April 12, 2016

Program Notes
  • Segment 1:

    China's Corrupt Leaders Double Down on Censorship

    We begin with the Chinese government’s desperate efforts to suppress any inkling of the revelations in the “Panama papers” that expose the hypocrisy of the Communist leaders who have stashed billions abroad, particularly the family of the current leader Xi Jinping who is casting himself as the new moralistic Maoist out to purge China of the rampant corruption by going after what he calls the “tigers” and the “flies”, top party leaders and small-time corrupt local officials alike. Joining us is Perry Link, one of the world’s foremost experts on China’s language, culture and people, who edited the “Tiananmen Papers” which were leaked to him by a high-level Chinese official and resulted in Perry being blacklisted by the Chinese government in 1996. We discuss the battle between China’s censors and “netizens” as Xi rolls back the clock imposing greater party control over information as he encourages nationalism and xenophobia to bolster the Chinese Communist Party’s credibility and authority over a people and economy that is more and more connected to the outside world.

  • Segment 2:

    Rewarding Plutocrats While Inverting Freedom Into Sacrifice for the Rest of Us

    Then we examine the reasons behind the decline and fall of America’s middle class and the downsizing of working Americans that are similar campaign themes of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but are seen very differently by their supporters in this election season. Wendy Brown, a professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley joins us to discuss her latest book, just out, “Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution” and how in spite of the celebration of democracy’s triumph at the end of the Cold War, democracy itself is very frail and can be undone and hollowed out from within as it has been in recent decades from neoliberal polices that have rewarded a global plutocracy while inverting freedom into sacrifice for the rest of us.