The real class war is within the rich, Janan Ganesh, FT
Uber pays to get rid of its self-driving cars, Pluralistic, Cory Doctorow
The radical Left is now extinct, Oliver Bateman & Malcolm Kyeyune, Unherd
If liberal democracy has been dethroned, what next?
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This month we discuss a book by leading German sociologist and public intellectual, Wolfgang Streeck. Critical Encounters is a compilation of book reviews, discussing neoliberal ideas, politics and economy.
We start off by discussing the value of reading books in today's noisy, social media-filled, locked-down climate, as well as what makes a good book review. Then we address five themes: the coming of post-industrial society; popular misconceptions about neoliberalism; German hegemony in Europe; Cosmopolitan delusions; and the future of capitalism.
Our interview with Wolfgang Streeck from November 2020 can be found here.
On the Biden administration and Trumpist reaction.
We discuss the riot at the US Capitol and why it was not a (failed) coup attempt. How serious was the event, and what next for Trumpist reaction - will it lead to a split in the Republican Party?
Our guests - journalist Amber Frost and political science academic Daniel Bessner - help us preview what the Biden administration has in store for the US. With Democratic control of both houses, it should be able to pass legislation - but does it have any substantial plans to do so? In foreign policy, we can expect more foreign adventurism and at home, an ominous anti-domestic terrorism bill. Does the alliance of the Democrats with an increasingly domineering Silicon Valley signal the coming-out moment of authoritarian liberalism?
- Riot on the Hill, Mike Davis, NLR Sidecar blog
- Render unto Ourselves, What is Ours—or Caesar Will Seize It, Alex Hochuli, Damage
- What Experts on Extremism Want From the Biden Administration, James D Walsh, NYMag
- Morbid Symptoms Can Persist for a Long Time, Barry Eidlin, Jacobin
- Violence in the Capitol, Dangers in the Aftermath, Glenn Greenwald, Substack
- The revenge of the blob, Alex Ward, Vox
On the 'war communism' solution
As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant turmoil, suffering and lockdown, inevitably the search for systemic causes and systemic responses grows more intense. Swedish ecologist and social theorist Andreas Malm joins us to discuss one possible response - a crisis communism modelled on the War Communism of early Soviet rule, as discussed in his new book ‘Corona, Climate Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty First Century.’ We discuss the nature of our contemporary crises, and how far the left needs its own distinctive form of emergency politics.
- “To Halt Climate Change, We Need an Ecological Leninism”, Jacobin interview with Andreas Malm
- Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century, Andreas Malm, Verso
- Nature Defends Itself, Dayton Martindale, Boston Review