The collapse of FTX, a crypto currency exchange that went from a valuation of $32 billion to bankruptcy, is sending shock waves not just through the economy but also politics. FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, was the second-biggest donor to the Democratic party in 2022. He has many complex ties with Democratic politicians, policy-makers, and pundits. In a recent column, I wrote about how Democrats have a crypto problem.

On this week’s episode of The Time of Monsters, I talked with David Klion, an editor at Jewish Currents who writes for many publications, including The Nation. We had a wide-ranging conversation on not just the crypto crash but also the philosophies of effective altruism and longtermism (supported by some of the players in the story), the dangers of plutocratic philanthropy, and the role writers like Matthew Yglesias played in whitewashing Bankman-Fried. Along the way, we take up Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune and ask whether it, too, is an example of longtermism.

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