Living The Dream antipolitically

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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

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Living The Dream in 2018

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Welcome to 2018! In this episode Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) look into the swirling mists of the crystal ball of class struggle and try to work out what’s going on in 2018 and what happened in 2017. It’s a wide ranging chat about race, class, Invasion Day, strikes that didn’t happen and plebiscites. Will the experiments in radical social democracy continue to gain traction? What’s #changetherules all about? What plans do thinkers for capital have if any at all? Is capital accumulation chugging along nicely or is a debt fuelled financial crisis about to explode? What about bananacoin? All this and more!

Stuff we talk about includes:

Novara Media – Faultlines: Liz Fekete on Racism, Europe and the New Right

Ben Pennings – Buying Time To Beat Adani

Tony Birch – On Sovereignty

Endnotes – The Holding Pattern

IMF – World Economic Outlook Update, January 2018

IMF – Credit Booms – Is China Different

Humphrey McQueen – 150 years young Marx’s Capital

Uluru Statement from the heart

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Living The Dream in Global Union Federations

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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 global labour institutions.

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Living the Dream whilst #qldvotes2017

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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?

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 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

Thwaites Report

Grattan Institute on Energy

Refusing Survival: What Happens If We Don’t Save the World From Climate Change?

Living The Dream Amidst A Non-Binding Postal Survey On Same-Sex Marriage

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Weird-arse banner dropped off the M1 near Logan

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.

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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

 

 

 

Marx’s Textbook Ep.2: The basic dynamics of capitalism

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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).

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Bibliography

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.

Return to sender – a reply to ‘An open letter to UQ Philosophy’

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Open letters are funny things. Who are they really addressed to? Do they solicit an answer and if so from whom? And if an answer was sent who would it be addressed to and would it arrive in time? An open letter to UQ Philosophy by Taylor Redwood compels serious engagement. For the most part the open letter is both a stinging critique of the contemporary university and of the functional cynicism of the contemporary student. Now this is reason enough to be read but it doesn’t really necessitate a response. But the open letter is more than this. It is the first statement that has emerged in the context of the current cycle of struggles in Brisbane that explicitly places the relationship between theory and action on the table.  And for this reason, it is worth noting and taking seriously. This open letter is much like Machiavelli’s cannon – it ‘marches in the opposite direction to that in which it fires’ (Althusser 2000, 5). Whilst the open letter is aimed at the UQ Philosophy Department it really is a line of flight away from the university proper into a new intellectual and theoretical space.

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