On censorship, platform capitalism and the Left.

We talk to Douglas Lain of Zer0 Books about YouTube taking down their video as a result of the algorithm flagging its content – and what this means for free speech.

Then, this month's Three Articles on war, conspiracy theory, and Covid (patrons only - sign up at patreon.com/bungacast

Links for part 1:

Game writer & designer Jonas Kyratzes joins us to talk about the art of games, the culture of gaming, the gamification of society, and the identity politics of gamer culture. How far has Jonas’ own philosophy influenced his writing for games, such as “The Talos Principle”? We also talk politics in both Greece, focusing on Syriza failure. Plus, could Bunga co-host Philip Cunliffe’s book ‘Lenin Lives!’ ever be made into a game?

Readings:

 

Full episode for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
 
On “culture”.
 
We discuss who produces culture and who consumes it – and what those inequalities reveal about culture today. Also, we ask what’s the ploblem with culture anyway and end up defending “low culture” from Red Hot Chili Peppers (well, sorta) to food guys.
 
Reading:
Culture is Bad for You, Orian Brook, Dave O'Brien and Mark Taylor, Manchester UP

On Germany, the hegemon of Europe.

We are joined by leading German public intellectual Wolfgang Streeck to discuss the role of Germany at the end of the End of History. How is it and the EU faring under the assault of Covid-19? We cover Germany’s economic miracles - postwar and post-2008 -, Merkel’s tactical brilliance and strategic ignorance, and how France retains more of a sense of history.

Also: why democracy sometimes needs an AK47.

Readings:

 

On the US election, a huge turnout and the end of Trump.

We survey the results of the presidential and legislative elections, peer through the exit polls and discuss some counterintuitive facts: Florida goes Trump but opts for a $15 minimum wage; California goes Biden while Uber gets its way; Trump did protectionism but it didn't help him win the Rustbelt; the Republicans win over more Latinos – but do Latinos even exist?

And the big questions: Will Biden and the Democrats have any authority now that they don't have anti-Trumpism to drive them? Is a Biden administration to be a Silicon Valley dictatorship? And will the GOP be Trumpism without Trump?

Readings:

Full episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast 

In this latest Three Articles, we discuss cosmopolitanism, the end of austerity (maybe?) and social control in the pandemic. 

Readings:

 
On why anti-fascism is a problem. 
 
The Trump presidency and the current protests in the US have led many to argue this is just like the 1930s. The implication is that fascism is rising and the Left must join up with liberals to oppose this evil. Why is this historical analogy so wide of the mark? Was the Left really culpable for the fascists rise to power? And anyway, our age is vastly different to interwar Europe. So what is the real function of calls to anti-fascism?
 
Readings:

This is a sample. For full access, go to patreon.com/bungacast 

This month we discuss Todd McGowan's Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution - an introduction to, defence and radical re-interpretation of Hegel emphasising the importance of contradiction to thought and being. We try to tease out the political consequences of the book, focusing on authority, freedom, and identity.

Internationalism used to be a defining characteristic of the Left. Globalism is a defining characteristic of neoliberal capitalism. Both seem to be characteristic of Islamist jihadism. How did Islamist reaction become globalised? How far does Islamist globalism connect to radical legacies of Third Worldism, internationalism and radical solidarity? Political anthropologist Darryl Li, author of The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity joins us to discuss the transnational history of jihad over the last 30 years. 

Reading:

The Universal Enemy - Book Forum, The Immanent Frame, Various Authors

On the Covid election. 

Trump has made himself deeply unpopular while the Democrats have tried to demobilise the electorate. What, if anything, are the two parties selling? Are they coherent entities? And what is likely to happen? Plus: we discuss a potential political realignment in process and what foreign policy would look like under a Biden presidency.

Full episode for subscribers only. Go to patreon.com/bungacast 

We start off by discussing the beheading of a French teacher for having shown his pupils the Mohammed cartoons in a class on free speech. Then we discuss your points, questions and criticisms from September and October (on class politics, antifa, Covid, unemployment and more). Finally, 25 minutes of bonus content from our chat with Sontag biographer Benjamin Moser on the 1619 Project, identity politics, literature, and cosmopolitanism and empire. 

For the rest of the original episode with Moser, that's number 147: Podbean / Patreon 

Full episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast 

On the Covid election. 

Trump has made himself deeply unpopular while the Democrats have tried to demobilise the electorate. What, if anything, are the two parties selling? Are they coherent entities? And what is likely to happen? Plus: we discuss a potential political realignment in process and what foreign policy would look like under a Biden presidency.

On the country of the future.

Italy has stagnated for 30 years, becoming a neoliberal gerontocracy with crumbling infrastructure (sound familiar?). Worse, it's a country without a Left. How did the populist right come to triumph? What is the relationship between high emigration and hostility to immigration? And how were the seeds sown 30 years ago with the collapse of the First Republic, Europeanisation, and Berlusconi's rise? Is there now a possibility of 'Italexit'?

Readings:
First They Took Rome: How the Populist Right Conquered Italy, David Broder, Verso

Full episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast 

On why anti-fascism is a problem. 

 
The Trump presidency and the current protests in the US have led many to argue this is just like the 1930s. The implication is that fascism is rising and the Left must join up with liberals to oppose this evil. Why is this historical analogy so wide of the mark? Was the Left really culpable for the fascists rise to power? And anyway, our age is vastly different to interwar Europe. So what is the real function of calls to anti-fascism?
 
Readings:

On class.

Class as an idea and an identity is now supposedly redundant. It’s been replaced by conflicts between generations and transcended by more up-to-date identities linking people together through common experiences of victimhood and inequality, rather than along lines related to production or power. Or is it? We discuss these questions with Ben Tippett, author of Split: Class Divides Uncovered to find out whether class still has any place in society and theory (spoiler: it does).

Reading:

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