Zero Squared #104: Uncertain Futures

Edmund Berger is the guest this week. Berger is an independent writer, researcher, and activist living in Louisville, Kentucky. He blogs intermittently at Deterritorial Investigations Unit and Synthetic Zero, and his first book, entitled Uncertain Futures, provides a detailed look into the economic and political conditions of our present moment from a Marxist perspective.

David Winberg columnist for the Straight Dope reviewed the book this way: Berger says “Fascism is nothing less than the intensification of every regressive sentiment to be found in the whole of society, mobilized and put on the march by elements in the ruling class.” And “To reform capitalism at this stage is a revolutionary act.” That’s how far we’ve fallen.

Thanks should go 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. This week the Inside Zero Books podcast will feature the second half of this conversation with Edmund Berger on Marx and Trump.

I should also take a moment to ask you to stop by the Zero Books website and purchase a book on critical theory. You might pick up Uncertain Futures or Alfie Bown’s interview with Srecko Horvat.

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 #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 #92: Margaret Kimberley takes on Trump

Margaret Kimberley discusses the rise of Donald Trump on this week’s episode. A regular columnist for the Black Agenda Report, Margaret Kimberley is also a regular guest on the podcast, and she does her best to talk me through the trauma of this last election.

Thanks goes out to Zero Books Club members and we encourage you to join. Zero Books Club members gain access to a second podcast each week. The Inside Zero Books podcast sometimes features a second hour from this podcast, and sometimes features conversations about the left and left publishing with members of the Zero Books editorial team.

On Monday, December 12th, Daniel Coffeen will participate our first Zero Books workshop on Youtube. We will discuss his book “Reading the Way of Things.”

In this episode you’ll hear clips from Michael Parenti on Fascism, demographic analysis from MSNBC, Russian propagandist Vladimir Zhirinovsky talking to Reuters and endorsing Trump, and a collage of all the supposedly compromised US leftist whose relationship with Russia Today makes them guilty by association.