Category: News & Politics

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

February 14, 2019

/61/ Making Plans for Naija ft. Sa’eed Husaini

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

00:0000:00
January 31, 2019

/60/ Party Time, Online ft. Paolo Gerbaudo

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

 

00:0000:00
January 17, 2019

/59/ Übermenschen of Capital Pt. 3 ft. Leigh Phillips & Michal Rozworski

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:

PATREON: Help us grow (pay what you want) patreon.com/bungacast

Bunga theme music: Jonny Mundey

Bunga design: ramune.io

00:0000:00
January 10, 2019

/58/ Übermenschen of Capital Pt. 2 ft. Ishay Landa

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:

PATREON: Help us grow (pay what you want) patreon.com/bungacast

Bunga theme music: Jonny Mundey

Bunga design: ramune.io

00:0000:00
January 3, 2019

/57/ Übermenschen of Capital Pt. 1 ft. Alex Gourevitch

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:

 

PATREON: Please consider donating at patreon.com/bungacast

Bunga theme music: Jonny Mundey

Bunga design: ramune.io

00:0000:00
December 20, 2018

/56/ Popular Not Populist ft. Anton Jaeger

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!)

00:0000:00
December 6, 2018

/55/ High-Visibility Revolt ft. Aurélie Dianara

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)

00:0000:00
November 22, 2018

/54/ Numbers Are Too Powerful ft. William Davies

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)

00:0000:00
November 19, 2018

/53/ Brexit’s Hotel California

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

 

00:0000:00
November 8, 2018

/52/ Duterte’s Despotism ft. Nicole Curato

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 

 

00:0000:00