Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Astra Taylor, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft January 31st, 2019

From the barricades of France’s Gilets Jaunes and America’s Black Lives Matter marches, to Venezuela’s Bolivarian reactionary mobilizations, and the “coloured revolutions” manifesting around the globe, it’s clear: we’re living in an age of political upheaval. But are scenes of the People taking to the streets an ominous precursor of chaos and civilization’s end to come, or hopeful sign of civic renewal and democratic vibrancy?

Astra Taylor is a political activist, organizer, and co-founder of Debt Collective, a “community of debtors… working to build a new economy.” She is too an award-winning filmmaker, whose credits include, ‘Examined Life‘, ‘Zizek!‘, and her most recent, ‘What Is Democracy?’, featured at the upcoming Victoria Film Festival.

Astra’s also the American Book Award-winning author of, ‘The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age‘, and an essayist whose writing has appeared at The New York Times, London Review of Books, and The Walrus among other places. Her new book, ‘Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone’ is due out any day.

Astra Taylor in the first half.

And; the long-running fiasco that has become Great Britain’s political reality may prove H.L. Menken’s maxim: “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

John Helmer is a journalist, former academic, government policy advisor, author, and broadcaster. He’s the longest-serving Russia-based foreign correspondent, and sole western journalist directing his own news bureau, independent of any single national or commercial encumbrance, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears, where his recent article, ‘Novichok Full O’Nuts – In the Case of Sergei Skripal Police Commissioner Angus MacPherson Lifts the Lid‘ is one of a series chronicling the continuing inability, or unwillingness, of the May government to provide a consistent narrative surrounding the case that strained Anglo-Russian relations to breaking point.

Helmer’s titles include, (with Max van der Werff) ‘The Lie That Shot Down MH17 – The True Story of Who Did’, Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,’ Russian State Strategy on the Cheap,’ among others. His latest, newly released book is his political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia‘.

John Helmer and clearing finally the malodorous May miasma shrouding the sinister Skripal affair in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in the coming week. But first, Astra Taylor asking, “Just What Is Democracy?

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/