On German's elections ? and the costs of stability.
Wolfgang Streeck is back on the podcast to round-up Germany's elections last Sunday (26 September). What's behind the emphasis on continuity and competence? Is Germany stuck in the 2000s?
We also discuss the importation of US-style culture wars into Germany, the country's role in the Eurozone, and strategic relations with France.
The second part of the conversation ? where we debate the end of neoliberalism and capitalist crisis ? is over at patreon.com/bungacast.
Readings:Will it Be Enough?, Wolfgang Streeck, Sidecar ?Order? Prevails in Berlin, Gregor Baszak, The Bellows Things Can?t Go on Like This for the German Left, Alexander Brentler, Jacobin
The second in a special five-part series on generational consciousness and conflict. In this episode, we look at the emergence of 'youth' as political concept in the age following the French Revolution, and its shifting meanings. How important was generational consciousness in the Young Italy movement and its imitators in the 19th century, and how should we understand the so-called 'Lost Generation' of 1914?
Guests include:Niall Whelahan, Chancellor?s Fellow in History, Strathclyde University
Original music by: Jonny Mundey
Additional music:Leimoti / Don't Leave It Here / courtesy of www.epidemicsound.com Leimoti / The Small Things / courtesy of www.epidemicsound.com Philip Ayers / Trapped in a Maze / courtesy of www.epidemicsound.com Walt Adams / Dark Tavern / courtesy of www.epidemicsound.com
Other Clips:Black 47 Trailer © 2018 - WildCard Distribution Arracht Trailer © 2019 - Break Out Pictures The Sun Also Rises © 2019 - 20th Century Fox Mr Lloyd George Speaks To The Nation (1931) British Pathé
For access to all Aufhebunga Bunga content, including the entirety of this series, subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast
On Germany's election this week.
Merkel has led Germany since 2005, outlasting any number of politicians across the West. What accounts for her longevity? How has such a non-ideological, post-political figure lasted so long?
Germany is finally leaving her motherly embrace. But why is continuity on the cards, despite the many global crises Germany has passed through?
The first in a special five-part series on generational consciousness and conflict. In this episode, we look at the current, vexed discourse around generations, and analyse competing theories on how to understand generational cleavages.
Guests include:Felix Krawatzek, political scientist at the Centre for East European and International Studies in Berlin Jennie Bristow, sociologist at Canterbury Christ Church University Joshua Glenn, semiotician, author, and publisher of HiLoBrow
Original music by: Jonny Mundey
Peter Kuli / OK Boomer / courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc.
Liru / For the Floor / courtesy of www.epidemicsound.com
For access to all Aufhebunga Bunga content, including the entirety of this series, subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast
On Covid and the end of the end of history. Adam Tooze joins us to discuss his new book, Shutdown. In 2020 everything changed... so that everything might remain the same. What were the reasons behind the global shutdown? Was it a result of over-protection, a policy of repression, or the result of structural tensions? Has China been the winner of the pandemic? How have central banks been victims of their own success? And does this represent the end of neoliberalism? The latter part of the interview continues over on patreon.com/bungacast
On lockdowns, education, and the left.
California middle-school teacher and social critic Alex Gutentag (@galexybrane) joins us to talk about the depredations of lockdown in California and the wider world.
How has lockdown affected different segments of society, and how damaging have school closures been on education? Why has the professional middle class been so in favour of widespread restrictions ? and how did the left go from backing Medicare 4 All to cheering on lockdowns in the space of a few months?
Readings:The War on Reality, Alex Gutentag, The Tablet The Great Covid Class War, Alex Gutentag, The Bellows
What comes after neoliberalism - the protective state?
We talk to Paolo Gerbaudo about his new book, The Great Recoil, in which Paolo argues we are now turning inwards ? globalisation is no longer a sea of opportunity and instead fear dominates. How convincing is his notion of an emerging 'protective state', and do either the left or right variants of it really promise us much at all? Part two of the interview is available for subscribers only. Sign up and listen at patreon.com/bungacast Links:The Great Recoil, Verso Books On the 'digital party', Bungacast
Full episode for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
What country best captures 20th and 21st century history?
For our 200th episode special, we posed the question: "If you had to study the history of only one country from 1900-2020, and thereby understand the history of the whole world, which would you pick?"
You voted on the ten submissions and now we invited the top 3 back on the pod to discuss in more depth: Dominik Leusder on Germany; David Broder on Italy; and David Adler on India.
Then Phil and Alex choose a winner (it's a "managed democracy").
Buy our book! Links to retailers
On Chinese investment, Swiss democracy, and fleeing from Afghanistan.
In this Three Articles, we discuss flight or departure in various ways: China opening the gates for its huge savings to spill onto world markets; Switzerland leaving (or remaining outside) the EU; and the US's sudden departure from Afghanistan, without telling anyone.
'Three Articles' episodes are normally for subscribers only - but this one's free. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast for regular access.
London book launch/bunga party: Register here Articles:What happens if Chinese household wealth is unleashed on the world?, Thomas Hale and Tabby Kinder, FT (pdf in patreon) Swexit, Wolfgang Streeck, Sidecar-NLR US troops abandoned Bagram airport base in the dead of night..., various, Daily Mail
In our latest 3A, we discuss "the clerisy" and how it relates to the PMC; how the EU is doing forever war just as much as the US; and the hyper-commodification of football. The full episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
Articles:Did Populism Start A 21st Century Anti-Clerical Revolution?, Angela Nagle, Substack Interview with Wolfgang Streeck: The EU?s war in Africa, Jonas Elvander, Brave New Europe Cursed and compromised but Euro 2020?s irresistible circus rolls on, Barney Ronay, The Guardian
We discuss Michael Lind's The New Class War.
Lind identifies new lines in the class war, between working class and managerial overclass, between those in the "heartlands" and those in the "hubs". How convincing is this account? What is his critique of technocratic managerialism and its symptom, populism? How convincing - and realistic - is his solution of "democratic pluralism"? And is this only achievable as a result of a new cold war with China? Reading Clubs are for higher-tier subscribers only. Sign up for $10/mo for full access: patreon.com/bungacast
On world history, 1900-2020.
For our 200th episode special, we pose the question: "If you had to study the history of only one country from 1900-2020, and thereby understand the history of the whole world, which would you pick?"
We invited 10 contributors to each pitch one country, whose particularities capture the universal sweep of world history from the start of the 20th century till now.
Vote for which you think is best, and we'll have the top 3 back on to discuss in more depth: Link to voting page
Running order:(18:20) Germany - Dominik Leusder (23:02) Greece - Jonas Kyratzes (27:57) India - David Adler (33:46) Indonesia - Vincent Bevins (38:25) Iraq - Liam Meissner (44:03) Italy - David Broder (49:19) Mexico - Roger Lancaster (54:01) Taiwan - Nic Johnson (59:44) Turkey - Arash Azizi (01:04:32) Yugoslavia - Lily Lynch
Buy our book! Links to retailers
Come to our London book launch! Event link
On secularism, nationalism and identity politics.
India is held up as a model developing country: liberal, democratic, multicultural. Renowned Indian writer and activist Achin Vanaik joins us to examine how India has turned away from universalism and secularism.
How did Gandhi, Nehru and the Congress as a whole lay the seeds for today's Hindu chauvinism? What are the consequences of defining secularism as merely 'tolerance'? And how has caste come to function a bit like identity politics in relation to the state?
Readings:Nationalist Dangers, Secular Failings, Achin Vanaik, Aakar Books The Rise of Hindu Authoritarianism, Achin Vanaik, Verso Books The Rise of Hindu Nationalism and the Failures of the Indian Left, Interview with Achin Vanaik, Jacobin
In the lead-up to our 200th episode later this month, we're exceptionally re-releasing our 100th episode special this week.
On the 30 years since 1989.
For our 100th episode, we invited our favourite guests to reflect on the question: ?What one event, personal or political, most captures for you the past thirty years, since 1989??
Are we still living in the death throes of the 20th century, or is something new emerging?
Guests:(00:07:42) - Maren Thom (00:14:14) - David Broder (00:21:33) - Ashley Frawley (00:26:11) - Catherine Liu (00:33:05) - Angela Nagle (00:40:49) - Benjamin Fogel (00:46:25) - Alex Gourevitch (00:51:31) - BungaCast hosts (00:59:22) - David Adler (01:04:05) - Amber A?Lee Frost (01:08:48) - James Heartfield (01:16:17) - Anton Jaeger (01:23:24) - Leigh Phillips (01:30:25) - Lee Jones (01:36:03) - Karl Sharro
We discuss the third and final in the series of Perry Anderson essays on the EU in the London Review of Books, "The Breakaway", and wonder if the EU can - despite its crises - just carry on indefinitely.
Reading Clubs are for monthly subscribers $10+. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
On China, economic reform, and the future.
While Russia famously succumbed to destructive neoliberal "shock therapy", China managed to avoid it. How and why? Isabella Weber, author of How China Escaped Shock Therapy, tells us about China's opting for gradual reform instead.
What did reform mean for understandings of socialism? Do communists make the best capitalists? And is the pursuit of growth and development at any cost China's own version of the End of History?
On global insurrection and identity politics.
This episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacastWe discuss an essay by the ultra-left collective 'Endnotes' that deals with the same political questions as we do, but comes up with different answers. Are the fragmented and ephemeral movements that have taken to the streets in France, Chile and the US, for example, the future of politics? Anti-political rejections of the establishment seem radical, but can they overcome their own negativity? And are identity politics the necessary form that re-politicisation has taken? Readings: Essay discussed Onward Barbarians, Endnotes Background The Bleak Left, Tim Barker, n+1 Endnotes no.5: A melancholic goodbye?, Angry Workers of the World On communisation and its theorists, Friends of the Classless Society
On liberal idealism and imperial overreach.
Why did the winners of the Cold War turn 'revisionist', undermining their own order? How has utopianism come to dominate the discipline of IR, such that we have lost the means to critique power?
We discuss Philip's recent book, The New Twenty Years? Crisis 1999-2019: A Critique of International Relations, which is both a revisiting of EH Carr's international relations classic The Twenty Years' Crisis as well as an account of the contemporary crisis of the liberal international order. Reading:
The New Twenty Years? Crisis 1999-2019: A Critique of International Relations, Philip Cunliffe, McGill-Queen's UP
On class reductionism, commodity fetishism, and value theory.
To discuss Covid, the state as 'PMC leviathan', and the politics of value theory, we?re joined by philosopher Elena Louisa Lange, who also explains why class reductionism is not a theoretical position or a mere mistake, but a social reality. We also address the value of 'going back to school', take on the new Leftist 'holy trinity' of class-race-gender, and hear from Elena why we need to theorise the world before we change it.
Readings:The Middle-Class Leviathan: Corona, the ?Fascism? Blackmail, and the Defeat of the Working Class, Elena Louisa Lange and Joshua Pickett-Depaolis, Crisis and Critique, 2020 Marxism and the Crisis of Development in Prewar Japan, Germaine A. Hoston, Princeton, 1987 Lawyer?s Fees, Beetroot, and Music, Elena?s Substack Value Without Fetish, Elena Louisa Lange, Brill 2021 Marxist Class Theory for a Skeptical World, Raju J. Das, Haymarket, 2018
On Latin America's progressive wave and its discontents.
A new book on Latin America argues that 'pink tide' governments tried to treat the symptoms of neoliberal capitalism while allowing the underlying situation to worse. We talk to the author, Fabio Luis, about cases across the region, including the election in Ecuador and Venezuela's disaster, to Bolivia's coup and Argentina's "path of least resistance". How important is regional integration and what does an alternative socialist vision entail? And we ponder a sad question: is the dream of development and modernisation over?
Readings:Power and Impotence: A History of South America Under Progressivism (1998-2016), Fabio Luis Barbosa dos Santos, Haymarket /93/ Hot Chile and Other Neoliberal Failures ft. Pablo Pryluka Bungacast
On the end of the End of History and neo-feudalism.
This episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
In a continuation of our discussion on the emerging transfer state, we ask whether the end of neoliberalism entails the end of the 'End of History'. What are the determinate features of the End of History that we are leaving behind? Which are still with us?
Also, what to make of arguments that our future is neo- or techno-feudal? Do these terms make any sense? Or is it better to think of two alternate futures: Japanisation or Brazilianisation?The End of the End of History, Bungacast, Zer0 Books Neofeudalism: The End of Capitalism?, Jodi Dean, LA Review of Books Neo-feudalism in California, Joel Kotkin, American Affairs
On cash welfarism and state investment. Plus regionalism in Belgium & the UK.
Anton Jäger is back on the pod to discuss the emerging 'transfer state'. We examine Biden's massive trillion-dollar spending plans and ask if this means we're leaving neoliberalism. What are the limitations to the 'cashification of welfare'? Also comparisons with cash transfers or lack thereof in the UK, Brazil and Belgium. Plus Anton talks us through recent Belgian history and why its immobilism and bureaucracy has actually prevented a full-on neoliberal assault.
[Part 2 available at patreon.com/bungacast]
Readings:?Welfare without the welfare state?: the death of the postwar welfarist consensus, Anton Jäger & Daniel Zamora, New Statesman Joe Biden Is a Transformational President, David Brooks, NYT
On the uprising in Myanmar, plus Covid state failure.
Southeast Asia scholar (and Bunga recidivist) Lee Jones joins us to talk about the coup in Myanmar (and why the word ?coup? can be misleading), and explains the nature of the forces opposing the military, in the context of the country?s recent transition to civilian rule.
Then, from 40mins, we discuss how the UK failed in dealing with the pandemic, and how this applies across the West. Lee's recent work looks at the neoliberal "regulatory state" and its incapacities, so we compare the UK's failure with Korea's relative success.
Readings:Preliminary thoughts on the Myanmar ?coup?, Lee Jones, Medium Responding to the Myanmar coup, Crisis Group How the Civil Disobedience Movement can win, Aye Min Thant and Yan Aung, Frontier How the pandemic has exposed Britain?s failed ?regulatory state?, Lee Jones, Daily Telegraph COVID-19 and the failure of the neoliberal regulatory state (pdf), Lee Jones and Shahar Hameiri, Review of International Political Economy
We discuss the first of Perry Anderson's new essays on Europe published in the London Review of Books, which focuses on Luuk van Middelaar - described as the EU's first organic intellectual. We discuss what that means, as well as the role of the "coup" in forming the EU. Reading Club episodes are for subscribers $10+. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
On the socialist case for Scottish independence.
David Jamieson and Cat Boyd, writers and hosts of Conter, the Scottish anti-capitalist website and podcast, join us to to talk about the prospects for Scottish independence in advance of the Scottish parliamentary elections in May. Would an independent Scotland within the EU be a contradiction in term? How would an independent Scotland fare - and what would it mean for the "national question" across Europe? And what's up with the factional strife among Scottish nationalists? Readings:Contercast, podcast hosted by Cat & David Independence Beyond Salmond and Sturgeon, David Jamieson, Conter The Origins of Scottish Nationhood, Neil Davidson, Pluto Press
On gay liberation and sexual politics.
After big advances over the past decades, we can now ask, did the gays win? And if so, so what? Mark Simpson in the UK and River Page in Florida join us to discuss whether something was lost in that victory.
We ponder whether gay politics was the original identity politics and what happens when a narrow focus on equality triumphs over liberation. Do sexual liberation politics have any future? Plus: how Blairism was the biggest drag act of all.
Readings:Anti-Gay, Mark Simpson (Bloomsbury, 1996) Being Gay in the Thirties (Gay Life), documentary mentioned by Mark Trading in the Past: Queer London, Mark Simpson The Standpoint Bureaucracy, River Page, TwinkRev The Woke Resurrection of a Gay Sex Panic, River Page, TwinkRev
We've exceptionally unlocked one of our recent Reading Clubs. For access to all the monthly Reading Clubs - as well as our ~2 patreon episodes a month - subscribe at patreon.com/bungacast for $10.
On Richard Tuck's The Left Case for Brexit, a book composed of essays written throughout the Brexit process, providing a diary of Brexit of sorts, as well as political and historical arguments around sovereignty. We also take the opportunity to debate its global implications - what are the possibilities for popular sovereignty in a globalised world? On the final deal and its implications, see: The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: Minimum Brexit
We discuss Gilles Deleuze's short essay, Postscript on the Societies of Control and ask whether his understanding, according to which society has changed from one where discipline is exercised in institutions to one where control is implemented across society, holds water.
The monthly Bungacast Reading Club is for patrons $10+. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
On American breakdown. Editor of Damage Magazine, Benjamin Fong, joins us to talk about the lack of shared narratives in contemporary America. We discuss QAnon and conspiracy theories, Biden's authoritarian liberalism, and "pro-worker" conservatives. We also interrogate the use of psychological analyses of politics and reaffirm the value of psychoanalysis, in a preview of a more detailed forthcoming discussion on our patreon. Readings:The Siren Song of ?Pro-Worker? Conservatism, Benjamin Fong & Dustin Guastella, Jacobin Unpacking the Left's Culture Baggage, Benjamin Fong, Damage Therapy Without Therapists, Briana Last, Damage