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From Alpha To Omega

Updated 6 days ago

News
Politics
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What is happening to our economy and our politics? Are we stuck forever in this corporate dystopia? What can we learn from the failures of radical politics over the last 100 years? Tom O'Brien talks in depth to experts from the fields of Political Economy, Politics, Science, Philosophy, Complexity, Mathematics, Music, and the Environment.

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What is happening to our economy and our politics? Are we stuck forever in this corporate dystopia? What can we learn from the failures of radical politics over the last 100 years? Tom O'Brien talks in depth to experts from the fields of Political Economy, Politics, Science, Philosophy, Complexity, Mathematics, Music, and the Environment.

iTunes Ratings

52 Ratings
Average Ratings
48
3
1
0
0

Great topics, great discussions, but

By nycfluxster - Oct 26 2018
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I enjoy the discussions, but the sudden sound clip interruptions are jarring. From the 5-star reviews here it looks like it doesn’t bother anyone else, so maybe this won’t change, but I hope it’ll at least be reconsidered.

Great podcast!

By Popparedpill - Aug 05 2016
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Thanks for all the fantastic topics and interesting guests! Loved the White Isles

iTunes Ratings

52 Ratings
Average Ratings
48
3
1
0
0

Great topics, great discussions, but

By nycfluxster - Oct 26 2018
Read more
I enjoy the discussions, but the sudden sound clip interruptions are jarring. From the 5-star reviews here it looks like it doesn’t bother anyone else, so maybe this won’t change, but I hope it’ll at least be reconsidered.

Great podcast!

By Popparedpill - Aug 05 2016
Read more
Thanks for all the fantastic topics and interesting guests! Loved the White Isles
Cover image of From Alpha To Omega

From Alpha To Omega

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

What is happening to our economy and our politics? Are we stuck forever in this corporate dystopia? What can we learn from the failures of radical politics over the last 100 years? Tom O'Brien talks in depth to experts from the fields of Political Economy, Politics, Science, Philosophy, Complexity, Mathematics, Music, and the Environment.

Rank #1: #063 Whats Wrong With The Far Left?

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After a long delay, this week I am delighted to welcome another Irishman to the show, Chekov Feeney. Chekov is the man behind the blog chekov.org, where he reflects and theorizes on his 20 year journey through leftist politics, science and the media. Chekov also works as a Senior Research Fellow in the Computer Science department in Trinity College Dublin. We talk about the good and the bad of radical left wing organisations, the empirical evidence for the liberal and Marxist world views, the need for new theoretical work on the left, and the dramatic political events unfolding in Greece. We join the conversation as Chekov is discussing his recent work in the field of computational history. You can find his blog here: http://www.chekov.org Enjoy! The music on this show was: ‘The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters’ by Sun Ra and his Arkestra 'One More Robot' by The Flaming Lips 'Mary, Don't You Weep' by Aretha Franklin ‘The River’ by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Jul 08 2015

53mins

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Rank #2: #005: Absolutely Positively Deadly Certain

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This week, we see a return to the topic of economic, environmental, and political collapse. We are delighted to welcome the Russian-American author, blogger extraordinaire, and all-round expert in collapse that is Dmitry Orlov. Dmitry grew up in Russian, and moved to America with his family in the 1970's. He returned to Russian a number of times during the collapse of the Soviet system and sees striking parallels with the western economic system of today. We talk of his 'Comparative Theory of Superpower Collapse', his model of the five stages of collapse, Noam Chomsky's Propaganda model, and his latest opus 'Absolutely Positive', an e-book of 30 of his most popular essays. You should check out his brilliant blog at: www.cluborlov.com His latest ebook 'Absolutely Positive' can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Absolutely-Positive-ebook/dp/B008047OTS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337383267&sr=8-1 His earlier book, 'Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects' is a must read, for anybody interested in these topics: http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Collapse-Experience-American-Prospects/dp/0865716854/ref=la_B001JSB23G_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337383390&sr=1-1 Enjoy!

May 19 2012

49mins

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Rank #3: #028 The Vanguard Party

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This weeks guest is the C Derick Varn, Poet, Lecturer, and resident of South Korea. Derick writes for ‘The (Dis)Loyal Opposition Blog’, and includes among his interests: alternative visions of the future, the failures of nationalist Marxism, early Leninism, and the relationship between anarchism and Marxism. We discuss the Russian revolution, the Vanguard Party and it's problems, the profound failures of the cultural revolution, and the emergence of decentralised movements like occupy and the 5-Star Movement. Derick has also just interviewed myself, for his Blog, where I get to expound a few of my own opinions for a change. If you are interested in reading these incoherent babbles, you can find them here: http://skepoet.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/interview-with-tom-obrien-one-marxism-mmt-and-the-eurozone-crisis/ Here is the link to his blog: http://skepoet.wordpress.com/ And you can also find him appearing regularly on the 'Pop The Left' Podcast with Doug Lain over at: http://douglaslain.com Enjoy!

Mar 23 2013

45mins

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Rank #4: #043 The Falling Rate of Learning

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The guest on this years Christmas edition is David Blacker. David is a Professor of Philosophy of Education and Legal Studies at the University of Delaware. His academic background is in the history of philosophy, and his writings pursue insights from that tradition within the context of contemporary education problems. His essays have appeared in the Monthly Review magazine, and he has just released an excellent new book, called, ‘The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame’, which looks at how the educational world is being affected by Marx’s law of the falling rate of profit. We discuss many of the themes of the book, including: determinism vs free will, base vs superstructure, the 'Ye Deluder Satan' Act, student debt and neo-feudalism, radical youth movements, and the utility of a stoic pessimism. You can buy his book here: http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Rate-Learning-Neoliberal-Endgame/dp/1780995784/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387294781&sr=1-1 And you can find the monthly review here: http://monthlyreview.org/ Happy Xmas!

Dec 17 2013

1hr 12mins

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Rank #5: #020: So You Want To Participate?

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This week we talk with journalist and author Iain Bruce about the history of the Brazilian Workers Party, their experiments with direct democracy. the political philosophy of the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, and the geopolitics of South America. We also discuss the hopes for direct democracy, something I hope to cover further, in future shows. Iain Bruce is a British journalist and filmmaker. He is the author of ‘The Porto Alegre Alternative: Direct Democracy in Action’, and ‘The Real Venezuela: Making Socialism in the 21st Century’, and has made documentaries for Channel 4 and the BBC. In the past he has worked as the BBC correspondent in Caracas, Venezuela, as an adviser to Telesur, the Latin American news channel based in Venezuela, and currently finds himself in Qatar plying his trade with Al Jazeera. You can find him blogging over at: www.venezuelanalysis.com. And you can buy his books here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Real-Venezuela-Socialism-Century/dp/0745327362/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354139276&sr=8-2 http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Porto-Alegre-Alternative-International/dp/0745320961/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1354139276&sr=8-10 Enjoy!

Dec 01 2012

49mins

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Rank #6: #038 Capitalism is Killing The Dinosaurs - AGAIN!

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This week we are joined again by C. Derick Varn. Derick is a poet, teacher, and theorist. He blogs for the (Dis)Loyal Opposition to Modernity, Symptomatic Commentary, and is one of the chief editors of the on-line socialist magazine, the North Star. He also co-hosts the ‘Pop The Left’ podcast with Doug Lain, and has just started a new on-line literary magazine, Former People: A Journal of Bangs and Whimpers, which seeks to look again at modernism and it’s relevance to politics. We discuss the historical tensions between Marxists and anarchists, how Occupy stunned the vanguard, the problems with democracy and the flaws of Leninism, Chomsky on Marx, the interaction of the base and superstructure, and how capitalism is killing the dinosaurs again.... http://skepoet.wordpress.com/ http://symptomaticcommentary.wordpress.com/ http://douglaslain.net/pop-left-8-dual-power/ http://formerpeople.wordpress.com/ http://www.thenorthstar.info/ Enjoy!

Sep 23 2013

56mins

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Rank #7: #054 Councils Upon Councils

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This week I am glad to welcome C. Derrick Varn back to the show. We discuss the council communism and the Ultra-left, a man who told Stalin where to go and survived, autonomous Marxism and the Occupy Movement, and the failure of revolutions. Enjoy! The music and voice used on this show are: ‘The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters’ by Sun Ra and his Arkestra Paul D'Amato discussing the life and work of Antonio Gramsci ‘The Charleston’ by Django Reinhart 'Working Class Hero' by John Lennon 'Destroy Everything' by Dr. Peacock & Repix 'Wild Colonial Boy' by Tommy Makem and The Clancy Brothers.

Sep 22 2014

57mins

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Rank #8: #072 The Long Depression

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After an unplanned hiatus, I am delighted to welcome back Michael Roberts to the show. Michael has a new book just out, called ‘The Long Depression: How it happened, why it happened, and what happens next’. We discuss the main thesis of the book - the idea of a long depression, the problems with Keynesian accounting identities, the hopes for a capitalist revival, and chances of a breakdown. You can find Michael’s blog here: https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/ You can buy his book here: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/693-the-long-depression The music on this episode was: 'The Order of the Pharaonic Jesters' by Sun Ra and his Arkestra 'No Woman' by Whitney Enjoy!

Nov 01 2016

53mins

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Rank #9: #001 Revolutionary Strategy Series

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‘Revolutionary Strategy - Marxism and the challenge of left unity’ was a book written by Mike MacNair in 2008 in which he analysed the history of the 20th century from a Marxist perspective to see what strategic learnings could be gleaned. In this reading group we hope to tease out what they are and what we think of them. In this first episode, we introduce the participants and discuss the introduction to the book. The panelists are: Sophia - Trans Trans Revolution Lexi, Rosa, Donald - Swampside Chats Derek - Symptomatic Redness Ian Szabo

Feb 26 2019

1hr 17mins

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Rank #10: #003: Sex, Lies, & Economics

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This week we are joined by Professor Michael Perelman of the California State University, Chico. He is an economist and economic historian of the Marxian bent, a prolific author, and the writer of the award-wining blog 'Unsettling Economics'. We start off with a discussion of his upcoming book: 'Sex, Lies, & Economics', which tells the story of the zany, dishonest, violent, and hugely prolific lives of the early great economists. We also talk about Cromwell, the Scottish Highland clearances, duelling with butchers axes in darkened basements, the potato, Gulliver's Travels, the East-Asian tiger economies, the end of Empire, and how to use cucumbers as an energy source. Make sure to check out the Professor's blog at: http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com/ And while your at it, why not buy one of his books as well: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Perelman/e/B001ITVL14/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1335443472&sr=8-1 The show also features the music of 'w@rd', a listener and anti-authoritarian, folk-punk, protest musician. You can find more of his music here: http://www.reverbnation.com/wardnc Over and Out.

Apr 26 2012

50mins

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Rank #11: #095 Revolutionary Strategy w/ Mike MacNair

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This week we welcome Mike MacNair to the show. Mike is a long time political activist, author and Tutor in Law at St Hugh's College. He is also a regular contributor to the Weekly Worker newspaper. Today we discuss Mikes' seminal work: ‘Revolutionary Strategy: Marxism and the challenge of left Unity’. We talk about the history of the 20th century and how, as Marxists, we can hope to learn from its failures. We will be studying this book as part of our upcoming Reading Group series, so get yourself a copy - it’s an amazing book. You can buy it here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/mike-macnair/revolutionary-strategy/paperback/product-6225135.html And you can check out the Weekly Worker here: https://weeklyworker.co.uk/

Feb 17 2019

1hr 14mins

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Rank #12: #052 What's Next?

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This week I am delighted to welcome Professor Peter Hudis, of Oakton Community College, who has recently published his new book: 'Marx's Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism'. We discuss what Marx had to say about post-capitalist societies, and the reluctance of those on the left to talk about what it might actually look like. We also talk of the theoretical reasons for the failure of the Soviet and Maoist projects, how abstract labour dominates our lives, and how not even the capitalists are in control of the current system. You can find the Professors book here: http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Marxs-Concept-of-the-Alternative-to-Capitalism Enjoy!

Aug 16 2014

55mins

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Rank #13: #102 Brexit w/ Mike MacNair

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This week we welcome back Mike MacNair to the show. We caught up at the recent CPGB Communist university and sat down to talk about the history of the UK’s role in the EU, Brexit, and why he considers himself an ex-Trot.

Sep 18 2019

54mins

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Rank #14: #046 Engines, Entropy, and Value

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This week our guest is Dr. William Paul Cockshott, a reader in the Computer Science Department of Glasgow University. Paul was trained as an economist, then as a computer scientist, and he has made contributions to the fields of image compression, 3D television, and parallel compilers. He is also known for his work in applying econophysics to classical economics, the field of economic computability, and as the co-author of the book 'Towards a new Socialism', advocating for the more efficient and democratic planning of a complex economy. In this show we discuss the origins of classical political economy, and how it was influenced by the rapid advances in the world of physics. We talk of the importance of Watt and his steam engine, the development of the theories of thermodynamics and entropy, and their importance in economy. The work of Babbage and Alan Turing also get a mention, as well as the human as universal robot. We also discuss the overwhelming empirical evidence for Marx’s Labor Theory of Value, why it is that it works, and the importance of the work of previous guest Prof. Gregory Chaitin in the modern factory. Oh yes, and some roman pottery, chinese crossbows from the Qin Dynasty, and how difficult it is to fold your clothes. Enjoy! You can find his books, talks, and research on his website here: http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wpc/reports/index.html

Feb 22 2014

1hr

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Rank #15: #098 The Regrettable Century

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This week we talk to Kevin, Chris, and Jason of the ‘Regrettable Century’ podcast about their experience of spending 10 years in the ISO before leaving a few years ago. This follows on from an episode of their podcast where they talk about the recent demise of the ISO. This is part 1 of a 2 part interview. You can find their excellent podcast here: http://regrettablecentury.buzzsprout.com/

Jun 11 2019

43mins

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Rank #16: #004: (Dis)Proving Darwin

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This weeks episode sees a much needed change in focus - be gone all that talk of capitalist exploitation and systemic failure! Today we talk with world renowned mathematician, computer scientist, and philosopher Professor Gregory Chaitin about his latest work. Prof. Chaitin has spent the last number of years trying to come up with a mathematical proof of the power of evolution - how evolutionary randomness is practically as good as divine creation! Amazing stuff, indeed. During this work, he came to the realisation that the standard theory of evolutionary genetics is probably completely wrong, and discusses the latest revolutionary thoughts in the field of biology. We also discuss Gödel's seminal 'incompleteness' theorem, it's far reaching implications for philosophy, spirituality, and epistemology. Von Neumann's Theory of Cellular Automata and Turing's work on the computer also get a mention, and we finish with Professor Chaitin's hope for a mathematical theory of consciousness. Quite a heady mix. Please don't be scared off by the talk of theorems - you will likely miss an interview with one of the true intellectual giants of our time. You can buy Professor Chaitins new work here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Proving-Darwin-Biology-Mathematical-ebook/dp/B006E512HU And here is the full back catalogue of the Professors writings: (much recommended) http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Gregory%20J.%20Chaitin&search-alias=books-uk Enjoy!

May 10 2012

51mins

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Rank #17: #067 Cultural Marxism

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This week I am delighted to welcome Doug Lain back to show, for a discussion about cultural marxism, an argument about worker controlled workplaces, and some thoughts on what we can learn from the Inca’s. Doug is the host of the Zero Squared podcast, previously the Diet Soap Podcast, and is the publisher of Zero Books. He is also a sci-fi author, and has been nominated this year for the Phillip K. Dick Award for his latest novel, After the Saucers Landed. You can buy his book here: http://skyhorsepublishing.com/titles/641-9781597808231-after-the-saucers-landed You can find out everything Doug related here: http://douglaslain.com/ And all about Zero Books here: http://www.zero-books.net/ The music on this episode was: 'All You Need Is Hate', by The Delgados 'Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get' by The Dramatics 'All About Us' by Teen

Mar 08 2016

45mins

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Rank #18: #017: Kliman All Over The Rate Of Profit

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This week we talk to Professor Andrew Kliman, about the current economic crisis, and what Karl Marx would make of it all. Professor Kliman, is a Professor of Economics at Pace University and author of several publications on Marxian economics, including the books Reclaiming Marx’s “Capital”, and ‘The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession’. We talk of Marx's labour theory of value, the falling rate of profit, production for productions sake, and what Marx would think about the insights of the post-keynesian, Hyman Minsky. The Professor is a leading proponent of the Temporal Single System Interpretation of Marx's labor theory, which defends Marx’s cconomic theories against various claims of its inconsistency from other economists. I’m currently reading Das Kapital myself, so it’s a real treat to hear what one of the worlds foremost Marxists has to say about the current economic situation. You can buy his books here: http://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Kliman/e/B001JSALNS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1351094041&sr=8-1 You can check out his blog here: http://akliman.squarespace.com/ Enjoy!

Oct 26 2012

53mins

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Rank #19: #061 The Calculation Problem

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After repeated requests from a number of listeners, this week I am delighted to welcome back to the show Dr Paul Cockshott, a reader in the computer science department of Glasgow University. We talk of the Socialist Calculation debate, the Soviet plans for their own internet, Google vs a planned economy, and the problems with Council Communism. If you'd like to listen to the show on your phone, you can now also listen with TuneIn here: http://tunein.com/radio/From-Alpha-To-Omega-p686756/

Mar 25 2015

56mins

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Rank #20: #039 Former People

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This week we have the second part of our interview with C. Derick Varn. We discuss Derick’s new on-line literary journal 'Former People, A Journal of Bangs and Whimpers', the origins of modernism, the influence of Freud, relativity, and quantum mechanics on modernism, modernism's role in politics, and of course, a little Marx. Derick also reads a few excerpts from his writings and poetry. You can check out Derick's stuff here: http://formerpeople.wordpress.com/ http://skepoet.wordpress.com/ Enjoy...

Oct 06 2013

32mins

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