First Season Recap Pt. 1: Can We Think Without Blinders?

Spencer and Laurie recap the first half of Season 1 of Dustbowl Diatribes, with a focus on our intention and purpose in introducing themes like taking advantage of “the spoils of Egypt,” and concepts like metabolic rifts and the abstract domination of capital, as well as interviews that helped us understand why it’s so hard to break away from that domination.

Dustbowl Diatribes podcast can be found on iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Audible. Spotify thought we were a music business…

For more from us:

https://pmaurin.org

https://lauriemjohnson.com/

https://politicalphilosophy.video.blog/

Political Philosophy iTunes podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/political-philosophy-dr-laurie-m-johnson/id1473457784

Should Seeds Be Mere Commodities?

This is a segment from Laurie Johnson’s presentation in the first session of The Maurin Academy’s Fall 2022 short series on Agricultural Biotechnology and the Information Economy. She is guided by information from the first part of Jack Kloppenberg’s First the Seed. The short series with Laurie Johnson and Jakob Hanschu brings Kloppenberg’s scholarship to bear on McKenzie Wark’s The Hacker Manifesto, and vice versa.

Dustbowl Diatribes 7: Why Liberalism Fails

Launching from the last Dustbowl Diatribes podcast in which we interviewed Nik Gaffron about his experiences resisting fracking in Pennsylvania, Spencer and I talk to Nik about why such resistance almost always fails. Why do liberal strategies to getting something good accomplished meet with ruin? We first need to learn the answer to that question, and really have it sink in, before we can hope to accomplish any real change.

The Dustbowl Diatribes podcast can be found on iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Audible. Spotify thought we were a music business…

The Maurin Academy’s next short series, on Agricultural biotechnology and information technology will start in late August. Sign up on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/agriculture-biotechnology-the-information-economy-tickets-373417821757

For more from us: https://pmaurin.org

https://lauriemjohnson.com/

https://politicalphilosophy.video.blog/ Political Philosophy

iTunes podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/political-philosophy-dr-laurie-m-johnson/id1473457784

Dustbowl Diatribes 6: What the Frack?

Our guest is Nik Gaffron talks to us about his personal experience fighting fracking on public lands in Pennsylvania. We learn a lot about the fracking process as well as the politics and economics, especially how it impacts people who live near a fracking operation. Why do public officials so easily consent to these large-scale industrial operations in or close to residential areas? Why is it so hard to fight fracking in an effort to protect not only public lands but private property and its value? What are the hidden costs financially and to our health?

Coming Up: Agricultural Biotechnology & the Information Economy

This Maurin Academy short series will run on Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m Central US time starting August 23 and ending September 20. Laurie Johnson and Jakob Hanschu will analyze the political economy of agricultural biotechnology using insights from critical studies of the information era. We invite participants to join us. If you would like to do so, please use Eventbrite to sign up (we’ve set it to any donation–see below. Through a juxtaposition of McKenzie Wark’s A Hacker Manifesto with Jack Kloppenburg’s First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology, 1492-2000, we aim to produce a conceptually hybrid critical-theoretical approach to agricultural biotechnology and digital capitalism.

Registration Open for Agricultural Biotechnology Short Series

Register for our latest short series on Agricultural Biotechnology and the Information Economy on Eventbrite! We are requesting a donation of any amount for this five session series with Jakob Hanschu and Laurie Johnson.

This short series will analyze the political economy of agricultural biotechnology using insights from critical studies of the information era. Through a juxtaposition of McKenzie Wark’s A Hacker Manifesto with Jack Kloppenberg’s First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology, 1492-2000, we aim to produce a conceptually hybrid critical-theoretical approach to agricultural biotechnology and digital capitalism. Key Questions: Can we understand seeds as information? What happens when they become intellectual property? Who should own the information to feed the world?

Dustbowl Diatribes 5: Ecological/Political Futures ft. Bryant Macfarlane

Spencer Hess and Laurie Johnson follow up with military historian and Maurin Academy partner Bryant Macfarlane to discuss 1. the most likely worst-case scenario regarding our environmental and political future, and 2. the most likely best-case scenario we hope will happen instead. Buckle your seatbelts.

For more from us: https://pmaurin.org

https://lauriemjohnson.com/

https://politicalphilosophy.video.blog/

Political Philosophy iTunes podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/political-philosophy-dr-laurie-m-johnson/id1473457784

Dustbowl Diatribes 4: Talking Dustbowl Blues

History Ph.D. candidate Bryant Macfarlane joins Spencer Hess and Laurie Johnson for a discussion of the conditions that made for the 1930’s Dustbowl and continue to operate today to deplete soil fertility and instigate climate change. Hannah Holleman’s book, Dustbowls of Empire is the subject of the first part of our conversation. Macfarlane later explains how Latin Common Law was practiced in the American Southwest prior to the Mexican-American War, and how practices that treated water as communal good rather than private property were eliminated by the advent of the English view of property. That began the era of accelerated metabolic rifts that led to the Dustbowl and our current dilemmas, such as ocean dead zones due to fertilizer runoff.

For more from us:

https://pmaurin.org

https://lauriemjohnson.com/

https://politicalphilosophy.video.blog/

Political Philosophy iTunes podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/political-philosophy-dr-laurie-m-johnson/id1473457784

Dustbowl Diatribes 3: Metabolic Rifts & Abstract Domination

Spencer Hess interviews Jakob Hanschu on the subject of metabolic rifts (what they are, and their implications for the environment we all depend upon for life) and the abstract domination of capital (the forces that largely control our lives but are not clearly perceived because they constitute our perceived reality). These are difficult concepts because of their abstract nature, but if we do not understand them adequately, we cannot see our way beyond the current system that is destroying our world.

For more from us:

https://pmaurin.org

https://lauriemjohnson.com/

https://politicalphilosophy.video.blog/

Political Philosophy iTunes podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/political-philosophy-dr-laurie-m-johnson/id1473457784

Dustbowl Diatribes 2: The Spoils of Egypt

Spencer Hess and Laurie Johnson talk about the “Spoils of Egypt” concept from Christian theology, how it has operated in the past, and what is keeping people from using it now. In the past, Christian theologians have often “plundered” secular theology for its riches, taking what was useful and true in light of Christian revelation, and leaving what was not. Today, much philosophy is left un-plundered because it is perceived to be “evil” and untouchable. This is certainly true of critical theory and Marxism.

But while much of the positive claims of Marxism, such as atheism and materialism, can and should be left behind, the deposit of negative theory regarding the abstract and impersonal domination of capital and the market ought to be carried off as spoils, because in order to get anything done we must understand our world accurately.

As an example, the “Benedict Option” Christians understand that liberalism has changed their world and needs to be rejected, but their response of cloistering in manufacturing towns and trying to please the capitalist owners indicates they do not yet understand the effects of the impersonal domination of the capitalist system. There is no easy compromise with the globalized capitalist system that will allow us to withdraw to little communities in peace.

Referenced:

Exodus 12:35-36

https://newpolity.com/podcasts-hub/socialism-as-catholic-heresy

Ellen Wood, The Origins of Agrarian Capitalism

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option

Milton Friedman, Free to Choose, PBS documentary

For more from us:

https://pmaurin.org

https://lauriemjohnson.com/

https://politicalphilosophy.video.blog/

iTunes podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/political-philosophy-dr-laurie-m-johnson/id1473457784

To sign up for Dr. Johnson’s Summer 2022 Seminar on Christian Anarchism, start at https://pmaurin.org/classes-and-events/

Please fill out this form to be put on the email list for reminders and invitations to this and future summer seminars, as well as other events: https://forms.gle/WxikMpNx1M64GeTEA