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Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

116 EpisodesProduced by Matt Hauske & Hilary StrangWebsite

a kim stanley robinson read-along podcast with regular forays into utopia. hosted by some friends who are into communism, science fiction and other stuff

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The Ministry for the Future 60-70: Holidays, Deferral, Bureaucrats, Judo, Narcissism, Euthanasia, Good Poop, Napoleon

Happy Ritualized Ideological Food Consumption Day! Matt and Hilary start with another cheery conversation designed to indoctrinate the masses into the glorious of atomized leftism by further exposing the family form as a big mess, and conclude that November is all about bad ways to perform both the family and democracy: holidays and elections.

Hilary’s big thought this week is about the utopianism of this novel existing in a state of a kind of constant deferral of resolutions. No single action Mary or anyone else takes is The Solution to all the problems, so there’s a demand to try a thing without knowing how it will come out—an opening of the future. In the book, these actions often result in nothing immediately happening, which may point to a structure of feeling we may need to get used to.

This opening relies on the possibility of somehow reversing Marx’s adage describing capitalism as “all that is solid melts in air.” In The Ministry for the Future, all that is air must congeal into a solid, by drawing carbon out of the atmosphere. Chapter 66 gives us a delightful first-person account of the flows of carbon that Matt points out is so miraculous one wonders why we need religion.

We talk about democracy, rule of law, accountability, narcissism and Götterdämmerung capitalism, the judo of the bureaucrat, heroism, putting the rentier class out of its misery, and the book’s critique of economics. Can capitalism be tricked into producing good poop? History will decide!

Stay tuned for some thoughts about Napoleon, right before Matt's brain begins to die.

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