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?
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.
In episode 2 of Marx’s TextbookDave (@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).
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.
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.
In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk with all-round good egg Troy Henderson (@TroyCHenderson) about the idea of a Universal Basic Income. Troy provides us with an intellectual history and we discuss if it is a techbro attempt to sure up capitalism, a radical social democratic attempt to fix capitalism or if it contains radical elements that point in an anti-capitalist direction? We also talk about why a Jobs Guarantee is horrid and shit.
In this episode of Living The Dream Dave (@withsobersenses) talks with Craig Gent from Novara Media. We talk about the recent UK General Election and the surprisingly good result Labour under Jeremy Corbyn received. Craig tells us about how Novara have chosen to relate to Corybn and elections, the contradictions of social democracy and what the election may or may not mean for larger anticapitalist practice.
These contradictions are represented artistically by starting the show with a sample of Corbyn reading Shelley and finishing with a classic 80s anti-parliamentary anarchist banger by Chumbawamba – representing the wide gamut of UK radicalism in verse and song ( a bit).