On Covid state failure + responses to listeners. 
 
The full episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
 
We start off by discussing listener points and criticisms – e.g. is PMC a useful category? Is a counterculture a terrible idea? Were we wrong on Deleuze? More on the lockdown debate... – before featuring the second part of our discussion with Lee Jones on the coronavirus and state failure (from 45:30).
 
We look in depth at what went wrong in Western state responses to the pandemic, why they didn't follow their own plans, and compare this to South Korea's relative success.
 
Readings:

On the uprising in Myanmar, plus Covid state failure.

Southeast Asia scholar (and Bunga recidivist) Lee Jones joins us to talk about the coup in Myanmar (and why the word “coup” can be misleading), and explains the nature of the forces opposing the military, in the context of the country’s recent transition to civilian rule.

Then, from 40mins, we discuss how the UK failed in dealing with the pandemic, and how this applies across the West. Lee's recent work looks at the neoliberal "regulatory state" and its incapacities, so we compare the UK's failure with Korea's relative success.

Readings:

We discuss the first of Perry Anderson's new essays on Europe published in the London Review of Books, which focuses on Luuk van Middelaar - described as the EU's first organic intellectual. We discuss what that means, as well as the role of the "coup" in forming the EU.

Reading Club episodes are for subscribers $10+. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast

On memes and the counter-culture.
 
This is a sample. For the full episode, subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast
 
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 one 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:
In this latest Three Articles, we examine the rise of 'techno-populism', look at the EU's vaccine debacle, and question whether cinema - and popular culture in general - is being desexualised and pornified at the same time.
 
This episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
 
Readings:

On the socialist case for Scottish independence.

David Jamieson and Cat Boyd, writers and hosts of Conter, the Scottish anti-capitalist website and podcast, join us to to talk about the prospects for Scottish independence in advance of the Scottish parliamentary elections in May. Would an independent Scotland within the EU be a contradiction in term? How would an independent Scotland fare - and what would it mean for the "national question" across Europe? And what's up with the factional strife among Scottish nationalists?

Readings:

On gay liberation and sexual politics.

After big advances over the past decades, we can now ask, did the gays win? And if so, so what? Mark Simpson in the UK and River Page in Florida join us to discuss whether something was lost in that victory. 

We ponder whether gay politics was the original identity politics and what happens when a narrow focus on equality triumphs over liberation. Do sexual liberation politics have any future? Plus: how Blairism was the biggest drag act of all. 

Readings:

How to address the political problems of leftwing parties today?
 
Liverpudlian historian David Swift argues that the problem is hobbyism - people for whom politics constitutes their identity rather than expressing their interest in social and political change. He joins us to take us through his arguments about hobbyism, and how he thinks the Left might change for the better.
 
This is a sample. For the full episode, subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast

Readings:

We've exceptionally unlocked one of our recent Reading Clubs. For access to all the monthly Reading Clubs - as well as our ~2 patreon episodes a month - subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast for $10. 

–– 

On Richard Tuck's The Left Case for Brexit, a book composed of essays written throughout the Brexit process, providing a diary of Brexit of sorts, as well as political and historical arguments around sovereignty.

We also take the opportunity to debate its global implications - what are the possibilities for popular sovereignty in a globalised world?

On the final deal and its implications, see: The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: Minimum Brexit 

We discuss Gilles Deleuze's short essay, Postscript on the Societies of Control and ask whether his understanding, according to which society has changed from one where discipline is exercised in institutions to one where control is implemented across society, holds water. 

The monthly Bungacast Reading Club is for patrons $10+. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast

We respond to your questions and comments from the past two months. Plus a continuation of our chat with Catherine Liu (from 55mins onwards) - on PMC unions, PMC child-rearing and the culture industry.
 
This episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
 
Readings:
On the Professional-Managerial Class. 
 
Catherine Liu joins us to talk about the worst class in history (the PMC), and how and why they hoard all forms of secularised value. We discuss the development of the PMC as a class, figure out when it stopped being "heroic", and debate who the PMC'S leader might be. We conclude by asking whether the Left needs the PMC (or vice versa?). 
 
The discussion will continue next week – focusing on recent unionising in professional workplaces, how the PMC brings up its children, and whether the "culture industry" is still a thing – in a subscriber-only episode on our patreon
 
Readings:
On the relevance of psychoanalysis.

In a continuation of our talk with Benjamin Fong, editor of Damage Magazine, we discuss the relevance of psychoanalysis today. What happened to the marriage of Marx and Freud – and what does the decline of both say about our times? We criticise social media as the latest instance of the culture industry as well as the growth of the US as a 'drugged society'. How can psychoanalysis be wielded against therapy culture, against a psychology that just helps us adapt to the world, and in favour one that makes us more free?

This episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
 
Readings:
 

On American breakdown.

Editor of Damage Magazine, Benjamin Fong, joins us to talk about the lack of shared narratives in contemporary America. We discuss QAnon and conspiracy theories, Biden's authoritarian liberalism, and "pro-worker" conservatives. 

We also interrogate the use of psychological analyses of politics and reaffirm the value of psychoanalysis, in a preview of a more detailed forthcoming discussion on our patreon.

Readings:

On Uber, class war among the rich, and its political consequences
Articles:

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