Podcasts

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast: #060 Zero, Nada, Zilch

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This week I am delighted to welcome back to the show Doug Lain, host of what was once called the Diet Soap podcast, but which is now the Zero Squared podcast. We talk about why Doug’s new job as publisher of Zero Books doesn’t make him a capitalist, what econophysics has to do with Marx, capitalism as objective reality, base vs superstructure, radical politics and the current balance of forces, how Woody Allen has lost his way, the latest book Doug’s working on, and how cool and communist Star Trek is.

You can find the shows new Stitcher presence here:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/from-alpha-to-omega

You can find the Zero Squared podcast and all of Doug’s other stuff here:

DouglasLain.com

Here is Zero Books:

http://www.zero-books.net/

The music on this show was:

‘The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters’ by Sun Ra and his Arkestra
‘Maple Leaf Rag’ by Scott Joplin
‘Si tu vois ma mère’ by Sidney Bechet
‘For The Love Of Money’ by O’Jays
‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Django Reinhardt

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast #059: Test Those Theories

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This week I am delighted to welcome to the show Jose A Tapia Granados, associate Professor in the Department of History and Politics in Drexel University. Originally trained as a medical doctor, Jose now specialises in the links between fluctuations in the economy and health conditions. He also is interested in purely economic issues, and is the co-author of the book ‘La Gran Recesión y el capitalismo del siglo XXI’ or ‘The Great Recession and capitalism of the XXI century’ in english. The interview is based upon a really fascinating paper of his I read recently called, ‘Does investment call the tune? Empirical evidence and endogenous theories of the business cycle’. In this paper, Jose looks at the different theories of crisis, in particular those of Keynes and Marx, and sees how they stand up when you test them against the historical empirical data. Very interesting stuff indeed.

Here is the podcast’s new YouTube channel, with all the episodes uploaded:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD63zXEPxFpl9Y0Vh8abp4A

You can find the paper here:
http://sitemaker.umich.edu/tapia_granados/files/does_investment_call_the_tune_may_2012__forthcoming_rpe_.pdf

You can find his book here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/GRAN-RECESION-CAPITALISMO-DEL-SIGLO/dp/8483196115

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast: #058 Radical Laughs

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This week I am delighted to welcome Sean Michael Wilson to the show. Sean Michael Wilson is Scottish comic book writer, who now lives and works in Japan. In the last couple of years, Sean Michael has released a couple of explicitly political graphic novels:

‘Parecomic: The Story of Michael Albert and Participatory Economics’

‘Fight the Power! A Visual History of Protests Among the English Speaking Peoples’

He has also recently wrote a post for the Forbidden Planet Blog on how an anarchy-based economic system would benefit the creation of comics, and all art in general. We discuss the creative process of the comic-book writer, the emergence of the adult comic-book genre, the Walking Dead and it’s Hobbesian view of the world, why Hollywood does not do anarchy, progressive politics in comics, socialism and the world of art, and the need for revolutionary jokes.

You may also be interested in a promising new podcast that has just been launched by Amogh Sadu and C. Derrick Varn called ‘Symptomatic Redness’. It features a really good interview Amogh did with me earlier in the autumn, where I give my opinions on all things economic and political, and slander all my previous guests. You can listen to the interview here.

Here is where you can get your hands on Sean Michael’s Work:

Here is Sean Michael’s blog:

You can find Sean Michael’s Forbidden Planet blog post here.

The music on this show was:

‘The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters’ by Sun Ra and his Arkestra
‘Turning Japanese’ by the Vapors
‘wrapping the green flag around’ by The Dubliners
‘Such A Waste Of Mind’ by Faron Young
‘Bring Me Sunshine’ by Morecambe and Wise

You can find the Sligo Anarchist here.

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast #057: The Physics Of Class

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This week I am delighted to welcome Gavin Mendel-Gleason to the show. Gavin works as a Post-Doctoral researcher in the computer science department at Dublin City University. Gavin also writes for the very interesting blog: Spirit of Contradiction, which focuses on various different aspects of leftist or socialist politics and theory.

Gavin recently wrote a really interesting article on some empirical and theoretical evidence from the world Econophysics that chimes with Marx’s two-class analysis of capitalism. These results are extremely interesting and serve as another illumination of the accuracy and power of Marx’s work. We also talk about Gavin’s experiences working as an anarchist activist in Ireland, and his journey from that to more formal party politics.

You can find his Spirit of Contradiction blog here:

The music featured on this show was:

‘The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters’ by Sun Ra and his Arkestra
‘Working Man’ by Rush
‘Top Hat, White Tie and Tails’ by Fred Astaire
‘Time Will Tell’ by The Lafayette Afro Rock Band
‘Water No Get Enemy’ by Fela Kuti

Here are the instructions on how to leave a review on iTunes:

1. If you don’t already have iTunes installed on your computer, first you need to install it.
2. If you don’t already have an apple_id, please carefully follow the instructions here where you can create an account without having to give them your bank details (i know… swine!) http://support.apple.com/en-us/ht2534
3. Got to the iTunes website for the show: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/from-alpha-to-omega/id530114975?mt=2
4. Click on the ‘View in iTunes’ button
5. Click on the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ tab
6. Click on the ‘Write a Review’ button.
7. If you have not already logged into iTunes with your apple_id, you will now be asked to.
8. Write the review, and click on the submit button.
9. If you are having any trouble with all of this, drop me an email to: alpha2omegapodcast (at) gmail (dot) com

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast #56: Essence and the Philosophy of Science

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This week I am delighted to welcome Thom Workman to the show, Professor of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick. Thom’s research explores the philosophical and sociological critiques of modernity, especially as these have developed over the post-Enlightenment era. In this episode we discuss the history of the Philosophy of Science, Marx’s understanding of science at the time of writing ‘Das Kapital’, Postmodernism, and how this notion of science has come under attack over the years, from various quarters, both from outside and within Marxism itself.

Thom has also published a number of books, his latest called: ‘If You’re in My Way, I’m Walking: The Assault on Working People since 1970’.

http://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/if-youre-in-my-way-im-walking.

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast: #055 Encirclement

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This week I am delighted to have Rick Rozoff, long-time anti-war activist, NATO expert, and curator of the – Stop Nato: Opposition to Global Militarism blog. In a wide ranging interview, we discuss the current Ukraine Situation, Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Grand Chessboard, the NATO expansion and encirclement of Russia, and the plight of Syria.

You can check out his blog here: rickrozoff.wordpress.com/

The music featured on this show were:

  • ‘The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters’ by Sun Ra and his Arkestra
  • ‘Cut Em Off’ by Dizzee Rascal
  • ‘Solitude’ by Billie Holiday
  • ‘Isolation’ by Joy Division
  • ‘Blueberry Hill’ by Vladimir Putin

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast #054: Councils Upon Councils

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This week I am glad to welcome C. Derrick Varn back to the show. We discuss the council communism and the Ultra-left, a man who told Stalin where to go and survived, autonomous Marxism and the Occupy Movement, and the failure of revolutions.

Enjoy!

The music and voice used on this show are:

‘The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters’ by Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Paul D’Amato discussing the life and work of Antonio Gramsci

‘The Charleston’ by Django Reinhart

‘Working Class Hero’ by John Lennon

‘Destroy Everything’ by Dr. Peacock & Repix

‘Wild Colonial Boy’ by Tommy Makem and The Clancy Brothers.

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From Alpha 2 Omega Podcast #53: What’s Next? Part II

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This week we have part two of our discussion with Professor Peter Hudis, of Oakton Community College, about his book ‘Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism’. The first part can be found here.

In this week’s show we talk about the Soviet experiment and the alienation of labour, the role of the state in a post-capitalist society, the Spanish revolution and the anarchist understanding of revolution, and the co-operative model as an alternative.

You can get the Professors book here.

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast #052: What’s Next?

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This week I am delighted to welcome Professor Peter Hudis, of Oakton Community College, who has recently published his new book: ‘Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism‘.

We discuss what Marx had to say about post-capitalist societies, and the reluctance of those on the left to talk about what it might actually look like.

We also talk of the theoretical reasons for the failure of the Soviet and Maoist projects, how abstract labour dominates our lives, and how not even the capitalists are in control of the current system.

You can find the Professors book here:http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Marxs-Concept-of-the-Alternative-to-Capitalism

Enjoy!

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast: #048 Whither Underconsumptionism?

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This week we have the second part of our interview with Professor Andrew Kliman. We continue our discussion about his latest book – ‘The Failure of Capitalist Production’ – and in particular focus on Andrews critique of the Underconsumptionist Theory of Crisis, which is pretty dominant on the Marxist and non-Marxist left alike.

We hear how the empirical evidence sits squarely in the face of this theory, what role financialisation has actually played in the economy, and the similarities between Keynesianism and Underconsumptionism.

We also talk about the new book Andrew is working on, and just how impressed I am by how well Marx’s theories are able to explain the world around us today.

You can find the article for the New Left Project that Andrew mentions in the interview, critiquing Sam Gindin’s view of the crisis as financial, here.

And you can find Sam Gindins response to Andrew here.

Enjoy

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast: #047 The Failure of Capitalist Production

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This week I am delighted to have Prof. Andrew Kliman back on the show to talk about his latest book – ‘The Failure of Capitalist Production’. The book is a brilliant example of empirical economic research, and shows us how relevant and insightful Marx’s work still is, in helping us understand the workings of our capitalist economy.

We discuss the empirical evidence in the US that supports Marx’s Tendential Fall in the Rate of Profit, the stagnation of capital accumulation, and the role of the IT revolution in the state of the economy. We also talk of the Great Depression, how it sowed the seeds for the renewal of the global economy, and what is behind the growing inequality we see around us today.

You can find Andrew’s book on sale here: (I very much recommend buying a copy!)

And his blog is here.

Enjoy!

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From Alpha To Omega: #046 Engines, Entropy, and Value

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This weeks our guest is Dr. William Paul Cockshott, a reader in the Computer Science Department of Glasgow University. Paul was trained as an economist, then as a computer scientist, and he has made contributions to the fields of image compression, 3D television, and parallel compilers. He is also known for his work in applying econophysics to classical economics, the field of economic computability, and as the co-author of the book ‘Towards a new Socialism’, advocating for the more efficient and democratic planning of a complex economy.

In this show we discuss the origins of classical political economy, and how it was influenced by the rapid advances in the world of physics. We talk of the importance of Watt and his steam engine, the development of the theories of thermodynamics and entropy, and their importance in economy. The work of Babbage and Alan Turing also get a mention, as well as the human as universal robot. We also discuss the overwhelming empirical evidence for Marx’s Labor Theory of Value, why it is that it works, and the importance of the work of previous guest Prof. Gregory Chaitin in the modern factory. Oh yes, and some roman pottery, Chinese crossbows from the Qin Dynasty, and how difficult it is to fold your clothes.

Enjoy!

You can find his books, talks, and research on his website here:

http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wpc/reports/index.html

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From Alpha to Omega Podcast: #045 Dollar Hegemony

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This week our guest is Matias Vernengo.

Matias is an Associate Professor of Economics, at Bucknell University, and a former Senior Manager of Economic Research at the Central Bank of Argentina. He blogs regularly at his site Naked Keynesianism, as well as for Triple Crisis, and is currently the co-editor of the Review of Keynesian Economics.

We discuss a paper he recently co-authored with David Fields on the hegemonic role of the Dollar in the world economy.

We talk of the advantages of being the worlds reserve currency, the Bretton Woods agreement, Nixon closing the gold window, the Triffin Dilemma, threats to the dominance of the dollar in world trade, and the irrelevance of gold in today’s financial system.

You can find his excellent blog here.

The Triple Crisis blog here.

And the Review of Keynesian Economics Journal here.

You can also find the paper we discuss here.

Enjoy!

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From Alpha to Omega: #044 Sins Of The Father

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This week our guest is Conor McCabe. Conor is a Research Fellow in the School of Social Justice in University College Dublin, and has just released the second edition of his book, ‘Sins of the Father: Tracing the Decisions That Shaped the Irish Economy’.

The book is a brilliant class analysis of the Irish economy since the origins of the state, and seeks to give a deep systemic structural analysis to the causes of the crisis, and to help explain why things panned out the way they did.

We discuss the Garden Cities of Ebenezer Howard, Irish economic policy and the British Empire, the rise of land speculation in Ireland, an extravagantly pointless Irish hotel, NAMA – the worlds largest property company, which owns all the worthless toxic commercial property in Ireland. Amongst other things…

You can find Conor’s book here. (It’s well worth the read…)

Happy New Year!

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