By Ryan Cooper & Alexi the Greek
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Philosophy, politics, and the left.
||CleanEpisode 49 - Billionaire Boondoggles with @Pat_Garofalo||This time we bring on Pat Garofalo to talk about his new book The Billionaire Boondoggle: How Our Politicians Let Corporations and Bigwigs Steal Our Money and Jobs. It's a great read, digging into the wretched practice of corporations extracting bribes||3/21/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 47 - Gothic Marxism with @TheLitCritGuy||This time we bring on Jon aka "The Lit Crit Guy" to talk about the concept of Gothic Marxism, how horror can reveal underlying social pathologies, and the use (or lack thereof) of theory in politics writ large. You can find his Horror Vanguard podcast h||3/13/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 45 - Varieties of Left Ideology and You Might be a Neoliberal If ...||This time we explore the differences between neoliberalism, Brandeisianism, social democracy, and democratic socialism, and which presidential candidates represent each tradition (if any). In the process we inexpertly riff on Jeff Foxworthy's signature||3/10/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 43 - Interview with @DavidKaib on MLK and Iris Marion Young||This time we bring on activist and scholar David Kaib to discuss Martin Luther King's famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and Iris Marion Young's essay "Activist Challenges to Deliberative Democracy." We talk about the intersection between democratic||3/1/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanUNLOCKED: Episode 42 - Interview with @AOC Adviser @rch371, Part II||We're taking this one out from behind the paywall for a special occasion (and a sample of what you can find as a paying customer). This time we continue our discussion from the last episode with Cornell Law professor Robert Hockett, Green New Deal advi||2/24/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 41 - (Part I): Interview with @AOC Green New Deal Adviser Robert Hockett @rch371||This time we talk about the Green New Deal with Robert Hockett, a Cornell law professor and policy adviser of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We discuss the basic objectives of aggressive climate policy, the policy mechanics thereof, and the political foundat||2/21/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 40 preview - The Butcher Elliot Abrams||Here's a preview of our latest episode -- available now on Patreon!||2/17/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 39 - Interview with @ProfPeterCole on Dockworker Unions||This time we bring on Peter Cole, a historian at Western Illinois University, to talk about his new book Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area. We discuss the fascinating history of militant dockworker labor union||2/13/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 37 - W.E.B. Du Bois and Reconstruction||For the second episode in our Black History Month series, we look at W.E.B. Du Bois, and especially his groundbreaking history of Reconstruction.||2/8/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 35 - #HandsOffVenezuela - Interview with @PatrickIber||This time we bring on Patrick Iber, a historian specializing in Latin America. We discuss the dismal internal situation in Venezuela, Trump's proposed imperialist aggression, and how the American left should think about it all. It's a tricky but still w||1/31/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 34 Preview - "Debt: The First 5,000 Years" & Trump-Russia Update||Here's an excerpt of our latest bonus episode, available now on Patreon!||1/26/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 33 - MLK Day Special: Interview with @dolladollabille on the Wages of Whiteness and Kamala Harris||This time we have on Vanessa Bee, a writer, editor, and podcaster for Current Affairs. We discuss the contrasting perspectives of the nature of white privilege with Martin Luther King, Jr and James Baldwin on one side, and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the other.||1/23/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 32 preview - Henry George and Populism||Here's a quick excerpt of our latest bonus episode, available right now on Patreon!||1/19/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 31 - Interview with @DanteAtkins||This time we talk to longtime Democratic Party activist, political writer, and current congressional staffer Dante Atkins. We discuss the evolution of the party's internal thinking, how it actually functions on the inside, whether or not the new crop of||1/14/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 29 - Imperial Accounting, the Theory of Labor Aristocracy, and AOC's Tax Extravaganza||In this episode we discuss how profitable America's imperial machinery really is for the average American schlub (using import statistics from the Federal Reserve and the Census, h/t Matt Bruenig), related articles on the myth of the labor aristocracy,||1/7/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 27 — Judith Butler and the Yellow Vests||In our holiday special, we delve into Judith Butler's Adorno Prize Lecture from September 11, 2012 entitled "Can One Lead a Good Life in a Bad Life?" as a framework for better understanding the significance and political function of social movements suc||12/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 25 - WASP Unbound with @jeffspross||In this episode, we bring back world champion guest Jeff Spross to discuss Ross Douthat's argument against meritocracy, Bernard Yack's review of Bernard Manin's book The Principles of Representative Government, and finally Helen Andrews' case for aristo||12/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 23 - Interview with @ThePlumLineGS||This time we interview the Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent, who has a new book out called An Uncivil War. We discuss how to save American democracy, the fecklessness of Democratic Party elites, and much more. [Also, check out Ryan's review of Gre||12/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 21a: Patreon Announcement||Folks have been asking about this, and here it is: patreon.com/leftanchor. We'll be publishing two episodes per week, one for patrons and one for free. If you feel like that's worth $5 a month, or want to support ad-free lefty media in a dark time for j||12/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 21 - Interview with Brad Evans ( @HistofViolence ), Part II: Fascism||In the second part of our interview with University of Bath philosopher Brad Evans (don't miss part I!) we discuss the characteristics and functions of fascism, and how it may or may not apply to current political developments.||12/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 20 - Interview with Brad Evans ( @HistofViolence ) Part I: Political Violence & Neoliberalism||This is the first of a two-part interview of Brad Evans, a philosopher and critical theorist who specializes in violence at the University of Bath. We discuss the politics and the spectacle of violence, and how they have evolved under neoliberalism. Sta||12/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 19 - Is Democratic Socialism TOO Democratic or Not Democratic Enough?||In this episode from the archive, we discuss dueling takes on whether the rise of democratic socialism in DSA and elsewhere is Taking Democracy Too Far (from friend of the pod Conor Friedersdorf) or is Actually, Harming Democracy (from other friend of t||11/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 18 - Interview with @franklinbynum||Today we have a very special episode! It's entirely dedicated to an interview with Franklin Bynum, the Judge-elect of Harris County Criminal Court #8, a Houston DSA member who walloped his Republican opponent in the 2018 midterms. We discuss how he came||11/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 17 - Kant, Jonathan Haidt, & Feckless Liberalism||In this episode, we discuss Immanuel Kant's views about the Enlightenment, how they have come down to us today in a bastardized form with Jonathan Haidt's atrocious book The Righteous Mind, and the ongoing relevance of Robert Frost's quote "A liberal is||11/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 16 - Immigration, Open Borders, & Rights, feat @jeffspross||This time we bring back Jeff Spross to talk about immigration, why conservatives and capitalists whip up anti-immigrant paranoia, the value of open borders as a policy and as a utopian demand, and close up by discussing Hannah Arendt's ideas about the r||11/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 15 - 2018 Midterms||This episode we discuss the midterms. We start off with Ryan flagrantly botching the state Claire McCaskill is from (Missouri, not Iowa), then move into a broader discussion on What It All Means: live, unfiltered, raw insight from start to finish.||11/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 14 - Anand Giridharadas on Big Philanthropy & Antonio Gramsci||This time we discuss Anand Giridharadas's book Winners Take All about the ideological underpinnings and functions of elite philanthropy. Then (about 30:00) we discuss how the book illustrates the basic insights of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci on||11/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 13 - Karl Polanyi||In this episode (recorded some time ago) we discuss the ongoing insight and relevance of Karl Polanyi, whose brilliant work The Great Transformation continues to shed light on modern political economy.||11/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 12 - Fascist Violence, David Hume, & Judith Butler||In this episode, we consider the grim news of the #MAGABomber, the synagogue shooting, the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and what Hume and Butler might teach us about this. Unfortunately, Alexi had a technical malfunction, so the audio quality i||10/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 11 - Leftist Foreign Policy & Francis Fukuyama||In this episode, we welcome new guest Emma Steiner to talk about Bernie Sanders' recent foreign policy speech, how leftists should think about the issue, David Klion's recent review of Obama adviser Ben Rhodes' new book, and finally the group blog Fello||10/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 10 - Fascism & Capitalism||The Republican Party has basically developed a quasi-paramilitary wing in the form of the Proud Boys, which went on a violent rampage in New York City after celebrating the 58th anniversary of the assination of Inejiro Asanuma at the Metropolitan Repub||10/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 9 - Champagne Ecosocialism & Jon Chait Join DSA, feat @jeffspross||This time we discuss the structural requirements of de-carbonizing the world economy, and whether it will be necessary as a practical matter to live an austere lifestyle or stop economic growth. Then (37:30) we turn to Jonathan Chait's latest pro-social||10/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 8 - How Should the Left Think about the Judiciary? Feat. Bajeera McCorkle||For this episode we have our first guest, legal and political theory scholar Bajeera McCorkle. We discuss the abysmal history of the Supreme Court, the rise of neo-Lochnerism on the right, and try to work out how the left should think about the legal sy||10/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7 - Saudi Arabia & Machiavelli||This time we discuss the astonishing news that Saudi Arabia may have sent assassins to murder a Washington Post journalist, and how that illustrates the (often misunderstood) thinking of Machiavelli.||10/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6 - #MeToo, Hierarchy, & Inequality||In this shorter episode (also recorded some time ago) we take a look at the unusual case of Avital Ronell, the female critical theory professor who was credibly accused of sexual harassment, as well as the case of Asia Argento, who was allegedly both vi||10/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5 - Kavanaugh, Kennedy, & Aristotle||For once we have a timely episode! We dedicate the whole thing to Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation controversy, especially the late-breaking news from Monday evening. But towards the end we still sneak in a discussion of Aristotle's views on aristocracy a||10/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4a - Housekeeping||This is just a quick housekeeping episode, detailing how to subscribe to the podcast and how to contact us. Thanks for listening everyone! We're delighted at the response so far. Check the links on the right side of the site for links to those things as||10/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4 - Russia, Hobbes, and Locke||In this episode (which was recorded some time ago), we discuss the Trump-Russia story. Then at about 32:00, we discuss Hobbes and Locke, especially their theories of property.||9/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 3 - Jon Chait, socialist semiotics, and political demographics||This time we discuss democratic socialism versus social democracy, Jon Chait's slippery definitions thereof, and how political coalitions might be constructed.||9/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2 - New York state primaries, Hurricane Florence, and climate change||Here we discuss the controversies around Andrew Cuomo, the IDC in the New York State Senate, and the successful Julia Salazar campaign. Then at about 37:00, we turn to the self-harming North Carolina legislature, and why they passed a pro-flooding bill||9/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 1 - Steven Pinker & Rousseau||Here we discuss the panglossian psychologist Steven Pinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and how their clashing perspectives influence modern politics.||9/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 0 - Introduction||In this short introductory episode, we briefly explain the idea of the podcast.||9/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
One of the Best
This really is one of the best leftist podcasts getting made these days. Very good discussions of various texts and on occasion how the theories discussed related to current events. They are both very smart.
This, my favorie Pod
Really enjoy the Left Anchor pod, where Coop & Alexi take us on many an intellectual journey, dropping the anchor into a new harbor every episode. Each time delving into the lives, stories, and works of influential historic thinkers, writers, orators—deep dives that help me better understand their views and historic context as well as bring to surface the rather timeless insights (or mistakes) and apply them to our current political circumstances.
But it's not just a history class, the pod is peppered with interviews featuring contemporary and ever influential thinkers, writers, historians, professors, activist judges — informed voices in their respected fields all talking about pertinent topics with the hosts, who continue the theme of looking square in the eye at the constellation of facts and values surrounding the issues that matter to and define not just the Left, but our shared reality.
Then it all gets drawn back into a sturdy knot tying a sense of love for humanity and a commitment to more justice in a way and at a time that recognizes socialism as a pragmatic method to get from where we are to where we're going to. The pod lives up to its name, the fighting Left throwing down while the winds of political fortune are whipping fast over the choppy seas, the Anchor below that has it's strength in being grounded.
Both the podcast and my perspective on it. 3 stars for small points of agreement but overall the episode I listened to was deeply flawed. Found Cooper via a twitter thread on Yemen and tuned in to the Jonathan Haidt podcast. Was pretty surprised that the hosts managed to pass off ad hominem attacks like “faux liberal” or “pseudo intellectual” for so long before getting to any critiques of substance. And then... what a let down... I don’t think Haidt ever makes a moral claim about whether having more/less “moral foundations” is good/bad. So to take the thesis of his book as a personal attack on leftism is pretty misguided.