Category: News & Politics

The global politics podcast at the end of the End of History. From a left perspective.

May 23, 2019

Preview: /72/ Frankly Awesome Lefty Conversation ft. Aaron Bastani

[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:
 
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May 16, 2019

/71/ Trustworthy Propaganda ft. Glenn Greenwald

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.

 

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May 2, 2019

/70/ In Defence of Universalism ft. Kenan Malik

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

 

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April 27, 2019

/69/ Boiled Lobsters ft. Angela Nagle

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

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April 18, 2019

/68/ Big Money Talk ft. Doug Henwood

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

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April 4, 2019

/67/ Legacies of Postmodernism ft. Catherine Liu

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:

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March 22, 2019

#BungaLive: Europe after Brexit

#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

/66/ An Economics for the Many ft. James Meadway

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.

 

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March 7, 2019

/65/ Bunga Gets Ultra-Real ft. Steve Hall

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

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March 1, 2019

/64/ These Vests Don’t Yellow ft. Aurélie Dianara

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

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We are live in London on 21 March, to debate the future of Europe. Come join us: bungacast.eventbrite.com

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