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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.
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?
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?
- 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)
The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World
This is a sample. The full episode is available by subscribing at patreon.com/bungacast
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?
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?
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
- (00:44) Introduction
- (06:21) Mark Honigsbaum
- (38:48) Lee Jones
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?
- (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
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?
Become a patron of BungaCast at patreon.com/bungacast
In which we survey Turkey's election results in light of five years of tumult - Gezi, economic downturn, terrorist attacks, Syrian war, coup, repression. Are cracks beginning to show for Erdogan? He teamed up with ultranationalists, while opposition secularists and Islamists joined forces, but Erdogan held on. How demoralised are the Turkish people, and what are the prospects for the Left? We conclude by debating whether Erdogan represents a generalisable type of political leader today: initally moderate and neoliberal, but tacking increasingly authoritarian and socially conservative.
In which we learn about Burmese Buddhist nationalism, escalating violence against Muslims, and what happened to the West's liberal hero