Impolitic bids adieu to billionaire / policy failure David Koch. Sean explains Joe Biden’s frontrunner status as a collective act of Democratic self-delusion. Then, the boys bust out their Philosophy 101 textbooks to discuss conservative reactions to the NYT’s 1619 Project. Has Erick Erickson neglected John Calvin? Has he forsworn the right’s traditional mission of balancing Locke and Hobbes? Finally, Paul dives into Ronald Reagan’s racist shoe fetishism, and Sean explains why the National Labor Relations Act was possibly a big mistake.
Paul’s off doing ideology (aka public lectures), so Sean sits down with higher ed labor organizer (and friend of the show!) Timothy Tia. Sean and Tim discuss the wave of union organizing campaigns currently sweeping Florida colleges and the challenges of building fighting unions in right-to-work states. Longtime listeners may remember Tim as “the guy who made us watch the Karl Marx anime.”
Paul got in a Twitter fight about his relationship to the Kochs. In response, the Impolitic boys do a thorough postmortem on the spat, exploring everything from funding’s role in shaping knowledge to the effect of social media on political discourse. At the episode’s end, they talk about Ben Shapiro’s misadventures with mood affiliation.
This week, Paul and Sean discuss what the conversations surrounding “alt-ac” jobs get wrong and what graduate programs in the humanities can do to help alumni navigate life after tweed. Then, in a follow up to their two-parter on Karl Marx anime The Leader, they take a deep dive into the comic strip version of Friedrich Hayek’s libertarian classic, The Road to Serfdom.
In this week’s episode, Paul and Sean discuss the national emergency that wasn’t; America’s dawning realization that Donald Trump is a feckless and impotent leader; Bernie Sanders’s prospect for winning the White House (and more importantly, winning his policy goals); “Davos Dude” Rutger Bregman; and the role of money in politics.
Musical Credits: Kool & the Gang, “Emergency”; DJ Steve Porter, “Bern It Up (Remix)”; Junior Parker, “Taxman.”
It’s another grab bag episode! This week, Paul and Sean discuss everything from the shortcomings of the 1980s and Donald Trump’s movie tastes to Paul’s penchant for chatting up rideshare drivers and Sean’s successful prediction about the outcome of the government shutdown. By episode’s end, however, they turn their focus to the dangers of a US intervention in Venezuela and the importance of seeing Venezuela as a real country with a real history rather than a mere litmus test for leftist policy.
Paul’s secluded himself in a cabin this weekend, so Sean is helming the show with two-time guest host Hélène Huet. Their topic: Hallmark Christmas movies. Reprising their previous political analysis of American pop culture (in their Ep. 38 break down of the Real Housewives franchises), Hélène and Sean break down the business side of Hallmark’s Christmas juggernaut and propose some theories about why these films have become such pop culture staples in the late-Obama and early-Trump years. Along the way, they propose some foolproof ideas for future Hallmark holiday films.
Musical Credits: Frank Sinatra, “Jingle Bells”; Stevie Wonder, “Living for the City”; Mariah Carey, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
In part two of our midterm recap, Paul geeks out about ranked-choice voting and its potential to break the Democrats and Republicans’ stranglehold on American politics. Sean, for his part, makes the (incredibly dubious) case that Vladimir Lenin would have been a fan of this electoral innovation.
Musical Credits: AC/DC, “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock ‘N’ Roll).”
In part one of this long-overdue episode (sorry everyone!), Paul and Sean discuss the Democrats’ anemic results in the November midterms. Paul argues that centrism still represents Democrats’ clearest route to power, citing the surprise blue upset in South Carolina’s traditionally-red 1st Congressional district. And Sean makes the case for far-left organizing outside the Democratic Party, based on the election results from Florida.
Musical Credits: Roy Clark, “Over the Waves.”
Paul and Sean couldn’t find a time to record this week, so instead Sean served up a short report from the recent Socialist Alternative (SA) national convention in Chicago. Come for a brief intro to SA’s history, politics, and perspectives; stay for some thoughts on what even non-socialists have to learn from the SA convention.
Finally, remember that this coming week, we’ll be tackling chapters 1 and 2 of Marx and Engels’s The Communist Manifesto (1848) as part of the Impolitic reading series. As always, we’d love to hear from listeners with questions and comments on the reading. If you’d like us to discuss your comment on air, please submit it via email, Twitter, or Facebook by Friday, Nov. 2.
Musical Credits: Members of Socialist Alternative singing “The Internationale.”