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Fascism, Capitalism, and Conspiracy: Provocative Discussions on Politics, Society and…Alex Jones

Join "Politics Theory Other" for an exploration of the fascist model with historian Adam Tooze, tune in to "Bungacast" to understand the complexities of capitalism with critical theorist Albena Azmanova, and listen to "Knowledge Fight" as hosts Dan and Jordan take on the dangerous world of Infowars with their signature mix of humour and seriousness.

This weeks episode of Politics Theory Other, which has to be consistently one of the finest podcasts (and one of my favourites), had historian Adam Tooze back on the show to discuss the emergence of fascism in the early 20th century and whether similar conditions exist today. It’s worth noting that this episode was recorded before the recent controversy surrounding Gary Lineker’s tweet comparing the UK’s illegal migration bill to something from the 1930s.

During the conversation, Tooze and the host explored the tactical use of the term “fascist” to describe contemporary politicians and the parallels between the Latin American dictatorships of the past and the fascist model. This episode provided valuable historical context for current political debates on the rising popularity of the far right and the language of hate used by conservative politicians.

In a recent episode of Bungacast, Albena Azmanova, a Bulgarian critical theorist and author of “Capitalism on Edge,” joined the host to discuss the contemporary crisis of capitalism. Azmanova shared her perspective on the limitations of using terms like neoliberalism to describe our current economic system and argued that the concept of precarity capitalism is more useful in understanding its complexities. Azmanova also spoke about the problem of describing a crisis of capitalism after the 2008 financial crisis, highlighting an article from the Financial Times she suggested that capitalism carried on as normal, doing what it always does. Will we ever see the crisis that ends capitalism?

She also spoke about the problem of describing a crisis of capitalism after the 2008 financial crisis, highlighting an article from the Financial Times she suggested that capitalism carried on as normal, doing what it always does.

The host and Azmanova engaged in an illuminating discussion on the role of critical theory in contemporary politics, with the hosts praising a section of Azmanova’s book as one of the best introductions to critical theory available today. They also discussed the practical implications of critical theory for political leaders and the extent to which it can offer meaningful insights into contemporary economic and political debates. Overall, it was a fascinating and thought-provoking episode that shed light on some of the key challenges facing capitalism today. It also has the best jingle intro. I also need to read the book published by the hosts on Zero Books, review to follow.

Knowledge Fight is a twice-weekly podcast that takes a deep dive into the world of Alex Jones and his infamous Infowars platform. The show is hosted by Dan Friesen and Jordan Holmes, and it looks at Jones’s dangerous and often silly ideas in a funny but serious way. In this episode, the hosts come back to the studio after a series of live events, I have to offer my upmost praise on Dan’s great research skills, which let him condense Jones’s craziness into just a few hours of listening each week. The episode from March 13 focuses on a “ground-breaking” interview that Alex had with Roseanne Barr, which the hosts missed while taking a brief break. Dan and Jordan give their thoughts on the interview and what it means, which in the world of Jones could be absolutely anything. If you want to keep up with the latest news on militias, conspiracies, the new world order, and the far-right grifting of pills and survival kits, Knowledge Fight is an absolute must-listen—just be prepared to emerge from each episode feeling simultaneously informed and a little bit dazed. Any podcast that gets to over 780 episodes deserves checking out.

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