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:

On the end of the End of History and neo-feudalism.

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

In a continuation of our discussion on the emerging transfer state, we ask whether the end of neoliberalism entails the end of the 'End of History'. What are the determinate features of the End of History that we are leaving behind? Which are still with us?

Also, what to make of arguments that our future is neo- or techno-feudal? Do these terms make any sense? Or is it better to think of two alternate futures: Japanisation or Brazilianisation? 

 

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 patreon.com/bungacast]

Readings:

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 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 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:
This episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
 
If liberal democracy has been dethroned, what next?
 
Francis Fukuyama famously declared the "end of history" in 1989. Has he been misunderstood? Should we understand the declaration in a geopolitical sense - liberal democracy triumphant - or in a more philosophical sense? We discuss what capital-H History means and what Fukuyama's career trajectory can tell us about our times. Is it capitalism realism or the end of history?

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