Productive Podcast of the Week: Aufhebunga Bunga

Logo for the global politics podcast, Aufhebunga Bunga.

Image via Aufhebunga Bunga

Logo for the global politics podcast, Aufhebunga Bunga.

Jaymes Grundmann, Editor-In-Chief

This weeks’ Productive Podcast of the Week is one of the most informative and perspective broadening shows out there, the global politics podcast, Aufhebunga Bunga.

The show is hosted by Brazil based writer and researcher, Alex Hochuli.  As well as a London based mental health researcher and writer, Dr. George Hoare, and the senior lecturer in international conflict at the University of Kent, Dr. Phillip Cunliffe.

We reached out to Alex Hochuli to learn more about what separates Aufhebunga Bunga from the swamp of generic, “dog and pony show” politics podcasts out there.

Why did you start Aufhebunga Bunga and what makes your show unique?

We started the podcast in early 2017 without a clear idea of what it should be. Over time it coalesced into what it is today: a podcast on global politics that aims to “periodise the present”, with no illusions. Despite some positive political murmurings here and there, we are still living in the shadow of the historical defeat of the working class; rebuilding socialist politics will not be done overnight. The good news is that the neoliberal order is also in a state of collapse. That offers a window. We want to gaze through that window, and then smash that window with great content.

It’s important that we look at what’s happening across the globe, rather than just in the Anglosphere. I think that’s a great strength for us, as otherwise it’s too easy to get locked into debates that have a great importance in the UK or the US, and miss what is happening in the rest of the world.

The world we live in – of inequality, alienation and a ‘war of all against all’ – is a product of the defeat of socialism, of the possibility of a greater, more free future. Identity politics is what happens when we accept this state of affairs and join in the ‘war of all against all’. While identity groups compete for scraps, those in power have it all their own way. Solidarity is the alternative to this, and that’s a concept the Left needs urgently to rediscover.

Understanding with sober senses these global transformations is the first step, so hopefully our podcast can play a tiny part in that, in asking the right questions.

What are some of your favorite episodes and what would you recommend to a new listener?

Image via Alex Hochuli
Alex Hochuli (left) and Dr. George Ohare recording the Calibunga episodes in Los Angeles, Cali., 2019.

We’d say the CaliBunga series, especially parts 1 and 2 (eps. 76, 77); the Übermenschen of Capital series (eps. 57, 58, 59); and NOBS (ep. 44). If you want to get a sense of our international episodes, which we also try to approach thematically, try “Italy, country of the future” (ep. 30) or our episode on Duterte’s Philippines (ep. 52).