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LAO TZU 18

LAO TZU 18

May 2, 2020

In this podcast we reflect on Chapter 31 of The Tao Te Ching. This Chapter deals with the pity and tragedy of war and the terrible nature of weapons and how the sage does not celebrate them. The sage, instead, loves peace and quiet and recommends it to rulers and peoples. We relate this to our current situation in which over $1.7 trillion are spent per annum globally on the weapons of war and in which many senseless and highly destructive wars are fought. We conclude that Lao Tzu's lesson in this chapter is one we urgently need to hear. [Free. 21 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.]

VIRUS POLITICS

VIRUS POLITICS

March 17, 2020

In this podcast I sketch out the features of the COVID-19 pandemic as it stands at the time of recording [15/3/20] before considering its political aspects. I argue that one feature of the catastrophe is that it is a black swan event further destabilising already unstable global capitalism. The inability of markets, neo-liberal ideologies and corporate profit fetishism to address the consequent, dire public health and economic crises is exposed very vividly, I claim. I then describe how the right will inevitably attempt to weaponise the resulting chaos, placing the human enterprise itself in jeopardy and how the broadly progressive wing of humanity must seize the initiative, both in terms of mutual aid organisation and on the ideological plane. Claiming the pandemic should not be politicised plays right into the hands of the malignant right. [Free. 24 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.]

GE 2019 - WHAT HAPPENED & WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

GE 2019 - WHAT HAPPENED & WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

December 30, 2019

In this podcast, I try to discern the reasons behind Labour's defeat in the UK general election held on 12 December, 2019. I consider Labour's move from honouring the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum to backing a second referendum and look at how this relates to voting patterns in contrast to those of the 2017 general election. I go on to examine the relentless propaganda assault on Labour and its leadership mounted by the billionaire owned press and the BBC. In the second part of the podcast, I look at possible strategies that the preceding analysis suggests. These include the development of alternative, independent media, the more effective use of the grass roots, the possibilities of networking and more effective use of social media, including the development of new platforms. And more! [Free. 68 minutes.]

TORYISM, CRUELTY & POWER

TORYISM, CRUELTY & POWER

December 4, 2019

In this podcast we examine the assertion that "A vote for the Conservatives is a vote for cruelty". We proceed by way an account of the ideological underpinnings of contemporary Toryism and their 'philosophical' roots, an empirical look at exemplary and actual sufferings caused by austerity, the psychology of Tory leaders and the class they represent and the psychology of the Tory base. The latter two are exposed through the use of the concept of resentment and the truism that power is a narcotic. We conclude that cruelty and the quest for the narcotic effects of power are deeply defining of conservatism. [Free. 19 minutes.]

DEATH OF THE NHS? -GE 19

DEATH OF THE NHS? -GE 19

December 3, 2019

Another podcast in our on-going UK General Election 2019 series: in this series we investigate the argument between the Tories who claim that they have no plans to privatise the NHS and Labour who contend that the Tories are hell-bent on selling it to American corporations in a no-deal Brexit future. This is quite detailed, examining the ideology underpinning Tory-ism, recent events and the history of the NHS. We incorporate a lived-experience testimony from a friend who had a harrowing experience looking after her aged mother as she succumbed to dementia. [Free. 50 minutes.]

THE MAIN-STREAM MEDIA, THE BBC & PROPAGANDA - GE 19

THE MAIN-STREAM MEDIA, THE BBC & PROPAGANDA - GE 19

November 30, 2019

In this podcast, we cast an eye over the UK main-stream media and the parasitic relationship the state broadcaster, the BBC, has with them. As illustrative example, we consider the furore over leaked trade deal discussions between the UK and the US. [These talks are predicated on a no-deal Brexit transpiring.] The UK government only released these documents as a result of a freedom of information request, and then in almost completely redacted form. Jeremy Corbyn and Barry Gardiner for Labour have the unredacted documents and have implied that they contain evidence of plans to 'sell off' the NHS to US corporations. Right wing ideologue and BBC rottweiler, Andrew Neil, describes this latter as 'scaremongering' and the Tory Party continue to insist that 'the NHS is not for sale'. And more! [Free. 47 minutes.]

THE CASE FOR LABOUR - GE 2019

THE CASE FOR LABOUR - GE 2019

November 6, 2019

This podcast is the first of several we will be doing in the run up to the general election to be held in the UK on December 12th 2019. It makes the general case for Labour as being the only party addressing the stark fact that 'business as usual is not an option'. It ranges quite far and wide, but with some focus on 'The Green Industrial Revolution'. [Free. 58 minutes.]