9 episodes

In the 1990s tech evangelists told us that the internet would bring the world together; that it would help us share knowledge and learn from each other. Spoiler Alert: that didn’t happen. The world of digital politics is filled with hucksters, ideological entrepreneurs performing invective for a few likes and subscriptions. It’s a recruiting ground for far-right extremists, cultists and conspiracy fantasists. And it’s changing how all of us think, feel and do our politics.

This eight-part podcast series reports on the findings of a three-year academic research project into the political ideologies, rhetorics and aesthetics shaping the age of digital politics. Featuring interviews with leading scholars and researchers in this field – including Whitney Phillips, Matthew Feldman, Becca Lewis and Wu Ming 1 – it asks why right-wing & reactionary groups have been so successful in using digital technologies to push their ideologies, exploring the history and theory to assess the prospects for politics in an age of digital communication.

Reactionary Digital Politics reactionarydigitalpolitics

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    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

In the 1990s tech evangelists told us that the internet would bring the world together; that it would help us share knowledge and learn from each other. Spoiler Alert: that didn’t happen. The world of digital politics is filled with hucksters, ideological entrepreneurs performing invective for a few likes and subscriptions. It’s a recruiting ground for far-right extremists, cultists and conspiracy fantasists. And it’s changing how all of us think, feel and do our politics.

This eight-part podcast series reports on the findings of a three-year academic research project into the political ideologies, rhetorics and aesthetics shaping the age of digital politics. Featuring interviews with leading scholars and researchers in this field – including Whitney Phillips, Matthew Feldman, Becca Lewis and Wu Ming 1 – it asks why right-wing & reactionary groups have been so successful in using digital technologies to push their ideologies, exploring the history and theory to assess the prospects for politics in an age of digital communication.

    Episode 8: How Do We Get Out of Here?

    Episode 8: How Do We Get Out of Here?

    These days, it’s impossible to talk publicly about how things are going wrong with politics (economics, culture, society, climate etc.) without someone piping up at the end to spoil a good whinge by asking ‘So, what would you do about it?”. Well, we can be spoilsports too. At the end of all our conversations we asked our interviewees the same question: we now know that digital politics is a mess, but what do we do about it? In this final episode, we listen to and think about their answers - from demands to regulate social media platforms to calls to think better about our communications ecology. Are we just sharp edged critical theorists or will we turn out to have a soft moral centre? Listen to the end to find out.  
     
    Presented by: Alan Finlayson, Rob Gallagher, Sophie Ludkin & Rob Topinka
    With: Clare Birchall, Florian Cramer, Matthew Feldman, Bharath Ganesh, Debbie Ging, Annie Kelly, Hugo Leal, Becca Lewis, Whitney Phillips & Wu Ming 1
    Produced by: Sophie Ludkin
    Special thanks to: Cassian Osborne-Carey
    Music composed by Harriet Riley and produced by Tom Jacob
     
    Find us:
     
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNdYeOghWVoIb4vZF0B9jwQ/featuredOn Email: reactionarydigitalpolitics@gmail.com

    • 32 min
    Episode 7. Who Is To Blame?

    Episode 7. Who Is To Blame?

    In an era of high political melodrama there has to be a ‘big bad’ weaving a tangled web. In this episode we theorise conspiracy theories - from racist myths about ‘globalists’ plotting white genocide to fevered dreams of Hollywood Satanists harvesting ‘adrenochrome’ from stolen children. What makes these absurdities so compelling for so many? What is it about the digital portal that invites us to fall into them? What have they inherited from older conspiracy narratives? And how have movements like QAnon used digital technologies to make believers feel like heroic sleuths fighting the good fight together? In this episode secrets are revealed, an anonymous informant spills the beans and we do our own research.
     
    Presented by: Alan Finlayson, Rob Gallagher, Sophie Ludkin & Rob Topinka
    With: Clare Birchall, Florian Cramer, Matthew Feldman, Annie Kelly, Hugo Leal & Wu Ming 1
    Produced by: Sophie Ludkin
    Special thanks to: Cassian Osborne-Carey
    Music composed by Harriet Riley and produced by Tom Jacob
     
    Find us:
     
    On YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNdYeOghWVoIb4vZF0B9jwQ/featuredOn Email:  reactionarydigitalpolitics@gmail.com

    • 49 min
    Episode 6. How Does It Look?

    Episode 6. How Does It Look?

    When politics takes place mostly on our screens, how it looks - and how we look, when we look at people looking at us - matters a lot. This episode explores the relationship between politics and aesthetics, from haircuts and Hawaiian shirts to frog memes and ‘fashwave’. We think about how reactionary subcultures have embraced the DIY logic of digital technologies to develop symbols, genres, styles and vocabularies that express their values, distinguishing initiates from outsiders. This dark academic dispatch sheds light on corners you didn’t even know were lurking there.
     
    Presented by: Alan Finlayson, Rob Gallagher, Sophie Ludkin & Rob Topinka
    With: Clare Birchall, Florian Cramer, Debbie Ging, Annie Kelly, Becca Lewis, Whitney Phillips & Marc Tuters
    Produced by: Sophie Ludkin
    Special thanks to: Cassian Osborne-Carey
    Music composed by Harriet Riley and produced by Tom Jacob
     
    Find us:
     
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNdYeOghWVoIb4vZF0B9jwQ/featuredOn Email: reactionarydigitalpolitics@gmail.com

    • 31 min
    Episode 5: Who Are We?

    Episode 5: Who Are We?

    Modernity is hard. Late modernity is harder. Nobody knows who anybody else is, let alone who they are supposed to be. But someone on the internet is there to give you an answer. This episode is about how ideological entrepreneurs and influencers weave politics into their personal brands, promoting a reactionary politics of race, sex and gender by appealing to people seeking a sense of belonging and poking at their wounds. And behind it all, it turns out, we are being filed, stamped, indexed and identified by the numbers. 
     
    Presented by: Alan Finlayson, Rob Gallagher, Sophie Ludkin & Rob Topinka
    With: Bharath Ganesh, Debbie Ging, Annie Kelly, Hugo Leal, Becca Lewis &  Marc Tuters
    Produced by: Sophie Ludkin
    Special thanks to: Cassian Osborne-Carey
    Music composed by Harriet Riley and produced by Tom Jacob
     
    Find us:
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNdYeOghWVoIb4vZF0B9jwQ/channelsOn Email: reactionarydigitalpolitics@gmail.com

    • 36 min
    Episode 4. How Does It Feel?

    Episode 4. How Does It Feel?

    Politics has always been an emotive subject. ‘Virtual’ media provoke, play with and monetise our very real feelings. Where the two meet is a goldmine of likes, subscriptions and donations. In this episode we think about how reactionary ideological entrepreneurs appeal to anxiety and resentment, fear and pride, and how they promise to reveal secrets and hidden truths that will make us feel better.
     
    Presented by: Alan Finlayson, Rob Gallagher, Sophie Ludkin & Rob Topinka
    With: Clare Birchall, Florian Cramer, Bharath Ganesh, Annie Kelly,  Hugo Leal, Becca Lewis & Whitney Phillips
    Produced by: Sophie Ludkin
    Special thanks to: Cassian Osborne-Carey
    Music composed by Harriet Riley and produced by Tom Jacob
     
    Find us:
     
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNdYeOghWVoIb4vZF0B9jwQ/featuredOn Email: reactionarydigitalpolitics@gmail.com

    • 35 min
    Episode 3. How Do We Argue and Persuade?

    Episode 3. How Do We Argue and Persuade?

    If there’s one thing the internet loves it's an argument (and cats). This episode looks at the tactics political reactionaries have developed to sell their ideas, win converts and DESTROY their opponents online. Weaponising irony and free speech absolutism to represent themselves as transgressive rebels, the right has refined its culture-war playbook with each shitpost and pile-on. We think about how political appeals are dressed in the appealing garb of self-help advice and what’s going on when phrases like ‘social justice warrior’ or ‘cultural Marxism’ rise from the bottom of the internet and float around in the cultural and political mainstream.
     
    Presented by: Alan Finlayson, Rob Gallagher, Sophie Ludkin & Rob Topinka
    With: Matthew Feldman, Bharath Ganesh, Debbie Ging, Annie Kelly & Whitney Phillips 
    Produced by: Sophie Ludkin
    Special thanks to: Cassian Osborne-Carey
     
    Find us:
     
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNdYeOghWVoIb4vZF0B9jwQ/featuredOn Email: reactionarydigitalpolitics@gmail.com

    • 43 min

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