Costco Karens: The Laschian Response (4-Audio)

Our current situation demonstrates the extremes of what Christopher Lasch leaned into in his book The Culture of Narcissism. How did we get here? Lasch’s answers take us deeper than the typical observations of the day, which mainly dwell at the surface. In this video, which primarily deals with ideas from chapter 4 of Lasch’s book, we find an explanation for the loose hold many people have on the truth, the deep skepticism about facts, which leads to the childish acting out that we are seeing more and more of, as well as the more serious expression of discontent of protest and riot. Lasch’s views here are not all of even his answer, let along THE answer, as to how we got here, but they deal with one dimension of it that is often overlooked–our often meaningless and unthinking work and our highly “mediated” selves. … More Costco Karens: The Laschian Response (4-Audio)

Bureaucratic Dominance: Christopher Lasch on Controlled Labor (3-Audio)

This video covers chapters 2 and 3 of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism. We explore why the strong narcissist is likely to work their way up the bureaucratic ladder in corporations and government service, and why, since bureaucracy is clearly not efficient, we insist on bureaucratic “rationality.” I also discuss Lasch’s ideas regarding detachment from a sense of time and from immediate experience, which robs people of life, and I introduce Lasch’s views on the origins of all this in the twisted turns of Protestant Christian development in the United States. … More Bureaucratic Dominance: Christopher Lasch on Controlled Labor (3-Audio)

Narcissistic Death Cult: Christopher Lasch’s America (2-Audio)

This video reacts to the first chapter of Christopher Lasch’s 1979 book The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations–what does Lasch mean by narcissism, and what does it do to our relationships? In my view, our collective narcissism has created a culture of death, or a societal death cult. Lasch’s ideas are useful for understanding how our economy encourages and feeds off our narcissism and now our turning inwards keeps us from life: being proper spouses, parents, friends, neighbors and citizens. His take on technocracy and its twin vehicles of big government and corporate power is instructive and calls into question our typical distinction between government and business. Both engage in the project of managing us and encouraging our continued narcissism and consequent divisions. … More Narcissistic Death Cult: Christopher Lasch’s America (2-Audio)

Marx, Identity, and Recuperation: Interview with Jakob Hanschu (Part 2-Audio)

In this second half of my interview with Jakob Hanschu, we evaluate the worth of reading Marx’s Capital, discuss capitalism’s impact on community, culture and faith, discuss the rise of identity politics and the New Right, and deal with the topic of intersectionality. Some of the thinkers discussed besides Marx are Wendell Berry, Chantal Mouffe, McKenzie Wark, Jacques Derrida and Slavoj Zizek.
Jakob Hanschu’s blog: https://theoreticalcapriccio.wordpress.com/
More on Jakob:
http://mpa.academia.edu/JakobHanschu/CurriculumVitae
Here’s the URL to the Political Philosophy Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/60814…More Marx, Identity, and Recuperation: Interview with Jakob Hanschu (Part 2-Audio)

Conversation with Jakob Hanschu: On Responsibility in the Anthropocene (Part 1-Audio)

In this conversation with Jakob Hanschu, Fulbright scholar at the University of Nottingham, we discuss a wide range of topics all centered around human impact on the environment. Subjects include New Materialism theory and the insights it provides on large monoculture farming, insights from the psychological theories of Freud, Jung and Lacan (particularly the shadow, death drive and jouissance), Mark Fisher, Jacques Ellul’s concept of “technique”, the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, and the effects of secularism on humanity’s view of its place in nature. … More Conversation with Jakob Hanschu: On Responsibility in the Anthropocene (Part 1-Audio)

Noberto Bobbio & “Associational Socialism.” What is it and could it work? (Mouffe, Audio 6)

I finish up this series on Chantal Mouffe’s The Return of the Political with a discussion of her proposal for an “associational socialism.” Inspired by Italian socialist Noberto Bobbio’s attempt to combine elements of liberalism, democracy and socialism, Mouffe shows how his ideas fit with her notion of finding politics again through the interplay and competition of shifting identities and associations. Associational socialism involves people at the level of the workplace, but also in various movements and groups that they identify with. But exactly how would this idea work, and even more importantly, how would a society get from neoliberalism to associational socialism while avoiding various dangers, including the tendency to seek cultural homogeneity and/or endanger the liberty of people as individuals? … More Noberto Bobbio & “Associational Socialism.” What is it and could it work? (Mouffe, Audio 6)

Intersectionality and Identity Politics–Do They Pay? (Mouffe 5-Audio)

Mouffe’s book The Return of the Political puts forward a view of the self and of society that is fractured into many and shifting identities, and she argues that we can find common ground as citizens, not only in an agreement over the rules of the game of democracy, but also in our various experiences of subordination. Mouffe hopes that this possibility will lead to left coalitions that allow citizens in a radical pluralistic democracy to make progress for all (more real liberty and equality). But does this view of the self and of shifting identity groupings actually work at a practical level. Is the focus on even shifting identities as opposed to economic class concerns always a rightward move that has the potential to inspire more conflict rather than cooperation? I evaluate Mouffe’s teaching on intersectionality in light of contemporary Marx-inspired (but not dictated) thinkers like Zizek and Wark. Might we be better off concentrating on all the new ways in which people experience subordination and degradation at the economic level (and the common threat of environmental destruction–a point I hope to bring into upcoming videos)? … More Intersectionality and Identity Politics–Do They Pay? (Mouffe 5-Audio)

Mouffe on Rawls’ Liberal Theory (Audio-4)

In this podcast I discuss Chantal Mouffe’s take on John Rawls’ version of liberal social contract theory. Mouffe is not impressed, ultimately, but she does want to take away the liberal respect for the dignity of the individual while strengthening the person as a citizen, member of community, embedded in the public context. Can she have both–and what dangers do we court when we try to have stronger citizenship and public participation. Can we escape what liberals feared–open conflict–when we try to have stronger democratic participation? The question hasn’t yet been answered by Mouffe, but her critique of Rawls lays the groundwork for her attempt to answer it. … More Mouffe on Rawls’ Liberal Theory (Audio-4)

Superseding Liberalism: Mouffe v. Communitarians (3-Audio)

This video covers chapter 2 of Chantal Mouffe’s The Return of the Political, where we learn how Mouffe agrees with Communitarians on some things, but ultimately wants to move beyond them and keep what is valuable about liberalism. Is Mouffe’s “thin community” good enough? Not sure, but we’ll see as we move through the rest of her argument. Some major Communitarians, Charles Taylor, Alasdaire MacIntyre, and Michael Sandel, are discussed in relation to Mouffe’s views. … More Superseding Liberalism: Mouffe v. Communitarians (3-Audio)

Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (2-Audio)

In this second in a series on Chantal Mouffe’s ideas in The Return of the Political, I discuss her use of Carl Schmitt’s critique of liberalism and relate her ideas to authors she draws from, such as Leo Strauss, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer and Hans Georg Gadamer. I try to get an initial handle on her preferred “agonistic pluralism” as an answer to the question–can we respect particular values and traditions enough to compete with them rather than seeking to destroy them? I relate her line of argument to my understanding of Carl Jung’s theory of political ideology as “ideological possession” — the projection of the shadow. … More Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (2-Audio)