Diet Soap Update: Capitalist Realism Exiting the Vampire Castle Identitarianism Mark Fisher Ode to Joy Political Correctness
The guest this week is the author and radical Mark Fisher. Mark and I discuss his recent easy for the North Star Blog called Exiting the Vampire Castle. The essay takes on the politically correct reaction to the comedian Russell Brand’s recent call for revolution. Many leftists were perhaps overly skeptical of Brand, focusing on gaffes and slips rather than the content of his message (Brand admits to calling women birds, for instance.) Fisher’s essay has caused quite an uproar, especially at the North Star Blog itself. There have been six essays written in response and there has been a split causing some editors to resign in solidarity with Brand and Fisher. My perspective, as always, is that Fisher isn’t Marxist enough, meaning that his version of class isn’t economic enough, or doesn’t focus squarely on the way working people are exploited but turns describes class on the level of appearance only. Otherwise I find myself agreeing with Fisher.
I want to thank everyone for listening to this podcast and communicating with me on Facebook, on twitter, and through my blog that’s douglaslain.com. Also I want to thank Andrew Marshall, Jason P and Michael P for their one time donations and also thank Andrew Marshall, Ted F, John L, and Jacob L for their continual monthly support.
Diet Soap Update: beatles ecology hyperobjects neurosis philosophy timothy morton worlds
Professor and author Timothy Morton is the guest on this week’s podcast and we discuss his new book Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World.
Kim Stanley Robins (author of the Mars trilogy) blurbed Morton’s book as follows: In Hyperobjects, Timothy Morton brings to bear his deep knowledge of a wide array of subjects to propose a new way of looking at our situation, which might allow us to take action toward the future health of the biosphere. Crucially, the relations between Buddhism and science, nature and culture, are examined in the fusion of a single vision. The result is a great work of cognitive mapping, both exciting and useful.
To come on the podcast: Interviews with Noelle McAfee (friend of Rick Roderick), C Derick Varn, Andy Marshall, and many others. This week listen for a message about Paul McCartney.
Diet Soap Update Pop the Left update: Brendan Cooney communism electric ant fluxus henry flynt Marxism PKD thirteenth floor
This month’s Pop the Left features a conversation about Henry Flynt’s lecture “An Autopsy of the Left.” The conversation, as is typical, wanders, and in the end Varn and I end up mentioning the difficulty of escaping from our current ideology.
Henry Flynt is a musician, a member of Fluxus, and the last Communist standing. I wrote to him and asked him onto the podcast, but this email met with scorn and ridicule, which was really too bad. If you know Henry Flynt please tell him that I did not mean to insult him when I called him a commie.
For your edification here is a definition of Fluxus as lifted from wikipedia:
Fluxus—a name taken from a Latin word meaning “flow, flux” (noun); “flowing, fluid” (adj.)—is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is sometimes described as intermedia.
In this episode you’ll here a song inspired by the Philip K. Dick story “The Electric Ant” and a clip from “The Thirteenth Floor.” Here’s an essay I wrote for Tor.com about both the short story and the movie.
The guest this week is the economist Andrew Kliman, and this week is rather unique because it is dedicated to answering some criticisms of his book The Failure of Capitalist production. Most leftists today hold that the economic crisis of 2007 and the consequent doldrums are the result of neoliberalism, that is the result of a conscious attack on the working classes by the ruling elite. The story goes this way: The capitalists saw that production, that is the productive part of the economy, empowered workers and opted to stop investing in real productive activity, or at least to slow this investment, as a political project to undermine the working class. Wage suppression was merely another aspect of what was an assault on workers. Kliman doesn’t hold with this story. Instead he argues that Capitalist production has a tendency to undermine it’s own reason for being, or that the rate of profit has a tendency to decline due to wholly unintended consequences. He has analyzed the economic data on hand and confirmed his theoretical position empirically. This has made many people on the left unhappy.
What you’ll hear in this episode is a rather detailed refutation of objections to Kliman’s analysis. Please do bear with us as we go through the accusations of bias, inaccuracy, and Jesuitical thinking.
As a special bonus there are a few sound collages and clips along the way, as well as an excerpt of the audio version of my first book “Last Week’s Apocalypse.” This short story collection is now available on audible and I’m quite pleased by the way it’s turned out.
If you’d like to contact me go to douglaslain.com, or follow me on Facebook or twitter. I’m always interested in what people are thinking. Next week you’ll hear another episode of Pop the Left, and there is more to come after that.
Some links worth checking out: