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LAO TZU 22

LAO TZU 22

July 10, 2020

This podcast offers a reading of Chapter 35 of the Tao Te Ching. It deals with the character of Lao Tzu's ideal leader who is a sage with connection to the Tao. We tease this out and relate it to modern leaders of the 'strong man' type and ideals of social organisation. [Free. 19 minutes.]

WEAPONISED HISTORY - INTERESTING TIMES 4

WEAPONISED HISTORY - INTERESTING TIMES 4

June 23, 2020

In this podcast we dissect utterances made by conservatives like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage relating to the question of the significance of statues and other monuments that occupy public spaces. We particularly light upon the way in which the concept of history is weaponised in the pro establishment discourses that are now circulating. We indicate that the conservative ploy is to inflame a distracting culture war by asserting that 'history is being erased' and that 'extremists' are operating in BLM. We don't however try to downplay the importance of engagement with the issues, but suggest that the terrain that Johnson et al want to fight the battles on should be refused. Drawing on ideas that concern philosophers of history, we suggest how those who don't believe that business as usual is an option might do culture war on their own terms. This podcast also serves as a groundwork for a future podcast on the Philosophy Of History. [ Free. 47 minutes.]

RACISTS EXPOSE THEMSELVES - INTERESTING TIMES 3

RACISTS EXPOSE THEMSELVES - INTERESTING TIMES 3

June 14, 2020

In this brief podcast, we analyse events in London of the 13th June 2020, in which self-defined racist far right protagonists fought with the police. We conclude that though this event was largely a 'dead cat', which could well distract from far bigger issues like institutional racism, the deadly mismanagement of the global pandemic by the Johnson Tory government, the results of the democidal Tory social security policies, and environmental degradation, it nevertheless was revelatory of the need to expose certain obscured details of UK history. We point out that the right has an emotionally charged project of conserving a largely mythic narrative it tells itself about itself. [Free. 19 minutes.]

HOLLOW SYMBOLS -  INTERESTING TIMES 2

HOLLOW SYMBOLS - INTERESTING TIMES 2

June 11, 2020

In this podcast, we take issue with the complaints from  certain Tory MPs, conservative academics and right wing pundits that the toppling of statues of slave traders and imperialists 'erases history' and  'strikes at our way of life', and that historical figures should not be appraised according to modern morality and values. We argue that, contrary to these positions, obscured parts of history are illuminated by such acts, that 'our way of life' does not exist as a monolith, and that past figures should be evaluated according to modern values if we are to appraise our desires for future generations. We sketch out out symbols need to be understood as both heavy and empty. Warning: contains swearing. [Free. 19 minutes.]

STATE OF THE WORLD JUNE 2 2020

STATE OF THE WORLD JUNE 2 2020

June 8, 2020

This podcast is an account of our reactions to the state of things as on 2nd June 2020. In particular, we reflect on the murder of George Floyd by police and the resulting widespread social unrest and police violence in many US cities and demonstrations of solidarity across the world. We attempt  to relate these events to wider historical, economic, cultural and ecological contexts. 

IS THE PANDEMIC POLITICAL? HELL, YES.

IS THE PANDEMIC POLITICAL? HELL, YES.

April 15, 2020

In this podcast we argue that pleas not to 'play politics' with the COVID19 pandemic play into the hands of the far right. We identify and sketch out several political dimensions to the pandemic, amongst them the antecedents too the current responses, the ideological character of the current responses, and the possibilities that present themselves for the future as this crisis amongst many subsides. [Free. 35 minutes.]

THE ANATOMY OF A TORY

THE ANATOMY OF A TORY

April 13, 2020

In this podcast we dissect Dominic Raab's political declaration in the light of a critical reading of the quasi-philosophical underpinnings of much right wing politics. The conceptual incoherence and ideological intent of the declaration are brought into focus. [Free. 34 minutes.]

CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH &  POWER AND BIG DATA

CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH & POWER AND BIG DATA

February 7, 2020

This podcast is structured around a review of Peter Phillips' book, Giants: The Global Power Elite. I elucidate and assess the main points of the book, [1] that seventeen globally active asset management corporations each administer over $1 trillion, together totalling $41.1 trillion, [2] that these corporations are managed by 199 directors who Phillips gives brief biographies of; [3] that there are deep connections between these personnel and the three main propaganda and public relations global conglomerates, various 'think tanks' and policy bodies, and governments.  I further relate this connectivity to the role of big data as it is extracted and exploited by the tech giants Google and Facebook. I rely on Shoshana Ruboff's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism to make the latter connection. In the light of Phillips' and Ruboff's rigorous scholarship, I consider the vilification of the UK left by the billionaire-owned media and the prospect of a radical, progressive turn in world politics and what is needed to ensure it. [Free. 29 minutes.]

THE YOGI AND THE COMMISSAR: REVOLUTION?

THE YOGI AND THE COMMISSAR: REVOLUTION?

January 25, 2020

In this podcast I question the nature of revolution, particularly as to its ultimate ground, which for some should be consciousness, and for others, the power structures of society, particularly materialistically understood. I outline the thought that both must be involved as it is found in the ongoing historical conversation. This includes Freudian Marxism, and the existentialism of Simone de Beauvoir, who gives us the figures of the yogi and the commissar to imagine. [Free.  28 minutes.]

RESILIENCE: INTERVIEW WITH GODFREY DEVEREUX

RESILIENCE: INTERVIEW WITH GODFREY DEVEREUX

January 25, 2020

In this interview renowned Yoga Teacher Godfrey Devereux about a recent turn his work has taken. Godfrey has dropped the language surrounding contemporary Yoga to talk instead about resilience and how it is a consequence of a certain meditative self-enquiry. I ask Godfrey to elucidate this and particularly in the context of impending ecological catastrophe. I give my own take on these matters which is more inclined to speak up for activism. Listen to the following podcast, The Yogi and the Commissar, in which I explore some of the themes that emerged and in the light of Simone de Beauvoir's existentialism. [Free. 32 minutes.]