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From Alpha To Omega

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What is happening to our economy and our politics? Are we stuck forever in this corporate dystopia? What can we learn from the failures of radical politics over the last 100 years? Tom O'Brien talks in depth to experts from the fields of Political Economy, Politics, Science, Philosophy, Complexity, Mathematics, Music, and the Environment.




#080 The Russian Game

This week I am delighted to welcome John Helmer, the man behind the excellent 'Dances With Bears' blog. John is a journalist working in Moscow since 1989, the author of several books on military and politics, and has previously worked as a an adviser to the US President Jimmy Carter and the Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. We discuss the current state of the Russian economy, the economic war currently being waged against Russia, and the prospects for the geopolitcal and economic...

Duration: 00:51:29

#079 UK Election Special

A UK Election Special with regulars C. Derick Varn and Doug Lain, where two yanks slate the election for not ushering in a communist revolution, and one exiled paddy gets all in a fluster for Jeremy, his meme army, and the possibilities for an alien invasion led communist revolution. Enjoy!

Duration: 00:59:35

#078 MMT & Crisis

This week I am delighted to welcome back Alexander Douglas to show. Alex is a lecturer in philosophy at St. Andrews University, and is the author of ‘The Philosophy Of Debt’. This show digs deeper into the murky world of understanding the differences and possible syntheses between MTT and Marxist economics. We discuss the problems an inflationary crisis poses to MMT, the stability of MMT and a job guarantee under times of duress, and Kalecki’s class based critique of full employment...

Duration: 00:41:48

#077 Show me the Money Derick!

This week I am delighted to welcome back C. Derick Varn to show. Derick, a regular guest, last appeared on the show on the Donald Trump Election special. I got quite a bit of feedback on that show, with a number of requests to get Derick back on the pod, to set him straight on MMT. What starts out as a feisty affair, eventually settles into a Marxist love-in, where we end up essentially agreeing about everything, and decide to get married. We also discuss the idea of a Church of Marx,...

Duration: 01:11:21

#076 The City

This week I am delighted to welcome Tony Norfield to the show to talk about his excellent new book: 'The City: London and the Global Power of Finance'. We discuss the role of Britain in the current geopolitical scene, and how and why finance plays such an important role in the UK economy. We also talk about why neoliberalism is such an overused and misused term, the recent Brexit fiasco, and the rise of China with it's new Silk Road. You can find Tony's book here:...

Duration: 00:59:44

#075 The Bittersweet Science Pt.2

This week we have part two of our discussion with Charles Farrell, where we delve into the murky world of high stakes sports-betting, his appearance in the new documentary film ‘Dirty Games’, and his life-changing meeting with a two headed calf. You can find out more about the film Dirty Games here: And you can find out more about the book ‘The Bittersweet Science’ here: The music on...

Duration: 00:36:19

#074 The Bittersweet Science Pt.1

This week we have a change of tack, a complete break from the Donald and that jazz. We delve into the shady of world of Professional Boxing, with the former Boxing Manager, Gambler, Gangster, Jazz Pianist, Writer, and Fight-Fixer, Charles Farrell. Boxing is a sport that has always fascinated me. It’s much more than a mere sport - it’s a metaphor for life itself, full of light and shadow, failure and redemption. Charles has led a life of a pulp-fiction novel character, from living on the...

Duration: 00:46:52

#073 US Election Special

In a first for the podcast, we do a live hangout with Doug Lain and C. Derick Varn to talk about todays Donald Trump election victory. We discuss race, gender, geo-politics, the falling rate of profit, economic stimulus, and manage to disagree and agree on absolutely everything. Enjoy!

Duration: 01:46:55

#072 The Long Depression

After an unplanned hiatus, I am delighted to welcome back Michael Roberts to the show. Michael has a new book just out, called ‘The Long Depression: How it happened, why it happened, and what happens next’. We discuss the main thesis of the book - the idea of a long depression, the problems with Keynesian accounting identities, the hopes for a capitalist revival, and chances of a breakdown. You can find Michael’s blog here: You can buy his book here:...

Duration: 00:53:41

#071 Solar To The Rescue?

This week I am delighted to welcome back Ugo Bardi to the show. Ugo is Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Florence, and the man behind the Cassandras Legacy blog, where he writes about resource depletion, climate change, and renewable energy amongst other things. We discuss the recent drop in global C02 emissions and what it means for our global economic system, the hopes for a soft landing post peak-oil and coal, solar panels as our great saviour, and his thoughts on the...

Duration: 00:21:16

#069 Culture Vs Class

In this episode, we have part 2 of the Derick Varn interview, where we discuss the history and theories of Cultural Marxism in great detail. This bumper episode, also veers off into a long discussion on Black Lives Matter, how we need more than just culture wars - how’s about some class wars! Class wars where we call the shots, for a change. Speaking of all this, we start the conversation with myself and Derick talking about Accelerationism and previous guest Nick Srnicek’s new book -...

#068 Knowing The Future

This week I am delighted to welcome back Derick Varn to the show. After listening to the previous show about Cultural Marxism with Doug Lain, Derick sent me an email saying he’d like to come on the show and give his two cents. What followed was a wide ranging discussion on ideology, value theory, and the historical emergence of capitalism. We also discussed the possibility of a revolutionary movement based on a system without abstract value, Marx’s critique of the Gotha Program, and Star...

#067 Cultural Marxism

This week I am delighted to welcome Doug Lain back to show, for a discussion about cultural marxism, an argument about worker controlled workplaces, and some thoughts on what we can learn from the Inca’s. Doug is the host of the Zero Squared podcast, previously the Diet Soap Podcast, and is the publisher of Zero Books. He is also a sci-fi author, and has been nominated this year for the Phillip K. Dick Award for his latest novel, After the Saucers Landed. You can buy his book here:...

#066 Inventing The Future

After an unplanned hiatus, the show is back with a bang. This week I am delighted to welcome Nick Srnicek to the show. Nick, and his co-author Alex Williams, has recently released a new book with Verso called: “Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work’. I bought this book as a christmas present for myself, and it didn’t disappoint - it’s just the book I have been waiting for someone to write! Indeed, I’m kinda annoyed with Nick and Alex, because it’s the book I really...

#065 Robots and AI: Utopia vs Dystopia

This week I am delighted to welcome back to the show Marxist blogger extraordinaire, Michael Roberts. Michael’s blog, ‘The Next Recession’ is one of the best Marxist economics blogs out there, and he also runs a very active facebook group too. We talk about a recent series of articles Michael wrote called: ‘Robots and AI: Utopia or Dystopia, which was prompted by Paul Mason’s recent book Post-Capitalism. You can find the articles and facebook group here:...

#064 Eurozone Dystopia

This week I am delighted to welcome Prof. Bill Mitchell, Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Bill is also the author of the Billy Blog - one of the best places to learn about MMT on the web. He must be the most prolific economics blogger in the world today, and that’s no lie. We met up in London yesterday, to talk about Bill’s new book Eurozone Dystopia, available from the publishers...

#062 Closet Marxists

This week I am delighted to welcome back to the show Michael Roberts, author of the ‘Next Recession’ blog. We talk about the new reports out on the world economy from the IMF and the Bank of International Settlements, and how Ben Bernanke has come out as a closet Marxist after all these years. We also discuss the recent debate between David Harvey on one side, and Michael and Andrew Kliman on the other, about the relevance / reality of the law of the tendential fall in the rate of profit,...

#061 The Calculation Problem

After repeated requests from a number of listeners, this week I am delighted to welcome back to the show Dr Paul Cockshott, a reader in the computer science department of Glasgow University. We talk of the Socialist Calculation debate, the Soviet plans for their own internet, Google vs a planned economy, and the problems with Council Communism. If you'd like to listen to the show on your phone, you can now also listen with TuneIn here:

#060 Zero, Nada, Zilch

This week I am delighted to welcome back to the show Doug Lain, host of what was once called the Diet Soap podcast, but which is now the Zero Squared podcast. We talk about why Doug’s new job as publisher of Zero Books doesn't make him a capitalist, what econophysics has to do with Marx, capitalism as objective reality, base vs superstructure, radical politics and the current balance of forces, how Woody Allen has lost his way, the latest book Doug’s working on, and how cool and communist...

Duration: 01:05:27

#059 Test Those Theories

This week I am delighted to welcome to the show Jose A Tapia Granados, associate Professor in the Department of History and Politics in Drexel University. Originally trained as a medical doctor, Jose now specialises in the links between fluctuations in the economy and health conditions. He also is interested in purely economic issues, and is the co-author of the book ‘La Gran Recesión y el capitalismo del siglo XXI’ or ‘The Great Recession and capitalism of the XXI century’ in english. The...
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