Category: News:Politics

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

December 3, 2019

Excerpt: /99/ Proof in the Pudding

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...

November 28, 2019

/98/ Painful Politics ft. Jennifer Silva

On working class pain and politics.

We talk to Jennifer Silva about her most recent book, and working class Americans' experience of and perspectives on pain. We discuss racial, gender and class identities and sense of relative losses and gains. If the American Dream has been 'stolen', how can the working class dream again? What are the prospects for socialist politics when distrust of politics predominates? 

November 21, 2019

/97/ Bungacast Analytica ft. João Magalhães

On algorithms and politics.

Can we "blame the media" today for political outcomes? Who's responsible for The Discourse in a fragmented landscape? It seems like there's increasing polarisation today, driven by social media 'filter bubbles'. Are they real? Who's responsible?

Plus: we talk about the media portrayal of Jeremy Corbyn; culture wars vs class politics; Brazil's craziness; and why arguments and interaction matter.

Readings:

November 14, 2019

Excerpt: /96/ Three Articles

This is a sample. Go to Patreon for the full episode. 

On Bolivia, Macron, Randian Chile.

 
In this month's 'Three Articles' - in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack - we discuss Bolivia's coup and a left-wing argument against Morales; Macron's big interview in the economist and his questionable 'defence of sovereignty'; and a libertarian nutjob goes berserk in Chile.
 
November 7, 2019

/95/ The Fall of Rojava? ft. Dani Ellis / Alexander Norton

Rojava offered the hope that a progressive, multiethnic politics might be salvaged from the ashes of Syria’s civil war. Now the Turkish assault on northern Syria looks set to crush the Kurds and a radical experiment in the region. 

We talk to two British volunteers in Rojava about the prospects that the political structures set up there might be saved. 

  • Dani Ellis (@lapinesque): engineer; civil defence volunteer, International Commune (@communeint) 
  • Alexander Norton: deputy features editor, Morning Star; revolutionary volunteer, International Freedom Battalion

Running order

  • 05:27 - Dani interview 
  • 41:39 - Alexander interview
  • 01:27:51 - Final discussion

Readings & Links:

Glossary:

  • YPG: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (People's Defence Corps); PYD’s armed wing in Syria 
  • YPJ: Yekîneyên Parastina Jin (Women's Protection Units); all-female militia
  • PYD: Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party); Syrian Kurdish affiliate of the PKK
  • SDF: Syrian Democratic Forces; alliance composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian/Syriac militias, led by the YPG
  • PKK: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (Kurdistan Workers' Party); Kurdish party in Turkey founded in 1978 by Abdullah Öcalan. Started armed insurgency in 1984, thousands of fighters in northern Iraq and Turkey
  • IFB: International Freedom Battalion; armed group of foreign leftists fighting for the YPG in support of the Rojava Revolution 
  • MLKP: Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, Turkey
  • TEV-DEM: Movement for a Democratic Society; umbrella organisation in northern Syria, aims at organising Syrian society within the democratic confederalist system
October 31, 2019

Excerpt: /94/ Reading Club 2: Anti-Politics

In our second Reading Club, we discuss Eliane Glaser's Anti-Politics (Repeater, 2018) and take readers questions and contributions.

Readings:

For access to this and other bonus episodes, become a patron at patreon.com/bungacast

October 24, 2019

/93/ Hot Chile and Other Neoliberal Failures ft. Pablo Pryluka

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:

October 17, 2019

Excerpt: /92/ Three Articles

A new format in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack.
 
This week we take a sharp look at the crumbling US political establishment and its empire: impeachment and regime legitimacy; centrist rebels against their lefty parents; and the betrayal of the Kurds.
 
Readings:
October 10, 2019

/91/ Exhaustion Revealing ft. Leigh Phillips

On environmental protest politics. Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Strike have brought eco protest back to the front pages. But it all seems a bit of a flashback to the 2000s. We examine the protests' alarmism and post-political positioning. After inequality and class have been put on the agenda again, do these protests represent a step back? We also ask what might be done about climate change if we don't go along with these groups' interpretations and demands. 

October 3, 2019

Excerpt: /90/ Work, Bitch ft. Amber A’Lee Frost

On UBI and social reproduction.
 
Following on from ep. 88 where we discussed post-work with Anton Jäger, we have Amber on to talk about her recent article in Jacobin on Andrew Yang's proposals for a Universal Basic Income. Is a citizen under a UBI regime really assimilable to a mid-century American housewife? How free is either? Does fully automated luxury communism put too much emphasis on luxury and not enough on communism? And would UBI lead to a more or less alienated society?
 
Reading:
Andrew Yang and the Failson Mystique, Amber A'Lee Frost, Jacobin
 
For the full episode, subscribe: patreon.com/bungacast