86 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
No Better Future: Utopia, Part 1
The word 'utopia' was once brand new, the invention of an English statesman and writer named Thomas More. But it's an ancient idea (e.g. Plato's Republic), and a modern one as well (the utopian socialists, 'intentional communities', etc.). It names the possibility of imagining a radically better society, and even attempting to create it.Marxists criticize utopia as an unscientific notion, since it detaches our social and political desires from the real movement of history. But early modern utopians like More and Francis Bacon never imagined their ideal cities would be realized. In that sense they were unlike the practical utopians who followed them, and whom Marx and Engels were most interested in challenging. Their utopias rather functioned as expressions their most cherished values, as well as foils through which to critique the real society in which they lived.More's Utopia and Bacon's New Atlantis both present a harmonious and idealized world, but they also reveal deep tensions in the way each thought societies work. More focuses on social organization alone, going in depth in his descriptions of families, households, and cities. Like Plato, he advocates for a form of communism. But in most respects, his utopia is stuck in the past, with ancient forms of production continuing unchanged. Bacon, on the other hand, places all his hopes on scientific and technical innovations. Though ideal in its way, his utopia is open to the future in at least that one respect.
85 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Killing the Moonlight w/ Dr. Clara Orban
In this episode, Emilia and Jasper discuss the history and legacy of Italian Futurism and interview Dr. Clara Orban of DePaul University. As one of the first Avant Gardes of Modernism, the Futurists envisioned a world of speed, strength, new technologies, and the complete obliteration of the past. The dawn of world war realized their vision and the rise of Mussolini further enforced their values. Artistically innovative and seduced by all that is New, the Futurists give us a version of the future very close to the one we received.You can find our other episodes as well as show notes at postamerican.ist/peoplesfuture and on twitter and instagram @PeopleFuturePod.
73 minutes | Jun 1, 2020
Fighting at the Edges of Capitalist Realism w/ Breht O’Shea
In the hundreds of dystopian futures presented across popular culture and media, one of the most pervasive tropes is Capitalist Realism, most succinctly explained by the phrase “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.” No genre embodies this phrase more fully than dystopia. On this episode Emilia, Jasper, and Jordan will be discussing Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 film, “Children of Men,” with Breht O’Shea of Revolutionary Left Radio.Breht O’Shea hosts of Revolutionary Left Radio, which covers communist philosophy, proletarian history, and revolutionary politics and co-hosts Red Menace Podcast, which focuses on communist theory and analysis. You can find both shows at https://www.revolutionaryleftradio.com/ and @RevLeftRadio or @Red_Menace_Pod on Twitter.
47 minutes | May 18, 2020
Marxism, Technology, and a Socialist Future w/ Derek Ford
The future and technology are almost synonymous in popular culture and psychology, whether in dystopian apocalypse or utopian fantasy, the technological “advancement” of humanity is presumed. On this first episode of the People's Future, Jasper and Tina talk with academic and organizer Derek Ford about how to understand and analyze the effects of technology on society through the Marxist lens of dialectical materialism.Derek Ford is an Assistant Professor of Education Studies at DePauw University and a member of the ANSWER Coalition and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. His research and teaching are situated at the nexus of educational theory and contemporary politics, and are generally concerned with ways that pedagogy can help us re-imagine and re-enact our ways of being-together. You can follow Derek on Twitter @derekrford.