Ep. 65: Alexander Stille on the Importance of Journalism, Trump’s Italian Precursor Silvio Berlusconi, & Truth Decay in Media

March 8, 2019

On this edition Parallax Views, award-winning veteran journalist Alexander Stille joins us to discuss the importance of journalism, understanding President Donald Trump and the rise of right-wing populism through the scandalous reign of Italy's longest-running post-war Prime Minsiter Silvio Berlusconi, and how we arrived at a moment of "alternative facts" and fake news that have led to a social "truth decay" in which media consumers have wildly different conceptions of what constitutes reality.

Note: Some commentary on SCOTUS and Congress in this episode slightly date this recording, but only make up a few lines of the conversation.

Ep. 64: Shadowproof’s Kevin Gosztola on the State of Journalism, the War on Whistleblowers, & Bernie in Chicago

March 7, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, Shadowproof Press managing editor, producer and co-host of Unauthorized Disclosure, and all-around maverick reporter Kevin Gosztola joins us to discuss the state of journalism today, his extensive coverage of whistleblowers from Chelsea Manning to Reality Winner, the recent tensions between CNN and his colleague Rania Khalek, and witnessing the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign rally in Chicago.

We begin the conversation by discussing the state of journalism and the media ecosystem today. Kevin and I take on the claims that media criticism, specifically aimed at corporate media, is the stuff of tinfoil-hat wearing conspiracy theories. Kevin discusses the difference between establishment media and corporate media as well as the ways this biases many American reporting outlets.

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning, whose case Kevin Gosztola covered extensively

From there we take a deep dive into Kevin's history of covering cases of whistleblowers including Pvt. Chelsea Manning, CIA analyst and case officer John Kiriakou, and NSA contractor Reality Winner. Kevin describes how he first became interested in whistleblowers cases via the early work of Wikileaks and goes on to describe his involvement in the cases of Manning and Kiriakou as well as discussing the surveillance whisteblowers of the NSA. Then we take a dive into Kevin's latest whistleblower reporting with the case of Reality Winner, a former Air Force veteran and NSA contractor who leaked classified documents on potential Russian hacking in the 2016 Presidential election. Kevin and I discuss who Reality Winner is, the media's lack of coverage in regards to her story, how she was treated by federal investigators, nd the illegitimate smears against her because of her name and personality. Kevin also gives a bit of insight into the character of this young woman and paints a picture of a creative, conscientious, and humanitarian individual who was punished for trying to do what she felt was right and moral.

Air Force veteran and NSA contractor Reality Winner standing strong in the face of adversity

"Jail Buddha" sketch art by Reality Winner

We then switch topics to another female firecracker more than willing to speak her mind: alternative media journalist Rania Khalek. Rania was in the news recently when CNN went after In The Now, where Rania is a reporter, for its funding by Russian state-sponsored media. We discuss the debate around outlets such as In the Now, RT, and Sputnik and have a nuanced conversation about state-sponsored media, corporate media, and related issues. Kevin and I cover the importance of media literacy and the problems of broad-bushing any criticism of US policies as being part of a Kremlin Manchurian Candidate conspiracy. In addition, we discuss how Rania and journalists like have had difficulty getting gigs because their content is "too hot too handle" and as such they've been forced into a corner with regards to where they can work. You can read Kevin's report on CNN/Khalik incident here and the full, unedited CNN interview here.

Rania Khalek

We then wrap up by discussing Kevin's coverage of the recent Bernie 2020 rally in Chicago. Kevin notes how the Chicago rally illustrates the difference between the Bernie's 2016 campaign and the current campaign. He argues that Bernie has more openly embraced issues related to POC and Black Lives Matter in a way that shows his based has pushed him leftward on these matters. Kevin also discusses Bernie's history of involvement with Civil Rights in the 1960s and the inspirational speech given by the young, black, queer activist Destiny Harris at the Chicago rally.

Watch Destiny Harris Speaking at the Bernie 2020 Rally in Chicago

We then wrap up the show with a positive note on the future as well as plugging Shadowproof and its upcoming batch of freelance reporting!

LISTEN TO
UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE W/
KEVIN GOSZTOLA
&
RANIA KHALEK!

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Ep. 63 PREVIEW: Shadowproof’s Kevin Gosztola on the Bernie 2020 Chicago Rally

March 6, 2019

 

In this special preview of Parallax Views episode 63, guest Kevin Gosztola, ace reporter and managing editor of Shadowproof, discusses the Bernie Sanders 2020 Presidential Campaign's recent rally in Chicago!

Ep. 63: Investigative Journalist Joshua Frank on The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink

March 6, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, award-winning investigative journalist and Counterpunch co-editor Joshua Frank joins the show to discuss his new book, co-authored with Jeffrey St. Clair, The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink. We are living on the frontlines of a warzone, argue St. Clair and Frank, and the fate of the planet is at stake as we hurl towards the probability of climate change catastrophe, continued destruction of wildlife, and an environmental nightmare.

The conversation begins with how Jeffrey and Joshua sought to portray the trajectory of our little blue planet and the grassroots movements fighting for our environment. Joshua explains how he and Jeffrey approach environmental journalism as a form of war reporting and how it differs from much mainstream reporting on the issues of climate change, wildlife destruction, etc. We also discuss how telling the stories of climate change and how it's impacting our lives is what may be the key to awakening the populace to the severity of environmental issues.

We then discuss what the situation is on the ground in this environmental war zone. During this portion of the conversation we focus on specific stories of the destruction of wildlife, including the harm done to animals like buffalo and bears, and the increasing intensity of damaging wildfires among other heartbreaking stories happening around the world.

This opens us up for a discussion of a specific piece of reportage in the book by Joshua about billionaire Ted Turner and the privatization of wildlife that is threatening bison in Montana. We use this as a launching off point to critique the moderate political position of "Green Capitalism" and how it is highly unlikely to mitigate the environmental crisis in a meaningful manner. In particular, Joshua gives his take on the green energy solution and its inefficiency.

We then gone on to discuss the rage-inducing essay "The Blood-Stained Shores of Taiji" which discusses the mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. We discuss what is being done to endangered species being pushed to the brink of extinction. This then leads into a conversation about how humans, as well as wildlife, are being impacted in the current predicament, especially with regards to lead-poisoning via the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

From there we delve into how we got into the horrific situation. In particular, Joshua highlights how the Democratic Party is culpable in environmental decay as well as the Republican Party. Joshua takes aim at the Obama legacy and the bipartisan efforts to defang the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry. We also cover how the Democratic Party's complicity even goes back to the era of Bill Clinton and the Trump administration's continuation of the war against the environment. During this portion of the conversation we take a dive into the topic of neoliberalism and how it relates to the crisis we find ourselves in at the moment.

From there we discuss how Joshua sees the environmental crisis as the new frontlines of class warfare. Joshua uses the California wildfires as an example of how the poor are much more drastically impacted by environmental catastrophe than the materially wealthy figures like Kanye West. In addition, Joshua notes that the current situation is going to get more massive and will and already has had global ramifications as can be seen in the case of Syria. We then go on to discuss the People vs the 1% through the lens of the Standing Rock protests.

Joshua notes that we don't have a clear idea of how bad things are going to get or how we are going to find solutions to these pressing problems. We try to find some inspiration however in the work of Edward Abbey, an environmentalist known for his classic novel The Money Wrench Gang, who Joshua argues provides a foundational backbone for the modern environmental movement.

We then begin discussing acts of resistance including debates about the use of direct action and supporting the Green New Deal. Joshua offers that we must fight this war on multiple fronts from a activism at the local level to getting involved in government. Moreover we discuss the contentious issue of how much lifestyle decisions can play a role in fighting this war. During this portion of the conversation Joshua gives his nuanced take on the Green New Deal.

Wrapping up the show we dive into the rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the 2nd Bernie Sanders moment. Joshua notes how what inspires him about Bernie Sanders is not so much Bernie himself but the energy of the movement arising around him. However, Joshua also expresses his concern that the Bernie moment could become a repeat of Obama's "Hope and Change" slogan that won't be able to deal with a rising right-wing populist movement around the globe. That being said, Joshua and I try to find a positive note to end on with Joshua arguing that there are many victories that progressives should recognize are indications the we the people are winning many battles.

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS CONVERSATION CONSIDER PURCHASING A COPY OF THE BIG HEAT FROM COUNTERPUNCH.ORG

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Ep. 62: Erica Duggan on Lyndon LaRouche & the Mysterious Death of Her Son Jeremiah Duggan

March 2, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, Erica Duggan joins the show for a very sobering conversation about the recently deceased fringe political figure Lyndon LaRouche and the LaRouche Organization cult's relationship to the mysterious death of her son Jeremiah Duggan. Lyndon LaRouche died on February 12, 2019, but left behind a legacy of damaged lives at the hands of his private intelligence agency and cult, the LaRouche Organization. The LaRouche movement has broken apart families, ended marriages, stolen the hopeful futures of idealistic youths, and, in the case of Jeremiah Duggan among others, led to the fatal consequences for those who've crossed them. Despite this, obituaries for Lyndon LaRouche tend to paint him as a mere kooky fringe politician prone to conspiracy theories. Erica Duggan, however, explains why LaRouche and his movement are far more insidious than a brigade of mere odd eccentrics. This is a very serious and, dare I say, harrowing episode of Parallax Views that exposes not only a political cult but also a failure of justice on the part of authorities to deal adequately with the unnerving unanswered questions surrounding the death of a bright young man, Jeremiah Duggan, whose future was fatally robbed from him in his prime.

Jeremiah Duggan

Normally Parallax Views would provide extensive show notes for the episode. In this case, however, we recommend taking a look at the Justice for Jeremiah campaign website and LaRouche-Danger.Org. Parallax Views cannot do justice in the written word to this story or the wider problem of Lyndon LaRouche's cult the way Erica has tirelessly done for 16 years. Please consider supporting her work and getting the word out there. As LaRouche-Danger.Org says, "NOTHING IS GAINED BY COLLUSION. Everything is lost if you do not set an example to your sons and daughters that unless one stands up to bullies and cheats we have no hope for a better world. Families should unite. If you have any information please contact us." May the truth set us free...

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AND

LYNDON LAROUCHE IS DEAD...
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Ep. 61: Matthew Alford on Corbyn, Brexit, and the “Union Jackboot” of British Foreign Policy

March 1, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, we travel across the pond to the United Kingdom to discuss Jeremy Corbyn, Brexit, and British foreign policy with Matthew Alford, co-author with T.J. Coles of Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don't Tell You About British Foreign Policy.

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The conversation begins with Matthew filling listeners in on his prior work investigating the Pentagon and CIA's little-known role in the entertainment industry. In his books Reel Power and National Security Cinema w/ Tom Secker, Matthew exposes how the military-industrial complex has influenced and manipulated Hollywood films and television show to promote an uncritical image of the national security state and recruit impressionable youths to the war machine.

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From there we delve into how Matthew came to work on his latest book, Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don't Tell You About British Foreign Policy, with T.J. Coles. T.J. is, by day, an academic researcher at the Plymouth Institute's Cognition Institute focused on visual impairment and blindness. By night, however, he is an astute analyst, commentator, and investigator of human right abuses and geopolitics related to the United Kingdom and its foreign policy. Matthew gives an insight into T.J., his parallels to Chomsky, and the important insights he provided in the Union Jackboot interviews.

We then move onto discussing the rise of the Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn, whose political leftism has led many to consider him the British equivalent of Bernie Sanders. We discuss the many attacks that have been made on Corbyn including accusations of anti-Semitism. Matthew and I delve into how Corbyn is a throwback to an older version of the Labour Part before the rise of Tony Blair and Third Way neoliberalism.

From there we discuss T.J.'s views on Britain's foreign policy and how it has been downplayed in not only the British mainstream media but also many left-wing circles. Matthew also discusses how Britain, although not the Empire it once was, has a great deal of standing in the international scene and still is involved in many foreign policy actions that should be up for criticism. Then we briefly switch our focus to the U.S. with a discussion of Donald Trump and Matthew provides his own English-flavored take on the controversial POTUS.

Matthew you and I then have an extended discussion about Brexit and Britain's leaving the European Union (EU). This makes up an entire, fascinating chapter in Union Jackboot that's a must read. Matthew lays out the complicated nature of Brexit and how there are many different factors that lead people to support either Brexit or its Remain opposition. We discuss the way in which anti-immigration sentiment played a role in Brexit and how many of Brexit supporters are the made it's being handled. At the same time, Matthew talks about how racism isn't the only motivator of Brexit. Then we delve into some of the main proponent of the Brexit campaign, specifically Jacob Reese-Mogg and Nigel Farage. In addition, we discuss Boris Johnson and David Cameron, the former Primer Minister who left his position immediately after the Brexit vote came in. And finally we discuss what Brexit could mean in terms of a possible return of The Troubles and what effect it could have on the National Health Service (NHS).

Then, before wrapping up the conversation we discuss conspiracy theories with a particular focus on the kookiness that is David Icke and his eccentric belief that shapeshifting reptilians rule the world. During this part of the conversation we also talk about Matthew and T.J.'s appearance on RT and how T.J. has a critical view of state-owned Russian media outlet like RT, Sputnik, etc. Additionally, we discuss T.J.'s observation that elites may actually be the biggest conspiracy theorists of them all.

We then wrap up by discussing the humor and energy that permeates Union Jackboot and why listeners should consider giving it a read.

UNION JACKBOOT IS AVAILABLE NOW IN HARD COPY AND KINDLE E-READERS! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY PARALLAX VIEWS!

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Ep. 60: “BEWARE! THE D.C. BLOB!” SUPERSHOW! w/ Media Roots’ Robbie Martin

February 27, 2019

On this edition of jam-packed, 2 1/2 hour edition ofParallax Views, Media Roots Radio's Robbie Martin returns to the show to discuss what has been referred to in Washington, D.C. beltway media circle's as "The Blob": the foreign policy consensus that dictates the United States' actions abroad.

BUT FIRST...

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Ben Shapiro, Gavin McInnes, & Other Right-Wing Loons Go to the Circus in...

KILLER KLOWNS FROM THE PERPETUALLY ANXIOUS RIGHT!

Robbie and I begin by discussing the right-wing meme of "clown world". During this portion of the conversation Robbie gives his take on the right-wing's hysterics over cultural change and how they take focus away from issues like late-stage capitalism and antiwar issues. And, of course, we talk about Gavin McInnes and his bizarre stunt involving wearing a Southern plantation owner outfit out the Southern Poverty Law Center.

THEN...

Robbie tells us about the D.C. "Blob" that guides foreign policy decisions in the United States! We begin by discussing how the metaphor was popularized through the former Obama administration National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes to describe the beltway figures that led the U.S. into the disastrous mistake of the Iraq War. From there we delve into how the "Blob", the D.C. foreign policy establishment, seeks to dictate a highly interventionist war/peace ideology within the beltway regardless of who is holding court in the White House.

Robbie details how the Blob's rhetoric is permeating all areas of the political discourse from the-right-to-the-left and, in his view, originates with the neoconservative movement (for more on that see Robbie's first appearance on Parallax Views in ep. 22). We then have a short back-and-forth about the idea that "neocon" is a codeword for Jews. Robbie argues that this is not true, although I counter that elements of the paleoconservative movement were using the term as an anti-Semitic shorthand for Jews within the beltway. Robbie calmly answers these criticisms and outlines the problems and faults of the paleoconservative conception of the neoconservative movement as a Jewish "Israeli-firster" conspiracy. He then goes onto argue that the neocons are not driven primarily by Israeli-first sentiments as much as a American hegemony. Israel, in this conception of the neoconservative movement, is not guiding American foreign policy but rather just another arm of U.S. hegemony. This portion of the conversation also includes a little bit of talk about the USS Liberty incident, neocons taking a degree of inspiration from Mossad operations, and hasbara.

From there we delve into the issue of propaganda, including the U.S.'s long history of propaganda efforts overseas. Then Robbie delves into his research of how VICE ties into the subject of U.S. foreign policy propaganda and I note the sensationalistic, colonialist tone that makes up many of VICE's early documentaries. Robbie also notes the involvement of Bill Maher and Iraq War proponent Fareed Zakaria in VICE media that, he argues, should have been warning signs about the slants in VICE's geopolitical coverage. We also discuss VICE's recent firings of it's writers and some of VICE co-founder Shane Smith's troubling history that has been by overshadowed by Gavin McInnes.

We then pivot into another figure within the Blob, namely MSNBC host and Rhodes scholar Rachel Maddow. This then leads us into a conversation about how the Blob's rhetoric now permeates Hollywood and the entertainment industry and liberal media's favorite buzzword "Whataboutism" (see the Citations Needed podcast for more on that topic). Robbie gives his take on the idea that any criticisms of the Blob are ultimately part of a Russian plot to undermine America's institutions. We then go on to note how the Trump juanta's stance on Venezuela actually coalesces with the Blob's promoters in D.C. and the media.

This leads us into an extended conversation about the Venezuela situation. I myself am open to criticism of Maduro, but am nonetheless concerned about the U.S.'s regime change plans, the involvement of Iran/Contra figure Elliot Abrams in this situation, and the sanctions that the U.S. is imposing upon Venezuela that will have a detrimental effect on U.S. citizens. We discuss the parallels between regime change in Venezeula and the U.S.'s interventionist actions in Iran since the 1950s as well as how the current situation relates to plans for eventually starting a heated conflict with Iran. Robbie and I then briefly discuss the history of Elliot Abrams, his sordid history in Latin America, the media's underwhelming defense of him, and Robbie's interview with The Intercept journalist Jon Schwarz on Abrams career.

Watch "An Ocean of Lies on Venezeula" from The Empire Files w/ Abby Martin

From there we delve into the return of neoconservative Bill Kristol with The Bulwark, which paints itself as conservative #NeverTrump Resistance punditry, and how one of The Bulwark's writers is a former Bush administration official who, under the guise of being an online Twitter troll, creepily attacked Robbie's sister Abby Martin on social media. We use Kristol's history and reinvention as a way to discuss how the Blob has become a force that devours everything in its sight. Then we discuss the Blob's "sleeper agents" such as Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson, who paint themselves as nationalistic anti-interventionists while laying the groundwork for regime change in Venezuela. This leads us around to Rand Paul, long-celebrated by antiwar libertarians, and his suspicious silence on Venezuela as well as his infamous run-in with Abby Martin in 2012 and its fallout.

After that we go back to the subject of Venezuela, the mainstream media's coverage of Venezuela, and what the truth of the situation in Venezuela is right now politically. Robbie argues the situation on the ground is very nuanced and, from an outside perspective, difficult to sift through. We also the U.S.'s prior history of interference in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and the effects that sanctions will have on the civilian population. In fact, Robbie goes so far as to argue that we are on the brink of a military invasion of Venezuela based around provoking Maduro into violence.

Then we talk about Robbie's Media Roots Radio coverage of Newsguard and attempts to stifle alternative media starting with PropOrNot. Robbie argues that there is a slippery slope where Newsguard's attempts to ferret out fake news be abused to dismiss any media outlets critical of U.S. foreign policy. During the part of the conversation Robbie and I also discuss how websites like Breitbart and The Drudge Report are being conflated with left-wing websites like Media Roots and Counterpunch by Newsguard. Robbie speculates that this may be leading up to an attempt to smear left-wing websites as being under the same racist, right-wing umbrella of figures like Mike Cernovich, Richard Spencer, etc. Robbie argues that alt right voices may be being signal boosted to destroy the antiwar left, which Robbie believes is a threat to the foreign policy Blob. Robbie also gets into how YouTube videos are being demonetized for promoting conspiracy theories and the recent issue in which advertisers left the platform due to its attracting child predators. Why does certain content get boosted over other content in Youtube's algorithms? Robbie and I address all this in this portion of the conversation.

Finally, we begin wrapping up the show by discussing Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the elements trying to push the Democratic Party left. Robbie takes a bit more issue with Bernie in light of the Venezuela situation, but we manage to have a civil conversation about criticizing politicians and public figures, including the ones we like. And, of course, as always we try to end on a positive note.

LISTEN TO MEDIA ROOTS RADIO WITH ROBBIE AND ABBY MARTIN

Ep. 59: Eric Draitser on Wealth Inequality, NY Progressives Beat Amazon, & the 2nd Bernie Moment

February 23, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, Counterpunch Radio host and political analyst Eric Draitser (guest on episode 27) returns to the show to discuss skyrocketing wealthy inequality, New York progressives victory over Amazon HQ2, and Bernie Sanders announcement that he'll be running for President on the Democratic ticket in the 2020 election.

The conversation begins with an observation from your host that our current cultural moment feels like a nightmare that could've been written by Hunter S. Thompson. From there we delve into reports that wealth inequality is approaching levels not seen since The Great Depression. Eric and I discuss how this issue has come to the fore of mainstream discourse as well as examining former Starbucks Chairman and potential 2020 Independent Presidential candidate Howard Schultz's wanting to be referred to as a "person of means/wealth" rather than a billionaire and Kylie Jenner's claims that she her wealth is wholly self-made. Are the billionaires nervous that the 99% has had enough?

From there we dive into how the façade of neoliberalism's promises are falling away as millennials find themselves being crushed under the weight of massive student debt and the progressive awakening that it may be creating. This leads us to a discussion of the New York progressives activists who recently scored a huge victory over Amazon HQ2. Eric explains what this victory means for New York as well as what it could mean for progressive activists across the nation. Then he informs listeners of his recent interview with two activists who directly participated in the New York fight against Amazon HQ2.

From there we delve into the recent dark money funded billboard attacking Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and anti-HQ2 activists for allegedly damaging NY's economy and costing many possible jobs due to the protests forcing Amazon out. Eric points out that the billboard was bought and paid for by the insidious Trump-loving Mercer Family before going on to critique and dissect the billboard's propagandistic claims. We wrap up on this portion of the conversation by discussing how people, specifically millennials and Generation Z, aren't buying the mythologies of trickle-down economics and other American Dream-style fictions.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

From there we talk the announcement of Bernie Sanders running on the Democratic ticket in the 2020 Presidential election and the rise of young, energetic progressives in congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. Eric points out that, contrary to the pearl-clutching of both liberal and right-wing pundits, Bernie and these young congresswoman are not radicals but reformists. He then goes on to argue that, despite this, these progressive politicians represent a threat to the status quo of corporate Democrats and the GOP alike. Additionally, Eric takes on the tenuous claim that Bernie in 2020 because the Democratic Party has moved leftward since 2016 and comment on the "Bernie Bros." slur. Moreover, he says that there is a seldom spoken of support for Bernie Sanders among People of Color, specifically women, that has been deliberately ignored by anti-Bernie Democrats.

Eric then goes on to speculate how Bernie may differentiate himself from the other potential candidates in the 2020 Presidential election. He then goes on to wonder if Bernie may take a greater focus on foreign policy and a possible antiwar stance this go-around. Eric offers that Bernie's comments on the Venezuela situation, which has drawn the ire of Florida Democrats, and his stance on Syria may be a sign that this is a direction that Bernie may be going with his campaign.

We then take a brief detour to discuss the situation in Venezuela and the effects that sanctions will have on Venezuela's civilian population. Eric argues that both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders have to be extremely careful in how they deal with this matter. Afterwards, we start wrapping up the conversation by discussing how the Sanders campaign isn't about Bernie himself, but rather the energetic movement arising around him. And finally, Eric comments on the importance of truly independent alternative media and his recent blockbuster interview with Billie Winner-Davis, mother of the courageous imprisoned-whistleblower Reality Winner.

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Ep. 58: Synthetic Zero’s Michael James on Speculative Realism, Post-Nihilism, Accelerationism, & Climate Catastrophe

February 22, 2019

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On this edition of Parallax Views, Synthetic Zero's Michael James joins the show to discuss speculative realism, post-nihilism, the problems of accelerationism, and catastrophic climate change. If you enjoy this conversation there will be a Patreon-exclusive Part II this weekend in which Michael discusses Synthetic Zero's interest in the theory of patchworks, which they are attempting to bring into real-world practice via an experiment akin to the 60s counterculture's communes and shared-living spaces.

Synthetic Zero is a "multimedia research and design collective seeking adaptive responses to the various crises and unequally distributed realities of contemporary life." Michael and I begin by discussing the origins of Synthetic Zero and how it was envisioned by Michael, alongside Aaron Crawford, as a para-academic unit born out of philosophical explorations that arose from the speculative realist movement spearheaded by figures like Graham Harman, Timothy Morton, Quentin Meillassoux, and others. We discuss what speculative realism and object-oriented ontology are and their relation to Meillassoux's ideas about finitude. Michael outlines how speculative realism attempted to deal with philosophical conundrums around our perception of reality and reality itself.

From there we delve into the topic of nihilism. We give particular mention to the works of philosopher Ray Brassier during this portion of the discussion and Michael goes over some of the basic ideas found in Brassier's Nihil Unbound. From there we delve into Michael's essay "From the Ruins" which deals with Synthetic Zero's interest in the concept of "Post-Nihilism". Michael argues vis-à-vis the philosopher Gianni Vattimo that an emancipatory potential exists within nihilism. Is it possible to find meaning in simply being human rather than searching for meaning in a transcendental narrative like those provided by religion? Is it possible to reach beyond the language games of philosophy and the grips of ideology? Are there new ways of thinking beyond the registers of postmodernism? Can we bridge the gap between theory and praxis? These are just some of the issues we cover during this portion of the conversation.

Nick Land

From there we delve into Michael's interest in, and harsh critiques of accelerationism. Accelerationism has been a topic we've covered in previous episodes, and has proven a popular topic. Michael has had many interactions with accelerationist thinkers and has become highly critical of them, including the infamous "Shanghai Sith" Nick Land and the meme-loving denizens of U/Acc "Cave Twitter" who advocate for accelerating capitalism to it's endpoint regardless of it's outcome. Michael takes strong issue with these views especially in light of collapse scenarios like climate catastrophe looming in the horizon.

We begin wrapping up Part I of the conversation with Michael by delving into the topic of climate catastrophe in light of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report on the topic. Additionally, Michael discusses his background in anthropology, including his research into the Tahltan Nation, and how it relates to his work. We discuss what connects these matters and what the 12 year period the IPPC report gives for dealing with climate change means for the future of humanity.

BONUS: J.G. Michael Joins Trans Resister Radio to Discuss the Weird World of Alt Right Adjacent Transhumanism

February 19, 2019

Special Presentation! Parallax Views host J.G. Michael joins Aaron Franz and Trans Resistor Radio to discuss the alt right adjacent elements that litter the weird world of transhumanism, a techno-futurist ideology with sci-fi aspirations for the future and a potential capacity for attempting to revive the 20th century horrors of eugenics. Topics covered include:

- Elizier Yudkowsky, LessWrong, and the debacle of Roko's Basilisk
- Mencius Moldbug
- Disgraced "Neoreactionary" Michael Anissimov and his sad interactions with libertarian e-girl Julie Borowski
- The amphetamine-soaked nightmare saga of Nick Land
- Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus and the unsettling idea of the "useless class"
- And more!

Listen to Trans Resister Radio Live on The Ochelli Effect Radio Network Every Friday from 10-11 pm EST