This week's episode of the C-Realm Podcast begins with a discussion of David Graeber's 2012 essay, Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit. KMO shares a portion of the conversation with Eric Boyd from C-Realm Vault Podcast episode 082 about some possible reasons why SF visions of moon bases, robotic maids and flying cars never came true. After that, KMO talks with G. Paul Blundell of Acorn Community about running large, complex operations without hierarchy, exploitation or coercion. Paul argues that renouncing hierarchy does not mean abandoning the benefits of coordinated action involving millions of people. The episode ends with a reading from a post to the blog The Hipcrime Vocab. Music by The Little Stevies.
KMO welcomes filmmaker Joshua Bregman to the C-Realm to discuss why contemporary science fiction, on the screen at least if not on the page, is stuck in a dystopian quagmire. What happened to the utopian vision of Star Trek? Perhaps Francis Fukuyama and Margaret Thatcher were right. Perhaps representative democracy and markets are the highest expression of human civilization and that there is nowhere to go but down. Music by Little Stevies.
In this episode of the podcast guest host Larry Lowe shares a conversation he recorded with KMO about the essence of the C-Realm Podcast and his efforts to reduce its broad range of subject matter into a concise 'elevator pitch,' a boiler plate definition to serve as a definitive sound byte.
KMO welcomes permaculture co-originator David Holmgren to the C-Realm Podcast to discuss two of his essays: Money Vs Fossil Energy: the Battle for Control of the World and Crash on Demand: Welcome to the Brown Tech Future. David has been tracking the onset of climate change and peak oil for many years, but he says that in recent years, largely due to the work of Steve Keen and Nicole Foss, he has come to see financial systems as the fastest moving and most volatile element in emerging global crisis. He describes why he considers the Bush administration to have been guided by a certain energy realism lacking in too many social and climate activists. Finally, he describes why he thinks that multiple generations of mass affluence has left us saddled with a psycho-social debt that will be very difficult for us to discharge. Music by The Little Stevies.
KMO welcomes Stephanie Johnstone to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about sexuality, monogamy, gender, music and more. Stephanie is co-host of the Sex For Smart People podcast, a program built in close collaboration with its audience. In the discussion, Stephanie quotes extensively from A Short Instructional Manifesto for Relationship Anarchy, explains why she is careful about endorsing the phrase "sex positive," and how she came from a place of religiously induced shame around her sexuality to a place of celebration. Music by Love Songs for the Rest of Us.
In this second conversation with David J. Blacker, the author of The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame, KMO and guest review Marx's idea of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, the productivity gains from technology that were supposed to free workers from the need to toil but somehow did not do so, and how the needs of the Neoliberal elite continue to shape the agenda of universal, compulsory education. David describes the vacuous talk around "accountability" in education. The minders of the public discourse treat accountability as an unqualified good, but in practice, it amounts to a record-keeping fetish dressed up as a moral imperative. The tacit assumption among accountability fetishists is that numbers are more real than words. Music by Fernando Tarango and the Wickersham Brothers.
Charles Eisenstein returns to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about the evolution of his thinking in his new book, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is possible. He and KMO discuss how any seemingly objective metric that we use in pursuing a more just, sustainable and egalitarian world encodes our biases and justifications for existing power relationships and thus never brings about the world with think and hope it will. Charles explains why he sees the culture of American anti-intellectualism on the political right as coming from a place of valid rebellion, and how no course of action will achieve what we want it to unless it starts with an acknowledgement of the grief we feel over the wound of self-rejection.
Music by Stacco Troncoso.
In this episode of the C-Realm Podcast, KMO and guest, David J. Blacker, explore the themes of David's new book, The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame. What's worse than being exploited by capitalists? Suddenly NOT being exploited by capitalists when that's the only way to earn a living that you've ever known. If public education in the 20th Century was shaped by the needs of capitalist production, what form does education take when what Capitalists really need a growing segment of the population to do is go away? Welcome to the era of eliminationism. Music by Dawn Drake and the ZapOtes.
Seven C-Realm listeners join KMO on a conference call for a discussion of the themes of Dune, the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert. They carry on the discussion from the previous episode about gender inequality among the various inhabitants of the far-future galactic Imperium whcih is the setting for the novel. Nobody in the Imperium pretends to uphold equality as a universal value, but is that worse than life in a culture that professes to value everyone equally but clearly doesn't? Dune depicts a pan-galactic feudal civilization governed by an indispensable corporate monopoly. Might corporate feudalism await our own civilization in the not-too-distant future?