Zero Squared #99: America Stalled

Kris Saknussemm is a novelist and a multimedia artist. He has published ten books including Zanesville, Sea Monkeys, and Private Midnight. As a short story writer he has won First Prize in the Boston Review and River Styx Short Fiction Contests, and received the Fiction Collective 2 Award for Innovative Writing, in addition to publishing in a wide range of journals such as Opium Magazine, Hotel Amerika, The New England Review, The Hudson Review, Gargoyle and so on and so on. Kris is a worldly type who recently returned to the United States and we discuss his culture shock, the decline of the US, the rise of Trump and the liberal response.

Thanks goes out to members of the Zero Books Club. Zero Books Club members receive access to the Inside Zero Books which sometimes consists of unedited or full length interviews from the Zero Squared podcast, sometimes features conversations with Zero Books readers about the state of the left, and sometimes features public lectures from Zero Books authors or staff.
The music you’re listening to right now is Rhapsody in Blue performed by Paul Whiteman and George Gershwin and recorded on a cylinder. Thanks goes out to the internet archive.

Zero Squared #98: A Red Worker in a Red State

Terry Tapp is a red worker from a red state. He’s also an artist and a writer. His book, “A Serf’s Journal: The Story of the United States’ Longest Wildcat Strike” is coming out from Zero Books in 2017.

Micah Uetricht of Jacobin Magazine blurbed the book this way:

Every day, millions of people grind their way through miserable work. And every day, a few of them decide the status quo cannot stand — they have to fight back. Very few of either of those stories ever get told, particularly by the heroic people who lived them. Terry Tapp does both in a tale of unbelievably miserable, dangerous work and courageous, fed-up workers up against incredibly tall odds. Anyone who has worked a terrible job should read it. Anyone who has dreamed about fighting back should study it.

Thanks goes out to the Zero Books Club members and to Zero Books club readers. Join today for a second podcast called Inside Zero Books, and look for the Zero Books youtube channel.

Zero Squared #97: Punching Nazis?

Brendan O’Neill and Fredrick DeBoer are the guests this week as we dedicate this week’s episode to the question of punching Nazis.

Brendan O’Neill is the editor of Spiked Online, a publication that I would describe as having an attitude that is both socialist and libertarian in the American sense of the word. They advocate both expanding the range of human freedom and capitalist economic growth, despite being smart enough to know why capitalist economic growth can only occur when the mass of humanity is fettered.

Frederik DeBoer is a writer for publications such as Jacobin, the Observer, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and other publications. He is a professor at Brooklyn College and describes himself as having conventionally leftist views. A socialist he is something of a mixer and has engaged in many twitter battles with (neo)liberals like Jonathan Chait and Sady Doyle.

This episode is something of a mash-up. It is the result of cutting down two interviews into a single polyphonous episode. Two otherwise disparate voices have been brought together here, not because they agree, but because they both have opinions and were willing to share them.

To underline the point further, let me say again, there are two people in this episode and two different opinions. DeBoer is the man with the American accent, O’Neill is the Brit.
It’s Wednesday, February 8th, 2017, and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

Thanks goes to members of the Zero Books club. Zero Books Club members receive access to the Inside Zero Books which sometimes consists of unedited or full length interviews from the Zero Squared podcast, sometimes features conversations with Zero Books readers about the state of the left, and sometimes features public lectures from Zero Books authors or staff.

The music you’re listening to right now is Smash Things Up by ¡TchKung!, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Brendan O’Neil and Frederik DeBoer.

Zero Squared #96: The Busybody State

Josie Appleton is the guest this week and we discuss her book Officious: Rise of the Busy Body State. The book argues that the Busy Body State is defined by an attachment to bureaucratic procedures for their own sake: the rule for the sake of a rule; the form for the sake of a form.

James Heartfield author of The European Union and the End of Politics blurbed the book this way:

An intellectually gripping analysis of what its author Josie Appleton characterises as a new kind of state power, one that is arbitrary and encroaching on what is left of our unregulated lives. Overall this is a subtle and intelligently argued essay. Its reconstruction of the essential trajectory of the officious state will be a valuable weapon for those keen to argue for greater freedom in everyday life.

Thanks goes out to our Zero Book Club members. Zero Books club members gain access to the Inside Zero Books Podcast and are invited to participate in online workshops in critical theory. Now is always a good time to join.

In the last episode with Slavoj Zizek we claimed that Against the Double Blackmail was his latest book. That was an error. Zizek also published a book entitled Disparities and a book entitled Antigone in 2016.