A Left For Itself, David Swift, Zer0 Books
How the Left lost all purpose, James Bloodworth, Unherd
How not to be a white anti-racist, David Swift, Unherd
We've exceptionally unlocked one of our recent Reading Clubs. For access to all the monthly Reading Clubs - as well as our ~2 patreon episodes a month - subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast for $10.
On Richard Tuck's The Left Case for Brexit, a book composed of essays written throughout the Brexit process, providing a diary of Brexit of sorts, as well as political and historical arguments around sovereignty.
We also take the opportunity to debate its global implications - what are the possibilities for popular sovereignty in a globalised world?
On the final deal and its implications, see: The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: Minimum Brexit
We discuss Gilles Deleuze's short essay, Postscript on the Societies of Control and ask whether his understanding, according to which society has changed from one where discipline is exercised in institutions to one where control is implemented across society, holds water.
The monthly Bungacast Reading Club is for patrons $10+. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
On American breakdown.
Editor of Damage Magazine, Benjamin Fong, joins us to talk about the lack of shared narratives in contemporary America. We discuss QAnon and conspiracy theories, Biden's authoritarian liberalism, and "pro-worker" conservatives.
We also interrogate the use of psychological analyses of politics and reaffirm the value of psychoanalysis, in a preview of a more detailed forthcoming discussion on our patreon.
This is a sample. Reading Clubs are for patrons $10+. Sign up now at patreon.com/bungacast
This month we discuss a book by leading German sociologist and public intellectual, Wolfgang Streeck. Critical Encounters is a compilation of book reviews, discussing neoliberal ideas, politics and economy.
We start off by discussing the value of reading books in today's noisy, social media-filled, locked-down climate, as well as what makes a good book review. Then we address five themes: the coming of post-industrial society; popular misconceptions about neoliberalism; German hegemony in Europe; Cosmopolitan delusions; and the future of capitalism.
Our interview with Wolfgang Streeck from November 2020 can be found here.
On the Biden administration and Trumpist reaction.
We discuss the riot at the US Capitol and why it was not a (failed) coup attempt. How serious was the event, and what next for Trumpist reaction - will it lead to a split in the Republican Party?
Our guests - journalist Amber Frost and political science academic Daniel Bessner - help us preview what the Biden administration has in store for the US. With Democratic control of both houses, it should be able to pass legislation - but does it have any substantial plans to do so? In foreign policy, we can expect more foreign adventurism and at home, an ominous anti-domestic terrorism bill. Does the alliance of the Democrats with an increasingly domineering Silicon Valley signal the coming-out moment of authoritarian liberalism?
On the 'war communism' solution
As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant turmoil, suffering and lockdown, inevitably the search for systemic causes and systemic responses grows more intense. Swedish ecologist and social theorist Andreas Malm joins us to discuss one possible response - a crisis communism modelled on the War Communism of early Soviet rule, as discussed in his new book ‘Corona, Climate Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty First Century.’ We discuss the nature of our contemporary crises, and how far the left needs its own distinctive form of emergency politics.
On freedom, authority and responsibility.
Theorist Todd McGowan joins us to talk about the End of History, what Hegel can teach us about emancipation, and why Slavoj Zizek’s reinterpretation of Hegel is so important. If contradiction is the basis of modern politics, what is its link to freedom? And what is the connection between freedom and authority? Are stable sources of authority even possible in modernity? We also put some listener questions to Todd, as we learn that the Right, just as much as the Left, evades authority and is unwilling to take responsibility.
This episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
We round off the year by previewing The End of the End of History and responding to your questions and criticisms, including Strasserism or left-conservatism, revolutionary memories, more on Covid and lockdowns, and other bits.