled over the Britain’s fate since the end of its empire. Could it be that decline has been overstated? And what will happen to Britain as it leaves the European Union? We discuss how the history of the Industrial Revolution and Cold War militarism still shapes British politics today, as David Edgerton joins us to talk about the his latest book, 'The Rise and Fall of the British Nation'.Readings: A misremembered empire, David Edgerton, Tortoise Britain’s 20th-century industrial revolution, Colin Kidd, New Statesman (review of Edgerton's book) Britain's persistent racism cannot simply be explained by its imperial history, David Edgerton, The Guardian
July 16, 2020
Singapore is held up as a free-market utopia: rich, orderly and clean. But the reality is quite different. Why does Singapore exert such a magnetism for neoliberals, when its reality strays from orthodox prescriptions? What and who made this model 'global city', and how does its communist and anti-colonial past lead to its hyper-capitalist present?
July 14, 2020
This episode is for patrons only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast    Mailbag + bonus content ft. Corey Robin    In this new semi-regular slot, we feature bonus recordings (here, 20mins of additional discussion with Corey Robin from episode 129) and respond to your comments and criticisms received over the past month.
July 8, 2020
This is a sample. For the full episode, sign up at patreon.com/bungacast  The three of us discuss some of the themes that emerged from our interview with Krithika Varagur (ep.133) - the entanglement of the US state with Islamism, the Americanisation of the Middle East, and especially the Gulf States, and Wahhabism as religious justification for the Saudi state project.
July 7, 2020
On Saudi religious proselytism. Saudi Arabia has actively sought to export Salafism. How has it done this - and what have been its effects, in countries like Indonesia, Nigeria and Kosovo? Why was fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s such a formative experience for jihadists? And why has appeal of secularism faded? Readings: The Call: Inside the Global Saudi Religious Project, Krithika Varagur How Saudi Arabia's religious project transformed Indonesia (Long excerpt from the book) The Coronavirus Threatens Saudi Arabia’s Global Ambitions, Krithika Varagur, Foreign Affairs Saudis and Extremism: 'Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters', Scott Shane, NYT China as the New Frontier for Islamic Daʿwah, Mohammed Turki al-Sudairi, Journal of Arabian Studies
June 30, 2020
Aleksandar Vučić's coalition won the recent (21 June) Serbian parliamentary elections amidst a mass boycott. We talk to Balkanist editor Lily Lynch about what Vučić represents - violent ultranationalist or technocratic centrist? We also take time to discuss geopolitical rivalries over Kosovo.  Plus: cigar socialism, Yugoboomers and the enduring appeal of Balkan orientalism. According to Julian Assange, the future always comes to Serbia first - what does this mean?  Intro clip: Vučić's very creepy virtual rally | Outro clip: The Big Z  Readings: Abramović, Žižek and Milanović: Yugoslavia’s First and Last Global Public Intellectuals, Srdjan Garcevic, The Nutshell Times The Tito–Castro Split and the End of Cigar Socialism, Lily Lynch, Balkanist Vucic’s nationalist party wins landslide victory in Serbian poll, Valerie Hopkins, FT West is best: How ‘stabilitocracy’ undermines democracy building in the Balkans, Srda Pavlovic, LSE blog
June 26, 2020
This episode is for patrons $10 and up. Please sign up at patreon.com/bungacast  On the Ehrenreich's re-evaluation of the Professional-Managerial Class.  We discuss Barbara and John Ehrenreich's "Death of a Yuppy Dream". Also attached are the Ehrenreichs' analyses from the late 70s, also referenced in the discussion.  Thanks again for all your questions!
June 23, 2020
Full episode is for patrons only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast  On this latest Three Articles, we discuss the global Black Lives Matter protests.    Reading: The Triumph of Black Lives Matter and Neoliberal Redemption, Cedric Johnson, NonSite ‘As soon as I saw the slaveowner’s statue being toppled in Bristol, I knew the real anti-racism protest was OVER’, Lisa McKenzie, RT The Triumph of American Idealism, Alex Hochuli, Damage Alex's additional notes on his blog
June 22, 2020
On the left case for freedom.   We talk to Corey Robin about how the left has sacrificed the realm of freedom to the right. And why the Left's weakness is also the Right's. Plus, why is it clear that Trump is not a fascist? And insight into the BLM protests in NYC and responses to the pandemic.  Reading: What People Power Looks Like in a Pandemic Democracy, Corey Robin, NYRB Symposium on the Challenges Facing Democrats: Freedom Now, Corey Robin & Alex Gourevitch, Polity If authoritarianism is looming in the US, how come Donald Trump looks so weak?, Corey Robin, Guardian
June 16, 2020
On culturally conservative critics of capitalism.  Neoliberalism’s fragmentary and atomising tendencies have gone too far. In response, some right-wingers have turned against the market. At the same time, there’s a (marginal) tendency on the left turning against cultural liberalism. Are we witnessing a major political realignment underway? What is the substance of these "culturally conservative" critiques, and do they offer anything new, beyond what people like Christopher Lasch advanced decades ago?   Readings: The new intellectuals of the American right, Nick Burns, New Statesman The Problem of Hyper Liberalism, John Gray, The TLS The Real Class War, Julius Krein, American Affairs Socialism in One Country, David Runciman, LRB (on Maurice Glasman & Blue Labour) The idea that the British working class is socially conservative is a nonsense, Kenan Malik, The Guardian Zero to One, Peter Thiel (pdf) The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, Daniel Bell (pdf)
June 9, 2020
This is a sample. For the full episode go to patreon.com/bungacast  Bonus content (always the best stuff) from our interview with Angela and Michael (episode 126).
June 2, 2020
Why did Bernie Sanders fail?In the third in an occasional series on the US presidential election and the Left, we talk to Angela Nagle and Michael Tracey about their analysis of Bernie Sanders' campaign. We put to bed some bad arguments as to why Bernie didn't win the nomination, and examine some better ones: was the campaign was too establishment-friendly? too "left"? too middle-class? too anti-nationalist?... or are structural factors to blame instead?And we ponder the end of the union of Old and New Lefts, of cultural liberalism and socialism. And the most worrying of all: was Bernie just a blip? Reading: First as Tragedy, Then as Farce: The Collapse of the Sanders Campaign and the "Fusionist" Left, Angela Nagle & Michael Tracey, American Affairs
May 26, 2020
This is a subscriber-only episode. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacastIn this latests Three Articles we discuss power, money and the power of money - in a post-Covid world.   Readings: The Death of the Central Bank Myth, Adam Tooze, Foreign Policy Why the Neoliberals Won’t Let This Crisis Go to Waste, Philip Mirowski, Jacobin Plan A for the coronavirus, Curtis Yarvin, Medium
May 19, 2020
In the second in an occasional series of episodes on the US presidential election and the Left, we talk to Nicholas Kiersey, a volunteer with the Bernie Sanders campaign in Texas and host of the Fully Automated podcast. What were things like on the campaign trail, and what went wrong for Bernie? Will Biden go the distance, and are there more shenanigans in store? Readings: Like It or Not, If We Run Third Party, We Will Lose, Dustin Guastella, Jacobin The Tyranny of Decorum Hurt Bernie Sanders’s 2020 Prospects, David Sirota, Jacobin ‘Life After Bernie’: The Young Left Braces for Disappointment in 2020, Tim Alberta, Politico The Left Can’t Just Dismiss the Anti-Lockdown Protests, Ben Burgis, Jacobin
May 12, 2020
On the so-called "incel documentary", TFW NO GF.   This episode is for patreon subscribers only. Sign up: patreon.com/BungaCast We discuss the new documentary TFW NO GF, which focuses on the lives of extremely online alienated loners in the US. It has consequently been labelled the "incel documentary". Because the subjects are allowed to speak for themselves, it's also been called "irresponsible".   We take apart what, if anything, makes this cohort distinct from the past - is it the internet? are they lonelier? are their prospects worse? - and try to place the phenomenon in a wider context. If you haven't watched the documentary, there are clips from it interspersed throughout.   TFW NO GF on Amazon Prime List of Pirate Bay proxies
May 9, 2020
On the end of Left Populism.   Friend of the podcast Anton Jäger joins us to discuss the fate of Left Populism, investigate the response of the Left to the ongoing Coronacrisis, and question whether we're really witnessing the end of neoliberalism. We refer to his recent piece in Damage magazine, in the readings below.   Did Left populism ask the right questions but get the wrong answers? Are the next three years going to see the blossoming of the 'Well, Actually' Left? Or is the stage set for the triumph of covid corporatism?   Readings: It might take a while before history starts again, Anton Jäger, Damage Are we all covid communists now?, Philip Cunliffe, Medium
May 5, 2020
On The Jakarta Method. We're joined by Vincent Bevins to discuss his new book on the 1965-66 mass killings in Indonesia, Cold War anti-communism, and the destruction it wrought around the world. The mid-60s proved pivotal, with US-backed coups in Indonesia and Brazil setting the template. What was their effect on the Left worldwide? How did it alter developmental trajectories across the Third World? What lessons can we take from these historical experiences? Running Order: Indonesia - (10:43) Brazil & application of Jakarta Method - (36:14) Themes of anticommunism - (43:55) Global consequences - (53:03) Anticommunism today - (01:14:39) Bonus stuff - (1:21:18) Reading:The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World
April 28, 2020
On the end of Left Populism.   This is a sample. For the full episode, subscribe at patreon.com/BungaCast   Friend of the podcast Anton Jäger joins us to discuss the fate of Left Populism, investigate the response of the Left to the ongoing Coronacrisis, and question whether we're really witnessing the end of neoliberalism. We refer to his recent piece in Damage magazine, in the readings below.   Did Left populism ask the right questions but get the wrong answers? Are the next three years going to see the blossoming of the 'Well, Actually' Left? Or is the stage set for the triumph of covid corporatism?   Readings: It might take a while before history starts again, Anton Jäger, Damage Are we all covid communists now?, Philip Cunliffe, Medium
April 24, 2020
On whether new tech can help build decentralised socialism. Reading Club episodes are for $10+ patrons. Sign up: patreon.com/bungacast We discuss Evgeny Morozov's New Left Review essay, Digital Socialism? The Calculation Debate in the Age of Big Data. A useful companion to this (mentioned by George in the episode) is a lecture given by Morozov, that can be found at the bottom of this page. Thanks for all the questions, they are addressed in the last third of the episode.
April 21, 2020
This episode is for subscribers only. To hear the full thing, go to patreon.com/bungacast   In this latest Three Articles, we discuss responses to Covid-19.   Articles Virus lays bare the frailty of the social contract, Editorial, FT Herd Immunity is Epidemiological Neoliberalism, The Quarantimes We’re on the Brink of Cyberpunk, Kelsey D. Atherton, Slate
April 14, 2020
On freedom in coronavirus times.John McAfee joins us to address the lockdown, privacy and armed insurrection. Plus: why he prefers Fidel to Che, and how it came to be that his US presidential campaign HQ is in Havana, Cuba.Subscribe: patreon.com/bungacast
April 7, 2020
In the first of an occasional series of episodes on the US presidential election and the Left, we talk to Nick Frayn, a volunteer with the Bernie Sanders campaign in New England. How have things gone on the campaign trail? What is next for the Democratic primaries delayed by the corona outbreak? Can Bernie regain ground in the primaries against Joe Biden? How will the corona crisis impact the Democratic primaries? Readings: How the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the US Democratic primary calendar, FT Biden Wins Coronavirus Primary, The Atlantic Joe Biden sweeps key primaries and moves closer to nomination, The Guardian
March 31, 2020
Singapore is held up as a free-market utopia: rich, orderly and clean. But the reality is quite different. Why does Singapore exert such a magnetism for neoliberals, when its reality strays from orthodox prescriptions? What and who made this model 'global city', and how does its communist and anti-colonial past lead to its hyper-capitalist present?
March 27, 2020
This episode is for our $10 and up patrons. Go to patreon.com/bungacast for access.On the end of the Age of Imitation. We discuss Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes' The Light That Failed: A Reckoning and their arguments for why liberal democracy stopped being the model to follow - in Eastern Europe, Russia and even the USA. Thanks for all the questions, they are addressed in the last third of the episode.
March 24, 2020
On global cities. Global cities flaunt themselves to global capital and are shaped by it. They are self-conscious and eager to transmit 'globalness'. But why? And how has the city under globalisation been reshaped? What is the role of money and power - not to mention sex and culture? And does the sameyness of global cities now mean that medium and small cities are where we should be looking for cultural and political change?  Subscribe to our patreon for original episodes: patreon.com/bungacast
March 17, 2020
On political conflict over the next decade This is a subscriber-only show. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast We debate what ideological contestation is going to look like in the next 2/5/10 years. Will liberalism adopt Silicon Valley solutionism? Does the centre-right become fully nationalist? And the far right have a future if that happens? And where does the left go next?
March 10, 2020
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has been hailed by some and scorned by others as offering a new framework to understand the financial system. But what is specifically 'modern' about MMT, and how does it differ from rival accounts of the financial economy? We talk to Bill Mitchell, one of the leading proponents of MMT, who gives us an introductory rundown, plus tells us why the Japanese economy is unfairly maligned and explains what the future has in store for MMT as its inexorably advances against orthodox rivals.     -> Our earlier episode with Doug Henwood, a critic of MMT, can be found here: Episode 68  -> The episode with Bill Mitchell's co-author, Thomas Fazi, is here: Episode 38   Readings: Reclaiming the State, Bill Mitchell and Thomas Fazi (book) MMT Has Been Around for Decades. Here’s Why It Just Caught Fire, Ben Holland & Matthew Boesler, Bloomberg An MMT response on what causes inflation, FT What you need to know about modern monetary theory, Gavyn Davies, FT MMT Is Already Helping, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Jacobin
March 3, 2020
In this latest Three Articles, we discuss American democracy and those who pretend to save it or undermine it.  Sign up for access to the full episode: patreon.com/bungacast Readings: It’s time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president, Julia Azari, WaPo Michael Bloomberg: Smirking Id Of America’s Elites, Matt Purple, The American Conservative Bernie Sanders Was Right to Talk About Wage Slavery. We Should Talk About It, Too., Alex Gourevitch, Jacobin
February 25, 2020
On Applied Ballardianism. Is it J.G. Ballard's world? Bunga talks Ballard with Simon Sellars, author of a new book on the great British sci-fi novelist J.G. Ballard. Urban decay, social breakdown, consumerism as social control and the Interzone.  Opening passage is taken from Ballard's 2000 novel 'Super-Cannes'.  Reading: Applied Ballardianism, Simon Sellars, Urbanomic  Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast
February 11, 2020
On pandemics, panics, and China. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is yet another new epidemic to appear on the scene this century. What accounts for their increasing frequency, and who decides if an epidemic is classed as a pandemic? More importantly, what governs that choice? The WHO and the whole intergovernmental management of health has 'securitised' these questions. Are they privileging the free flow of capital over public health? And what of China's draconian response and lockdown of Wuhan - is it effective? And who will bear the blame if things go wrong? Might Coronavirus become a threat to Xi Jingping and the Chinese regime? Readings:  ‘Rumormonger’ Doctor Who Raised the Alarm Says He Has Coronavirus, Sixth Tone 'Hero who told the truth': Chinese rage over coronavirus death of whistleblower doctor, The Guardian The Free Market Isn’t Up to the Coronavirus Challenge, Leigh Phillips, Jacobin Locked-down Wuhan and why we always overplay the threat of the new, Kenan Malik, The Guardian Coronavirus: nature fights back, Michael Roberts blog Guests' books: Mark Honigsbaum: The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris Lee Jones (& Shahar Hameiri): Governing Borderless Threats: Non-Traditional Security and the Politics of State Transformation Running order: (00:44) Introduction (06:21) Mark Honigsbaum (38:48) Lee Jones
February 7, 2020
On Ireland's elections. With Sinn Fein riding high in the polls, are we looking at an upset? Is this a populist upsurge in Ireland, finally, more than a decade after the start of the crisis? We discuss what Ireland's 'end of history' was like and how the 'Celtic Tiger' economy sustained it; and look at how the country was the EU's "model prisoner" of austerity. Are there new stirrings? And what are the prospects for unification?Readings:  Mary Lou McDonald could take Sinn Féin into the political mainstream, Jason Walsh, The New European This Month’s Elections in Ireland Are a Historic Opportunity, Michael Taft, Jacobin The End of Irish History, Colin Coulter et al., Manchester UP (Edited book; pdf)
February 4, 2020
On film in 2019/20.    This is a sample only. For the full episode, sign up at patreon.com/BungaCast   We saw yet more sequilitis the past year, the endlessness and onwardness of contemporary cinema. So what were the worst films of the year and did their badness represent something wider? If 2018 saw the arrival of Trumpian cinema, what did 2019 bring? Has there been a backlash against 'woke' cinema criticism centred around representation? And are streaming services having an effect on how we view cinema?
January 28, 2020
This is a sample. For the full episode, subscribe at patreon.com/BungaCast On ecofascism. Both the shooters in the Christchurch and El Paso massacres were declared 'ecofascists'. Now, a new governing coalition in Austria brings together Greens and the hard right in an unconventional union. How does Malthusianism link the far right and ecology? What are the dangers of 'lifeboat politics', and how can the Left resist this logic? Is the Green New Deal a solution? Readings: Eco-fascism: The ideology marrying environmentalism and white supremacy thriving online, Sarah Manavis, New Statesman First as Tragedy, Then as Fascism, Alex Amend, The Baffler Austria’s new government includes the pro-environment Greens. That’s a first., The Washington Post Why White Supremacists Are Hooked on Green Living, Sam Adler-Bell, TNR What Is Eco-Fascism, the Ideology Behind Attacks in El Paso and Christchurch?, Luke Darby, GQ Only a Green New Deal Can Douse the Fires of Eco-Fascism, Naomi Klein, The Intercept
January 21, 2020
On The Economist and the contradictions of global liberalism. Alexander Zevin joins us to discuss his work on the 176 year history of the magazine that has accompanied liberalism's global expansion. Has it just reflected the world or has it actually influenced politics? How has The Economist balanced of democracy against the interests of finance and the needs of empire? And is the magazine suffering from N.O.B.S.?  Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast Running order: (06:02) Overview & early days (29:52) 19th century & empire (34:18) 20th century, esp 1930s and '40s (48:08) End of the Cold War and NOBS (01:02:19) Liberalism & its enemies
January 14, 2020
This episode is for Patrons only. Go to patreon.com/bungacast for access.On forecasts for the next decade.   In this month's 'Three Articles' - in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack - we take apart mainstream predictions of the future, over the next decade, the next couple of years, and 2020. Readings: 25 Ideas That Will Shape the 2020s, Various, Fortune Boris Johnson is reinventing one-nation Conservatism, Bagehot, The Economist Forecasting the world in 2020, Various, Financial Times
January 7, 2020
On drugs and mental health.  In part two, we chat about recreational drugs and mental states in a Hollywood bar with friends of the podcast, Amber A'Lee Frost and Alex Gendler. But mostly, we delve deeper into capitalism and depression with the 'States of Wellness' group at UC Irvine (Catherine Liu, Thomas Williams, Michael Mahoney, Benjamin Kruger-Robins). #CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us. Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series.
December 16, 2019
On how Labour lost. Was it Brexit that did for Labour? In what sense? What now for the British Left - and for democracy? Running order: 02:40 Opening chat 05:15 The electoral map, the generational divide 21:46 Class 33:52 The leadership and the media 48:10 Holding our prediction to account 53:30 Reaction of various Labour factions  01:03:10 Future of left-populism Readings: How class, turnout and the Brexit party shaped the general election result, Financial Times The Failure of the Left to Grasp Brexit, Michael Wilkinson, Verfassungs Blog Anti-politics & the last gasp of British Labourism, Tad Tietze, Left-Flank Hate to say it, but #BrexitWouldveWon, Alex Hochuli Don’t blame Corbyn or Brexit: Labour failed to rage against the hated political system, Adam Ramsay, openDemocracy Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast
December 10, 2019
On the 30 years since 1989. For our 100th episode, we invited our favourite guests to reflect on the question: “What one event, personal or political, most captures for you the past thirty years, since 1989?”  Are we still living in the death throes of the 20th century, or is something new emerging? Guests: 00:07:42 - Maren Thom 00:14:14 - David Broder 00:21:33 - Ashley Frawley 00:26:11 - Catherine Liu 00:33:05 - Angela Nagle 00:40:49 - Benjamin Fogel 00:46:25 - Alex Gourevitch  00:51:31 - BungaCast hosts 00:59:22 - David Adler 01:04:05 - Amber A’Lee Frost 01:08:48 - James Heartfield 01:16:17 - Anton Jaeger 01:23:24 - Leigh Phillips 01:30:25 - Lee Jones 01:36:03 - Karl Sharro Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast
December 3, 2019
UK general election preview. Is is really the Brexit election, if Labour doesn't want it to be? We survey the parties' positions,  and promises, and ask some big what ifs. Could there be a major realignment in the offing? And we make some predictions - which you can hold us to account for later on...
November 28, 2019
On working class pain and politics. We talk to Jennifer Silva about her most recent book, and working class Americans' experience of and perspectives on pain. We discuss racial, gender and class identities and sense of relative losses and gains. If the American Dream has been 'stolen', how can the working class dream again? What are the prospects for socialist politics when distrust of politics predominates?
November 21, 2019
On algorithms and politics. Can we "blame the media" today for political outcomes? Who's responsible for The Discourse in a fragmented landscape? It seems like there's increasing polarisation today, driven by social media 'filter bubbles'. Are they real? Who's responsible? Plus: we talk about the media portrayal of Jeremy Corbyn; culture wars vs class politics; Brazil's craziness; and why arguments and interaction matter.Readings: Have the mass media fuelled Brazil’s turmoil?, João Magalhães, Politike 
 My lovely useless Facebook bubble, João Magalhães
November 14, 2019
This is a sample. Go to Patreon for the full episode. On Bolivia, Macron, Randian Chile.   In this month's 'Three Articles' - in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack - we discuss Bolivia's coup and a left-wing argument against Morales; Macron's big interview in the economist and his questionable 'defence of sovereignty'; and a libertarian nutjob goes berserk in Chile.   Readings: Bolivia: The Extreme Right Takes Advantage of a Popular Uprising, Raúl Zibechi, Toward Freedom (originally in Spanish in Uninomadasur) Emmanuel Macron in his own words, The Economist A Californian economist loves neoliberalism. When Chileans started protesting it, he opened fire. Teo Armus, Washington Post (also available from SFGate)
November 7, 2019
Rojava offered the hope that a progressive, multiethnic politics might be salvaged from the ashes of Syria’s civil war. Now the Turkish assault on northern Syria looks set to crush the Kurds and a radical experiment in the region. We talk to two British volunteers in Rojava about the prospects that the political structures set up there might be saved.  Dani Ellis (@lapinesque): engineer; civil defence volunteer, International Commune (@communeint)  Alexander Norton: deputy features editor, Morning Star; revolutionary volunteer, International Freedom Battalion Running order 05:27 - Dani interview  41:39 - Alexander interview 01:27:51 - Final discussion Readings & Links: Internationalist Commune Rojava Information Center America abandons the Kurds, Tom Stevenson, LRB Russia and Turkey reach deal on Syrian border, Financial Times European leftists are rejecting the Kurds over their reliance on the US. It is just another disgusting betrayal, Slavoj Zizek, The Independent "Turkey Is Reviving Islamic State in Rojava", Rosa Burç & Kerem Schamberger, Jacobin Glossary: YPG: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (People's Defence Corps); PYD’s armed wing in Syria  YPJ: Yekîneyên Parastina Jin (Women's Protection Units); all-female militia PYD: Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party); Syrian Kurdish affiliate of the PKK SDF: Syrian Democratic Forces; alliance composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian/Syriac militias, led by the YPG PKK: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (Kurdistan Workers' Party); Kurdish party in Turkey founded in 1978 by Abdullah Öcalan. Started armed insurgency in 1984, thousands of fighters in northern Iraq and Turkey IFB: International Freedom Battalion; armed group of foreign leftists fighting for the YPG in support of the Rojava Revolution  MLKP: Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, Turkey TEV-DEM: Movement for a Democratic Society; umbrella organisation in northern Syria, aims at organising Syrian society within the democratic confederalist system
October 31, 2019
In our second Reading Club, we discuss Eliane Glaser's Anti-Politics (Repeater, 2018) and take readers questions and contributions. Readings: Anti-Politics: On the Demonization of Ideology, Authority and the State, Repeater For access to this and other bonus episodes, become a patron at patreon.com/bungacast
October 24, 2019
On Argentina's elections and Chile & Ecuador's revolts.  Macri's election was heralded by the right across the continent as the end to a sequence of centre-left governments in South America. Now only four years later, he is likely to be thrown out of office by the return of 'Kirchnerismo'. Next door, the supposedly "stable and growing" Chile is in flames as protests and riots challenge the conservative Piñera administration and the country's deep inequality. This follows on the heels of weeks of mobilisations in Ecuador against the ending of a fuel subsidy. What's going on and what does it all signify? [Chile & Ecuador discussion starts at 46mins] Readings: The Day After Macri’s Downfall, Martín Mosquera, Jacobin Lenín Moreno Has Betrayed Ecuador. Now the Country Is in Revolt, Guillaume Long, Jacobin Did Chile ditch its authoritarian government 26 years ago? Not quite., Jennifer Prible, WaPo If Piñera wants to wage war in Chile he should fight the real enemy: inequality, Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Guardian
October 17, 2019
A new format in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack.   This week we take a sharp look at the crumbling US political establishment and its empire: impeachment and regime legitimacy; centrist rebels against their lefty parents; and the betrayal of the Kurds.   Readings: Impeachment is regime suicide, Daniel McCarthy, Spectator USA Centrist-child syndrome, Shuja Haider, The Outline The US is now betraying the Kurds for the eight time, Jon Schwarz, The Intercept
October 10, 2019
On environmental protest politics. Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Strike have brought eco protest back to the front pages. But it all seems a bit of a flashback to the 2000s. We examine the protests' alarmism and post-political positioning. After inequality and class have been put on the agenda again, do these protests represent a step back? We also ask what might be done about climate change if we don't go along with these groups' interpretations and demands.
October 3, 2019
On UBI and social reproduction.   Following on from ep. 88 where we discussed post-work with Anton Jäger, we have Amber on to talk about her recent article in Jacobin on Andrew Yang's proposals for a Universal Basic Income. Is a citizen under a UBI regime really assimilable to a mid-century American housewife? How free is either? Does fully automated luxury communism put too much emphasis on luxury and not enough on communism? And would UBI lead to a more or less alienated society?   Reading: Andrew Yang and the Failson Mystique, Amber A'Lee Frost, Jacobin   For the full episode, subscribe: patreon.com/bungacast
September 26, 2019
On the Hong Kong rebellion. Four months of protests is forcing a confrontation with the Hong Kong authorities and the Chinese state. The demands are for civil liberties and some more democracy - but what are the social conditions underlying the protests? How important is colonial nostalgia and Hong Konger chauvinism? How is this playing with mainland Chinese - and what will be the CCP's response? Reading: Hong Kong is one of the most unequal cities in the world. So why aren’t the protesters angry at the rich and powerful?, Toby Carroll, The Conversation Four Points on the Hong Kong Protests, Kevin Lin, Jacobin Become a patron of BungaCast at patreon.com/bungacast
September 19, 2019
On post-work. We discuss Anton's review of David Graeber's Bullshit Jobs and why it seems to have such appeal, even amongst elites. There is a crisis in the work ethic, but is it an error to counterpose work and leisure and simply opt for leisure? Is leisure even 'ours' anymore, or has it been fully colonised by capitalism? Ultimately, is the problem today more about bullshit in jobs, rather than bullshit jobs per se? Readings: Back to Work: Review of David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs, Nonsite Anton's writing in Jacobin For the full episode, sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
September 12, 2019
Syriza lost the last Greek elections after 4 1/2 years in power. What happened to a party that, for a time, represented the European radical left's hopes? Did it achieve anything in power? Many talk about Tspiras' "betrayal" - is that the right way to look at it? And what are the wider consequences of this defeat: is time up for this wave of "left populists"?    Readings: Greece’s Long Road Ahead, Costas Lapavitsas, Jacobin Defeat and decomposition, Panagiotis Sotiris, Historical Materialism Syriza’s rise and fall, Stathis Kouvelakis, NLR New Democracy Against Democracy, Various (incl. Leo Panitch), Jacobin The Radical Left: The Time for its Re-founding, Costas Lapavitsas & Stathis Kouvelakis, Verso blog Book Review: The Populist Radical Left in Europe, Anton Jäger, LSE blog This episode was previously exclusive to patrons. To access all our content, please subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast
September 5, 2019
We discuss Paolo Sorrentino's "Loro" (2018), a dreamlike cinematic depiction of Silvio Berlusconi. Does the film succeed in capturing Silvio, or does it glamourise him? What explains the appeal he had - and why was the left never able to properly dethrone him? What does it say about 2000s Italy, and its relevance to our times?   Subscribe: patreon.com/bungacast     If you can't find the film where you are, try this magnet link to torrent it:   magnet:?xt=urn:btih:920ac6bdfe5a2bb33a9a100e3032c4ba197ec2a4&dn=Loro.2018.LiMiTED.BDRip.x264-CADAVER%5BEtMovies%5D&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.leechers-paradise.org%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Fopen.demonii.com%3A1337&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Fexodus.desync.com%3A6969
August 29, 2019
Why hasn't neoliberalism died? We talk to Rune Møller Stahl about his paper "Ruling the Interregnum" in which he examines previous interregnums, such as the 1920s or the 1970s, and the forces that led to the establishment of new orders. What points the way forward today: resilient neoliberalism, economic nationalism or left populism? Reading: Ruling the Interregnum: Politics and Ideology in Nonhegemonic Times, Rune Møller Stahl
August 22, 2019
In our first Reading Club, we discuss Nancy Fraser's The Old Is Dying and the New Cannot Be Born (Verso, 2019) and take readers questions and contributions. Readings: The Old Is Dying and the New Cannot Be Born, Verso From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump—and Beyond, American Affairs Listen to the whole episode by subscribing at patreon.com/BungaCast
August 15, 2019
Scenario-planning for Bernie: what is success, what is productive failure? We attempt to "dream realistically" with Adam Proctor (Dead Pundits Society): how far can this wave of 'democratic socialism' go? Bernie will fail - he won't bring in socialism, so how do we make that failure something to build on? How do we avoid the risk of demoralisation? And most dangerous of all, how to not interpret failure as success? Plus bonus stuff on Syriza, Brexit and talking in platitudes.
August 8, 2019
Syriza lost the last Greek elections after 4 1/2 years in power. What happened to the party that for a time represented the European radical left's hopes? Did it achieve anything in power? Many talk about Tspiras' "betrayal" - is that the right way to look at it? And what are the wider consequences of this defeat - is time up for this wave of "left populists"?    Readings: Greece’s Long Road Ahead, Costas Lapavitsas, Jacobin Defeat and decomposition, Panagiotis Sotiris, Historical Materialism Syriza’s rise and fall, Stathis Kouvelakis, NLR New Democracy Against Democracy, Various (incl. Leo Panitch), Jacobin The Radical Left: The Time for its Re-founding, Costas Lapavitsas & Stathis Kouvelakis, Verso blog Book Review: The Populist Radical Left in Europe, Anton Jäger, LSE blog Subscribe for the full episode at Patreon.com/BungaCast
August 1, 2019
2018 saw a strike wave in the US, as anger was given material form. We talk to Eric Blanc about his book on the wave of teachers' strikes in otherwise 'conservative' states. How can this experience be broadened out to other sectors? Is education a site for future struggle? And what is the role of public opinion in trade union victories? We also try to recover some lost radical history of West Virginia and Oklahoma.  Readings: Red State Revolt, Eric Blanc America's new redneck rebellion, Edward Luce, FT
July 24, 2019
In part four, we broaden the scope, to talk about the Frankfurt School, the humanities and 'romantic anti-capitalism'. If modernity features a battle between romanticism and rationalism, then the hippies represented an attempt to re-enchant a disillusioned world. But as that spirit was incorporated into market dynamics, it became rationalised and commodified. George and Alex sat down with Catherine Liu and Tyrus Miller (Dean of the UCI School of Humanities, and expert on Lukács) to mull over these questions.   #CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us.   Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series.   Subscribe for full access: patreon.com/bungacast
July 18, 2019
In part five, we explore the professionalisation of friendship, by speaking to Dutch director and producer Menna Laura Meijer about her documentary on life coaching, Now Something Is Slowly Changing. The global rise of coaching seems to encapsulate many of the themes we've explored so far: an inward focus on the self, combined with marketisation, and bound together by ‘solutionism’ - quick fixes to deep social problems.     #CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us.   Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series.   Links: Now Something Is Slowly Changing, mint film office
July 11, 2019
In part four, we broaden the scope, to talk about the Frankfurt School, the humanities and 'romantic anti-capitalism'. If modernity features a battle between romanticism and rationalism, then the hippies represented an attempt to re-enchant a disillusioned world. But as that spirit was incorporated into market dynamics, it became rationalised and commodified. George and Alex sat down with Catherine Liu and Tyrus Miller (UCI Humanities and expert on Lukacs) to mull over these questions.   #CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us.   Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series.   Subscribe for full access: patreon.com/bungacast
July 4, 2019
In part three, we move from the Californian Ideology to talk about the Californian reality: class, suburbs and social mobility. We meet up with Joel Kotkin to discuss the new Californian class structure and the end of the Californian dream. Also, more bar chat, as friend of the podcast, Tim Abrahams, joins us to chat about the idea of LA, Californian urbanism and mobility.  #CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us. Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series. Readings: The New Class Conflict, Joel Kotkin Californian Feudalism, Joel Kotkin
June 27, 2019
In part two, we chat about recreational drugs and mental states in a Hollywood bar with friends of the podcast, Amber A'Lee Frost and Alex Gendler. But mostly, we delve deeper into capitalism and depression with the 'States of Wellness' group at UC Irvine (Catherine Liu, Thomas Williams, Michael Mahoney, Benjamin Kruger-Robins). #CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us. Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series.
June 20, 2019
Special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us. In part one, we talk to Richard Barbrook about the Californian Ideology today before discussing health and mental illness with the 'States of Wellness' group at UC Irvine (Catherine Liu, Benjamin Kruger-Robins, Michael Mahoney, Thomas Williams). Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series. Readings: Natural Causes, Barbara Ehrenreich The Happiness Industry, William Davies Coming Up Short, Jennifer Silva Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast
June 13, 2019
Synthesising what we learned about neoliberalism (ep74), discussing some concrete examples and drawing out the broader importance of it all.   -What gets called 'neoliberal' but actually isn't? And vice-versa? -Was the postwar social-democratic state more racialised than the neoliberal one? -Should we bring back 'rationalisation'? -Are Orban, Trump and Bolsonaro 'neoliberals'? -Is the EU peak neoliberal? Is Brexit necessarily anti-neoliberal?   Subscribe for access: patreon.com/bungacast
June 6, 2019
On the unexpected origins of neoliberalism. We talk to Quinn Slobodian, author of Globalists, about how neoliberals look back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the League of Nations. Why does neoliberalism talk about freedom, but promote order? Is neoliberalism about more or less state - or is it about what kind of state? Plus why the genuine neoliberals didn’t care about the Cold War and how Murray Rothbard laid the ground for Trump. Readings: Globalists, Quinn Slobodian Neoliberalism’s World Order, Adam Tooze Why I am not a conservative, F.A. von Hayek The EU is a betrayal of Europe’s exceptionalism, Douglas Carswell Subscribe for access to the Synthesis Session, where the guys discuss the broader implications: patreon.com/bungacast
May 30, 2019
On 'Fully Automated Luxury Communism'. We talk about being pro-technology without being determinist. Does full automation mean the end of work? How do we craft a practical utopian vision? Plus some stuff about wolves and also Brexit.   Reading: Fully Automated Luxury Communism, Verso Books   Subscribe to Aufhebunga Bunga at patreon.com/BUNGACAST Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
May 27, 2019
[For the full episode, please subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast] On the European Parliamentary elections. Is this the day the 20th century truly died? Traditional social democratic and conservative parties took a pounding. The Greens surged. The populists didn't surge - but are now entrenched. And the radical and populist Left has not capitalised. What's the meaning behind what are often purely symbolic euro elections? Readings: [pieces by Anton & Catarina coming shortly]
May 23, 2019
[This is a short preview. For the full episode, please subscribe to our Patreon.]   On 'Fully Automated Luxury Communism'. We talk about being pro-technology without being determinist. Does full automation mean the end of work? How do we craft a practical utopian vision? Plus some stuff about wolves and also Brexit.   Reading: Fully Automated Luxury Communism, Verso Books   Subscribe to Aufhebunga Bunga at patreon.com/BUNGACAST Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
May 16, 2019
On 'neoliberal order breakdown syndrome' and the media. Glenn Greenwald talks to us about Russiagate and fake news, and is unimpressed with same old propaganda. We discuss about left-wing self-criticism, Bolsonaro and transgression, and ask how to be sceptical without sliding into cynicism.   Subscribe to Aufhebunga Bunga at PATREON.COM/BUNGACAST Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
May 2, 2019
On migration and identity. The question of migration and borders has become increasingly fraught across different societies. Why has immigration become the means through which grievance is expressed? Where has 'white' identity come from? And how durable is identity politics as a force? Readings: Looking Closer to Home, Kenan Malik on EU and migration  The History and Politics of White Identity, Kenan Malik   Follow us on Facebook / Twitter. Sign up on Patreon: patreon.com/bungacast
April 27, 2019
On Peterson vs Zizek. Did the 'debate of the century' live up to its billing? More importantly, what explains Peterson's appeal - and Zizek's? Why did the debate have such an odd, out of time feel?  References: The Fool and the Madman, Jacobin critique of the debate Evaluating the Peterson-Zizek Debate, Doug Lain, Zero Books Enjoy what we do? Chip in to our patreon: patreon.com/BUNGACAST
April 18, 2019
On Modern Monetary Theory. Doug Henwood joins us to discuss whether MMT offers a fiscal alternative for Left governments. What is monetary sovereignty and do all states have it? What are MMT's prospects for states as different as the USA, Nigeria or Brazil? Is it a suspect economic remedy, too much of a quick fix? Are MMT proponents guilty of avoiding political confrontation?  Readings Modern Monetary Theory Isn’t Helping, Doug Henwood, Jacobin MMT Is Already Helping, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Jacobin Modern Money Theory 101: A Reply to Critics (pdf), Éric Tymoigne and L. Randall Wray  Modern Money Theory (MMT) vs. Structural Keynesianism, Thomas Palley What Is Modern Monetary Theory and Why Is It So Important to the Green New Deal?, Jacob Weindling, Paste Magazine We can't print our own money. So please help us out: PATREON.COM/BUNGACAST
April 4, 2019
On whether we can salvage anything from postmodernism. Have we left postmodernity - and if so, can can we be properly dialectical about it: see it as progress and catastrophe all at once? Is there a moment of truth to postmodernism amidst all the falsity? We discuss the left intelligentsia's abandonment of materialism; phoney cultural populism; the demolition of Pruitt-Igoe; Knausgaard's six volume 'Min Kamp'; and the end of cultural rebellion. Readings: The Apprentice in Theory: Fan, Student, Star, Catherine Liu & Devan Bailey on Avital Ronell, LA Review of Books Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Frederic Jameson, NLR  Itemised, review of Knausgaard by Jameson, LRB The Myth of Pruitt-Igoe, documentary If you like what we do, please support us. Go to Patreon.com/BungaCast
March 22, 2019
#BungaLive. Debate on the future of Europe, held at Queen Mary, University of London on 21 March 2019.  Europe After Brexit: Internationalism or Transnationalism? Until now, most debates about Brexit have only considered the question from the viewpoint of Britain itself and the shambolic process overseen by the Tory government. However, Brexit raises issues that go beyond the UK – and beyond the nation-state. How should Brexit be considered from the global vantage point, and what are its implications for Europe as a whole? Should left wing parties and progressive movements seek to remain in and reform the European Union, or is exit the better option? The path to internationalism always led through the nation-state, but European integration seems to open the prospect of transnational solidarity at the continental level, mediated by EU institutions. Does the EU provide the infrastructure for a better, progressive Europe that can be captured and reformed by the left? How viable is the EU as a long-term political project? And if it is not viable, should European lefts seek to exit EU institutions in each of their own countries? What might European solidarity look like in an EU that is cracking apart under the weight of its contradictions? Speakers:David Adler, writer and researcher; policy coordinator for European Spring. Based in Athens.Catarina Príncipe, political activist; contributing editor, Jacobin. Based in Porto.Lee Jones, reader in international politics, QMUL; co-founder, The Full Brexit. Based in London.
March 18, 2019
On 'Corbynomics'. We talk to James Meadway, former advisor to the UK's Shadow Chancellor, about what a Corbyn government could and should do. What is the scope for manoeuver of a Left Government in 2019? What does a British 'Green New Deal' look like? And we talk Brexit, because of course.   #BungaLive is this Thursday (21 March) in London - reserve your ticket now: bungacast.eventbrite.com
March 7, 2019
On crime and the far-right. Prof Steve Hall explains what 'ultra-realism' in criminology means - and why we need to get beyond liberal idealism. We also discuss the rise of the English far-right, the EDL - and how a narrative of betrayal coheres it. Why do middle-class liberals have such a horror of authority - and why it's essential that the Left reclaim it. How are so many contemporary ideologies no longer fit for purpose? Also: what is 'special liberty' and how does it differ from entitlement? Readings: Interview with Steve Hall, Injustice-Film The Rise of the Right: English Nationalism and the Transformation of Working-Class Politics (book) Steve Hall's academic writing ----- BUNGA LIVE: bungacast.eventbrite.com Patreon: patreon.com/BungaCast Facebook: facebook.com/BungaCast Twitter: twitter.com/BungaCast Instagram: instagram.com/BungaCast Website: bungacast.com
March 1, 2019
On the Gilets Jaunes - again. They won’t go away. They won’t be subsumed by other forces or institutions and, after more than three months, they’re not exhausted yet. Have the Gilets Jaunes punctured France’s depression and drift? How has ‘respectable opinion’ demonised them - and is there anything to the anti-Semitism accusations? Now that they have linked up with trade unions, how far can they go? Macron is on thin ice and European elections are coming up. What next for the 5th Republic? Readings: A Season of Discontent, Aurelie Dianara, Jacobin Forgotten France Rises Up, Le Monde Diplo France’s Class War, Le Monde Diplo Macron’s Selective Anti-Racism, Jacobin ------------ We are live in London on 21 March, to debate the future of Europe. Come join us: bungacast.eventbrite.com Like us? We accept tips. Go to Patreon.com/BungaCast Follow us @BungaCast on all social networks.
February 21, 2019
On the 2019 Academy Awards. Maren Thom joins us again to see what we can learn from the Oscar nominations. We debate when exactly Hollywood's 'end of history' was, and take film criticism to task for its literal-minded desire for representation. Has Hollywood - like so many other liberal institutions - tried so hard to be relevant that it has made itself irrelevant?    Like what we do? Consider giving us money: PATREON.COM/BUNGACAST
February 18, 2019
On #NOBS in the media. So many newspapers are inadequate these days, as they shift to publishing opinion and listicles instead of hard reporting. Why has this happened and how does it relate to the end of history? Amber discusses her forthcoming article on the crisis in the media and we explain why leftists should read the Financial Times. Plus: Amber rates previous Bunga guests and also explains why it's Bernie, bitch. Reading: Why the Left Can't Stand The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review This is a bonus episode to say thanks to those who've subscribed. If you want more, sign up: patreon.com/bungacast
February 14, 2019
On Nigeria's elections. Sa'eed Husaini fills us in on the stakes of this election. President Buhari dismissed the country's top judge weeks before the election, but the former military dictator is meant to be an anti-corruption figure. His main opponent is a neoliberal privatiser. What's behind this contents between two faces of the Nigerian elite? What happens when politics is fought over the grounds of corruption? Can recent trade union mobilisations shake things up? Meanwhile violence associated with Boko Haram still festers...  Readings: Introductory Nigeria’s Brutal Decision: Former Dictator or Alleged Kleptocrat, Bloomberg Businessweek Thatcher-Loving Nigeria Candidate Plans to Overhaul Economy, Bloomberg Businessweek Election overview by Brookings More depth The rebirth of the Nigerian left?, Sa'eed Husaini in Africa Is a Country Democracy fading in Nigeria, Al Jazeera On Sowore's programme, Marxist.com  The struggle for a minimum wage, Africa Is a Country    PATREON: Help us grow (pay what you want) patreon.com/bungacast
January 31, 2019
On the rise of the 'digital party'. If politics has become distant from the people, what if a new model of party, leveraging platform technology, could bring the people closer to power? Paolo Gerbaudo talks to us about the various parties and movements innovating new organisational forms - 5 Star Movement, Podemos, the Pirate Parties. They bring in new members and more participation, but what if they also enshrine charismatic leadership? The digital party seems a step forward from the hollowed-out neoliberal parties of the past decades, but do they also reflect some negative tendencies of the tech economy? Plus: Italy's M5S/Lega coalition, the sovereignty question, and Italians' contradictory attitudes to the EU.  Readings: The Return of the Party, Paolo Gerbaudo, Jacobin Ruling the Void, Peter Mair, NLR Senso Comune organisation, Italy The Experiment Interview on 5 Star Movement, Jacobin   Chip in some change. Help us grow. Go to: patreon.com/bungacast
January 17, 2019
On democratic planning. Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski propose we look at Walmart and other giant corporations as sites of planning, not of markets -- and that this fact proves planning works. Rather than rely on markets and market actors to manage production and distribution, we should it ourselves. Do advances in computing mean that the old problems of planning have been overcome? Does planning lead to authoritarianism -- or does authoritarianism lead to bad planning? Can we overcome the age of Capitalist Übermenschen? Readings: People's Republic of Walmart (Verso, March 2019) Planning the Good Anthropocene, Leigh & Michal in Jacobin Pt. III of Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, Friedrich Engels PATREON: Help us grow (pay what you want) patreon.com/bungacast Bunga theme music: Jonny Mundey Bunga design: ramune.io
January 10, 2019
On the links between economic liberalism and fascism. Ishay Landa talks to us about the "Apprentice's Sorcerer": how political liberalism enfranchises the masses, to the disgruntlement of economic liberals, who then have to turn to an authoritarian or fascist 'daddy' to save capitalism. What does the liberal divorce between economic and political liberalism tell us about the conflict between democracy and private property? How does the fascist "principle achievement" relate to today's fondness for entrepreneurial heroes? Also, a restatement of how the horseshoe theory is horeshit. Readings: Fascism and the Masses, Ishay Landa The Apprentice's Sorcerer, Ishay Landa Our episode on Losurdo & liberalism's contradictions PATREON: Help us grow (pay what you want) patreon.com/bungacast Bunga theme music: Jonny Mundey Bunga design: ramune.io
January 3, 2019
On the cult of the entrepreneur. Alex Gourevitch talks to us about the "special kinds of assholes we get in our economy" and the dangers of the heroic capitalist icon. How does the earlier ideal of meritocracy differ from entrepreneurship as an ethos? Does celebrating the special creative genius of the disruptor actually mean glorifying tyranny?  Plus: the right to strike, domination in the workplace, and campy Trump. Readings: A Radical Defence of the Right to Strike, Alex Gourevitch From Slavery to the Cooperative Commonwealth, Alex Gourevitch Nietzsche's Marginal Children, Corey Robin   PATREON: Please consider donating at patreon.com/bungacast Bunga theme music: Jonny Mundey Bunga design: ramune.io
December 20, 2018
The big 2018 populism discussion. We trash mainstream interpretations of populism (hiya, Cas Mudde) and debate the merits and demerits of 'left populism'. Thatcher, Clinton and Blair are today thought of as anti-populists, but what if they demonstrate many populist features? Is our future 'technopopulism'? And is the 'movement of movements' a dead end?  Plus plenty of bonus stuff: debating the 20th Century disaster; Hillary as the tragic figure of our age; and José Mourinho as right-wing populist.  Readings: Anton's articles at Jacobin Thea Riofrancos on Chantal Mouffe in n+1 Chris Bickerton on technopopulism Cas Mudde on populism The Guardian's stupid populism quiz Phil Cunliffe on the 20th Century (Lenin Lives!)
December 6, 2018
The 'gilets jaunes' protests have shocked France, expressing a profound exasperation and anger that goes much deeper than frustration at a fuel tax. This is clearly a movement from below, of the people. But it is leaderless and thus far rejects affiliation with political parties. How far can it go? Is Macron's government at risk? This isn't the 'start-up nation' he dreamed of... Readings: We're With The Rebels, by Aurélie Dianara (Jacobin)
November 22, 2018
We discuss Nervous States with its author: How has debate became so angery!1!! and fractious? Why don't we trust institutions any more -- or better, which institutions do we still trust and why? How has war increasingly encroached onto peace? And maybe believing in stats too much means that we now don't believe in anything...   Readings: Nervous States (William Davies) Postscript on the Societies of Control (Gilles Deleuze)
November 19, 2018
Theresa May's Brexit deal seems to have satisfied no one. Britain doesn't properly leave, nor does it stay, it just becomes a passive rule-taker. What are the prospects for the UK actually leaving? Will there be a second referendum? And does the difficulty in seeing through Brexit confirm that "there is no alternative"? Readings: The Full Brexit: for popular sovereignty, democracy and economic renewal  Costas Lapavitsas: Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour vs. the Single Market
November 8, 2018
In which we learn of Duterte's promises of blood and how he's lived up to those promises. Is massacring drug user, dealers and anyone caught in the crossfire actually popular? How does violence fit in with his development model? Do elites back his rule - and which elites? And how does he compare to other far-right authoritarians?  Readings: The Duterte Reader (ed. Nicole Curato) Nicole Curato in the NYT https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/opinion/philippines-rodrigo-duterte.html?smid=fb-share&referer=http://m.facebook.com
October 31, 2018
In which we update the latest from Brazil, post-election. What will Bolsonaro's government look like? We plot best & worst case scenarios and discuss how bad this really is (really, really bad). And is "fascism" the correct term to use?  Readings: Bolsonaro Rising (Alex) https://thebaffler.com/latest/bolsonaro-rising-hochuli  Bolsonaro: more dangerous than Trump (Alex) https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/brazil-presidential-election-who-jair-bolsonaro-popular-candidate-more-dangerous-ncna925011  What Bolsonaro's election victory means (Ben) https://mg.co.za/article/2018-10-28-what-bolsonaros-election-victory-could-mean  Fascism has arrived in Brazil (Ben) https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jair-bolsonaro-brazil-election-results-president-fascism-far-right-fernando-haddad-a8606391.html  Privilege vs Democracy in Brazil (Alfredo Saad-Filho) https://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/brazil-election-bolsonaro-haddad-lula-pt-democracy
October 25, 2018
In which we discuss (post)modern relationships: dating, narcissism and capitalism. Are we all scared of each other? Are we trying to quantify the interpersonal? What does #MeToo et al suggest about contemporary womanhood?  Plus assorted stuff on Russophobia, fascism and anti-fascism, and how great Lana del Rey is. Readings: Christopher Lasch on narcissism: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1976/09/30/the-narcissist-society The Last Psychiatrist: https://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2010/11/a_generational_pathology.html
October 12, 2018
In which we talk to Amber about the limitations of liberal feminism and why socialism is better (duh). Personal trauma as a form of political argumentation is critiqued. And we debate the unfashionable topic of parenting and families. Maybe, beyind so much beyond subcultural squabbling and posturing on the Left, is actually a deep-rooted individualism. So we discuss how to get beyond that. Readings: Confession Booth: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/confession-booth-frost Daddy Issues: https://thebaffler.com/all-tomorrows-parties/daddy-issues-frost  It's Okay to Have Children https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/08/its-okay-to-have-children
October 3, 2018
Special episode in partnership with Jacobin: Brazil election preview - democracy at stake. Who is Bolsonaro and why should Bolsonaro be understood as a neofascist? We discuss the #EleNão feminist resistance and the backdrop of 'antipetismo'. How has the political centre and the middle class so easily swung over to vote for such an extremist? The notion of 'ultra-politics' is explained and we look at what might happen should Bolsonaro win - and should he lose.  Readings: Essential Chomsky article: https://theintercept.com/2018/10/02/lula-brazil-election-noam-chomsky/  Jacobin archive on Brazil: https://jacobinmag.com/location/brazil
September 13, 2018
In which we ask whether political consumerism is still a thing. We chart its course from 90s Adbusters-style anti-branding, to 2000s ethical consumerism, through to today's woke outrage economy. Has commodification and cynicism overwhelmed all consumer activism?  Plus, we catch up with election results from Sweden and look forward to next month's Brazilian elections. Readings: Adbusted https://jacobinmag.com/2013/10/adbusted   The Philanthropy Racket https://jacobinmag.com/2018/08/the-philanthropy-racket
August 30, 2018
The third in our Neoliberal Breakdown series. In which we discuss the late Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism, 10 years on. Does his analysis still hold? The mood music of the time - the age of 'TINA' and the end of history - was acutely described by Fisher. But did it only really describe Britain? And has the world now entered a new period? Readings: Capitalist Realism http://www.zero-books.net/books/capitalist-realism  'Exiting the Vampire Castle' https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/mark-fisher/exiting-vampire-castle  Mark Fisher's k-punk blog https://k-punk.org/    Cover image: 📸 Stephanie Jung
August 16, 2018
In which we discuss the work of the late Domenico Losurdo, especially his brilliant Liberalism: A Counter-History. Part of an ongoing series on the contradictions of liberalism, we debate whether Losurdo is right to point to liberalism's complicity with slavery, racism and colonialism. Why were arguments for self-rule often accompanied by justifications for slavery? Why were some liberal abolitionist arguments in favour of despotism?  We tie these discussions into contemporary paradoxes of liberalism and ask why liberalism is unable to realise its own values.   Reading: Liberalism: A Counter-History (book) https://www.versobooks.com/books/960-liberalism  Obituary of Losurdo (Jacobin) https://jacobinmag.com/2018/07/domenico-losurdo-italian-marxism-counter-history
August 9, 2018
In which we lay the liberal establishment down on the shrink's sofa. It's a systematic analysis of liberal derangement: of the inability to accept, explain, or respond to the breakdown of the current order. Why can't the liberal establishment accept that the 2008 crisis would eventually have political consequences? Why can't liberals explain why they keep losing? Why can't they offer anything but more of the same? Symptoms: Incredulity and denial of political change Unwillingness to take responsibility Moralisation No belief in political causation (things just happen) Fetishising disinformation Elite persecution complex Hysteria & catastrophism Nostalgia for a very recent past & rewriting history Repetition compulsion
Loading earlier episodes...
    15
    15
      0:00:00 / 0:00:00