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ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN THE UK & BEYOND - PART 2b [THE PRESENT]

ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN THE UK & BEYOND - PART 2b [THE PRESENT]

October 23, 2021

In this episode of our series on the possibility of economic collapse in the UK and beyond, we examine the degradation of the ecosphere and its relationship to the economy and culture. [Free. 1 hour 7 minutes.]

ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN THE UK & BEYOND - PART 2a [THE PRESENT]

ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN THE UK & BEYOND - PART 2a [THE PRESENT]

October 19, 2021

In this second episode of our series on economic collapse, we examine a number of current economic crises in the UK and beyond and see if they resonate with what we encountered when examining some historical examples of collapse in Part 1. We focus particularly on the economic aspects of the crises in question. [Free. 1 hour 15 minutes.]

MONEY & TAX IN QUESTION - INTERESTING TIMES 40

MONEY & TAX IN QUESTION - INTERESTING TIMES 40

September 8, 2021

This podcast is a response to two events of the 7th September 2021. These are the beginning of El Salvador's policy to recognise Bitcoin as legal tender and UK PM Johnson's announcement in Parliament of tax measures to ostensibly finance much needed social care provisions. In the second case, rather than getting into the weeds of the actual policy announced by Johnson, the podcast focusses on the way in which certain assumptions about the nature of tax and money are uncritically accepted by politicians, media and economists.  I draw on Stephanie Kelton's The Deficit Myth. [Free. 30 minutes.]

DEMOCRACY FOR SALE - BOOK REVIEW

DEMOCRACY FOR SALE - BOOK REVIEW

May 3, 2021

In this podcast, I review Peter Georghegan's recent book Democracy for Sale. This book deals with our kleptocratic politics and is well written, rigorously referenced and consequently very useful as an aid to our understanding of our situation. [Free. 29 minutes.]

THE COLD WAR WITH CHINA - INTERESTING TIMES 31

THE COLD WAR WITH CHINA - INTERESTING TIMES 31

April 20, 2021

This podcast deals with economic, military and propaganda aspects of the developing cold war with China. [Free. 1 hour 25 minutes.]

KILL THE BILL PROTESTS & WHAT THEY EXPOSE - INTERESTING TIMES 28

KILL THE BILL PROTESTS & WHAT THEY EXPOSE - INTERESTING TIMES 28

March 30, 2021

In this podcast we reflect on the recent Kill the Bill protests, focussing on events in Bristol on Friday in which police violence was particularly marked. [26 March 21]. What we draw out from this situation the nature of ideology, the self-understanding of the police, and the radicalisation of participants in the protests. [Free. 40 minutes.] 

PEACEFUL PROTEST TO BE ILLEGAL? - INTERESTING TIMES 27

PEACEFUL PROTEST TO BE ILLEGAL? - INTERESTING TIMES 27

March 15, 2021

In this podcast we consider the ramifications on the recent murder of Sara Everhard and the violence of the police handling of the vigil expressing the ensuing grief and concern of women held on Clapham Common this weekend. We show how these matters are related to the lived experience of women throughout the UK as evidenced by outpourings on social media, and the authoritarian thrust of the current Tory government. Though the latter have attempted to distance themselves from the disgusting behaviour of their coercive force, the Metropolitan Police, we suggest that this is an ideological, mystifying move, given that today they are shepherding a bill through Parliament which will vastly reduce the right to peaceful protest. As always, we suggest what practically can be done to push back against this ghastly situation and lay the foundations of a decent society. [Free. 33 minutes.] 

MONARCHY: INSTITUTION & SOAP OPERA - INTERESTING TIMES 26

MONARCHY: INSTITUTION & SOAP OPERA - INTERESTING TIMES 26

March 12, 2021

Though prompted by the Prince Harry - Megan Markle interview with Oprah Winfrey and the ensuing furore, this podcast largely avoids the detail of those events, instead (initially) questioning the nature of the public and media interest in them. Consequently, I examine monarchy as an institution, drawing out the job it does of promoting hierarchical inequality, the hereditary principle, and a culture of deference. I go on to examine monarchy in its role as living soap opera which, I contend, serves to distract from urgent matters of public concern. I finishing by proposing the need for a new and fully democratic constitution for the UK and a method of writing it, inspired by recent developments in Chile. [Free. 27 minutes.]

THE DRY TINDER OF RESENTMENT & OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMANCIPATION - INTERESTING TIMES 25

THE DRY TINDER OF RESENTMENT & OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMANCIPATION - INTERESTING TIMES 25

March 6, 2021

Borrowing a metaphor from Chris Hedges, I consider the UK body politic as rather like a bulk of dry tinder waiting for a random spark to ignite a conflagration of unrest.  I suggest that both Brexit and the COV19 pandemic are intensifiers of this flammability. I treat the matter as having economic and cultural-ideological dimensions, particularly lighting on recent trade union activity in the UK. The recent UK budget receives some attention, particularly the 1% pay rise offer made to health service workers and the angry response that the health professionals made to it. I make suggestions as to how the broad left might not be caught disorientated the day after the inevitable sublime moments that are now waiting in the wings. This involves the judicious use of the utopian imagination to co-ordinate the many strands of progressive activism. [Free. 43 minutes.]

FREUD’S INFLUENCE ON US GOVERNMENT & BUSINESS

FREUD’S INFLUENCE ON US GOVERNMENT & BUSINESS

February 15, 2021

This podcast ranges wide over the uses of Freud's insights for manipulating mass thinking and behaviour on behalf of the state and corporations. We review Adam Curtis' four part documentary  The Century of the Self (2002),  as a way in. There is particular focus on the work of Freud's nephew Bernays, the father of modern PR and advertising and author of Propaganda (1928). We also draw attention to philosophical problems with Freudianism, particularly those noted by Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Though standing alone, the podcast is also groundwork for future podcasts on the psychopathology of fascism.

The Century of the Self available on YouTube. Episode 1- https://youtu.be/DnPmg0R1M04

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