Tag Archives: Marxism

I explain why the occult+new age+witchcraft can help leftist projects on Pod Damn America!

5 Nov

Friends,

You know how I hate when people falsely claim that the occult is a fascist or new age project. Since…well…it isn’t. But the left is woefully unequipped to explore or understand why, so they often just say dumb stuff.

So when my buddy Jake Flores made inaccurate comments about theosophy on twitter, I corrected him and, well, he invited me onto his leftist podcast, Pod Damn America!

The results were pretty great. I got to talk about Pascal Beverly Randolph, diss Sylvia Federici, and defend homeopathy all on one podcast! We start around 38:00, and have a pretty substantial conversation.

Listen by clicking above or here.

Enjoy,

CH

Dreaming of post-work utopias with Kathi Weeks on AEWCH 123!

9 Sep

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud
Friends,
Does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 123 on bookshop.org! It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
As so many people face unemployment and uncertainty, many are also asking: how did it get to be this bad?
Instead of only scrambling for jobs – which many no doubt have to do in this time anyway – can we also take the time to reflect on the role of work and its function in our lives? How did we get entrenched in this insidious wage-labor relationship, where we are servants to that most repulsive of phrases, “making a living.” We have a living, we have lives, how dare tis relationship between wages and labor overlay itself onto life and pretend it is life?
To talk about all of this, I invited political theorist, feminist, author, and philosopher Kathi Weeks onto the show. Kathi is the author of two short but profound books: The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries and Constituting Feminist Subjects. The former elucidates the entire anti-work ethos from a Marxist feminist perspective, and uses a tactic to dismantle the crazed attachment we have to a “work ethic”: utopia. What if we employed utopia as a tactic against work to open new ways forward. And the latter shows how we can find solidarity and generate new tactics that we learn from our differing standpoints.
This is a great anti-work, pro-utopia episode, friends.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The way a “sick day” enforces an identity
  • The problem of “just do what you love”
  • The problem with (sex work is) work
  • Making sure we critique work without dragging everything into class reductionism
  • How post-work politics come from work
  • The uses of utopia (and where Kathi and I limit our ideas of utopia)
  • Why the demand to know the future is counterrevolutionary
  • Living in a time of critique without proposition
  • The promise and pitfalls of universal basic income (UBI)

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Kathi, here’s her great essay, “Down with Love,” on how our views of love inform our views of work; here’s Kathi’s spirited defense of universal basic income as a PDF; and you can watch her on a panel with AEWCH 120 guest Michael Hardt, Peter Frase, and Charles Mudede here.

• For more on postwork and anti-work action/theory, well, I’ve talked a whole lot about it on the show, and from many different angles: including talking about idleness AEWCH 89 with philosopher Brian O’Connor, a solo episode – AEWCH 85 – Abolish Work,” AEWCH 83 with Franco Bifo Berardi, AEWCH 69 with Sovereign Syre and Dr. Heather Berg, and briefly on AEWCH 99 with the late and great David Graeber.

• For some reason, Miya Tokumistu’s book, Do What You Love and Other Lies About Success And Happiness is not on bookshop.org, so I’ve linked to it here for you. And here’s her article, “The United States of Work.”

• For more on lines of flight, check out the work of Felix Guattari (pictured below), particularly the book entitles, aptly for your purposes – Lines of Flight.

• Here’s a short essay on the Wages for Housework campaign in the Nation. And Sylvia Federici’s great (but also for me challenging) quote is, “We want to call work what is work so that eventually we might rediscover what is love.”

• For more on problems with the family, check out AEWCH106 with Sophie Lewis!

• Here’s my essay on anti-work/sex work with Heather Berg, “The Problem with Sex Work is Work.” And here’s my introductory essay to utopianist Charles Fourier.

• I love Kathi’s quote here – “The utopian practice is…a practice of expanding time.”

• A great Wittgenstein quote about the future: “When we think of the world’s future, we always mean the destination it will reach if it keeps going in the direction we can see it going in now; it does not occur to us that its path is not a straight line but a curve, constantly changing direction.”

• For more on prison abolition, you can’t do much better than following Mariame Kaba on twitter and checking into the resources she shares.

Until next time, friends, don’t work too hard!

XO
CH

Abolish Silicon Valley! On fighting technocracy with Wendy Liu on AEWCH 114.

23 Jun


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 114: WENDY LIU or AGAINST TECHNOCRACY
LISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud

Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can.

Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 114 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH114TitleCard

Friends,

 

Collectively, the world is waking up to the problems of big tech, and the challenges that lay ahead. But to understand what the problems are, and how to overcome them, we need guides, particularly guides who have been through the anti-life equation of tech themselves and somehow managed to not become deadened by it.

So I knew the best to talk to would be Wendy Liu, Bay Area software engineer and start up founder, and now the author of Abolish Silicon Valley, a practical memoir about awakening within and then challenging tech.

With a book title like that, Wendy’s stance on tech has obviously changed since the start of her career. Her public presence now focuses on revealing turn after turn of unsound ethics, structural inequality, the problems with data gathering, and even darker impulses in tech. To that end, Wendy and I talk about what’s happening now, how theory and activism can help with what’s coming, and lots more. This is a great episode, and I’m so happy to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why tech workers can’t “change things from the inside”
  • How tech used to solve the problems of centralized “analog” forms of power, and what happened
  • The collective discontent with tech
  • The way identity politics issues in tech
  • The evil embedded in tech itself and how to spot it without becoming a luddite
  • Theory language vs coding language and how code completes the inner state for you
  • My goofy undergraduate hot-guys-on-geocities site
  • Why the pandemic regulations aren’t exactly new conditions
  • Repression and oppression as a tactic for tech
  • The pitfalls of tech socialism (and Wendy says, “Conner, don’t worry about that just yet!”)
  • The elimination of emotion
  • How (and how not) to resist the tech monster
  • The neoliberal tech erosion of Ireland

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Wendy, here’s her website. Here’s a great interview with her on the gay Marxist podcast, Twink Revolution.
• Want to learn more about Total Information Awareness? You should.
• Also on the you-should list, check out Doug Rushkoff if you haven’t yet. He’s one of the most brilliant thinkers I know.
• Although I’ve been doing a sort of mini-run of episodes on tech, the first one, really, was AEWCH 105 with apocalypse writer and tech critic Mark O’Connell. If you haven’t yet listen, go for it. And here’s the article on J.G. Ballard that Mark wrote, and which both Wendy and I loved.

OB

• I’ve learned a lot from Owen Barfield (pictured) about language, consciousness, and art.

 

• J.G. Ballard’s Myths Of The Near Future isn’t available, but you can get his collected stories (or selected stories) via this episode’s booklist link.

 

• The economics, political, and cultural sphere stuff, is social threefolding, developed by Rudolf Steiner.

 

• Here’s a little rundown on the death of honeybees from 5G radiation. It’s on a honeybee-centered website, but you can find the data corroborated by other entomologists and tech workers.

 

• Here’s the trailer for Sorry To Bother You.

 

• Learn more about Wilhelm Reich’s occult tech on AEWCH 59 or other forms of occult tech via AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbegal or AEWCH 113 with Duncan Laurie.
Until next time,
X0101010101010 (JK!)
CH
ALE

The victims of witchcraft & the witchcraft of victims. Dr. Thomas Waters joins me on the latest episode of AEWCH!

4 Feb

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.
AEWCH98TitleCard
Friends,
I’ve been preoccupied with the way we’ve been preventing witchcraft, the occult, and magic from entering into serious philosophical and political (especially leftist political) discourse for a long time. Previously, witchcraft was the subject of ridicule. Now it’s claimed by Marxists, feminists, and others, as proof of their own theorizing. I’m happy that magic and the occult are being brought into discourse, but always in a way that seems to dismiss the phenomenon itself. So I invited Thomas Waters, author of the incredible Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times to talk about all of this. His book is the nail in the coffin of magical revisionism.
Thomas’s book looks at witchcraft from the 1800s to the present day in the UK and its colonies, but most importantly, it does so from a victim’s point of view. In other words, it starts with a serious angle, and stays with it. Along the way, you meet a host of weird and powerful figures, as well as tragedies, atrocities, and absurdities. And our conversation follows a similarly varied path. This is definitely one of my favorite episodes, and it serves as a companion to my conversational, informal episode “The Left Vs Witches.”
Most importantly, I think, we discuss the need for people who can thoughtfully interpret instances of witchcraft and magic in our time. The disappearance of these “dewitcher” figures has left us lost. These dewitchers use witchcraft as a way of seeing, and can teach that way of seeing to us.
I was happy, also, to get Thomas to express how his research into witchcraft changed him, and I’m sure he was happy to get me to talk about challenges to my academic research project.
Oh, and Thomas recites Wordsworth’s “Song For The Spinning Wheel” in the most soothing and mystery-filled voice!
In this episode
  • Witchcraft, belief, and placebo
  • The ways we dismiss witchcraft even as we admit it into “serious” conversation
  • Witchcraft as a first and last resort
  • Why witchcraft is not simply a tool of the disenfranchised but of people in power, too
  • The importance of dewitchers as people who sort through the bullshit & truth, the safety & dangers of witchcraft
  • Witchcraft as a way of reading, as a way of seeing
  • How disbelief in magic is colonialism
  • Why Thomas became interested in witchcraft
SHOW NOTES
• For more on Thomas, visit his page at Imperial College, which features links to articles and other projects. And if the episode wasn’t convincing enough, read this thoughtful review of Cursed Britain in the Times Literary Supplement.
• I mention the fact-filled (though perhaps theoretically unsatisfying) book Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture written and edited by Bader, Mencken, and Baker. It’s definitely worth reading.
• A great and harsh article on the appropriation of witchcraft for feminist revisionism is by Diane Purkis – “Managing Our Darkest Hatreds And Fears: Witchcraft From The Middle Ages To Brett Kavanaugh”
• I talk about capitalism, time, and magic on AEWCH 76 with Conor McCabe.
• Thomas mentions the book Witches and Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft by Robin Briggs, and it sounds great.
• Yes, she was linked to a secret police force.
• I highly recommend reading On Kings by David Graeber and Marshall Sahlins.
DF• My favorite (and the most fun!) book on the Satanic Panic in the US is called, appropriately, Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s. It’s filled with photos, drawings, and is a great read-a-bit-a-day book. 
• If you don’t follow Hookland on twitter, I suggest you check them out ASAP. They’re great.
• Thomas writes a lot about Dion Fortune’s book Psychic Self-Defense, but I think the best place to start with Fortune’s work is either The Esoteric Orders and Their Work or The Secrets Of Dr. Taverner (which is fiction but based on Fortune’s own life). Both books are excellent introductory books to the occult.
• I haven’t yet visited the Museum of Witchcraft, and I really really really want to. Anyway, until I get there, maybe you can go and I can live vicariously through you?
AEWCH 46 with paranormal researchers Greg & Dana Newkirk remains one of my favorite episodes of the show.
• And check out The AntiWitchby Jeanne Favret-Saada for a good ethnography of dewitchers. And her first book, which Thomas gives a rave review to, is Deadly Words: Witchcraft in the Bocage.
Running with the Fairies: Towards a Transpersonal Anthropology of Religion by Dennis Gaffin is a compassionate and fun ethnography on the fairy faith in Northern Ireland.
Until next time, witches,
XO
CH

Breathing in the end of the world – Franco “Bifo” Berardi on Against Everyone With Conner Habib

17 Sep

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud
Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!
Friends,
I’m so happy to share my conversation with the radical philosopher, Franco “Bifo” Berardi.
I think it is not only a good conversation, but a truly productive one. My deepest hope is that it is helpful for you.
Bifo is one of the most important and creative thinkers of our time; I find many of Bifo’s thoughts in line with the occult philosophies of the Western esoteric traditions I’ve spent so long studying, and for me, that is so enlivening. That is to say, when two people or traditions come up with similar conclusions from totally different angles, we must (as Special Agent Dale Cooper says) pay strict attention.
Bifo is the author of many books, including what I view as his two most important books, Breathing: Chaos and Poetry and Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide (which is a much easier read, and deeply informed my own thinking on the issue, which I discussed on AEWCH 11: SHOOT TO LIVE). He was the founder of Radio Alice, a radical broadcast station in Italy, as well as the anti-authoritarian activist group, Autonomia.
The discussion is wide ranging and, I think, extremely potent. It’s a commingling of occult, anarchist, socialist, and artistic ideas.
We discuss:
  • How rhythms dissolve political oppression
  • Capitalism as a dynamic of change, acceleration, and expansion that cannot understand limit
  • Why information and possibilities are not enough; we need the ability (“potency”) to transform them into reality
  • Why solidarity is dead and we are trapped in competition
  • Why poetry, sex, and magic matter now more than ever
  • The failure of communism, and why we need it anyway
  • Moving away from politics and towards therapy
  • How poetry is our doorway towards a new world
  • Why the “post-truth” world is an opportunity
  • Reincarnation: the only narrative that can remake the future
  • The shattering of the critical mind
  • Why (and how) we must accept all conspiracy theories
  • The spectating unconscious (and how it wishes for Trump)
  • Why everyone’s suffering belongs to everyone
  • What Trump’s victory gives to us
  • How sex work erodes work
  • Why no one should ever be paid for their labor

Lots of great SHOW NOTES here.

Until next time,

XO

DG

A socialism of the heart: Billy Bragg on Against Everyone With Conner Habib!

6 Aug

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastYoutubeSoundcloud
Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated! Also, SHOW NOTES are always free for everyone.
AEWCH79TitleCard
Friends,
What an amazing conversation with music legend, political rock star, and one of my heroes, Billy Bragg.
Billy really needs no introduction, but in case you’ve missed his decades-spanning career in music, I’ve made a long spotify playlist of some of my favorite Billy Bragg songs for you here. Billy’s music has always held a special place in my heart and my activism, and his new book, The Three Dimensions of Freedom which focuses on his thoughtful versions of liberty, equality, and accountability, has only amplified my admiration for him. It’s a great book that you can read in a couple hours, and will enliven your sense of history and motivate you. Go get it.
We talk about
  • why the language of Marxism no longer works, and why we need a language of compassion
  • how to tend to individualism ethically, and how to have agency
  • how the alt-right and atheist bros and Brexit all arise from a sense of meaninglessness
  • how Billy’s model relates to the traditional tripartite motto of Liberty! Equality! Fraternity! and why he replaced “fraternity” with “accountability”
  • how holding some asshole accountable on twitter relates to accountability for political leaders
  • why Morrissey is a dick (not in the episode, but at Billy’s shows, he’s been calling Boris Johnson “Borrissey”)
  • the problem with “freedom of speech”
  • why concerns about no-platforming are ridiculous
  • why Flat Earthers have a point (not really, but sort of!)
  • gay slaps in the face (listen for Billy’s gasp, it’s great)
  • shifting fields of culture and what is acceptable and unacceptable
  • how one of his albums was deeply personal for me and wove into a time of abuse
BBPromo
(Also, isn’t Billy a total Daddy now?)
XO
CH

WTF is money, anyway? And what is capitalism? Listen to me and economic historian Conor McCabe on the AEWCH 76!

9 Jul

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastYoutubeSoundcloud
Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded by listeners like you, and your contribution is what keeps it going.
Friends,
What is money, anyway? And what is capitalism? And how are the two intertwined, and are they extricable? Conor MacCabe author of the excellent books, Money and Sins of the Father: Tracing the Decisions that Shaped the Irish Economy. Instead of staying with the obscuring language of economics, Conor and I go into what money and capitalism are from an experiential and historical standpoint. And we talk about the spiritual aspects of money as well, especially in how they’re related to time, the witch trials, and ideas of the future.
I’ve never had a conversation about money like this before, and I was so happy to. Conor is a great writer, a great thinker, and this conversation clarifies so many concepts.
I’m very excited to share AEWCH 76 with you.
In this episode:
  • How the language of economics is religiously constructed to keep people out
  • The invention of money as we know it now, and why the history we normally get fed is wrong
  • How credit is a social technology, and coin and cash were created to change its social relation
  • The problems with cashless cultures, and the war on credit unions
  • How banking rose as an aspect of imperialism
  • How the invention of capitalism relates to the witch trials
  • the problem with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
  • what the inner experience of money is
  • what the fuck actually happens when you use money, anyway
  • what post-capitalist forms of money could look like, and why philosophical questions about money matter
  • how much money makes us happy
  • how capitalism is related to time and how those in turn relate to magic and new ageism
  • the importance of holding a big vision and doing the on-the-ground activism
  • why people with marginalized identities have amazing anti-capitalist strategies
Want to go deeper into the ideas and with the people mentioned on this episode?
SHOW NOTES, like all episodes, are always free for everyone.
AEWCH76TitleCard

Peterson vs Žižek vs Lacan vs Deleuze & Guattari vs Psychoanalysis vs The Left: AEWCH 70 is the first ever Against Everyone event is me + Peter Rollins & Todd McGowan!

14 May

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 70: TODD McGOWAN & PETER ROLLINS or PSYCHOANALYSIS vs THE LEFT

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

Pay for your podcast  is the new “pay for your porn.” At least in my case. Your support you love, is crucial to keep my work going. If you finds omething of value on my show, give back and support the many hours of free content I offer every month for the price of a latte or cocktail or lunch or, you know, a month of Only Fans.

Sign up for my Patreon today by clicking here. It’s quick, easy, and you get cool stuff in return.

Friends,

On my first ever Against Everyone live event, I talk about psychoanalysis, leftism, and identity politics with two of my favorite AEWCH guests, Todd McGowan and Peter Rollins! The event was part of the theology-meets-psychoanalysis conference Wake, in Belfast, in North of Ireland.

Peter Rollins is a philosopher and theologian who’s been on the show before (way back on AEWCH 14, and more recently on AEWCH 55). Todd McGowan is a psychoanalytic theorist and film studies professor; he’s also the host of the great podcast, Why Theory, and author of many amazing books. He originally appeared on AEWCH 47.

We talk about ID politics, Lacan vs Deleuze, Peterson vs Zizek, psychoanalysis and the left, and more!

This episode is very different than others, not the least of which because there’s a Q&A after – which I always long for with my epsiodes! and not just because it was in front of an audience. It’s different because there is some tension and conflict (though not any animosity, of course! I love Peter and Todd). It was even a bit difficult for me, for reasons I lay out in the introduction. That said, I also think it turned out great.

In fact, I’d love to do more live events, as this one was a bit of a test run for me. So if you’d like to organize an AEWCH event in your city (or a city nearby) with a locally-situated guest, give me a shout out, and we’ll see what we can do. Email me: againsteveryonewithconnerhabib[at]gmail[dot]com

(No show notes this week; the ep is pretty self explanatory, but back to them next week!)

Until next time!
XO
CH

Peter Rollins

Porn Work Is Work! AEWCH 69 (yes that is actually the episode number) with Dr. Heather Berg & Sovereign Syre!

7 May

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

Pay for your podcast  is the new “pay for your porn.” At least in my case. Your support you love, is crucial to keep my work going. If youfind something of value on my show, give back and support themany hours of free content I offer every month for the price of alatte or cocktail or lunch or, you know, a month of Only Fans.

Sign up for my Patreon today by clicking here. It’s quick, easy, andyou get cool stuff in return.

AEWCH69Title

Friends,

So excited to talk directly about adult performance, the sexual politics around it, the labor politics around it, and when those politics clash and support one another.

And who better to invite than Gender Studies professor Dr. Heather Berg and writer/comedian/porn maven Sovereign Syre! Heather is a brilliant mind and one of the most thoughtful Marxists I’ve ever met; she’s really pushed the needle for me on understanding and embracing Marxist discourse. Sovereign is

We talk

  • labor tactics developed by adult performers
  • Sov’s and my histories in adult
  • How vocal people are about watching or not watching porn
  • The benefits of the (extremely problematic) “gig economy”
  • On being compared to Colby Keller by dumb journalists
  • Why the sex in sex work matters in the “sex work is work” conversation
  • Whether or not porn is art (it is!)
  • Why our picture of patriarchy should be informed by porn and not merely informing us ABOUT porn
  • What the best tactics are for performers to thrive
  • Why “feminist porn” isn’t always good for workers
  • Heather and I trying to make Marx and Freud sync up

I love this conversation.

XO
CH

SHOW NOTES ARE HERE

In Which I Am ALMOST Converted To Marxism. Malcolm Harris – author of Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials – on AEWCH!

27 Nov

LIKE THE SHOW? SUPPORT IT!
Your pledge to my patreon keeps me going. With it, you get cool stuff and you’re part of my mission to bring deep, but easy to listen to, conversations about important ideas to the world. Pledges start at as low as a dollar per month. Contribute today!
LINKS TO THE PODCAST VERSION*: 
Friends,
I’ve never met anyone quite as Marxist as writer and activist Malcolm Harris; at least not anyone I liked talking to this much. Malcolm and his excellent book, Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials, are utterly convincing arguments for Marxism. And his writing creates a powerful portrait of difficult times, and contextualizes the challenges millennials face, rather than just bemoaning kids.
On a hot Philadelphia day, Malcolm and I discussed the culture context millennials struggle in, why school is forced labor and homework is a hellscape, why academics fuck their own books over, the childhood ultimate ninja athlete challenge, why Only Fans can turn adult performers into bosses, whether or not anything exists outside the market, how homosexuality was exploited by capitalism (*cough* Grindr *cough*), why class relations predate capitalism, the history of (some) Marxists leaving out other struggles, why all workers “think of England” and none are overpaid, why protest does and does not matter, how we can’t usefully talk about fighting capitalism as violence, and what tactics we could be developing.
XO
CH
* Note: This is the LAST episode of AEWCH that will feature public access to the YouTube version of the show! Patrons at any level $1 and up get instant access to video versions of the show just for signing up! Click here to pledge now!
MHpromoImage