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? 

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.
 

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

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