On Applied Ballardianism.
Is it J.G. Ballard’s world? Bunga talks Ballard with Simon Sellars, author of a new book on the great British sci-fi novelist J.G. Ballard. Urban decay, social breakdown, consumerism as social control and the Interzone.
Opening passage is taken from Ballard’s 2000 novel ‘Super-Cannes’.
Applied Ballardianism, Simon Sellars, Urbanomic
On pandemics, panics, and China.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is yet another new epidemic to appear on the scene this century. What accounts for their increasing frequency, and who decides if an epidemic is classed as a pandemic? More importantly, what governs that choice? The WHO and the whole intergovernmental management of health has ‘securitised’ these questions. Are they privileging the free flow of capital over public health? And what of China’s draconian response and lockdown of Wuhan – is it effective? And who will bear the blame if things go wrong? Might Coronavirus become a threat to Xi Jingping and the Chinese regime?
Mark Honigsbaum: The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris
Lee Jones (& Shahar Hameiri): Governing Borderless Threats: Non-Traditional Security and the Politics of State Transformation
- (00:44) Introduction
- (06:21) Mark Honigsbaum
- (38:48) Lee Jones
On Ireland’s elections.
With Sinn Fein riding high in the polls, are we looking at an upset? Is this a populist upsurge in Ireland, finally, more than a decade after the start of the crisis? We discuss what Ireland’s ‘end of history’ was like and how the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy sustained it; and look at how the country was the EU’s “model prisoner” of austerity. Are there new stirrings? And what are the prospects for unification?
We saw yet more sequilitis the past year, the endlessness and onwardness of contemporary cinema. So what were the worst films of the year and did their badness represent something wider? If 2018 saw the arrival of Trumpian cinema, what did 2019 bring? Has there been a backlash against ‘woke’ cinema criticism centred around representation? And are streaming services having an effect on how we view cinema?
This is a sample. For the full episode, subscribe at patreon.com/BungaCast
Both the shooters in the Christchurch and El Paso massacres were declared ‘ecofascists’. Now, a new governing coalition in Austria brings together Greens and the hard right in an unconventional union.
How does Malthusianism link the far right and ecology? What are the dangers of ‘lifeboat politics’, and how can the Left resist this logic? Is the Green New Deal a solution?
- Eco-fascism: The ideology marrying environmentalism and white supremacy thriving online, Sarah Manavis, New Statesman
- First as Tragedy, Then as Fascism, Alex Amend, The Baffler
- Austria’s new government includes the pro-environment Greens. That’s a first., The Washington Post
- Why White Supremacists Are Hooked on Green Living, Sam Adler-Bell, TNR
- What Is Eco-Fascism, the Ideology Behind Attacks in El Paso and Christchurch?, Luke Darby, GQ
- Only a Green New Deal Can Douse the Fires of Eco-Fascism, Naomi Klein, The Intercept
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.?
- (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
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.