Cover art for podcast Marooned! on Mars with Matt and Hilary

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 51-59: Happiness is a Cold Glacier, I Hate LA, Democracy?

One of the great things about this book is how it keeps you on your toes. Matt and Hilary do their best to keep up with its digressions and interruptions, following the flow into conversations about the state, democracy, capitalism, lizard men, and the collective joy of Pepsi commercials.

For the first 24 minutes or so they despair over the election of Joe Biden and the vast political emptiness the 2020 presidential campaign seems to signify, so if you're not interested in that, skip it! But if you want to hear Jon Ossoff compared to the ghouls from THEY LIVE!, don't skip it!

Then they ask you to stop listening to podcasts. THEN they talk about Crash Day: no more planes, no more cows.

A big theme in this episode is the role of the state and the possibility for democratic processes to address the crisis of capitalism, and we'll talk a lot more about that in the next episode. Here, we talk about how America and India variously embody the notion of "nation." We talk about flows and dynamism, of human populations and photons, animals and information. We wonder if bankers really are terrorists (kind of) and what the suggestion of a carbon coin actually means for the relationship between democracy and capitalism (again, more on that next time).

Happiness, attachment, cat fights, and the horizon of possibility.

Recommended reading: 

The Dream Life of Citizens: Late Victorian Novels and the Fantasy of the State by Zarena Aslami (Fordham University Press)

Other stuff Matt & Hilary are reading

Automation and the Future of Work by Aaron Benanav (Verso)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The Einstein Intersection by Samuel Delaney 

Thanks for listening! Permafrost melt is now self-sustaining!

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