by Henry A. Giroux All over the world, the forces of neoliberalism are on the march dismantling the historically guaranteed social provisions provided by the welfare state, defining profit making and market freedoms as the essence of democracy, while diminishing civil liberties as part of the alleged “war” against terrorism. Secure in its dystopian vision that there are no alternatives to a market society, free market fundamentalism eliminates issues of contingency, struggle, and social agency by celebrating the inevitability of economic laws in which the ethical ideal of intervening in the world gives way to the idea that we “have … Continue reading Dangerous pedagogy
by Douglas Kellner In 2011, the Arab Uprisings, the Libyan revolution, the UK Riots, the Occupy movements may make it as memorable a year in the history of social upheaval as 1968 and perhaps one as significant. Henceforth, demonstrators could be assembled in flash mobs that could occupy any site at a moment’s notice and submit corrupt businessmen, politicians, and others to the wrath of the people. Political Insurrection as Media Spectacle “In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation,” Guy … Continue reading Insurrection as media spectacle
by Zoltan Zigedy Twenty years ago Marxism was in retreat. Actually, it had been in retreat much earlier than the fall of the Soviet Union and Eastern European socialism a decade before the end of the twentieth century. But certainly the dissolution of the USSR marked a dramatic and, for many, a surprising finale. Communism, the revolutionary expression of Marxism, was the official ideology of states that contained roughly 40% of the world’s population as late as the nineteen eighties. At the same time, in many other countries, Communists were formidable political forces possibly in reach of political power or, … Continue reading Marxism: Dead or alive?
by Kieran Allen The Wall Street Crash of 2008 destroyed an estimated €50 trillion of the world’s assets, which is equal to one year of the combined labour of humanity. As a direct consequence, millions of children face the prospect of ‘long-term irreversible cognitive damage’, according to Patrick Montjourides, from the UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report team. Rising food prices and growing unemployment have already led to the death of between 200,000 and 500,000 children and many more will suffer brain damage in future due to malnutrition. Yet many still claim that there can be no alternatives to capitalism. ‘We cannot … Continue reading Another way is possible
by Peter McLaren I regret to inform my liberal friends and colleagues that we have moved well beyond the return of a progressive Keynesianism. That the domination of post–World War II economics by Fordism/Keynesianism is over (as the production of profit no longer relies upon the production of commodities and their sale) should not be a revelation to the most astute observers of the contemporary political scene who have been examining in minute detail the collapse of our capitalist universe. Their most grim prognosis tells us that we have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Either we slay the … Continue reading The death rattle of the American mind
by Brian Tokar As a rising awareness of the consequences of environmental problems comes to reshape the agendas of critical thinkers and activists around the world, it is more important than ever to fully appreciate the origins of eco-socialist thought. Perhaps foremost among those who brought a coherent left analysis to environmental issues, while first introducing ecology to many on the left, is Murray Bookchin, the founding theorist of social ecology. Bookchin was a pioneer of left ecological thought and action beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, and his voluminous and many-faceted work continues to influence theorists and activists to … Continue reading Toward a new social ecology
by Jeff Shantz Superseding archic society requires, in part, a refusal to participate in dominant social relations. Anarchists call for a refusal to surrender people’s collective power to politicians or bosses. Instead they seek to re-organize social institutions in such a way as to reclaim social and economic power and exercise it on their own behalves towards their own collective interests.They seek an alternative social infrastructure that is responsive to people’s needs because it is developed and controlled directly by them.This is a social framework in which decisions regarding social and economic relations are made by the people affected by … Continue reading Re-thinking revolution: A social anarchist perspective
by Jeff Noonan In a 2007 report on the environmental and economic impact of intensified exploitation of the Alberta Oil Sands, then Chief Economist of the Toronto Dominion Bank, Don Drummond, re-affirmed orthodox economics’ faith in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of economic performance. “Gross Domestic Product,” he wrote, is the best available indicator of the overall health of the …economy, as it measures the market value of the goods and services produced.”  I begin with this example because the oil sands, at current global oil prices, are both hugely profitable and massively environmentally destructive.  GDP … Continue reading Economics, happiness, and life-coherent societies