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Philosophy, politics, and the left.

Philosophy, politics, and the left.


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Philosophy, politics, and the left.








Episode 184 - Jersey Shore Marxism, with Gabriel Raeburn

Today we've got historian Gabe Raeburn to discuss his recent article The Rise and Fall of Marxist Perspectives: Eugene Genovese and the Fight for Hegemony in Radical American Historiography. This was an ambitious left-wing historical journal that aimed to unite various warring factions on the left and push Marx-inflected history, but collapsed after just two years thanks to Genovese's compulsive feuding and domineering personality. We talk Eric Foner, Gramsci, Christopher Lasch, the...


Episode 182 - The Movements of 2020 with David Kaib

Friend of the pod David Kaib has been conducting multiple reading groups of the classic book Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed and How They Fail, by Francis Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, over the past year. The book has perhaps never been more relevant given the the historic protests over police brutality, the coronavirus pandemic, and economic inequality of late. We talk about what lessons might be drawn from the successes and failures of these protests, and how we should think...


Episode 181 PREVIEW - The Year from Hell

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Episode 180 - The Felt Blanket of M4A, with Abdul El-Sayed and Micah Johnson

Today we've got Dr. Abdul El-Sayed and Dr. Micah Johnson on to talk about their new book Medicare for All: A Citizen's Guide. We talk about what the pandemic revealed about the broken American health care system, and how universal Medicare could fix both the immediate problem and help us be more prepared for future heath disasters. Abdul's newsletter The Incision can be found here.


Episode 179 PREVIEW - The Austerity Debate and Gramsci's War of Position

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Episode 178 - Messing with Texas, featuring Kate Aronoff

Why did the Texas electricity system collapse during the recent cold snap? We've got Kate Aronoff, co-author of A Planet to Win and sole author of the forthcoming book Overheated, on to discuss what went wrong. It turns out that carbon power is screwing up human society in basically every imaginable way, who knew? Enjoy!


Episode 177 - The Fascism Question, with John Ganz

Today we've got writer John Ganz on to discuss what relationship fascism has to Trump and the U.S. far right, and the bizarre spectacle of people trying to work up a red-brown alliance. (This has not worked out well in the past!) Check out John's Substack here.


Episode 176 UNLOCKED - The Revolution Will not Be Monetized, with Doug Henwood

Thanks to popular demand, we are unlocking this one. We've got Doug Henwood, author of the excellent book Wall Street, on to talk about GAMESTONK and what it all means. While it may be funny to see a couple hedge funds getting pantsed by Reddit, the fact is that financial speculation is no way to provide material security to the working class.


Episode 176 PREVIEW - Doug Henwood on GAMESTONK

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Episode 175 - America's Tradition of Egalitarian Freedom, with Mike Konczal

We've got Mike on to discuss Freedom from the Market, a great book that examines how the "free" market has in fact been a source of tyranny and oppression throughout American history, and how Americans have mobilized in many since-forgotten ways to expand their freedom by protecting themselves from the market. Enjoy!


Episode 174 PREVIEW - The New Government

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Episode 117 UNLOCKED - The Socialist Anti-Imperialism of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we are hoisting up an episode from the archives in celebration of MLK Day. We discuss King's advocacy of democratic socialism and his argument that civil rights were inadequate without an equal share of economic production. Then we turn to his foreign policy views, including his speech attacking the Vietnam War, and how his argument for a brotherhood of nations is more vital than ever in the age of climate change. The MLK Nation article "Let Justice Roll Down" can be found here.


Episode 173 - The Organizer Ben Fletcher, with Peter Cole

Today we're bringing back Peter Cole to talk about the second edition of his book Ben Fletcher: The Life and Times of a Black Wobbly. Fletcher was one of the most impressive labor organizers of the early 20th century -- a guy who successfully organized the very diverse workforce of the Philadelphia docks into one of the keystone unions of the IWW. If you've heard of Fred Hampton, you should know about him. Enjoy!


Episode 172 PREVIEW: The Trump Putsch

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Episode 171 - Socialist Freedom

Alexi is out, so Ryan briefly discusses how the coronavirus pandemic blows apart the conservative/libertarian conception of freedom, and illustrates the value of a socialist version of same. Hope you all had a good holiday, and enjoy!


Episode 170 PREVIEW - America Is Pottersville

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Episode 168 UNLOCKED - The Worst Excerpts from the Obama Memoir

Thanks to popular demand, we are unlocking this one for everyone. We couldn't decide how we wanted to tackle such a gigantic book, so we decided we'd each pick out 10 quotes that drove us furthest up the wall, and talk about them. Enjoy! Support the show here!


Episode 167 - The Work of Politics with Steven Klein

Today we are talking with Steven Klein, a professor of political theory at King's College London, about his book The Work of Politics. How does the welfare state interact with traditional conceptions of political activity and struggle? Klein has complex and interesting answers to this question. Enjoy!


Episode 165 - Dehumanization with David Livingstone Smith

Today we've got philosopher David Livingstone Smith on to discuss his book On Inhumanity. We discuss how people can come to believe others are less than human, how that is related to various atrocities, whether the entire idea of "races" should be abolished, and more. Enjoy!