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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. 

ON DEMONIC SHORTCOMINGS: WHEN A SPAD BREAKS THE LAW WITH IMPUNITY

ON DEMONIC SHORTCOMINGS: WHEN A SPAD BREAKS THE LAW WITH IMPUNITY

May 25, 2020

In this podcast, we dissect the furore around Dominic Cummings' breaking of lock-down rules and the PM's refusal to sack him when other officials have been sacked for similar transgressions. We assert that the ramifications of this matter go beyond the indiscretions of one man, easily written off as peccadilloes, or even spun as legal, moral and full of integrity. We find that the matter exposes with great clarity the class nature of UK society, the entrenched nature of the culture of deference which upholds it, the absence of the truth faculty amongst the commentariat and the political class, the representation of gross inequality as the natural order, and much more besides. The public rage with which these events have been met attests to the legitimate resentment which has been subterranean for some time but which may now erupt. [Free. 44 minutes.]

LOCK-DOWN PROTESTS AND LIBERTARIAN ABSOLUTISM

LOCK-DOWN PROTESTS AND LIBERTARIAN ABSOLUTISM

May 19, 2020

In this podcast, we discuss the specifics of US and UK anti-lock-down protests which naturally leads on to a discussion of freedom per se and how it can be exercised so as to remove the freedom of others. This involves considerations of property, inequalities of wealth and power, discerning evidence, and evaluating narratives in the face of media and governmental disregard for truth. [Free. 24 minutes.]

CONSPIRACY THEORIES: EPISTEMOLOGY, POLITICS & SELF-CARE

CONSPIRACY THEORIES: EPISTEMOLOGY, POLITICS & SELF-CARE

May 8, 2020

The plethora of conspiracy theories circulating in the public discourse attests to a time of real crisis. In this podcast we examine the epistemological issues that arise from this situation, particularly with reference to scepticism, the hermeneutics of suspicion, and the matter of trust. We also briefly look at the relevant politics and the role of elite money in promoting conspiracy theories and how these theories, though perhaps rightly suspicious of government, nevertheless come down on the side of the status quo. We finish with some recommendations for self-care in the face of the toxic sea of post-truth that public discourse has become. [Free. 28 minutes.]

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.]

WHEN MSM TURN ON THE GOVERNMENT

WHEN MSM TURN ON THE GOVERNMENT

April 7, 2020

In this podcast we ask what happens when the MSM turns on the government, as it appears to be so doing at the moment as the UK government mismanages the COVID19 pandemic. Is the essentially propaganda function of the press changed by this development? We analyse the way in which it isn't. [Free. 25 minutes.]

MANAGED OPPOSITION: MSM & POWER DYNAMICS

MANAGED OPPOSITION: MSM & POWER DYNAMICS

March 31, 2020

In this podcast, we examine the role played by main stream media in the power dynamics of the global economic system. We focus on the BBC and Channel 4 UK news outlets and their reportage of the COVID19 pandemic which is somewhat critical of the UK government. The contrast between this critical reportage and the unrelenting and untruthful hostility to Labour in the run up to the 2019 election indicates, we argue, that Chomsky's characterisation of MSM as 'controlled opposition' is cogent. [We call it 'managed opposition'.] [Free. 22 minutes.]

PANDEMIC TRAUMAS

PANDEMIC TRAUMAS

March 26, 2020

In this podcast we identify four types of trauma that the global CORVID19 pandemic is inflicting on individuals and societies. They are to do with isolation and restriction due to lock-down, fear, anxiety and panic, increased awareness of death, and political / economic disillusionment. In the second half we attempt to discern how these traumas will continue to act in the future when the pandemic has subsided. [Free. 38 minutes.]