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?

Reading:

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In this latests Three Articles we discuss power, money and the power of money - in a post-Covid world.

 
Readings:

In the second in an occasional series of episodes on the US presidential election and the Left, we talk to Nicholas Kiersey, a volunteer with the Bernie Sanders campaign in Texas and host of the Fully Automated podcast. What were things like on the campaign trail, and what went wrong for Bernie? Will Biden go the distance, and are there more shenanigans in store?

Readings:

On the so-called "incel documentary", TFW NO GF.
 
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We discuss the new documentary
TFW NO GF, which focuses on the lives of extremely online alienated loners in the US. It has consequently been labelled the "incel documentary". Because the subjects are allowed to speak for themselves, it's also been called "irresponsible".
 
We take apart what, if anything, makes this cohort distinct from the past - is it the internet? are they lonelier? are their prospects worse? - and try to place the phenomenon in a wider context. If you haven't watched the documentary, there are clips from it interspersed throughout.
 
On the end of Left Populism.
 
Friend of the podcast Anton Jäger joins us to discuss the fate of Left Populism, investigate the response of the Left to the ongoing Coronacrisis, and question whether we're really witnessing the end of neoliberalism. We refer to his recent piece in Damage magazine, in the readings below.
 
Did Left populism ask the right questions but get the wrong answers? Are the next three years going to see the blossoming of the 'Well, Actually' Left? Or is the stage set for the triumph of covid corporatism?
 
Readings:

On The Jakarta Method.

We're joined by Vincent Bevins to discuss his new book on the 1965-66 mass killings in Indonesia, Cold War anti-communism, and the destruction it wrought around the world. The mid-60s proved pivotal, with US-backed coups in Indonesia and Brazil setting the template. What was their effect on the Left worldwide? How did it alter developmental trajectories across the Third World? What lessons can we take from these historical experiences?

Running Order:

  • Indonesia - (10:43)
  • Brazil & application of Jakarta Method - (36:14)
  • Themes of anticommunism - (43:55)
  • Global consequences - (53:03)
  • Anticommunism today - (01:14:39)
  • Bonus stuff - (1:21:18)

Reading:
The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World

On the end of Left Populism.
 
This is a sample. For the full episode, subscribe at patreon.com/BungaCast
 
Friend of the podcast Anton Jäger joins us to discuss the fate of Left Populism, investigate the response of the Left to the ongoing Coronacrisis, and question whether we're really witnessing the end of neoliberalism. We refer to his recent piece in Damage magazine, in the readings below.
 
Did Left populism ask the right questions but get the wrong answers? Are the next three years going to see the blossoming of the 'Well, Actually' Left? Or is the stage set for the triumph of covid corporatism?
 
Readings:

On whether new tech can help build decentralised socialism.

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We discuss Evgeny Morozov's New Left Review essay, Digital Socialism? The Calculation Debate in the Age of Big Data. A useful companion to this (mentioned by George in the episode) is a lecture given by Morozov, that can be found at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for all the questions, they are addressed in the last third of the episode. 

This episode is for subscribers only. To hear the full thing, go to patreon.com/bungacast
 
In this latest Three Articles, we discuss responses to Covid-19.
 
Articles

On freedom in coronavirus times.

John McAfee joins us to address the lockdown, privacy and armed insurrection. Plus: why he prefers Fidel to Che, and how it came to be that his US presidential campaign HQ is in Havana, Cuba.

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In the first of an occasional series of episodes on the US presidential election and the Left, we talk to Nick Frayn, a volunteer with the Bernie Sanders campaign in New England. How have things gone on the campaign trail? What is next for the Democratic primaries delayed by the corona outbreak? Can Bernie regain ground in the primaries against Joe Biden? How will the corona crisis impact the Democratic primaries?

Readings:

This is a sample. The full episode is available by subscribing at patreon.com/bungacast

Singapore is held up as a free-market utopia: rich, orderly and clean. But the reality is quite different. Why does Singapore exert such a magnetism for neoliberals, when its reality strays from orthodox prescriptions? What and who made this model 'global city', and how does its communist and anti-colonial past lead to its hyper-capitalist present?

This episode is for our $10 and up patrons. Go to patreon.com/bungacast for access.

On the end of the Age of Imitation.

We discuss Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes' The Light That Failed: A Reckoning and their arguments for why liberal democracy stopped being the model to follow - in Eastern Europe, Russia and even the USA.

Thanks for all the questions, they are addressed in the last third of the episode. 

On global cities. 

Global cities flaunt themselves to global capital and are shaped by it. They are self-conscious and eager to transmit 'globalness'. But why? And how has the city under globalisation been reshaped? What is the role of money and power - not to mention sex and culture? And does the sameyness of global cities now mean that medium and small cities are where we should be looking for cultural and political change? 

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On political conflict over the next decade

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We debate what ideological contestation is going to look like in the next 2/5/10 years. Will liberalism adopt Silicon Valley solutionism? Does the centre-right become fully nationalist? And the far right have a future if that happens? And where does the left go next?

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