On our financialised world. 

We talk to Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou about his new book, Speculative Communities. How has speculation become the very practice around which modern societies coalesce? And how does speculation actually give voice to the  waning legitimacy of neoliberalism? 

Do dating apps, Tik Tok and other social media give birth to 'speculative communities'? And is populism a speculation on the future, a leap into the unknown?

On the climate emergency.

We are specially unlocking this episode of our monthly Reading Club – the concluding episode of the first half of the 2022 syllabus (download it here). If you'd like full access to all of the Reading Club, go to patreon.com/bungacast

We discuss Andreas Malm's Climate, Corona, Chronic Emergency and Adam Tooze's review essay, "Ecological Leninism". How convincing is Malm's call for Soviet war communism as a model for responding to climate change? 

We also approach these readings in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the knock-on consequences for energy politics. And what should we make of Tooze's  contrast of social democratic time-frames with the eco-Leninist one? 

On energy, the material basis for all our politics?

Helen Thompson, podcaster and professor of political economy at Cambridge and author of Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century, joins us to talk about the geopolitics of oil, stretching from the 1956 Suez Crisis to the Fracking Revolution of today. How does US energy independence help explain shifting politics in Europe and the Middle East?

Plus, did the End of History stay afloat on a sea of cheap oil?  

Part 2 of the interview, plus our After Party, is here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/251-oil-disorder-64394535

Readings:

On the global energy crisis. 
 
Nuclear energy advocate Emmet Penney (@nukebarbarian) joins us to discuss the growing energy crunch in Europe, the US and beyond. Nuclear power is opposed by an unholy alliance of environmentalists and neoliberals - yet it seems the best solution for providing plentiful, reliable, and clean energy. As a demand, it seems an open goal for the left - so why are so many resistant?
 
Part 2 is available here for patreon subscribers. 
 
Links & Readings:

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 net-zero, CCP nanny state, and optimised dating.
 
We start off discussing the HBO series "The White Lotus" before tackling three articles on middle-class anxieties: climate change and pressures on UK living standards; the Chinese state's crackdown on private tutoring; and women's attempt to avoid crappy men through 'Female Dating Strategy'.
 
The full episode is available to patrons only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
 
Articles:
 
On consequences of the pandemic + important local election results in Spain & UK.
 
We start off by discussing the telling results of some recent local and regional elections: in the UK, Labour continues its drift to becoming a middle-class party; while in Spain, Madrid goes to the right. Podemos flops, while voters seem to endorse an anti-lockdown stance.
 
Then we get to our three articles on the consequences of the pandemic: is live-streaming complicit with power? Are liberals now anti-science? Will inflation return?
 
Three Articles:
On Covid state failure + responses to listeners. 
 
The full episode is for subscribers only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast
 
We start off by discussing listener points and criticisms – e.g. is PMC a useful category? Is a counterculture a terrible idea? Were we wrong on Deleuze? More on the lockdown debate... – before featuring the second part of our discussion with Lee Jones on the coronavirus and state failure (from 45:30).
 
We look in depth at what went wrong in Western state responses to the pandemic, why they didn't follow their own plans, and compare this to South Korea's relative success.
 
Readings:
On Uber, class war among the rich, and its political consequences
Articles:

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.

Readings:

 

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