We take on Italy's election of a new president and what that tells us about permanent crisis, the EU and the curtailing of democracy; we ask how serious the risk of war in Ukraine actually is; and review a film we haven't seen.
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3 Articles:
On the German Greens' shady history.
Journalist Lily Lynch, editor of Balkanist, joins us to talk about her recent investigations into the Green Party, who are now back in power in Germany.
The 68ers attempted to combat authoritarianism and Nazi legacies through sexual liberation, building on the work of Wilhelm Reich. How did this lead some small groups associated with the Greens to advocate paedophilia – and even to accept former Nazis into their ranks?
Later the Greens would fully embrace war. We discuss how their emphasis on "maturity" and multilateral humanitarianism became the means through which they justified their new hawkish stance and adoption of NATO's cause.
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On our current attention-deficit and hyperpolitical disorder.
In our book, The End of the End of History, we discuss the move from post-politics to anti-politics; from consensus to rejection; from apathy to anger. In a new article, Anton Jäger argues we've now moved into a hyperpolitical age. Is everything being politicised...except the really important stuff?
We discuss some examples of hyperpolitics in Europe and North America and ask if what's going on is just a hot culture war, or something bigger. And what are the risks of an actual civil war in France or the US?
January 5, 2022

Grand Reset

Bungacast is back for 2022, refreshed and reloaded.
We've got a completely revamped Reading Club, arranged along three themes: Emergency Politics & Control; Cynical Ideology; and Techno-Feudalism.
And there will be plenty of deep dives on national politics around the globe and discussions of big ideas with top guests.
On Millennial homeowners, the USA falling apart, and restoration in the UK.

As better-off 30-somethings start to get on the property ladder, does this put paid to 'Generation Left'? Will American decline be accompanied by a second civil war - as China serenely watches on? And does Britain represent a return to the 'End of History'? Is everything becoming boring again?
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For the last time in 2021, we take your questions, comments and criticisms.
As always, lots of debate about Covid - and we start by remarking upon a possible u-turn on the issue on the British left.
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How has the cold and hard world of bureaucratic, instrumental rationalism penetrated the intimate sphere of love and relationships? And how has open communication and emotional understanding been used to advance economic interests?
We want to hear what you're thinking: fill out our Bunga Listeners' Survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NN6SPD9

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On Thursday 9 November, George Hoare and Alex Hochuli took part in a conversation with Catherine Liu about their recent books – The End of the End of History and Virtue Hoarders, respectively. The focus was on the social and political role of the Professional-Managerial Class in historical context.

The webinar was hosted and presented by the UCI Humanities Center, as part of their Ideas with Impact series and we're reposting the conversation as a podcast here.

On the left outflanked.
We continue our discussion with Douglas Lain, formerly of Zer0 Books and now of Diet Soap Media. Has the left been overtaken by events - yet again? And we propose a typology of a left divided between progressives, populists and Marxists – progressives who are authoritarian, populists who are opportunists, and Marxists who are lonely.
Hey listener - why not tell us how you see Bunga and the world? Fill out our listener survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NN6SPD9

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On branding and the left. 

Douglas Lain, until recently publisher of Zer0 Books and now of Diet Soap Media, joins us to talk about what happened with Zer0. Mainly, we discuss the left at the End of History, revisit No Logo and the anti-branding stance, and compare Gen X and Millennial lefts - is it just a continual story of decline?


On people power on three continents.

We discuss Chile's landmark elections, the first after the uprising of 2019-20, which see a face-off between left and far-right; Modi's repeal of controversial laws that provoked a huge mobilisation of farmers in India last year; and protests and riots against new lockdowns and vaccine mandates across Europe.


Other relevant episodes


On modernity's contradictions.
In this month's Reading Club, we discuss the introduction to Marshall Berman's marvellous All That Is Solid Melts Into Air.
This is an excerpt. For the full episode, subscribe for $10/mo at patreon.com/bungacast
Can we revive, as Berman intends, the truly dialectical, 19th century attitude to modernity? What value is there in talking about "modernity" rather than “capitalism”? And how to we recognise possibilities for transcending today's impasses, where the question of "modernity" isn't even on the table?
The final Reading Club of 2021 will be on Eva Illouz's Cold Intimacies.
On the Jacobin & YouGov survey of the US working class.
A study (pdf) carried out by YouGov on behalf of Jacobin magazine and the Center for Working-Class Politics has learned that "working-class voters prefer progressive candidates who focus primarily on bread-and-butter economic issues, and who frame those issues in universal terms." What can we learn from the study, beyond the obvious? What are its limitations, who is it for, and what does the survey say about those who commissioned it?
Plus: does it make sense to frame your politics as 'anti-woke'?

On sectarianism & identitarianism.

Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) is back on Bunga to talk to us about his essay "The Retreat from Universalism in the Middle East and the World".

Lebanon has been used as a model for other Middle Eastern countries, even though its confessional system is a disaster. But Lebanese-style sectarianism isn't a form of 'feudal' backwardness – in fact it represents a precursor of the multicultural and identitarian politics in the West.

Who are the enemies of universalism today, East and West? And what sort of political projects are capable of rejuvenating secular universalism?

See also:


Buy our book: The End of the End of History

Subscribe to the podcast: patreon.com/Bungacast


On rising wages after the pandemic.
Workers are quitting their jobs and not going back. Restricted supply is seeing wages go up. Does this signal a new militancy, or are workers just deciding to make do with less? How has the pandemic shaped people's outlooks?

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