Category: News:Politics

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

January 21, 2020

/104/ The Aristocracy of Finance ft. Alexander Zevin

On The Economist and the contradictions of global liberalism.

Alexander Zevin joins us to discuss his work on the 176 year history of the magazine that has accompanied liberalism's global expansion. Has it just reflected the world or has it actually influenced politics? How has The Economist balanced of democracy against the interests of finance and the needs of empire? And is the magazine suffering from N.O.B.S.? 

Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast

Running order:

  • (06:02) Overview & early days
  • (29:52) 19th century & empire
  • (34:18) 20th century, esp 1930s and '40s
  • (48:08) End of the Cold War and NOBS
  • (01:02:19) Liberalism & its enemies

 

January 14, 2020

Excerpt: /103/ Three Articles: The Future!

This episode is for Patrons only. Go to patreon.com/bungacast for access.

On forecasts for the next decade.

 
In this month's 'Three Articles' - in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack - we take apart mainstream predictions of the future, over the next decade, the next couple of years, and 2020.
Readings:
January 7, 2020

[UNLOCKED] /77/ CaliBunga: Tech, Drugs & Capitalist Soul, Pt. 2

On drugs and mental health. 

In part two, we chat about recreational drugs and mental states in a Hollywood bar with friends of the podcast, Amber A'Lee Frost and Alex Gendler. But mostly, we delve deeper into capitalism and depression with the 'States of Wellness' group at UC Irvine (Catherine Liu, Thomas Williams, Michael Mahoney, Benjamin Kruger-Robins).

#CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us.

Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series.

December 16, 2019

/101/ UK Election: A Disaster Foretold

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

December 10, 2019

/100/ What Was the End of History? ft. Many Guests

On the 30 years since 1989.

For our 100th episode, we invited our favourite guests to reflect on the question: “What one event, personal or political, most captures for you the past thirty years, since 1989?” 

Are we still living in the death throes of the 20th century, or is something new emerging?

Guests:

  • (00:07:42) - Maren Thom
  • (00:14:14) - David Broder
  • (00:21:33) - Ashley Frawley
  • (00:26:11) - Catherine Liu
  • (00:33:05) - Angela Nagle
  • (00:40:49) - Benjamin Fogel
  • (00:46:25) - Alex Gourevitch 
  • (00:51:31) - BungaCast hosts
  • (00:59:22) - David Adler
  • (01:04:05) - Amber A’Lee Frost
  • (01:08:48) - James Heartfield
  • (01:16:17) - Anton Jaeger
  • (01:23:24) - Leigh Phillips
  • (01:30:25) - Lee Jones
  • (01:36:03) - Karl Sharro

Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast

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