Episode

4/21 Will COVID Kill Populism? w/ Paolo Gerbaudo

April 21, 2022

Emma hosts Paolo Gerbaudo, Director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London, to discuss his recent book The Great Recoil: Politics after Populism and Pandemic.  Emma first starts off by covering the amoral impending execution of Melissa Lucio, despite growing evidence that she was not responsible for the death of her child. Then, Emma touches briefly upon the pro-wrestling promo that is the preview for Donald Trump’s sit down interview with Piers Morgan. Paolo joins Emma afterwards to explain the concept behind the “Great Recoil”, as well as the question of what kind of management system is most functional/beneficial for this particular market economy. Paolo also explains the concept of what the left should and does value in terms of the idea of “security”-social security, environmental security, as opposed to the traditional definitions that entail physical protection (ahem, military spending.) He notes that there is overwhelming evidence globally that people thrive within their lives when provided with social safety nets in order to succeed. Paolo then defines the concept of “neo-statism”, and how a concept of delivering public goods without the necessitation of a market justification would open up so many more avenues to improve people’s overall wellbeing. Emma and Paolo then touch on the question of how the prospects of democracy look globally in an era demanding more of state action regardless of political system, what happens when a country doesn’t have an efficient public health, transit, and infrastructural sector can lead to (ahem, COVID, the entire US economy), and how these concepts being discussed either dovetail or mesh with the idea of “populism” as its been exemplified in the 2010’s with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders’s campaigns. They then touch on bureaucracy and how, while sometimes a bad word, it can be used to benefit the most vulnerable people (incentivizing young bureaucrats, working class bureaucrats and how people with access to this knowledge and literacy can transmit it to people who’ve never had the luxury of hiring people to understand it.) They finally touch on the US’s booster shot efforts, the massive economic and social infrastructure of Amazon, and how outsourcing this type of bureaucracy to consultancies and corporations only weakens public sector structure to do what it would be capable of doing without these obstacles.

Then, in the Fun Half, Emma is joined by Matt and Brandon to discuss Rudy Giuliani’s much ballyhooed debut on the Masked Singer, Don Jr. weighing in (slurring in) on the Libs of TikTok drama, Dennis Prager discussing whether leftists (who he fears more than death) can ever be truly happy, and Tulsi Gabbard continuing to turn into Dave Rubin by weighing in on the Florida “parents rights” legislation on Hannity (surprise-she’s into it). Plus, your calls & IM’s!

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