On global insurrection and identity politics. 

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We discuss an essay by the ultra-left collective 'Endnotes' that deals with the same political questions as we do, but comes up with different answers. Are the fragmented and ephemeral movements that have taken to the streets in France, Chile and the US, for example, the future of politics? Anti-political rejections of the establishment seem radical, but can they overcome their own negativity? And are identity politics the necessary form that re-politicisation has taken? 
 
Readings:
Essay discussed
Background

On liberal idealism and imperial overreach.

Why did the winners of the Cold War turn 'revisionist', undermining their own order? How has utopianism come to dominate the discipline of IR, such that we have lost the means to critique power?

We discuss Philip's recent book, The New Twenty Years’ Crisis 1999-2019: A Critique of International Relations, which is both a revisiting of EH Carr's international relations classic The Twenty Years' Crisis as well as an account of the contemporary crisis of the liberal international order. 

Reading:

The New Twenty Years’ Crisis 1999-2019: A Critique of International Relations, Philip Cunliffe, McGill-Queen's UP

On consequences of the pandemic + important local election results in Spain & UK.
 
We start off by discussing the telling results of some recent local and regional elections: in the UK, Labour continues its drift to becoming a middle-class party; while in Spain, Madrid goes to the right. Podemos flops, while voters seem to endorse an anti-lockdown stance.
 
Then we get to our three articles on the consequences of the pandemic: is live-streaming complicit with power? Are liberals now anti-science? Will inflation return?
 
Three Articles:

We discuss the second of Perry Anderson's three LRB essays on the making and unmaking of the EU: "Ever Closer Union?" 

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On class reductionism, commodity fetishism, and value theory.

To discuss Covid, the state as 'PMC leviathan', and the politics of value theory, we’re joined by philosopher Elena Louisa Lange, who also explains why class reductionism is not a theoretical position or a mere mistake, but a social reality. We also address the value of 'going back to school', take on the new Leftist 'holy trinity' of class-race-gender, and hear from Elena why we need to theorise the world before we change it.

Readings:

On memes and the counter-culture.
 
Theorist and curator Mike Watson advances the argument for "acid leftism". What is this, and why do we need a new counter-culture? Is contemporary leftism lacking a utopian imaginary?
 
Plus: slow memes and fast memes; the democratisation of art and media; and generations: which ones became conservative, which might not?
 
Running order:
  • (00:04:15) - Interview with Mike Watson
  • (01:02:00) - 'Afterparty' discussion on what a counter-culture might look like today
Readings:
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