Category: News & Politics

The global politics podcast at the end of the End of History. The period in which Western liberal democracy was held to be ‘the final form of human government’ is now over. We’re charting what’s emerging and what comes next. With help from a range of contributors, we scan the globe to understand the politics, economics, and culture of the new era. Fortnightly. Produced in Brazil/UK/South Africa/USA. By Alex Hochuli, Ben Fogel, Philip Cunliffe, George Hoare.

October 12, 2018

/49/ Kids & Confessions ft. Amber A’Lee Frost

In which we talk to Amber about the limitations of liberal feminism and why socialism is better (duh). Personal trauma as a form of political argumentation is critiqued. And we debate the unfashionable topic of parenting and families. Maybe, beyind so much beyond subcultural squabbling and posturing on the Left, is actually a deep-rooted individualism. So we discuss how to get beyond that.

Readings:

Confession Booth: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/confession-booth-frost

Daddy Issues: https://thebaffler.com/all-tomorrows-parties/daddy-issues-frost 

It's Okay to Have Children https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/08/its-okay-to-have-children 

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October 3, 2018

/48/ Ultra-Politics in Brazil ft. Sabrina Fernandes

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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September 13, 2018

/47/ Woke Consumerism

In which we ask whether political consumerism is still a thing. We chart its course from 90s Adbusters-style anti-branding, to 2000s ethical consumerism, through to today's woke outrage economy. Has commodification and cynicism overwhelmed all consumer activism? 

Plus, we catch up with election results from Sweden and look forward to next month's Brazilian elections.

Readings:

Adbusted https://jacobinmag.com/2013/10/adbusted  

The Philanthropy Racket https://jacobinmag.com/2018/08/the-philanthropy-racket 

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August 30, 2018

/46/ Exiting Capitalist Realism

The third in our Neoliberal Breakdown series. In which we discuss the late Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism, 10 years on. Does his analysis still hold? The mood music of the time - the age of 'TINA' and the end of history - was acutely described by Fisher. But did it only really describe Britain? And has the world now entered a new period?

Readings:

Capitalist Realism http://www.zero-books.net/books/capitalist-realism 

'Exiting the Vampire Castle' https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/mark-fisher/exiting-vampire-castle 

Mark Fisher's k-punk blog https://k-punk.org/ 

 

Cover image: 📸 Stephanie Jung

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August 16, 2018

/45/ Liberalism: A Counter-Podcast

In which we discuss the work of the late Domenico Losurdo, especially his brilliant Liberalism: A Counter-History. Part of an ongoing series on the contradictions of liberalism, we debate whether Losurdo is right to point to liberalism's complicity with slavery, racism and colonialism. Why were arguments for self-rule often accompanied by justifications for slavery? Why were some liberal abolitionist arguments in favour of despotism? 

We tie these discussions into contemporary paradoxes of liberalism and ask why liberalism is unable to realise its own values.

 

Reading: 
Liberalism: A Counter-History (book) https://www.versobooks.com/books/960-liberalism 

Obituary of Losurdo (Jacobin) https://jacobinmag.com/2018/07/domenico-losurdo-italian-marxism-counter-history 

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August 9, 2018

/44/ Neoliberal Order Breakdown Syndrome (N.O.B.S.)

In which we lay the liberal establishment down on the shrink's sofa. It's a systematic analysis of liberal derangement: of the inability to accept, explain, or respond to the breakdown of the current order. Why can't the liberal establishment accept that the 2008 crisis would eventually have political consequences? Why can't liberals explain why they keep losing? Why can't they offer anything but more of the same?

Symptoms:

  • Incredulity and denial of political change
  • Unwillingness to take responsibility
  • Moralisation
  • No belief in political causation (things just happen)
  • Fetishising disinformation
  • Elite persecution complex
  • Hysteria & catastrophism
  • Nostalgia for a very recent past & rewriting history
  • Repetition compulsion

 

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July 18, 2018

/43/ City Struggles ft. Ben Bradlow / David Adler

In which we ask why the urban question become so pointed today - in the Global North as well as in the South? We look at contestation in urban politics - in São Paulo, Johannesburg, London, New York, and beyond. What are the social movement struggles around housing, rent, transport, and the right to the city? What are the limits to housing & transport politics -- are they just consumer movements at the end of the day?

Guests:

  • David Adler talks to us about rent in London and beyond.
  • Ben Bradlow joins us to debate the big one: can municipal politics be sexy? And can city politics become national politics?

We conclude by returning to a recurring theme: is the Global North actually becoming more like the Global South? 

 

Readings:

Ben Bradlow, Let Them Occupy: https://africasacountry.com/2018/02/let-them-occupy-housing-struggles-in-brazil-and-south-africa 

David Adler, Generation Rent: https://jacobinmag.com/2016/04/big-short-housing-loans-renters-affordability 

 

Review of Justin McGuirk's 'Radical Cities' https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jul/11/radical-cities-latin-america-architecture-justin-mcguirk-review

Interview with Raquel Rolnik https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2792-the-complete-subjugation-of-urban-policy-an-interview-with-raquel-rolnik

Steve Graham on vertical cities https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2995-elite-takeovers-of-the-vertical-city 

 

Cover image: 📷Claudio Edinger 

 

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July 4, 2018

/42/ Erdogan Ever-Present? ft. Yasemin Yilmaz

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.

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June 27, 2018

/41/ The Colombian Exception ft. Pablo Medina Uribe

In which we discuss how the Right won this month's election -- in a country that has never seen the Left in power. Is Colombia an exception? The civil war there feels like part of the Cold War that forgot to end. We discuss the fragile peace, the militarisation of politics, and drug cartels. 

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June 20, 2018

/40/ Centrists Are the Bad Guys ft. David Adler

In which we try to understand why it's not the extremes, but the centre, that has given up on democracy. David Adler talks to us about his research, and we learn about the centrist tribes: elites, anti-elite populists, and the apathetic. We talk about how we think about political space and what 'moderate' really means... maybe that horeshoe needs to be turned upside down? 

Readings:

David Adler in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/23/opinion/international-world/centrists-democracy.html 

David Adler's working paper: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fOGwtRUF-y-98IcDs-3YYrtREl8GbaoH/view 

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