Episode: Pick Your Populism

Open Source with Christopher Lydon Logo
Pick Your Populism

Mark Blyth is that noisy wise-guy on speed in our portable Glasgow pub, and he’s locating our anxieties about a world at sea. Where we’re at, he is sputtering loud and clear, is between populisms right and left, both in a rage around the same sinking center. We’re ten years late in letting go of a failed order of money, power, and privilege. The crisis, led by the climate breakdown, is ten years ahead of our readiness to fix it. But count on Mark Blyth for positive thinking, too. We’d be awash in next-generation jobs, he says, if we went all-out for clean energy. And we could pay for a whole new power grid with government credit—remember? The same way George Bush paid for his awful war in Iraq.

Blyth is the butcher’s kid from Dundee who became a famous professor in the US, hung onto his Scots accent and his working-class biases. He drops back into the pub now and then to explain world history unfolding before us. If you don’t believe Mark Blyth has all the answers, just ask him: he saw the Brexit revolt coming, and the Trump hostile takeover, because (he says) he’d seen a collapse of faith in the dying political order that had just delivered the War in Iraq and the Wall Street breakdown of ’08. Mark Blyth is an acquired taste who becomes habit for a lot of us, a required 50-thousand mile checkup. He re-enters this time, talking, of course, a mile a minute, about a choice or a deadlock of populisms, plural, about the odds of a recession, and what coulda/shoulda happened ten years ago.

The post Pick Your Populism appeared first on Open Source with Christopher Lydon.

Open Source with Christopher Lydon
Users who viewed this episode also viewed...

Open Source with Christopher Lydon > The Reporter’s Reporter

Seymour Hersh, known as Sy, made a brilliant career, at his best, of exposing Official US, at its worst: the Army massacre at My Lai, in Vietnam. The sadistic prison management at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. The forbidden spying by the CIA on American citizens. Sy Hersh has been the scariest scoop artist in journalism for 50 years — he scared his editors, his readers, his news-business rivals and his targets: who else virtually declared that his job was to stop Dick Cheney from going to war on Iran, and prevailed...

Open Source with Christopher Lydon > The Tower and the Square

A conversation about Brexit, yellow vests, and the state of the European Union with Arthur Goldhammer, Vanessa Bee, Julian Bourg, and Alan Rusbridger. A nasty winter of discontent is in the air, blowing around old towers of power: Paris, London and of course Washington. Like everything else in the Digital Age, fear, anger and disruption travel together through an invisible network—from left-out villages to posh precincts in shiny rich capitals of France, Britain, the US...

Open Source with Christopher Lydon > Karl Ove Knausgaard on Art and Loneliness

Karl Ove Knausgaard wrote a 6-volume selfie that a lot of us can’t stop reading. My Struggle he called it, looking inward and talking to himself for thousands of pages. Autumn, his new book, is a relief for him and us: It looks outward, in short pieces, letters to a new daughter before she was born, about Stubble Fields, Telephones, Wellington boots, chimneys, the painter Vincent Van Gogh...
Comments (0)

Login or Sign up to leave a comment.

Log in
Sign up

Be the first to comment.