First they came for my golf clubs … – Episode 58

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.

Betomania or Bae O’Rourke

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Paul declares his affection for Beto O’Rourke and becomes the object of Sean’s ribbing. Then Paul argues that Andrew Yang is, surprisingly, the most significant candidate in the 2020 race. Finally the guys discuss the rest of the Chinese propaganda anime “The Leader” about the life of Karl Marx. (We can only imagine that the title of the inevitable Hollywood remake will be “Jenny’s Deathbed.”)

Young Karl Marx Joins Impolitic – Episode 56

Impolitic gives the people want they want, which in this case meant watching the first episodes of The Leader, a Chinese Communist Party produced anime about the life of young Karl Marx, his love of Jenny Westphalen, and turgid philosophical one liners. Then Sean and Paul discuss Simon van Zuylen-Wood’s article (29:45) about socialist hipsters in fair Brooklyn before Paul describes (58:30) his idealized health insurance system in the magical land of Libertopia. Finally, the guys wish (1:32:05) Bill Weld well in his Presidential aspirations.

What Emergency? – Episode 55

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.”

… But Venezuela … – Episode 54

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.

Will 2020 Be for Democrats What 2016 was for Republicans? – Episode 53

This week, the guys discuss the increasingly crowded field of hopefuls for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020. Paul argues that both the size of the field and the growing ability of progressive candidates to raise funds outside of party control could lead to the kinds of collective action problems that bedeviled Republicans in 2016. Sean responds with the hottest of hot takes, the “probable” nomination of one Bernie “My Hair Don’t Care” Sanders. Then the guys talk about the federal government shutdown, what it exposes about the dysfunction in American politics, and a few hopeful silver linings.

All I Want for Christmas is … Socialism

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.”