Category: News:Politics

The global politics podcast at the end of the End of History. From a left perspective.

January 21, 2020

/104/ The Aristocracy of Finance ft. Alexander Zevin

On The Economist and the contradictions of global liberalism.

Alexander Zevin joins us to discuss his work on the 176 year history of the magazine that has accompanied liberalism's global expansion. Has it just reflected the world or has it actually influenced politics? How has The Economist balanced of democracy against the interests of finance and the needs of empire? And is the magazine suffering from N.O.B.S.? 

Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast

Running order:

  • (06:02) Overview & early days
  • (29:52) 19th century & empire
  • (34:18) 20th century, esp 1930s and '40s
  • (48:08) End of the Cold War and NOBS
  • (01:02:19) Liberalism & its enemies

 

January 14, 2020

Excerpt: /103/ Three Articles: The Future!

This episode is for Patrons only. Go to patreon.com/bungacast for access.

On forecasts for the next decade.

 
In this month's 'Three Articles' - in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack - we take apart mainstream predictions of the future, over the next decade, the next couple of years, and 2020.
Readings:
December 10, 2019

/100/ What Was the End of History? ft. Many Guests

On the 30 years since 1989.

For our 100th episode, we invited our favourite guests to reflect on the question: “What one event, personal or political, most captures for you the past thirty years, since 1989?” 

Are we still living in the death throes of the 20th century, or is something new emerging?

Guests:

  • (00:07:42) - Maren Thom
  • (00:14:14) - David Broder
  • (00:21:33) - Ashley Frawley
  • (00:26:11) - Catherine Liu
  • (00:33:05) - Angela Nagle
  • (00:40:49) - Benjamin Fogel
  • (00:46:25) - Alex Gourevitch 
  • (00:51:31) - BungaCast hosts
  • (00:59:22) - David Adler
  • (01:04:05) - Amber A’Lee Frost
  • (01:08:48) - James Heartfield
  • (01:16:17) - Anton Jaeger
  • (01:23:24) - Leigh Phillips
  • (01:30:25) - Lee Jones
  • (01:36:03) - Karl Sharro

Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast

October 10, 2019

/91/ Exhaustion Revealing ft. Leigh Phillips

On environmental protest politics. Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Strike have brought eco protest back to the front pages. But it all seems a bit of a flashback to the 2000s. We examine the protests' alarmism and post-political positioning. After inequality and class have been put on the agenda again, do these protests represent a step back? We also ask what might be done about climate change if we don't go along with these groups' interpretations and demands. 

October 3, 2019

Excerpt: /90/ Work, Bitch ft. Amber A’Lee Frost

On UBI and social reproduction.
 
Following on from ep. 88 where we discussed post-work with Anton Jäger, we have Amber on to talk about her recent article in Jacobin on Andrew Yang's proposals for a Universal Basic Income. Is a citizen under a UBI regime really assimilable to a mid-century American housewife? How free is either? Does fully automated luxury communism put too much emphasis on luxury and not enough on communism? And would UBI lead to a more or less alienated society?
 
Reading:
Andrew Yang and the Failson Mystique, Amber A'Lee Frost, Jacobin
 
For the full episode, subscribe: patreon.com/bungacast
September 19, 2019

Excerpt: /88/ Vouchers for Toxicity ft. Anton Jäger

On post-work. We discuss Anton's review of David Graeber's Bullshit Jobs and why it seems to have such appeal, even amongst elites. There is a crisis in the work ethic, but is it an error to counterpose work and leisure and simply opt for leisure? Is leisure even 'ours' anymore, or has it been fully colonised by capitalism? Ultimately, is the problem today more about bullshit in jobs, rather than bullshit jobs per se?

Readings:

For the full episode, sign up at patreon.com/bungacast

August 29, 2019

/86/ Monsters of the Interregnum ft. Rune Stahl

Why hasn't neoliberalism died? We talk to Rune Møller Stahl about his paper "Ruling the Interregnum" in which he examines previous interregnums, such as the 1920s or the 1970s, and the forces that led to the establishment of new orders. What points the way forward today: resilient neoliberalism, economic nationalism or left populism?

Reading:

Ruling the Interregnum: Politics and Ideology in Nonhegemonic Times, Rune Møller Stahl

August 22, 2019

Excerpt: /85/ Reading Club No.1

In our first Reading Club, we discuss Nancy Fraser's The Old Is Dying and the New Cannot Be Born (Verso, 2019) and take readers questions and contributions.

Readings:

Listen to the whole episode by subscribing at patreon.com/BungaCast

July 24, 2019

/79/ CaliBunga: Tech, Drugs & Capitalist Soul, Pt. 4 [UNLOCKED]

In part four, we broaden the scope, to talk about the Frankfurt School, the humanities and 'romantic anti-capitalism'. If modernity features a battle between romanticism and rationalism, then the hippies represented an attempt to re-enchant a disillusioned world. But as that spirit was incorporated into market dynamics, it became rationalised and commodified. George and Alex sat down with Catherine Liu and Tyrus Miller (Dean of the UCI School of Humanities, and expert on Lukács) to mull over these questions.
 
#CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us.
 
Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series.
 
Subscribe for full access: patreon.com/bungacast 
July 18, 2019

/80/ CaliBunga: Tech, Drugs & Capitalist Soul, Pt.5

In part five, we explore the professionalisation of friendship, by speaking to Dutch director and producer Menna Laura Meijer about her documentary on life coaching, Now Something Is Slowly Changing. The global rise of coaching seems to encapsulate many of the themes we've explored so far: an inward focus on the self, combined with marketisation, and bound together by ‘solutionism’ - quick fixes to deep social problems.  
 
#CaliBunga is a special multipart series on the Californian Ideology: the seemingly paradoxical hybrid of New Left and New Right ideas - the synthesis of hippies with yuppies, all tied together with the promise that technology might liberate us.
 
Thanks to UC Irvine School of Humanities for sponsoring this series.
 
Links: