Zero Squared #112: Reframing Trump

Chris Cutrone is founder and President of the Platypus Affiliated Society. He is also the author of the rather infamous essay “Why Not Trump?” and he recently led a panel discussion entitled “The Crisis of Neoliberalism” as part of the Platypus Affiliated Society’s third European Conference and will be leading a panel discussion at the Left Forum entitled Marx in the Age of Trump. And today he is the guest on this week’s Zero Books podcast.

If you’re in NYC you should turn up for the Left Forum. Zero Books will be hosting two panels. The first will be for the upcoming book by Michael Roberts entitled “World in Crisis” and the panel is titled Capitalism Gets Knocked Down (but then gets up again). This panel will present information about the long economic crisis and ask what political lessons can be drawn from the evidence that capitalism is inherently prone to crisis? The panel is scheduled for Saturday, June 3rd, from 12:00pm-1:50pm.

The second Panel is entitled Kill All Normies and will feature a discussion on the rise of the racist and proto-fascist right led by Angela Nagle. This panel is scheduled for Sunday, June 4th, from 3:40pm – 5:40pm.

The Left Forum will be held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at 524 W 59th St in New York City but if you miss it don’t worry, our panels will be featured as audio podcasts in upcoming episodes.

If you’re a Zero Books club member, however, you should know that the Inside Zero Books podcast will be delayed, possibly for a full week.

Diet Soap Podcast #220: Karl Marx’s Reluctant Idealism

Karl Marx and Hegel are the subjects this week as I talk to my friend Andy Marshall about Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in general. This conversation comes on the heels of a Facebook row with C Derick Varn wherein Varn took the widely accepted position that Marx was a materialist and Hegel was an idealist, while I argued that Marx was too enamored with Hegel’s dialectical logic and the unity of subject and object to really escape the Platonic Realm entirely.

I’d like to thank Andy Marshall, Penny R, Reagan S, and Shane S, for their generous one time donations to the Diet Soap podcast, and to thank Andy Marshall, Ted F, John Spillane, Jacob L, and John L for their recurring donations. I urge regular listeners to the podcast to find the paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com. Also, the podcast is available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation.

In the words of the Marxist Humanist Raya Dunayevskaya Marx’s humanism was neither a rejection of idealism nor an acceptance of materialism, but the truth of both, and therefore a new unity.

Diet Soap Podcast #169: A Time for Post-Marxism?

The guest this week is the author and professor McKenzie Wark. Wark is the author of the books the Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, Virtual Geography: Living With Global Media Events, and most recently The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International. This is McKenzie Wark’s second visit to the Diet Soap podcast and this time we discuss the late great Karl Marx and how one should properly worship him…I mean understand his work.

The next Talkshoe after party will occur on Sunday the 27th at noon PST or 3pm EST and I encourage everyone who is listening to participate. On the 13th we had Brendan Cooney participate and in the future I will try to get podcast guests involved with the Talkshoe conversation whenever possible. I also want to thank Caytlin G and Michael P for donating to the podcast and encourage everyone who likes the podcast to donate or become a monthly subscriber. I’ll be reinstating the Podomatic page soon, probably in February, and donations help to speed the reappearance of the Podomatic page along.

I should also point out that I recently discovered that the Marxist Humanist Initiative has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 entitled the “Impasse in Movements for Social Change and the Need for the ‘Organization of Thought’.” I mention the meeting because the MHI has suggested that participants listen to episode 165 of Diet Soap as preparation for the teleconference. Number 165 was the episode wherein C Derick Varn and I discussed Adorno’s essay “Resignation.” I’m quite pleased to have influenced people to think about the questions posed on Diet Soap.
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Diet Soap Rerun: Capitalism’s System Failure

The guest was Marxist economist Andrew Kliman. Kliman is a professor at Pace University, the author of two books: Reclaiming Marx and The Failure of Capitalist Production, and he was a returning guest to the podcast.

Here’s a description of Kliman’s book “The Failure of Capitalist Production.”
The reasons behind the global financial crisis and the Great Recession are the subject of much debate. This is the first book to conclude, on the basis of in-depth analyses of official U.S. data, that Marx’s crisis theory can explain these events.

Marx believed that the rate of profit has a tendency to fall, leading to economic crises and recessions. Many economists, Marxists among them, have dismissed this theory out of hand, but Andrew Kliman’s careful data analysis shows that the rate of profit did indeed decline after the post-World War II boom. He shows that free-market policies have failed to reverse that decline. This fall in profitability led to sluggish investment and economic growth, mounting debt problems, desperate attempts of governments to fight these problems by piling up even more debt – ultimately ending in the Great Recession.

Kliman’s conclusion is simple but shocking: short of socialist transformation, the only way to escape the ‘new normal’ of a stagnant, crisis-prone economy is to restore profitability through full-scale destruction of the value of existing capital assets, something not seen since the Depression of the 1930s.