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.

December 6, 2018

/55/ High-Visibility Revolt ft. Aurélie Dianara

The 'gilets jaunes' protests have shocked France, expressing a profound exasperation and anger that goes much deeper than frustration at a fuel tax. This is clearly a movement from below, of the people. But it is leaderless and thus far rejects affiliation with political parties. How far can it go? Is Macron's government at risk? This isn't the 'start-up nation' he dreamed of...

Readings:

We're With The Rebels, by Aurélie Dianara (Jacobin)

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November 22, 2018

/54/ Numbers Are Too Powerful ft. William Davies

We discuss Nervous States with its author: How has debate became so angery!1!! and fractious? Why don't we trust institutions any more -- or better, which institutions do we still trust and why? How has war increasingly encroached onto peace? And maybe believing in stats too much means that we now don't believe in anything...

 

Readings:

Nervous States (William Davies)

Postscript on the Societies of Control (Gilles Deleuze)

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November 19, 2018

/53/ Brexit’s Hotel California

Theresa May's Brexit deal seems to have satisfied no one. Britain doesn't properly leave, nor does it stay, it just becomes a passive rule-taker. What are the prospects for the UK actually leaving? Will there be a second referendum? And does the difficulty in seeing through Brexit confirm that "there is no alternative"?

Readings:

The Full Brexit: for popular sovereignty, democracy and economic renewal 

Costas Lapavitsas: Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour vs. the Single Market

 

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November 8, 2018

/52/ Duterte’s Despotism ft. Nicole Curato

In which we learn of Duterte's promises of blood and how he's lived up to those promises. Is massacring drug user, dealers and anyone caught in the crossfire actually popular? How does violence fit in with his development model? Do elites back his rule - and which elites? And how does he compare to other far-right authoritarians? 

Readings:

The Duterte Reader (ed. Nicole Curato)

Nicole Curato in the NYT https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/opinion/philippines-rodrigo-duterte.html?smid=fb-share&referer=http://m.facebook.com 

 

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October 31, 2018

/51/ Oh, Brazil: What Now?

In which we update the latest from Brazil, post-election. What will Bolsonaro's government look like? We plot best & worst case scenarios and discuss how bad this really is (really, really bad). And is "fascism" the correct term to use? 

Readings:

Bolsonaro Rising (Alex) https://thebaffler.com/latest/bolsonaro-rising-hochuli 

Bolsonaro: more dangerous than Trump (Alex) https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/brazil-presidential-election-who-jair-bolsonaro-popular-candidate-more-dangerous-ncna925011 

What Bolsonaro's election victory means (Ben) https://mg.co.za/article/2018-10-28-what-bolsonaros-election-victory-could-mean 

Fascism has arrived in Brazil (Ben) https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jair-bolsonaro-brazil-election-results-president-fascism-far-right-fernando-haddad-a8606391.html 

Privilege vs Democracy in Brazil (Alfredo Saad-Filho) https://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/brazil-election-bolsonaro-haddad-lula-pt-democracy 

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October 25, 2018

/50/ On The Market ft. Anna Khachiyan

In which we discuss (post)modern relationships: dating, narcissism and capitalism. Are we all scared of each other? Are we trying to quantify the interpersonal? What does #MeToo et al suggest about contemporary womanhood? 

Plus assorted stuff on Russophobia, fascism and anti-fascism, and how great Lana del Rey is.

Readings:

Christopher Lasch on narcissism: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1976/09/30/the-narcissist-society

The Last Psychiatrist: https://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2010/11/a_generational_pathology.html

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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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