Podcasts

JS Mill's Philosophy of Anxiety and its Role in Personal and Political Transformation

This is the season of Political Anxiety. A recent article in Reuters recommends to Americans anxious about the current political environment to "stop reading the news and take up yoga." While yoga is a wonderful practice, we do not advise Americans to stop reading the news and tune out. In our latest episode, "JS Mill's Philosophy of Anxiety and its Role in Personal and Political Transformation," we investigate the powerful role anxiety, and bearing witness to anxiety, plays in our individual and political elevation. Anxiety, and the way it makes us uncomfortable, is the energy of growth and political improvement. Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Anxiety.mp3

 

Locke's Philosophy of Law, the State of War, and Wells Fargo

The only separating the State of War from the Political community is the law, and the willingness and ability of the legal and political institutions to enforce it. When individuals or corporations engage in deliberate, on-going, and pervasive criminal activity on a massive scale, and the legal and political institutions are unwilling or unable to criminally prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law, then the law dies. When the law dies, tyranny emerges, and when tyranny emerges we return to the State of War. In our most recent episode, "Locke's Philosophy of Law, the State of War, and Wells Fargo," we investigate these issues and try to determine whether we live in a political society or a State of War. Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Wells_Fargo.mp3

 

Donald Trump, Guns, and the On-Going Crisis of Political Legitimacy

In a recent speech about the issue of gun ownership in America, Donald Trump said about Hillary Clinton: "I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons . . . I think they should disarm. Immediately . . . . Let's see what happens to her. Take their guns away . . . . It'll be very dangerous." Trumps comments set off a firestorm of criticism. In our most recent episode, "Donald Trump, Guns, and the On-Going Crisis of Political Legitimacy," we situate and analyze Trump's comments in the deeper, and more ominous context of the on-going erosion of the delicate line between a pre-political, unstable, and often violent existential condition, and the establishment of legitimate legal and political institutions designed specifically reduce violence and establish order through the authorization of legitimate uses of force. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Donald_Trump_Guns_and_the_On-Going_Crisis_of_Political_Legitimacy.mp3

 

Colin Kaepernick, Martin Luther King, and the Philosophy of Protest and Civil Disobedience

Two weeks ago, Colin Kaepernick decided to "sit-out" the National Anthem. He did so to call attention to, and protest, what he believes to be systemic and institutional racism in American culture and law enforcement. His simple, passive, and non-violent protest ignited a firestorm of controversy and set into motion a national debate over the questions of patriotism and respect for the the American Flag. In our most recent episode, "Colin Kaepernick, Martin Luther King, and the Philosophy of Protest and Civil Disobedience," we attempt to situate Kaepernick's political activity in a deeper historical and philosophical context. Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Colin_Kaepernick_Martin_Luther_King_and_the_Philosophy_of_Protest_and_Civil_Disobedience.mp3

 

Requiem for Liberal-Democratic Capitalism

In a recent editorial in the "Financial Times," the eminent British economics writer, Martin Wolf, warned that Liberal Democracy and Capitalism are heading for a cataclysmic rupture! In this episode, "Requiem for Liberal-Democratic Capitalism," we agree with Wolf's assessment, but argue that Mr. Wolf's analysis is at least two years late to the party. There can be no immanent rupture between Liberal-Democracy and Capitalism because these ideas no longer exist in the way that most people think they do. More interesting in Wolf's essay are his predictions for what is coming. Sorry again, Mr. Wolf, we are already there. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Requiem_for_Liberal-Democratic_Capitalism.mp3

 

Locke, the US Constitution and the New Machiavellian Prince

"In our fourth and final installment of our series on the transition from Liberal Democracy to Authoritarian Democracy, "Locke, the US Constitution and the New Machiavellian Prince." we examine the theoretical and political justifications for the emergence of a completely legitimate, Authoritarian Executive. In this episode we examine Locke's notion of Prerogative Power, the way this extraordinary idea/power is written into the US Constitution, and how this lays the foundation for the creation of an New, more Vigorous version of Machiavelli's Prince. Enjoy." 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Locke_the_US_Constitution_and_the_New_Machiavellian_Prince.mp3

 

Hobbes and the Democratization of the Prince

In Part 3, "Hobbes and the Democratization of the Prince," of our on-going series on the transition from Liberal Democracy to Authoritarian Democracy, we explore the way Hobbes agreed with Machiavelli's fundamental observations about human beings and the natural world, but rejected Machiavelli's political solution. In this episode we identify how Hobbes democratizes the Prince and in doing so creates a proto-form of Authoritarian Democracy. This move is both essential for the ultimate formation of Liberal Democracy and lays the foundation for its return to Authoritarian Democracy. Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Hobbes_and_the_Democratization_of_the_Prince.mp3

 

Machiavelli and the DNA of Authoritarian Democracy

In Part 2 of our ongoing series that examines the philosophical origins of, and the reasons for, a possible transition from Liberal Democracy to Authoritarian Democracy, we return to very beginning of Modern and Proto-Liberal political philosophy, Machiavelli and the Great Prince. In this episode, "Machiavelli and the DNA of Authoritarian Democracy," we investigate Machiavelli's radical rejection of Classical Political Philosophy, what this means, and how his "political solution," the Great Prince, lays the foundation for the eventual transition to Authoritarian Democracy. enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Machiavelli_and_the_DNA_of_Authoritarian_Democracy.mp3

From Liberal Democracy to Authoritarian Democracy

It is commonplace to assume that Democracies and Authoritarian regimes are fundamentally different forms of political orders. It is believed that Democracies and Authoritarian regimes differ in their origins, institutions/processes, and ends. But, is this necessarily the case? Do modern Democracies have more in common with Authoritarian regimes than we like to acknowledge? Do modern Democracies share the same impulses that animate Authoritarian regimes, and can Liberal Democracies transform in to Authoritarian democracies? In our most recent episode, Part 1 of a Three Part series, "From Liberal Democracy to Authoritarian Democracy," we investigate this fascinating and chilling question. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/From_Liberal_Democracy_to_Authoritarian_Democracy.mp3

 

Mill's Philosophy of Free Speech, Radical Democracy, and Trump

In his classic treatise, "On Liberty," JS Mill makes some very powerful claims about free speech and radical democracy. Mill argues that individuals must be absolutely free to express their opinions, no matter how obnoxious, emotionally challenging, or offensive. Only opinions that lead to direct physical harm can legitimately be censored. Mill argues that this position empowers ALL individuals and, equally important, is essential to the creation of a strong, vital democratic political space. In our most recent episode, "Mill's Philosophy of Free Speech, Radical Democracy, and Trump," we argue that the current political environment is a fascinating example of Mill's theory about free speech and the creation of an intense, combative, and reflective democratic society. Do we have the intellectual and emotional courage to enact and live through Mill's account of free speech and democracy? 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Mills_Philosophy_of_Free_Speech_Radical_Democracy_and_Trump.mp3

 

Locke's Subjectivist Philosophy of Revolution

In our most recent episode, "Locke's Subjectivist Philosophy of Revolution," Walker and Professor Dungey explore the terrifying and liberating dimensions of Locke's claim that when the decision to revolt comes, there are "no judges on Earth" to declare what is "right" or "wrong." In this controversial, and emotionally and philosophically supercharged discussion, we explore whether recent events in America have brought us to this critical, existential space? 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Lockes_Subjectivist_Philosophy_of_Revolution.mp3

 

The Perfection and End of Liberal Philosophy

Last week the Liberal-Democratic world order was rocked to its foundations by Great Britain's "unexpected" decision to leave the European Union. Brexit represents the culmination of a handful of powerful philosophical, economic, social, and political ideas that symbolize both the perfection of Liberal Philosophy and its imminent collapse. In addition, the philosophic themes and dynamics animating Brexit are also operating in the current American economic, social, and political environment. In our latest episode, "The Perfection and End of Liberal Philosophy: Brexit and America," Professor Dungey and Walker identify and unpack the four primary themes driving the perfection and end of Liberal Philosophy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/The_Perfection_and_End_of_Liberal_Philosophy.mp3

 

"The Cult of Ignorance in the United States"

After a short break, Walker and Professor Dungey return. And, it does not get any better than this: A recent article making some noise in the popular discourse proclaims, "The Cult of Ignorance in the United States: Anti-Intellectualism and the 'dumbing-down' of America." Punchy. Provocative. Tired. Worst of all, the essay is only half right. Want the deeper, darker origins of the "anti- intellectual" sentiment in the West? Want to know where the article misses the point? Want to be like Hamlet, as Nietzsche wrote, and pull back the curtain? Check it out. But, then you would be proving the article wrong... Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/The_Cult_of_Ignorance_in_the_United_States.mp3

 

Plato Would be Horrified by Trump's Rise

A recent editorial in the Washington Post declared: "Plato Would be Horrified by Trump's Rise." Well, you just knew that we could not pass that up! In our most recent episode, "Plato, Trump, and the Hunger Games of Liberal Democracy," we explain why Plato would be horrified by the rise and influence of Donald Trump, but we also explain why Plato would also be horrified by US and our current political discourse and environment. Donald Trump may (or may not) be the Meletus of contemporary American politics, but that is only half the story. Modern Liberal Political Philosophy, and the legal and institutional arrangements it invents, emerge in and through a conscious rejection of Classical or Platonic Political Philosophy, so let the Hunger Games begin. Enjoy! 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Plato_Would_be_Horrified_by_Trumps_Rise.mp3

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/plato-would-have-predicted--and-been-horrified-by--trumps-rise/2016/04/26/3805cb80-0bec-11e6-a6b6-2e6de3695b0e_story.html

 

Globalization and the Managed Devaluation of the Western Social- Welfare Democracies

Real and raw economic insecurity is driving the electoral turmoil on both the left and the right. The anxiety is energized by the brutal awareness that the deep seated, Liberal-Enlightenment belief in perpetual economic prosperity and political influence is colliding with the emergence of a new economic and political paradigm characterized by rapidly diminishing human value and the end of the nation-state. In this free-wheeling episode, "Globalization and the Managed Devaluation of the Western Social- Welfare Democracies," we investigate what the new economic and political paradigm means for our sense of "value," our income potential, happiness, and political efficacy. Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Globalization_and_the_Managed_Devaluation_of_the_Western_Social-_Welfare_Democracies.mp3

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/24/news/economy/china-us-trade/index.html

From the Panama Papers to the Primary Election Process

Headlines scream: On both the Left and the Right, the Election Process is Rigged. The Panama Papers have shone a bright light into the obscure and byzantine ways political leaders and the wealthy "steal" public wealth through tax evasion. And last week, thousands of protestors were arrested in an attempt to "take back the Democracy." What is going on? In our most recent episode, "From the Panama Papers to the Primary Election Process: The Re-Emergence of Aristocratic Governance," we examine the emerging crisis between the overt power and influence of the intellectual and economic aristocracy and the masses who are still committed to the mythos of representative democracy. Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/From_the_Panama_Papers_to_the_Primary_Election_Process.mp3

From Thoreau to Foucault: Metaphysical and Postmodern Accounts of Resistance and Civil Disobedience

As the political season of discontent continues to heat up, we have a little fun investigating Thoreau's and Foucault's account of Resistance and Civil Disobedience. In our latest episode, "From Thoreau to Foucault: Metaphysical and Postmodern Accounts of Resistance and Civil Disobedience," we examine and compare Thoreau's metaphysical account of resistance and civil disobedience to Foucault's postmodern account of resistance and ethics. Despite very important philosophical differences between Thoreau and Foucault, we identify some very interesting and important similarities in the thought of these unique and fascinating political philosophers. Enjoy! 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/From_Thoreau_to_Foucault.mp3

Civil Disobedience and the Season of Political Discontent

In recent months we have listened to Donald Trump suggest there might be riots if he is denied the Republican nomination, witnessed several acts of political violence, and now we hear the emerging chants from a group called Democracy Spring promising the largest civil disobedience action in American political history. In our most recent podcast, "Civil Disobedience and the Season of Political Discontent," we examine the current political environment through the lens of Henry David Thoreau's and Martin Luther King's account of civil disobedience. We begin by investigating what Thoreau and King meant by civil disobedience, what makes civil disobedience civil, and how they differ. We conclude the episode by reflecting on the question of whether the coming season of political discontent will remain civil, or if it will slip towards something more ominous. Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Civil_Disobedience_and_the_Season_of_Political_Discontent.mp3

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/03/16/anti-trump-groups-threaten-largest-civil-disobedience-action-of-the-century/

Foucault, Disciplinary Power, And Your Threat Score

In our most recent episode, "Foucault, Disciplinary Power, And Your Threat Score," we investigate Foucault's account of Disciplinary Power and the way the primary strategies of Disciplinary Power--the control of space and time, surveillance, and the examination--fabricate subjectivity. In addition, we identify the way these techniques and strategies write and document our "identity" and constitute the substance of our "identity." We conclude this discussion by examining the relationship between Disciplinary Power and what is now called our "Threat Score." Did you know you had a Threat Score? Do you know you what your Threat Score is? Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Foucault_Disciplinary_Power_And_Your_Threat_Score.mp3

De- legitimization, Political Violence, and Lockean Revolution

The recent episodes of political violence, emanating from both sides of the ideological spectrum, shocked the nation. Rhetorically ratcheting up the tension, Donald Trump mused that there might be riots if he is denied the nomination, while a left leaning critic of Donald Trump characterized the billionaire-populist as an "existential threat" to America. In our most recent episode, "De- legitimization, Political Violence, and Lockean Revolution," we examine these events and words from the broader perspective of a Crisis of Legitimacy in American economic, social, and political processes and institutions. We conclude the episode by linking this Crisis of Legitimacy to Locke's account of Revolution. Enjoy. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Delegitimization_Political_Violence_and_Lockean_Revolution.mp3