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
- (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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On Latin America's progressive wave and its discontents.
A new book on Latin America argues that 'pink tide' governments tried to treat the symptoms of neoliberal capitalism while allowing the underlying situation to worse. We talk to the author, Fabio Luis, about cases across the region, including the election in Ecuador and Venezuela's disaster, to Bolivia's coup and Argentina's "path of least resistance". How important is regional integration and what does an alternative socialist vision entail? And we ponder a sad question: is the dream of development and modernisation over?
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]
CLR James’s electrifying 1938 history of the 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins, has long been a staple of many radicals’ libraries. But we now know a lot more about the life of the Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Ouverture. How does this new knowledge impact our understanding of the Haitian Revolution, and on revolution in general? Sudhir Hazeeresingh, the author of a gripping new biography based on new archival research, ‘Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture, talks with us about about revolutionary leadership and Atlantic history.
On modernism and its end.
We're joined by 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner Benjamin Moser to discuss the tensions between hating your national culture and wanting to leave it behind, and the effacement of national culture by postmodern homogenisation.
We talk about his biography of Susan Sontag, plus a range of other questions: Brazil, USA, literature, architecture, sex, imperialism, Freud, the image and representation, and contemporary wokeness.
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?
- 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)
The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World
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?
- (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
On Argentina's elections and Chile & Ecuador's revolts.
Macri's election was heralded by the right across the continent as the end to a sequence of centre-left governments in South America. Now only four years later, he is likely to be thrown out of office by the return of 'Kirchnerismo'. Next door, the supposedly "stable and growing" Chile is in flames as protests and riots challenge the conservative Piñera administration and the country's deep inequality. This follows on the heels of weeks of mobilisations in Ecuador against the ending of a fuel subsidy. What's going on and what does it all signify?
[Chile & Ecuador discussion starts at 46mins]
Special episode in partnership with Jacobin: Brazil election preview - democracy at stake.
Who is Bolsonaro and why should Bolsonaro be understood as a neofascist? We discuss the #EleNão feminist resistance and the backdrop of 'antipetismo'. How has the political centre and the middle class so easily swung over to vote for such an extremist? The notion of 'ultra-politics' is explained and we look at what might happen should Bolsonaro win - and should he lose.
Essential Chomsky article: https://theintercept.com/2018/10/02/lula-brazil-election-noam-chomsky/
Jacobin archive on Brazil: https://jacobinmag.com/location/brazil
In which we discuss how the Right won this month's election -- in a country that has never seen the Left in power. Is Colombia an exception? The civil war there feels like part of the Cold War that forgot to end. We discuss the fragile peace, the militarisation of politics, and drug cartels.
In which we ask who killed Marielle Franco & discuss the shooting at Lula's caravan + Brazil's absent center
In which we discuss the Bolivarian project in Venezuela and the end of the Pink Tide. Also, loving The Mooch and hating Australia. Ft. guest Benjamin Fogel