Left Anchor

By Ryan Cooper & Alexi the Greek

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Description

Philosophy, politics, and the left.

Episode Date
Episode 40 preview - The Butcher Elliot Abrams
04:51

Here's a preview of our latest episode -- available now on Patreon!

Feb 17, 2019
Episode 39 - Interview with @ProfPeterCole on Dockworker Unions
01:12:40

This time we bring on Peter Cole, a historian at Western Illinois University, to talk about his new book Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area. We discuss the fascinating history of militant dockworker labor unions in the U.S. and South Africa, and how they have pushed for a truly international and egalitarian politics.

(Unfortunately due to a technical glitch, Peter has a bit of reverb going on. Just pretend as if he's presenting in Carnegie Hall.)

Feb 13, 2019
Episode 37 - W.E.B. Du Bois and Reconstruction
01:02:17

For the second episode in our Black History Month series, we look at W.E.B. Du Bois, and especially his groundbreaking history of Reconstruction.

Feb 08, 2019
Episode 35 - #HandsOffVenezuela - Interview with @PatrickIber
01:30:17

This time we bring on Patrick Iber, a historian specializing in Latin America. We discuss the dismal internal situation in Venezuela, Trump's proposed imperialist aggression, and how the American left should think about it all. It's a tricky but still worthwhile topic.

Feb 01, 2019
Episode 34 Preview - "Debt: The First 5,000 Years" & Trump-Russia Update
04:41

Here's an excerpt of our latest bonus episode, available now on Patreon!

 

 

Jan 27, 2019
Episode 33 - MLK Day Special: Interview with @dolladollabille on the Wages of Whiteness and Kamala Harris
01:01:59

This time we have on Vanessa Bee, a writer, editor, and podcaster for Current Affairs. We discuss the contrasting perspectives of the nature of white privilege with Martin Luther King, Jr and James Baldwin on one side, and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the other. Then we turn to the presidential candidacy of Kamala Harris, and her checkered record as both a fierce prosecutor of small-time criminals (even the parents of truant children) -- but who somehow lost her crusading spirit when it came to Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's foreclosure fraud business.

The Current Affairs crew is doing a live show this weekend in Washington DC, you can find details here!

Apologies for being a bit behind schedule this time, we had to arrange this interview a bit later than usual. Onward!

Jan 24, 2019
Episode 32 preview - Henry George and Populism
05:58

Here's a quick excerpt of our latest bonus episode, available right now on Patreon!

Jan 19, 2019
Episode 31 - Interview with @DanteAtkins
01:04:31

This time we talk to longtime Democratic Party activist, political writer, and current congressional staffer Dante Atkins. We discuss the evolution of the party's internal thinking, how it actually functions on the inside, whether or not the new crop of Democratic lefty freshmen are learning the ins and outs of congressional procedure. He also teaches us how to speak the first line of the Odyssey in ancient Greek!

Jan 15, 2019
Episode 29 - Imperial Accounting, the Theory of Labor Aristocracy, and AOC's Tax Extravaganza
01:03:14

In this episode we discuss how profitable America's imperial machinery really is for the average American schlub (using import statistics from the Federal Reserve and the Census, h/t Matt Bruenig), related articles on the myth of the labor aristocracy, and finally AOC's amusing tax policy weekend.

 

Jan 08, 2019
Episode 27 — Judith Butler and the Yellow Vests
01:04:23

In our holiday special, we delve into Judith Butler's Adorno Prize Lecture from September 11, 2012 entitled "Can One Lead a Good Life in a Bad Life?" as a framework for better understanding the significance and political function of social movements such as the Yellow Vests, #BlackLivesMatter, and Occupy.  

Dec 30, 2018
Episode 25 - WASP Unbound with @jeffspross
01:13:49

In this episode, we bring back world champion guest Jeff Spross to discuss Ross Douthat's argument against meritocracy, Bernard Yack's review of Bernard Manin's book The Principles of Representative Government, and finally Helen Andrews' case for aristocracy.

Dec 24, 2018
Episode 23 - Interview with @ThePlumLineGS
01:01:11

This time we interview the Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent, who has a new book out called An Uncivil War. We discuss how to save American democracy, the fecklessness of Democratic Party elites, and much more.

[Also, check out Ryan's review of Greg's new book] 

Dec 15, 2018
Episode 21a: Patreon Announcement
03:43

Folks have been asking about this, and here it is: patreon.com/leftanchor.

We'll be publishing two episodes per week, one for patrons and one for free. If you feel like that's worth $5 a month, or want to support ad-free lefty media in a dark time for journalism, we'd be much obliged if you could pitch in to support the show.

The first Patreon episode is already here, so you can check it out right now! Also feel free to send us feedback at leftanchorpodcast @ gmail, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Again, thanks to everyone for listening and for the support!

Dec 12, 2018
Episode 21 - Interview with Brad Evans ( @HistofViolence ), Part II: Fascism
01:25:44

In the second part of our interview with University of Bath philosopher Brad Evans (don't miss part I!) we discuss the characteristics and functions of fascism, and how it may or may not apply to current political developments.

Dec 10, 2018
Episode 20 - Interview with Brad Evans ( @HistofViolence ) Part I: Political Violence & Neoliberalism
50:47

This is the first of a two-part interview of Brad Evans, a philosopher and critical theorist who specializes in violence at the University of Bath. We discuss the politics and the spectacle of violence, and how they have evolved under neoliberalism. Stay tuned for the second part, coming soon!

Dec 04, 2018
Episode 19 - Is Democratic Socialism TOO Democratic or Not Democratic Enough?
01:03:17

In this episode from the archive, we discuss dueling takes on whether the rise of democratic socialism in DSA and elsewhere is Taking Democracy Too Far (from friend of the pod Conor Friedersdorf) or is Actually, Harming Democracy (from other friend of the pod Sheri Berman).

Apologies for the holiday break, but we've got another special interview coming up this weekend, keep your eyes peeled!

Nov 30, 2018
Episode 18 - Interview with @franklinbynum
01:22:33

Today we have a very special episode! It's entirely dedicated to an interview with Franklin Bynum, the Judge-elect of Harris County Criminal Court #8, a Houston DSA member who walloped his Republican opponent in the 2018 midterms. We discuss how he came to run for the office, what it's like being a socialist in Houston, how leftists can use elected office to improve the country, and his tips for people considering following in his footsteps.

This is probably our best episode to date, and even pretty funny, so please tune in and share!

Find Franklin on his website, on Twitter @franklinbynum, and on Instagram @franklinforjudge.

Nov 20, 2018
Episode 17 - Kant, Jonathan Haidt, & Feckless Liberalism
01:10:33

In this episode, we discuss Immanuel Kant's views about the Enlightenment, how they have come down to us today in a bastardized form with Jonathan Haidt's atrocious book The Righteous Mind, and the ongoing relevance of Robert Frost's quote "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."

Nov 18, 2018
Episode 16 - Immigration, Open Borders, & Rights, feat @jeffspross
01:14:57

This time we bring back Jeff Spross to talk about immigration, why conservatives and capitalists whip up anti-immigrant paranoia, the value of open borders as a policy and as a utopian demand, and close up by discussing Hannah Arendt's ideas about the right to have rights.

Image credit: Haskell Border Library

Nov 14, 2018
Episode 15 - 2018 Midterms
01:06:43

This episode we discuss the midterms. We start off with Ryan flagrantly botching the state Claire McCaskill is from (Missouri, not Iowa), then move into a broader discussion on What It All Means: live, unfiltered, raw insight from start to finish. 

Nov 10, 2018
Episode 14 - Anand Giridharadas on Big Philanthropy & Antonio Gramsci
01:09:52

This time we discuss Anand Giridharadas's book Winners Take All about the ideological underpinnings and functions of elite philanthropy. Then (about 30:00) we discuss how the book illustrates the basic insights of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci on ideology, hegemony, and the role of intellectuals in politics.

Nov 06, 2018
Episode 13 - Karl Polanyi
01:10:49

In this episode (recorded some time ago) we discuss the ongoing insight and relevance of Karl Polanyi, whose brilliant work The Great Transformation continues to shed light on modern political economy.

Nov 03, 2018
Episode 12 - Fascist Violence, David Hume, & Judith Butler
01:12:00

In this episode, we consider the grim news of the #MAGABomber, the synagogue shooting, the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and what Hume and Butler might teach us about this.

Unfortunately, Alexi had a technical malfunction, so the audio quality is somewhat below par on his end.

Oct 30, 2018
Episode 11 - Leftist Foreign Policy & Francis Fukuyama
59:50

In this episode, we welcome new guest Emma Steiner to talk about Bernie Sanders' recent foreign policy speech, how leftists should think about the issue, David Klion's recent review of Obama adviser Ben Rhodes' new book, and finally the group blog Fellow Travelers (which just published a piece by Representative Ro Khanna). 

Then at about 31:00, we turn to Mr. End of History Francis Fukuyama's surprising support for socialism in a recent interview, and an atrocious apologia for the bank bailout he gave on another podcast.

Keep your ears open for a special guest appearance from Ellie the cat at about 34:00.

Finally, as listeners pointed out, we made a factual error in the last episode. It was not Franz von Papen who supported Hitler only to be assassinated in the Knight of the Long Knives, it was actually Kurt von Schleicher.

Oct 23, 2018
Episode 10 - Fascism & Capitalism
01:09:20

The Republican Party has basically developed a quasi-paramilitary wing in the form of the Proud Boys, which went on a violent rampage in New York City after celebrating the 58th anniversary of the assination of Inejiro Asanuma at the Metropolitan Republican Club. Worse brawls happened in Portland, Oregon.

So for this episode we discuss the links between the business class and the extreme right, and how the dysfunctions of capitalism can enable the rise of violent fascism. 

Oct 17, 2018
Episode 9 - Champagne Ecosocialism & Jon Chait Join DSA, feat @jeffspross
01:17:00

This time we discuss the structural requirements of de-carbonizing the world economy, and whether it will be necessary as a practical matter to live an austere lifestyle or stop economic growth. Then (37:30) we turn to Jonathan Chait's latest pro-socialism manifesto

Image credit: Leaflet - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Oct 14, 2018
Episode 8 - How Should the Left Think about the Judiciary? Feat. Bajeera McCorkle
53:28

For this episode we have our first guest, legal and political theory scholar Bajeera McCorkle. We discuss the abysmal history of the Supreme Court, the rise of neo-Lochnerism on the right, and try to work out how the left should think about the legal system.

Oct 11, 2018
Episode 7 - Saudi Arabia & Machiavelli
59:51

This time we discuss the astonishing news that Saudi Arabia may have sent assassins to murder a Washington Post journalist, and how that illustrates the (often misunderstood) thinking of Machiavelli.

Oct 09, 2018
Episode 6 - #MeToo, Hierarchy, & Inequality
37:06

In this shorter episode (also recorded some time ago) we take a look at the unusual case of Avital Ronell, the female critical theory professor who was credibly accused of sexual harassment, as well as the case of Asia Argento, who was allegedly both victim and perpetrator. We also discuss how hierarchy and inequality enable sexual harassment and abuse generally.

Oct 05, 2018
Episode 5 - Kavanaugh, Kennedy, & Aristotle
01:10:56

For once we have a timely episode! We dedicate the whole thing to Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation controversy, especially the late-breaking news from Monday evening. But towards the end we still sneak in a discussion of Aristotle's views on aristocracy and the healthiness of political cultures.

Oct 02, 2018
Episode 4a - Housekeeping
08:10

This is just a quick housekeeping episode, detailing how to subscribe to the podcast and how to contact us. Thanks for listening everyone! We're delighted at the response so far.

Check the links on the right side of the site for links to those things as well.

Oct 02, 2018
Episode 4 - Russia, Hobbes, and Locke
01:08:26

In this episode (which was recorded some time ago), we discuss the Trump-Russia story. Then at about 32:00, we discuss Hobbes and Locke, especially their theories of property.

Sep 28, 2018
Episode 3 - Jon Chait, socialist semiotics, and political demographics
01:08:56

This time we discuss democratic socialism versus social democracy, Jon Chait's slippery definitions thereof, and how political coalitions might be constructed.

Sep 26, 2018
Episode 2 - New York state primaries, Hurricane Florence, and climate change
01:05:02

Here we discuss the controversies around Andrew Cuomo, the IDC in the New York State Senate, and the successful Julia Salazar campaign.

Then at about 37:00, we turn to the self-harming North Carolina legislature, and why they passed a pro-flooding bill six years ago.

Sep 19, 2018
Episode 1 - Steven Pinker & Rousseau
01:06:00

Here we discuss the panglossian psychologist Steven Pinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and how their clashing perspectives influence modern politics. 

Sep 16, 2018
Episode 0 - Introduction
05:01

In this short introductory episode, we briefly explain the idea of the podcast.

Sep 16, 2018