Meditations and Molotovs - 07.17.17

July 17, 2017

On today's program, Vince plays Part 3 of Adam Curtis' documentary series, "The Trap."

The final program of Curtis' 2007 series focuses on the concepts of positive and negative liberty introduced in the 1950s by Isaiah Berlin. Curtis briefly explains how negative liberty could be defined as freedom from coercion and positive liberty as the opportunity to strive to fulfill one's potential.

The program begins with a description of the Two Concepts of Liberty, reviewing Berlin's opinion that, since it lacked coercion, negative liberty was the 'safer' of the two. Curtis then explains how many political groups who sought their vision of freedom ended up using violence to achieve it.

Curtis looks at the neo-conservative agenda of the 1980s which argued that violence would sometimes be necessary to achieve their goals, except they wished to spread what they described as democracy. Curtis argued, although the version of society espoused by the neo-conservatives made some concessions towards freedom, it did not offer true freedom.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 07.10.17

July 10, 2017

On today's program, Vince plays Part 2 of Adam Curtis' documentary film, "The Trap: The Lonely Robot."

Part two reiterated many of the ideas of the first part, but developed the theme that drugs such as Prozac and lists of psychological symptoms which might indicate anxiety or depression were being used to normalize behavior and make humans behave more predictably, like machines. This was not presented as a conspiracy theory, but as a logical (although unpredicted) outcome of market-driven self-diagnosis by a check-list based on symptoms, but not actual causes, discussed in part one.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 07.03.17

July 5, 2017

 On today's program, Vince features Part 1 of Adam Curtis' documentary series, "The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom?"

Individual freedom is the dream of our age. It's what our leaders promise to give us, it defines how we think of ourselves and, repeatedly, we have gone to war to impose freedom around the world. But if you step back and look at what freedom actually means for us today, it's a strange and limited kind of freedom.

Politicians promised to liberate us from the old dead hand of bureaucracy, but they have created an evermore controlling system of social management, driven by targets and numbers. Governments committed to freedom of choice have presided over a rise in inequality and a dramatic collapse in social mobility. And abroad, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the attempt to enforce freedom has led to bloody mayhem and the rise of an authoritarian anti-democratic Islamism. This, in turn, has helped inspire terrorist attacks in Britain. In response, the Government has dismantled long-standing laws designed to protect our freedom.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 06.26.17

June 26, 2017

 On today's program, Vince examines the conspiratorial left and the organizations, media outlets and individuals who support it. In order for poor and working-class people to effectively organize in the long-term, we must reject the nihilism, cynicism and apathy produced by those entities. Unfortunately, these trends are not limited to progressive movements in the U.S.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 06.19.17

June 26, 2017

On today's program, Vince is joined by Sarah Zawaki, as they talk about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, gun violence in the U.S., new shipping lanes in the Great Lakes, climate change in Antarctica, police violence in Seattle, the Grenfell Tower massacre and the ongoing cultural divide between rural and urban Americans.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 06.12.17

June 26, 2017

 On today's program, Vince recaps the last several weeks of news, political actions and events, including local and regional campaigns and upcoming actions. Also, since many people inquired via email, text and phone, Vince talks about why he didn't attend "The People's Summit" in Chicago this past weekend.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 05.22.17

June 26, 2017

On today's program, Vince is joined by two of his favorite people: Shumani Tutanka Owachi and Sergio Alexander Kochergin. They discuss all sorts of current events, but primarily the upcoming "Re-Defining Memorial Day" event that's taking place on Saturday, May 27th at P.A.R.C. in Michigan City.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 05.15.17

June 26, 2017
On today's program, Vince spends the hour listening to Michael Hardt, a longtime friend of the program and someone whose work continues to serve as a guide for 21st century leftists.

Michael Hardt (b. 1960) is a political philosopher and literary theorist, best known for three books he co-authored with Antonio Negri: Empire (2000), Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004), and Commonwealth (2009). The trilogy, in particular its first volume—Empire—has often been hailed as the “Communist Manifesto of the 21st Century.” Michael Hardt is a professor of literature at Duke University and a professor of philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS.

Hardt and Negri have also written Labor of Dionysus: a Critique of the State-form (1994) and Declaration (2012). Aside from these works, Hardt has also written Gilles Deleuze: an Apprenticeship in Philosophy (1993), as well as numerous articles, including: The Withering of Civil Society (1995), Prison Time (1997), Affective Labour (1999), Jefferson and Democracy (2007), and How to Write with Four Hands (2013).

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Meditations and Molotovs - 05.08.17

May 8, 2017

On today's program, Vince plays Part 4 of Adam Curtis' documentary, "Century of the Self." In this episode, "Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering," Curtis explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfill the inner desires of the self.

Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people's inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.

Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.

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Meditations and Molotovs - 05.01.17

May 1, 2017

Monday, May 1st - On today's program Vince plays Part 3 of Adam Curtis' documentary, "Century of the Self." In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas in America. They were inspired by the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, a pupil of Freud's, who had turned against him and was hated by the Freud family. He believed that the inner self did not need to be repressed and controlled. It should be encouraged to express itself.

Out of this came a political movement that sought to create new beings free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people's minds by business and politics. This program shows how this rapidly developed in America through self-help movements like Werber Erhard's Erhard Seminar Training - into the irresistible rise of the expressive self: the Me Generation.

But the American corporations soon realized that this new self was not a threat but their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality. To do this they turned to techniques developed by Freudian psychoanalysts to read the inner desires of the new self.

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