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#630#631#632#633 Episode #634 - The Coming Apocalypse etc.
(Catastrophism, Zombies, Social Collapse and The 'Fiscal Cliff')



Sat 15 December 2012  David Graeber (reading), David McNally, Sasha Lilley, John Taylor Gatto (reading), Jeff Schmidt (reading)
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2On our last show before December 21st, 2012, we examine the spectre of 'catastrophe'. Does the popularity of undead imagery reveal anything about modern society? We begin by revisiting David Graeber's insights on Tiv mythology at the time of the African slave trade, then examine the underpinning of the modern university and schooling systems as a way to decode the barrage of modern day warnings of the 'Fiscal Cliff'.
This week a range of voices contribute to a show on catastrophism. C. S. Soong looks at deeper meanings of the popularity of zombies and the living dead and introduces a speech from David McNally, professor of political science at York University, Toronto, and author of "Monsters of The market, Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism". After a music break, we hear an interview in which Sasha Lilley argues that while there are indeed dangerous ecological trends ongoing, we should be very wary of fear-based 'catastrophism'. Continuing into our second hour, she examines what Karl Marx had to say about 'collapse' and identifies two distinct modern notions of 'collapse', firstly the thought that capitalism will inevitably collapse under its own weight and secondly the thought that the worse the situation gets for the working class, the more they will be motivated to rebel. She examines the historical record and warns us to be very wary of both. Most of our second hour is made up by a collection of some classic recordings from earlier episodes. We continue exploring what John Taylor Gatto (in a section of The Underground History of American Education not yet read on the show) refers to as the 'backbone of paranoia' that underpins modern life, looking at how modern day schools were created to sever children from their local contexts and promote the universal values of the elite that set up the forced schooling system. Next we hear a section from Disciplined Minds which reminds us that the current hierarchical system selects for political passivity in subtle and often unrecognised ways, explaining why it seems so difficult for the general and widespread dissatisfaction with capitalism to crystalize into concrete alternatives. After a musical contribution from Flanders & Swan, we hear another short section of Graeber's Debt, The First 5000 Years on the connection between money and militarism. We conclude with "Don't let money change you" by Clayton Blizzard.
Music: Re: Your Brains by Jonathan Coulton,20 Tons of TNT by Flanders and Swan & Don't let money change you by Clayton Blizzard
Thanks to C.S. Soong from Against The Grain for the Sasha Lilley interview
This episode rebroadcasts content from episodes 188, 506, 573, 583, 615 & 634.
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