171 | Libra

What does it mean when Facebook says it wants its own currency? We explore the power, the potential and the pitfalls of Libra. How does Facebook plan to make money out of making money? Can anyone stop it? And does this represent a fundamental shift in the model of surveillance capitalism? Plus we consider some of the rivals it faces: Bitcoin, WeChat and the good old dollar.

Finally, this week we pay tribute to our dear friend and regular Talking Politics contributor Aaron Rapport (1980-2019) with some memories of his many appearances on the podcast.

97 | Socialism in this Country?

After John McDonnell said he was still committed to the socialist transformation of Britain, we ask what that might mean.  Does socialism really require the overthrow of capitalism?  What's the difference between socialism and communism?  And with successful Democratic candidates in the US starting to use the s-word in public, what does socialism have to offer in America?  Plus we talk about whether social media and social networks offer the possibility of a new kind of socialism for the twenty-first century.  With Helen Thompson, Chris Bickerton and Chris Brooke.

91 | James Williams

We catch up with James Williams, winner of the Nine Dots Prize, ahead of the publication of his prize-winning book Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy.  What is the relentless competition for our attention doing to our well-being?  How can we fight back against the endless pull of the phone in our pocket?  And what does it all mean for politics?  The book will available free to download from Cambridge University Press on 31 May.