The third in a special five-part series on generational consciousness and conflict.
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In this episode, we examine the Baby Boomers – myth and reality. The revolt of the '60s has been misunderstood in many dimensions. Was it betrayed or did it always express capitalist ideology? Were the Boomers the ones who really did the 1960s anyway? And what world have the Boomers created as they passed through life – and institutions?
Guests include:
  • Jennie Bristow, senior lecturer in sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Helen Andrews, senior editor at The American Conservative
  • Josh Glenn, semiotician, author, and publisher of HiLoBrow
  • Jeffrey Alexander, professor of sociology at Yale University
  • Holger Nehring, chair in contemporary European history at the University of Stirling
  • Kristin Ross, professor emeritus of comparative literature at New York University
Original music by: Jonny Mundey
Additional music:
Other Clips:
  • American Pastoral Trailer © 2016 - Lionsgate
  • Mai 1968 © France 3 Paris Ile-de-France
  • Imitation de Daniel Cohn-Bendit © C'est Canteloup
  • Baader Meinhof Complex © 2008

On German's elections – and the costs of stability.

Wolfgang Streeck is back on the podcast to round-up Germany's elections last Sunday (26 September). What's behind the emphasis on continuity and competence? Is Germany stuck in the 2000s?

We also discuss the importation of US-style culture wars into Germany, the country's role in the Eurozone, and strategic relations with France. 

The second part of the conversation – where we debate the end of neoliberalism and capitalist crisis – is over at


On Germany's election this week.

Merkel has led Germany since 2005, outlasting any number of politicians across the West. What accounts for her longevity? How has such a non-ideological, post-political figure lasted so long? 

Germany is finally leaving her motherly embrace. But why is continuity on the cards, despite the many global crises Germany has passed through?

On net-zero, CCP nanny state, and optimised dating.
We start off discussing the HBO series "The White Lotus" before tackling three articles on middle-class anxieties: climate change and pressures on UK living standards; the Chinese state's crackdown on private tutoring; and women's attempt to avoid crappy men through 'Female Dating Strategy'.
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On post-liberalism: loving the state, crushing the individual?
For this 3A, articles from different 'conservative' outlets - but how conservative, and of what kind?

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What country best captures 20th and 21st century history? 

For our 200th episode special, we posed the question: "If you had to study the history of only one country from 1900-2020, and thereby understand the history of the whole world, which would you pick?"

You voted on the ten submissions and now we invited the top 3 back on the pod to discuss in more depth: Dominik Leusder on Germany; David Broder on Italy; and David Adler on India.

Then Phil and Alex choose a winner (it's a "managed democracy").


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On Chinese investment, Swiss democracy, and fleeing from Afghanistan.

In this Three Articles, we discuss flight or departure in various ways: China opening the gates for its huge savings to spill onto world markets; Switzerland leaving (or remaining outside) the EU; and the US's sudden departure from Afghanistan, without telling anyone. 

'Three Articles' episodes are normally for subscribers only - but this one's free. Sign up at for regular access.

London book launch/bunga party: Register here


On world history, 1900-2020.

For our 200th episode special, we pose the question: "If you had to study the history of only one country from 1900-2020, and thereby understand the history of the whole world, which would you pick?"

We invited 10 contributors to each pitch one country, whose particularities capture the universal sweep of world history from the start of the 20th century till now.

Vote for which you think is best, and we'll have the top 3 back on to discuss in more depth: Link to voting page

Running order:

  • (18:20) Germany - Dominik Leusder
  • (23:02) Greece - Jonas Kyratzes
  • (27:57) India - David Adler
  • (33:46) Indonesia - Vincent Bevins
  • (38:25) Iraq - Liam Meissner
  • (44:03) Italy - David Broder
  • (49:19) Mexico - Roger Lancaster
  • (54:01) Taiwan - Nic Johnson
  • (59:44) Turkey - Arash Azizi
  • (01:04:32) Yugoslavia - Lily Lynch

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Come to our London book launch! Event link

We discuss the third and final in the series of Perry Anderson essays on the EU in the London Review of Books, "The Breakaway", and wonder if the EU can - despite its crises - just carry on indefinitely.

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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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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.

On cash welfarism and state investment. Plus regionalism in Belgium & the UK.

Anton Jäger is back on the pod to discuss the emerging 'transfer state'. We examine Biden's massive trillion-dollar spending plans and ask if this means we're leaving neoliberalism. What are the limitations to the 'cashification of welfare'? Also comparisons with cash transfers or lack thereof in the UK, Brazil and Belgium.

Plus Anton talks us through recent Belgian history and why its immobilism and bureaucracy has actually prevented a full-on neoliberal assault. 

[Part 2 available at]


On Covid state failure + responses to listeners. 
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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.

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.

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