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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.]

A STATUE DIES - INTERESTING TIMES 1

A STATUE DIES - INTERESTING TIMES 1

June 8, 2020

This podcast is the first of our series of immediate reflections on current affairs. In it, we deal with the toppling of a seventeenth century statue of slave-trader Edward Colston by demonstrators in  Bristol. We celebrate this action and offer arguments against the right-wing reactions to this event. [Free. 39 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.]

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.]

NATURALLY OCCURRING COMMUNISM

NATURALLY OCCURRING COMMUNISM

March 22, 2020

In this short podcast, we revisit the theme of naturally occurring communism, this time as it appears as a response to the COV19 pandemic and comes to be more widely valued. We consider whether it can further develop when the pandemic finally subsides and conclude that it might, but it will have to fought for. [Free. 14 minutes.]

LEAST VALUED, MOST VALUABLE

LEAST VALUED, MOST VALUABLE

March 21, 2020

In this short podcast, I examine the role of the UK's 'key workers' in the midst of the current global COVID19 pandemic. With a few examples I show how the nature of these workers is brought out of ideologically produced obscurity into the light by the crisis. Often low-status, poorly paid, and traduced and poorly treated by the conservative government, these workers, I argue, are both more necessary and more public spirited than, say, hedge-fund managers. [Free. 9 minutes.]