Category: News & Politics

The global politics podcast at the end of the End of History. The period in which Western liberal democracy was held to be ‘the final form of human government’ is now over. We’re charting what’s emerging and what comes next. With help from a range of contributors, we scan the globe to understand the politics, economics, and culture of the new era. Fortnightly. Produced in Brazil/UK/South Africa/USA. By Alex Hochuli, Ben Fogel, Philip Cunliffe, George Hoare.

September 13, 2018

/47/ Woke Consumerism

In which we ask whether political consumerism is still a thing. We chart its course from 90s Adbusters-style anti-branding, to 2000s ethical consumerism, through to today's woke outrage economy. Has commodification and cynicism overwhelmed all consumer activism? 

Plus, we catch up with election results from Sweden and look forward to next month's Brazilian elections.

Readings:

Adbusted https://jacobinmag.com/2013/10/adbusted  

The Philanthropy Racket https://jacobinmag.com/2018/08/the-philanthropy-racket 

00:0000:00
August 30, 2018

/46/ Exiting Capitalist Realism

The third in our Neoliberal Breakdown series. In which we discuss the late Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism, 10 years on. Does his analysis still hold? The mood music of the time - the age of 'TINA' and the end of history - was acutely described by Fisher. But did it only really describe Britain? And has the world now entered a new period?

Readings:

Capitalist Realism http://www.zero-books.net/books/capitalist-realism 

'Exiting the Vampire Castle' https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/mark-fisher/exiting-vampire-castle 

Mark Fisher's k-punk blog https://k-punk.org/ 

 

Cover image: 📸 Stephanie Jung

00:0000:00
August 16, 2018

/45/ Liberalism: A Counter-Podcast

In which we discuss the work of the late Domenico Losurdo, especially his brilliant Liberalism: A Counter-History. Part of an ongoing series on the contradictions of liberalism, we debate whether Losurdo is right to point to liberalism's complicity with slavery, racism and colonialism. Why were arguments for self-rule often accompanied by justifications for slavery? Why were some liberal abolitionist arguments in favour of despotism? 

We tie these discussions into contemporary paradoxes of liberalism and ask why liberalism is unable to realise its own values.

 

Reading: 
Liberalism: A Counter-History (book) https://www.versobooks.com/books/960-liberalism 

Obituary of Losurdo (Jacobin) https://jacobinmag.com/2018/07/domenico-losurdo-italian-marxism-counter-history 

00:0000:00
August 9, 2018

/44/ Neoliberal Order Breakdown Syndrome (N.O.B.S.)

In which we lay the liberal establishment down on the shrink's sofa. It's a systematic analysis of liberal derangement: of the inability to accept, explain, or respond to the breakdown of the current order. Why can't the liberal establishment accept that the 2008 crisis would eventually have political consequences? Why can't liberals explain why they keep losing? Why can't they offer anything but more of the same?

Symptoms:

  • Incredulity and denial of political change
  • Unwillingness to take responsibility
  • Moralisation
  • No belief in political causation (things just happen)
  • Fetishising disinformation
  • Elite persecution complex
  • Hysteria & catastrophism
  • Nostalgia for a very recent past & rewriting history
  • Repetition compulsion

 

00:0000:00
June 20, 2018

/40/ Centrists Are the Bad Guys ft. David Adler

In which we try to understand why it's not the extremes, but the centre, that has given up on democracy. David Adler talks to us about his research, and we learn about the centrist tribes: elites, anti-elite populists, and the apathetic. We talk about how we think about political space and what 'moderate' really means... maybe that horeshoe needs to be turned upside down? 

Readings:

David Adler in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/23/opinion/international-world/centrists-democracy.html 

David Adler's working paper: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fOGwtRUF-y-98IcDs-3YYrtREl8GbaoH/view 

00:0000:00
May 16, 2018

/37/ The Ghosts of May ‘68 ft. Catherine Liu

In which we unpick the legacies of 1968 and all that: political fragmentation, the loss of authority, the cult of youth.

00:0000:00
March 14, 2018

/31/ Woke Neoliberalism ft. James Heartfield

In which we debate the 'equal opportunities revolution': how race & gender has changed, in the workplace & beyond

00:0000:00
February 28, 2018

/30/ Italy: Country of the Future? ft. David Broder

In which we debate the upcoming Italian elections. Also corruption, bunga bunga, communism, migrants, fascism, & Europe.

00:0000:00
February 21, 2018

/29/ Therapeutic Politics ft. Ashley Frawley

In which we ask whether capitalism makes us mentally ill. Also, moral panics & why PC follows political defeats

00:0000:00
January 27, 2018

/26/ Prometheans United ft. Leigh Phillips

Bonus! In which Leigh stays with us to discuss innovation, automation, UBI... & why the wages are too damn low.

00:0000:00