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UKRAINE & THE FOG OF WAR 2 - INTERESTING TIMES 51

UKRAINE & THE FOG OF WAR 2 - INTERESTING TIMES 51

March 10, 2022

In this podcast, I examine important historical antecedents to the war in Ukraine. In particular, I appraise the argument that the eastward spread of NATO bears some responsibility for what is now so catastrophically unfolding. [Free. 1 hour, 12 minutes.]

UKRAINE & THE FOG OF WAR 1 - INTERESTING TIMES 50

UKRAINE & THE FOG OF WAR 1 - INTERESTING TIMES 50

March 1, 2022

This episode of Interesting Times considers the war in Ukraine and the informational fog around it. I pay particular attention to the proceedings of the United Nations Security Council and the address to the European Parliament given by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. I also briefly engage with views as diverse as those of Republican  military man Col Larry Wilkerson and radical journalist Ben Norton. Further episodes to follow on the history of the region and analyses of the public discourses in circulation. [Free. 29 minutes.]

LAO TZU 40

LAO TZU 40

August 26, 2021

This podcast deals with Chapter 40 of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. We concentrate on the amazing relevance this chapter has to our current political, economic and spiritual emergencies. In a few short lines, Lao Tzu diagnoses the condition of the working people of his time as subjection to violent and militarily oriented 'robber barons' whilst they themselves are the creators of value and the necessary goods to sustain life. This is exactly our condition too. Lao Tzu offers a meditation to counter the fragmental [non-holistic, non-systemic thinking] which is the ideological counterpart to a kleptocratic economy. [Free. 29 minutes.]

REASON ON REASON 4 - MADNESS

REASON ON REASON 4 - MADNESS

February 3, 2021

In this podcast we examine madness or the loss of reason to further our picturing of reason. We start out with the fact that madness, like reason has a history which offers us a variety of causal explanations of madness, treatments for it, and accounts of its meaning. We also give a brief account of nosological drift. Both of these preliminaries serve to cast suspicion on the notion that we can discern madness through contrast with a supposedly sane consensus reality. Accordingly, we are drawn to consider madness in terms of suffering people and to appraise crazy social and political situations through the employment of a critical awareness rather than accepting the status quo understanding as a yardstick. That critical awareness, we claim, entails acquaintance with ones own potential for irrationality. [Free. 54 minutes.]

REASON ON REASON 2 - THE ANTECEDENTS TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT

REASON ON REASON 2 - THE ANTECEDENTS TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT

December 17, 2020

In this second episode of our series on reason, I take a broad brush to outline 

some of the main antecedents to the so-called European Enlightenment, also know as 'The Age of Reason'. I focus on the rise of experimental science in the contexts of church power and violence against those who contradict its doctrines, the rise of the bourgeoisie, and advances in mathematics. The figures of Descartes, Galileo and Newton loom large but Aristotle, Aquinas, Copernicus, Kepler and others also have parts. [Free. 44 minutes.]

US ELECTION AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE - INTERESTING TIMES 14

US ELECTION AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE - INTERESTING TIMES 14

November 4, 2020

This brief episode of Interesting Times takes a  brief look the general chaos in the US and the UK before outlining the undemocratic nature of the US electoral college. [Free. 15 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.]

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.]

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.]

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