PlasticPills - Philosophy & Critical Theory Podcast



The Pill Pod is hosted by a group of PhDs offering their irreverent (and unsolicited) takes on critical theory, philosophy, culture, and politics.

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146 episodes

Pill Pod 116 - Guattari & Negri: Communists Like Us (preview)

New week, new book, and we're still on the hunt for a "post-Marxism" that hits. As usual, we were split on which ingredients we look for in the recipes of political theorists. This is a preview of our debate and all our arguments can be found at

Mar 24
Pill Pod 115 - MarxismS: Louis Althusser and Structuralist Marxism

Erik and Pills duo on Althusser, reading "Contradiction and Overdetermination" from the book For Marx. We read this anticipating a couple episodes trying to figure out what "post-marxism" could mean, and we don't want to strawman, and this is one of my (Pills') favourite bites attempting to delineate what Marxist theory can and cannot aspire to. Get all the exclusive eps at

1h 25m
Mar 17
Pill Pod 114 - POST-MARXISM ft. Diego Ruzzarin (Preview)

n the 80s, Laclau and Mouffe decided they wanted to succeed Marxism with discourse stuff and some identity politics thrown in. We read their apologetic for Post-Marxism and while Post-Marxism is interesting as a direction, this version of it leaves something to be desired. Find the full episode and many more on Patreon at

Mar 16
Pill Pod 113 - Slavoj Zizek vs Wokeness

Zizek allegedly wrote an article on the problems of wokeness and we argued about it. Reactionary? Transphobic? Trolling? We don't agree (with each other). The article: The rest of our episodes are available at

1h 33m
Mar 03
Pill Pod 111 - Spectacles of The Integrated Spectacle

How many of the intellectual left were assassinated by the CIA? THE TRUTH WILL SHOCK YOU! Guy Debord's head inflates by the time he gets to his book written about his own book, Comments on the Society of Spectacle then we argue over whether America or China is more spectacular, in this last episode of our series on the Situationist International. If you like this kind of content there's more at

1h 24m
Feb 18

We've been leading up to it, and here is the first spectacle of 2 on Debord's popular book ( Stay tuned for future spectacles. Get the full series on Debord and the Situationist International at

1h 23m
Feb 07
Pill Pod 108 - Psychogeography (preview)

This is a preview on our episode covering the Situationist concepts of psychogeography and unitary urbanism, from back when we hoped for such things.   Get the full episode and plenty more at

Feb 07
Pill Pod 107 - Situationist Revolutionary Theory

From 1957 to 1972, the Situationist International published a slew of articles, pamphlets, films and journals trying to bring theoretical Marxist debates into everyday life and change public consciousness. Today we read a few of these articles on topics including art, revolution, and the Los Angeles Watts riots to see what of their imagination might be recovered.   Links to Articles: "The Revolution of Modern Art and the Modern Art of Revolution" "The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy" Don't miss any episodes and support our work!

1h 35m
Jan 20
Pill Pod 106 - Introduction to The Situationist International (preview)

We are starting a series on the theorists and artists of the Situationist International and their most well-known export: The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord. Get all exclusive episodes, bonus content, and help support our efforts at

Jan 20
Pill Pod 27 - BURNOUT SOCIETY by Byung-Chul Han *UNLOCKED*

It's been a while since we released an exclusive episode, but I thought this that this episode is as pertinent as it ever was, so enjoy this release from two years ago, and Merry Christmas. It's a discussion of The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han (whom we had then recently discovered, by the sound of it). Find the book here: As always, get more of this every week by joining us at

1h 16m
Dec 23, 2022
Pill Pod 105 - AI, Transhumanism & Silicon Valley Singularity Cults

After our episode claiming that ChatGPT would destroy university education as it currently exists, we had to de-mythologize the dumb philosophy status quo of Silicon Valley and its weird mix of objectivism, stoicism, and effective altruism. References from All episodes and exclusive videos at 

1h 30m
Dec 17, 2022
Pill Pod 104 - AI & the New Crisis of Humanities Education

Not with a whimper, but with a bang: it's time for another crisis of the Humanities.  Students, then teachers, then administrators will realize that AI has nullified our current evaluation methods in academia. In this episode we discuss the implications of OpenAI for essay writing, and how to prevent universities from devolving into AIs reading AIs. Get access to all the episodes and other media at

1h 9m
Dec 09, 2022
Pill Pod 103 - Feminist Fight Night: Nussbaum vs. Butler (preview)

What was a niche, inter-feminist fight in the 90s proves to be prophetically relevant this week. Pills and Victor narrate Martha Nussbaum coming at Judith Butler and almost split the difference. Get access to the full episode and many more at

Dec 09, 2022
Pill Pod 101 - Democracy 101(preview)

We glance at Ranciere's Hatred of Democracy which suggests that hatred, not equality, is the animus of so-called democracies, and then debate whether or not the term even matters anymore. Get access to the full episode and many more at

Dec 09, 2022

It's a "party" for our 100th episode! Thanks for everyone who helped us reach this milestone by listening, guesting, supporting us on patreon, or whatever else, and special thanks to everyone who submitted voice clips. To find out what everyone's working on mentioned in this episode: Diego: @DiegoRuzzarin @aufgehendeRest Matt: @MattPolProf Victor: @victorbruzzone Pills: @plasticpills  Erik: No fixed address

1h 53m
Nov 04, 2022
Pill Pod 99 - Edward Bernays (preview)

Today we read Freud's nephew, the "Father of PR," Edward Bernays' book "Propaganda" and compare his theory and practice to other opinions on the purpose of propaganda, and how it compares to the later neo-marxist conception of "ideology" and whether theorizing about democracy matters at all when private interests run the state. Get all the episodes plus ~60 exclusive eps for just 4 bucks at

Oct 28, 2022
Pill Pod 98 - Ricky Rorty: Derrida vs. Habermas

This resembles one of our FIGHT NIGHT episodes, except the whole of it is mediated by another philosopher, Richard Rorty. We give a bit of background to philosophical pragmatism before trying to get a read on what philosophy is for according to each of these three authors. Is it for self-help? Can it solve 'real' problems? Or is philosophy just cope?   Find the public link on our patreon page

1h 22m
Oct 25, 2022
Pill Pod 95 - Materialist Theogany ft. Diego Ruzzarin

We covered this from every perspective we could get to, featuring some Spinoza, Marx, Benjamin, and corn among other references. Please enjoy us bumping into things and trying to figure out what a life's all about.

1h 43m
Oct 04, 2022
Pill Pod 94 - Kafka Metamorphosis

Find the whole text here Find LitVic on Twitter! @HoratioVictor Always looking for more suggestions for the lit stuff, someone suggested this several months ago and we bore it out! We are joined by LitVic for a literature episode, looking at the puzzling tale of the guy who gets turned into a bug. Find the whole text here Find LitVic on Twitter! @HoratioVictor Missed any eps? Want to support the podcast? join us at

1h 28m
Sep 26, 2022
Pill Pod 93 - Nick Land (preview)

It's easy to get all the bonus eps and a lot besides on

Sep 26, 2022
Pill Pod 91 - ADIEU LACAN

Brace yourselves for two and a half hours focused on Lacan's psychoanalytic method. We are joined partway through by Director/Auteur Richard Ledes, who has brought Lacan to the silver screen in a film we're proud to hype up: ADIEU LACAN.   To watch the film, (which is pretty safely the only decent depiction of psychoanalysis we've ever seen) you can find it on Amazon and Apple in English, or go to to watch it in other langauges.   If you enjoy our content, help us keeping making it by sharing, algo-boosting, rating or joining our Patreon to get the other half of the episodes @plasticpills @victorbruzzone @podpill @ledesr

2h 29m
Aug 26, 2022
Pill Pod 89 - The Myth of Atlantis (Preview)

We turn our attention to the ur myth of civilizational collapse... and accidentally find political philosophy. Ah well. Get the other half of our episodes and support our continued efforts at

Aug 05, 2022
Pill Pod 87 - The Idea of Communism IV ft. Diego Ruzzarin

It's more answers without questions, in part IV of our "Idea of Communism" series. We're getting the hot takes from Diego Ruzzarin (@DiegoRuzzarin) on what he thinks the Idea of Communism means for Latin America particularly, what's up with psychoanalysis, and the other stuff he's working on. Find our content mill over at

1h 56m
Jul 20, 2022
Pill Pod 86 - Know Your Enemy ft. Matthew Sitman

It's a political theory day, speaking with the Know Your Enemy podcast's Matthew Sitman, a former young conservative. Starting with some Roe v. Wade, we then dive deep into the intellectual right's endless fascination with Straussian philosophy (that's Leo Strauss), its underlying esotericism, and its connection to the American right's current political projects. There's a lot of namedropping (both of individuals and institutions) in this episode, so if there are outstanding questions you can tweet them at @matthewsitman, @mattpolprof, and @victorbruzzone

1h 59m
Jul 12, 2022
Pill Pod 85 - The Word ”Communism” *Preview*

We have another heated discussion on the sense and meaning of the word "communism," this time from a Heideggerian communist. Get all the goods at

Jul 01, 2022
Pill Pod 84 - The Universality of Communism (Preview)

This week we read the article by Susan Buck-Morss "The Second Time as Farce... Historical Pragmatics and the Untimely Present" from, again, The Idea of Communism All of our episodes and extra content are available for an inconsequential contribution to our group project at

Jun 24, 2022
Pill Pod 83 - The Idea of Communism - Alain Badiou

This is our first in the reading series on the Idea of Communism conferences, covering Alain Badiou.   Our readings will come from The Idea of Communism I, The Idea of Communism II, and The Idea of Communism III   Join up with us on Patreon to get all of the upcoming episodes at

1h 26m
Jun 17, 2022
The Deleuze Seminars ft. Professor Daniel W. Smith

Pills is graced by the presence of the eminent Deleuze scholar, editor, and translator, Daniel W. Smith. Dan explains how he came to Deleuzian philosophy, why it's important, and previews the exciting Deleuze Seminars project, which is almost finished translating 20 years of Deleuze's lectures into English.    The Deleuze Seminars project can be explored here:   Si vous pouvez comprendre le français, il y en a plus a la Bibliotheque Nationale de France This interview was too good to keep to ourselves, but if you want to see more, including more exclusive Deleuze videos, you can support us at

1h 14m
Jun 14, 2022
Pill Pod 82 - 1980s Nostalgia

Reboots and renewals, bodies and images, city and pasture. The Pill Pod takes a crack at analyzing the desire structure of 80s nostalgia in popular media. New episodes and videos not found here are up at so check that out for more content.

1h 10m
Jun 10, 2022
Pill Pod 81 - The Postmodern Condition (preview)

Pills, Erik and Victor tackle the boogeyman: Lyotard's Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, with reference to Wittgenstein's language-game methodology. Is postmodernism when there are too many gay characters on TV? Or is it the legitimacy crisis of state knowledge precipitated by finance capital, the computerisation of information, and the subsumption of politics by public relations?   Get the full episode and a ton more audio and video at

Jun 07, 2022