/156/ Cosmo-Jihad ft. Darryl Li

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-zqn25-f03404

Internationalism used to be a defining characteristic of the Left. Globalism is a defining characteristic of neoliberal capitalism. Both seem to be characteristic of Islamist jihadism. How did Islamist reaction become globalised? How far does Islamist globalism connect to radical legacies of Third Worldism, internationalism and radical solidarity? Political anthropologist Darryl Li, author of The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity joins us to discuss the transnational history of jihad over the last 30 years. 

Reading:

The Universal Enemy – Book Forum, The Immanent Frame, Various Authors

UNLOCKED /154/ A Reasonably Important Election… Preview ft. Alex Gourevitch

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-fqu3r-f02111

On the Covid election. 

Trump has made himself deeply unpopular while the Democrats have tried to demobilise the electorate. What, if anything, are the two parties selling? Are they coherent entities? And what is likely to happen? Plus: we discuss a potential political realignment in process and what foreign policy would look like under a Biden presidency.

Excerpt: /155/ Aufhebonus Bonus ft. Benjamin Moser

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-8qceg-f01ee4

Full episode for subscribers only. Go to patreon.com/bungacast 

We start off by discussing the beheading of a French teacher for having shown his pupils the Mohammed cartoons in a class on free speech. Then we discuss your points, questions and criticisms from September and October (on class politics, antifa, Covid, unemployment and more). Finally, 25 minutes of bonus content from our chat with Sontag biographer Benjamin Moser on the 1619 Project, identity politics, literature, and cosmopolitanism and empire. 

For the rest of the original episode with Moser, that’s number 147: Podbean / Patreon 

Excerpt: /154/ A Reasonably Important Election ft. Alex Gourevitch

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-f4fv9-efd53b

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

On the Covid election. 

Trump has made himself deeply unpopular while the Democrats have tried to demobilise the electorate. What, if anything, are the two parties selling? Are they coherent entities? And what is likely to happen? Plus: we discuss a potential political realignment in process and what foreign policy would look like under a Biden presidency.

/153/ Repubblica di Bunga ft. David Broder

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-85qqb-ef253d

On the country of the future.

Italy has stagnated for 30 years, becoming a neoliberal gerontocracy with crumbling infrastructure (sound familiar?). Worse, it’s a country without a Left. How did the populist right come to triumph? What is the relationship between high emigration and hostility to immigration? And how were the seeds sown 30 years ago with the collapse of the First Republic, Europeanisation, and Berlusconi’s rise? Is there now a possibility of ‘Italexit’?

Readings:
First They Took Rome: How the Populist Right Conquered Italy, David Broder, Verso

Excerpt: /152/ I Can’t Believe It’s Not Weimar ft. David Broder

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-89rg4-ee5393

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

On why anti-fascism is a problem. 

 
The Trump presidency and the current protests in the US have led many to argue this is just like the 1930s. The implication is that fascism is rising and the Left must join up with liberals to oppose this evil. Why is this historical analogy so wide of the mark? Was the Left really culpable for the fascists rise to power? And anyway, our age is vastly different to interwar Europe. So what is the real function of calls to anti-fascism?
 
Readings:

[UNLOCKED] /146/ Class is Cancelled ft. Ben Tippet

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-h8r8f-ee24e8

On class.

Class as an idea and an identity is now supposedly redundant. It’s been replaced by conflicts between generations and transcended by more up-to-date identities linking people together through common experiences of victimhood and inequality, rather than along lines related to production or power. Or is it? We discuss these questions with Ben Tippett, author of Split: Class Divides Uncovered to find out whether class still has any place in society and theory (spoiler: it does).

Reading:

Excerpt: /151/ Reading Club: Full Employment

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-y8fkt-edffc0

Episode for patrons $10+. Subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast


This month we discuss Polish economist Michal Kalecki’s landmark essay, “The Political Consequences of Full Employment”. This follows on from our recent free episode, ‘
It’s Not Robots, It’s Capitalism (ep 149) focusing on unemployment.

Kalecki anticipated both the Keynesian postwar settlement as well as its undoing, and the neoliberalism that followed. We focus on how Kalecki introduces the question of political authority into economics.

For reference, the next five Reading Clubs have already been announced: https://www.patreon.com/posts/41524278 

/150/ Shadow Commander ft. Arash Azizi

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-7z4qr-ed741b

On Iran at the End of History.

When the US assassinated Iran’s ‘shadow commander’, Qassem Soleimani, everyone thought WW3 would break out. What happened instead? We talk to the author of a new book on Soleimani about the “local boy who made it”, and look at how Soleimani masterminded Iran’s interventions all over the region. 

We also discuss how the Iranian Revolution represented a degradation of universalism, as it marginalised secular nationalism, socialism and communism. Would the Shia-Sunni conflict, with Iran as leader of the Shia faction, therefore be yet another step away from universalism? And what role did the US play in fomenting sectarian conflict?

Readings:

 

/149/ It’s Not Robots, It’s Capitalism ft. Aaron Benanav / Liz Pancotti

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-kh9f6-ecb86f

On unemployment.

The Covid crisis has led to millions out of work – but the situation was none too rosy before, either. Post-crisis recoveries seem increasingly ‘jobless’, while the overall labour force participation rate keeps falling as people drop out entirely. 

We interview to Liz Pancotti of Employ America for a picture of what’s driving US unemployment.

Then we talk to Aaron Benanav about his new book and learn that it’s not robots who are stealing jobs, but rather capitalism’s own stagnation. Why are both radical Keynesian ideas and UBI proposals no real solution? And, finally, what is the working class to do in a world with depressed demand for labour?

Running order:

  • Liz Pancotti – (04:09)
  • Aaron Benanav – (53:09)

 

Readings: