Aleksandar Vučić's coalition won the recent (21 June) Serbian parliamentary elections amidst a mass boycott. We talk to Balkanist editor Lily Lynch about what Vučić represents - violent ultranationalist or technocratic centrist? We also take time to discuss geopolitical rivalries over Kosovo.
Plus: cigar socialism, Yugoboomers and the enduring appeal of Balkan orientalism. According to Julian Assange, the future always comes to Serbia first - what does this mean?
Intro clip: Vučić's very creepy virtual rally | Outro clip: The Big Z
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On the Ehrenreich's re-evaluation of the Professional-Managerial Class.
We discuss Barbara and John Ehrenreich's "Death of a Yuppy Dream". Also attached are the Ehrenreichs' analyses from the late 70s, also referenced in the discussion.
Thanks again for all your questions!
On the left case for freedom.
We talk to Corey Robin about how the left has sacrificed the realm of freedom to the right. And why the Left's weakness is also the Right's. Plus, why is it clear that Trump is not a fascist? And insight into the BLM protests in NYC and responses to the pandemic.
On culturally conservative critics of capitalism.
Neoliberalism’s fragmentary and atomising tendencies have gone too far. In response, some right-wingers have turned against the market. At the same time, there’s a (marginal) tendency on the left turning against cultural liberalism. Are we witnessing a major political realignment underway? What is the substance of these "culturally conservative" critiques, and do they offer anything new, beyond what people like Christopher Lasch advanced decades ago?
- The new intellectuals of the American right, Nick Burns, New Statesman
- The Problem of Hyper Liberalism, John Gray, The TLS
- The Real Class War, Julius Krein, American Affairs
- Socialism in One Country, David Runciman, LRB (on Maurice Glasman & Blue Labour)
- The idea that the British working class is socially conservative is a nonsense, Kenan Malik, The Guardian
- Zero to One, Peter Thiel (pdf)
- The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, Daniel Bell (pdf)
This is a sample. For the full episode go to patreon.com/bungacast
Bonus content (always the best stuff) from our interview with Angela and Michael (episode 126).
Why did Bernie Sanders fail?
In the third in an occasional series on the US presidential election and the Left, we talk to Angela Nagle and Michael Tracey about their analysis of Bernie Sanders' campaign. We put to bed some bad arguments as to why Bernie didn't win the nomination, and examine some better ones: was the campaign was too establishment-friendly? too "left"? too middle-class? too anti-nationalist?... or are structural factors to blame instead?
And we ponder the end of the union of Old and New Lefts, of cultural liberalism and socialism. And the most worrying of all: was Bernie just a blip?