February 19, 2018
In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk with Tad Tietze (@Dr_Tad) about the idea of antipolitics he developed with Elizabeth Humphrys(@liz_beths). We talk about what politics is and how it relates to capitalism and the state. Tad argues that politics is increasingly detached from society and what this means and how communism as ‘the real movement’ can and should related to politics. Tad argues that this analysis has serious and devastating implications for what we call The Left and Activism. We debate if there is any role, before the emergence of social movements, for the agency of anticapitalists.
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Tad provided the following reading list
On anti-politics in general (with Liz Humphrys): https://left-flank.org/2013/10/31/anti-politics-elephant-room/
On anti-politics and neoliberalism (with Liz Humphrys): https://oxfordleftreview.com/olr-issue-14/tad-tietze-and-elizabeth-hymphreys-anti-politics-and-the-illusions-of-neoliberalism/
On Greece: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/syriza-referendum-podemos-austerity/
On Australia: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/labor-tony-abbott-rudd-gillard-shorten/
On Trump: https://left-flank.org/2016/01/25/the-trump-paradox-a-rough-guide-for-the-left/
On recuperating politics: https://left-flank.org/2017/02/03/why-better-politics-cant-make-anti-politics-go-away/
The Piping Shrike on Corbyn: http://www.pipingshrike.com/2017/06/the-confusions-of-anti-politics-uk-edition-an-update.html
We also mention a debate between Plan C and Angry Workers of the World over Directional Demands
December 3, 2017
Workers of the world unite, right? Okay, but how? This is a special episode where Shane Reside, an organiser with the International Transport Workers Federation, interviews Jamie K McCallum (@jamiekmccallum) author of Global Unions, Local Power: The New Spirit of Transnational Labor Organizing about a new kind of labour internationalism: the global union federation. What are they? Where did they come from? Are they any good? Do they challenge the inequalities between workers in the North and South or recreate them? How useful are the Global Framework Agreements that they use? Focusing on the history and experience of UNI Global Union Shane and Jamie talk about all this and more. There are no easy answers here. Whether you think the union makes us strong (you know who you are) or that unions are forces of recuperation (as do you) this is a must-listen-to conversation about the real experience of the global labour institutions.
November 20, 2017
In this special #qldvotes2017 episode of Living The Dream Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) engage in all the froth and illusion of electoral politics. We chat about the broader situation in Queensland and the impact of the slowdown of capital accumulation and the rise in state debt and the general degeneration of all the major parties. What is the ALP government all about and why is it so boring? What is left of the LNP and what kind of reactionary mindblowingness is One Nation engaged in now? Why are power bills rising and why are the mainstream solutions so shit?
We end the podcast with a chat about the revitalised and radical campaign of the Greens. Can this contribute to radically changing society? What are its promises and what are its limitations? Can elections play any role in anti-capitalist strategy? If so what? Is this a new way forward or old-school recuperation?
Some of the stuff we mention is:
Policing Newman’s Crisis: Law and order, hegemony and the State
Roads to Nowhere – Capital’s Plan A
Grattan Institute on Energy
Refusing Survival: What Happens If We Don’t Save the World From Climate Change?
by Nicholas Beuret
October 7, 2017
Australia is currently in the midst of a non-binding postal survey on same-sex marriage and it seems likely that the ‘Yes’ vote will win by a massive majority. Yet the ‘Left’ and supporters of same-sex marriage seem miserable and downcast about this. In this episode Simon Copland (@SimonCopland) helps Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) make sense of it all. We talk about the role that homophobia and sexuality plays in capitalism, the histories of Queer struggles within neoliberalism, and how certain sections of the Yes campaign have internalised a pessimistic perspective about people and democracy. We finish on a high-note about what the expected resounding Yes vote will mean for Australian society and the possibility of further struggles. This episode starts with Dave mispronouncing Simon’s name.
Writers and articles we mention include:
Wendy Brown – States of Injury
Dennis Altman – Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation
Melinda Cooper – Family Values
Sarah Schulman The Gentrification of the Mind
Music by Bob. B Soxx and the Blues Jeans and by Dark Blue
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September 20, 2017
In episode 2 of Marx’s Textbook Dave (@withsobersenses) looks at two very different ways of understanding the broad dynamics of capitalism. Mainstream economics asks us to think of capitalism as simply a system of wealth creation and consider questions of what is or isn’t an efficient use of resources and when or if the state should intervene; whilst Marx argues that capitalism is primarily compelled by the drive to make profits and accumulate capital, the source of which is the exploitation of labour and that it has an inherent tendency to crisis and creates the material possibilities of a better society – communism. Which approach is correct? (Spoiler: it is Marx’s – capitalism is a profit driven system of exploitation with a tendency to crisis and we are its gravediggers).
Littleboy, Bruce, Akila Weerapana, and John B Taylor. 2013. Macroeconomics : Principles and Practice. Asia Pacific: Cengage Learning Australia ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/lib/uql/detail.action?docID=1990996.
Marx, Karl. 1990. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Translated by Ben Fowkes. Vol. 1. London: Penguin Classics.
Marx, Karl. 1991. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Translated by David Fernbach. Vol. 3. London: Penguin Books in association with New Left Review.
Marx, Karl. 1992. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Translated by David Fernbach. Vol. 2. London: Penguin Classics.
August 30, 2017
Marx’s Textbook Ep.1: An Introduction to the Critique of Capitalism & of Economics
This is the first episode of a new Living The Dream series entitled Marx’s Textbook. In each episode Dave(@withsobersenses) takes a chapter of a basic macroeconomics textbooks –
in this case Littleboy (2013) – summarises the content and then presents how Marx can help us think about these issues and challenge the dominant assumptions. What we find is that Marx doesn’t just provide different answers rather he compels us to ask different questions. Each episode will only be approx. 30 minutes long and is aimed at helping people to understand and critique both capitalism and economics as an ideology. No prior knowledge of Marx or macroeconomics is required.
Further reading: “Capital”after MEGA: Discontinuities, Interruptions, and New Beginnings
Littleboy, Bruce, et al.,. 2013. Macroeconomics : Principles and Practice. Asia Pacific: Cengage Learning Australia ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/lib/uql/detail.action?docID=1990996.