Category: News:Politics

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

March 31, 2020

Excerpt: /115/ Singapore Shangri-La ft. Lee Jones

This is a sample. The full episode is available by subscribing at patreon.com/bungacast

Singapore is held up as a free-market utopia: rich, orderly and clean. But the reality is quite different. Why does Singapore exert such a magnetism for neoliberals, when its reality strays from orthodox prescriptions? What and who made this model 'global city', and how does its communist and anti-colonial past lead to its hyper-capitalist present?

March 27, 2020

Excerpt: /114/ Reading Club: The Light That Failed

This episode is for our $10 and up patrons. Go to patreon.com/bungacast for access.

On the end of the Age of Imitation.

We discuss Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes' The Light That Failed: A Reckoning and their arguments for why liberal democracy stopped being the model to follow - in Eastern Europe, Russia and even the USA.

Thanks for all the questions, they are addressed in the last third of the episode. 

March 24, 2020

/113/ Globoville ft. Richard Williams

On global cities. 

Global cities flaunt themselves to global capital and are shaped by it. They are self-conscious and eager to transmit 'globalness'. But why? And how has the city under globalisation been reshaped? What is the role of money and power - not to mention sex and culture? And does the sameyness of global cities now mean that medium and small cities are where we should be looking for cultural and political change? 

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March 17, 2020

Excerpt: /112/ Ideologies of the Near Future

On political conflict over the next decade

This is a subscriber-only show. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast

We debate what ideological contestation is going to look like in the next 2/5/10 years. Will liberalism adopt Silicon Valley solutionism? Does the centre-right become fully nationalist? And the far right have a future if that happens? And where does the left go next?

March 10, 2020

/111/ Big Money Talk: The Case for MMT ft. Bill Mitchell

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has been hailed by some and scorned by others as offering a new framework to understand the financial system. But what is specifically 'modern' about MMT, and how does it differ from rival accounts of the financial economy? We talk to Bill Mitchell, one of the leading proponents of MMT, who gives us an introductory rundown, plus tells us why the Japanese economy is unfairly maligned and explains what the future has in store for MMT as its inexorably advances against orthodox rivals.  
 
-> Our earlier episode with Doug Henwood, a critic of MMT, can be found here: Episode 68 
-> The episode with Bill Mitchell's co-author, Thomas Fazi, is here: Episode 38
 
Readings:
March 3, 2020

Excerpt: /110/ Three Articles: De-democratising

In this latest Three Articles, we discuss American democracy and those who pretend to save it or undermine it. 

Sign up for access to the full episode: patreon.com/bungacast

Readings:

February 25, 2020

/109/ Bunga Goes Ballard ft. Simon Sellars

On Applied Ballardianism.

Is it J.G. Ballard's world? Bunga talks Ballard with Simon Sellars, author of a new book on the great British sci-fi novelist J.G. Ballard. Urban decay, social breakdown, consumerism as social control and the Interzone. 

Opening passage is taken from Ballard's 2000 novel 'Super-Cannes'. 

Reading:

Applied Ballardianism, Simon Sellars, Urbanomic 

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February 11, 2020

/108/ Coronageddon? ft. Mark Honigsbaum / Lee Jones

On pandemics, panics, and China.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is yet another new epidemic to appear on the scene this century. What accounts for their increasing frequency, and who decides if an epidemic is classed as a pandemic? More importantly, what governs that choice? The WHO and the whole intergovernmental management of health has 'securitised' these questions. Are they privileging the free flow of capital over public health? And what of China's draconian response and lockdown of Wuhan - is it effective? And who will bear the blame if things go wrong? Might Coronavirus become a threat to Xi Jingping and the Chinese regime?

Readings

Guests' books:

Mark Honigsbaum: The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris

Lee Jones (& Shahar Hameiri): Governing Borderless Threats: Non-Traditional Security and the Politics of State Transformation

Running order:

  • (00:44) Introduction
  • (06:21) Mark Honigsbaum
  • (38:48) Lee Jones

 

 

February 7, 2020

/107/ Ireland’s Return to History ft. Colin Coulter

On Ireland's elections.

With Sinn Fein riding high in the polls, are we looking at an upset? Is this a populist upsurge in Ireland, finally, more than a decade after the start of the crisis? We discuss what Ireland's 'end of history' was like and how the 'Celtic Tiger' economy sustained it; and look at how the country was the EU's "model prisoner" of austerity. Are there new stirrings? And what are the prospects for unification?

Readings

February 4, 2020

Excerpt: /106/ The Endless Scrolling of Cinema ft. Maren Thom

On film in 2019/20. 
 
This is a sample only. For the full episode, sign up at patreon.com/BungaCast
 
We saw yet more sequilitis the past year, the endlessness and onwardness of contemporary cinema. So what were the worst films of the year and did their badness represent something wider? If 2018 saw the arrival of Trumpian cinema, what did 2019 bring? Has there been a backlash against 'woke' cinema criticism centred around representation? And are streaming services having an effect on how we view cinema?