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JOHNSON’S POST-TRUTH SPEECH TO TORY CONFERENCE - INTERESTING TIMES 11

JOHNSON’S POST-TRUTH SPEECH TO TORY CONFERENCE - INTERESTING TIMES 11

October 8, 2020

In this podcast, I examine Boris Johnson's speech to the Tory Party Conference 2020. I identify several instance of incoherence within the speech. These concern the ostensible allegiance to private provision of public service which on examination is seen to obscure the actual entanglement of state and corporate power, the rhetorical reduction of the concept of freedom to a triviality, a scant regard for truth, a display of ignorance as to the nature of historical narrative, and, hoping no-one will notice, talking as though xenophobia and a concern for social justice can be reconciled, which they can't.  [Free. 34 minutes.]

WHAT IS FASCISM? 2 - THE PRESENT DAY UK & USA

WHAT IS FASCISM? 2 - THE PRESENT DAY UK & USA

October 6, 2020

In this podcast, I ask the question, "Are the US and UK fascist?" I attempt to address this question by checking if any of the features I identified in the first podcast of this series are observable in the current situations in the UK and the US. [I leave aside the matter of the economy for a future podcast.] I conclude that many of the elements of fascism are present and that some are venerable, others incipient and some are being actively cultivated. I suggest briefly what needs to be done about this dangerous situation. [Free. 1 hour 2 mins.]

WHAT IS FASCISM? 1 - HISTORICAL EXAMPLES

WHAT IS FASCISM? 1 - HISTORICAL EXAMPLES

October 2, 2020

In this first of a series on fascism, I identify eleven prominent features of the historical forms of fascism of Hitler's Germany  and Mussolini's Italy, describe them and show how they inter-relate.  I make the point that the features can give rise to varied surface appearances and that we shouldn't expect future manifestations of the 'syndrome' to look like Nazi Germany or fascist Italy. I propose to see, in future podcasts of this series, to see if we find any of the crucial feature incipient or actually present in the contemporary situation of the USA and the UK.  [Free. 54 minutes.]

WHY HAS SOCIALISM BECOME A DIRTY WORD?

WHY HAS SOCIALISM BECOME A DIRTY WORD?

August 24, 2020

In this podcast, we investigate why and how socialism has become a dirty word through the operations of propaganda and ideology. This naturally entails giving a characterisation of socialism, which we do, starting with the observation that it isn't one thing and that the word has a range of meanings. We conclude that the ideological war has to be fought alongside concrete organisation and that values cannot be bracketed out of the conversation even as we offer robust materialist analysis. [Free. 50 minutes.]

WHAT CAN WE DO?

WHAT CAN WE DO?

August 12, 2020

In this podcast, I apply some raw thinking to characterising what seem to be the two primary political orientations in Western 'democracies' today. These are conservatism and progressivism. I identify and characterise two tendencies in progressivism, majoritarianism and vanguardism. Both of these pose practical and theoretical dilemas. I propose a broad way forward for progressives which mitigates those dilemmas. The discussion passes through a range of issues, amongst them, the natures of inequality, wealth, power and revolution. [Free. 1 hour.]

EMPOWERMENT - INTERESTING TIMES 5

EMPOWERMENT - INTERESTING TIMES 5

June 26, 2020

In this podcast we examine the way in which organisers a Trump rally in Oklahoma were manipulated by 'TikToc kids' into preparing for a much larger crowd than in fact turned up. We see some hope in the imaginative use of social media by a tech-savvy generation as well as discerning a certain fragility in system of dominance which pervades society. [Free. 32 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.]

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.]

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.]

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