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:

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). 

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:

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:

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:

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

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:

Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast

UK general election preview.

Go to patreon.com/BungaCast for the full episode

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...

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:

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:

This episode was previously exclusive to patrons. To access all our content, please subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast

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:

Subscribe for the full episode at Patreon.com/BungaCast

[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]

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

October 31, 2018

/51/ Oh, Brazil: What Now?

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 

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 

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