Free speech, war, and academic freedom

by Peter Neil Kirstein To justify American expansionism, presidential war messages frequently contained nationalistic proclamations of American innocence and virtue. President James Knox Polk in seeking war with Mexico on May 11, 1846 as a mandate of the nation’s “Manifest Destiny,” demonized it as a “menace,” lied that it had invaded the United States and argued war was necessary to protect American democracy. “[W]e are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.”[1] President William McKinley in asking Congress for a declaration of war to … Continue reading Free speech, war, and academic freedom

Borderless pedagogy in the Occupy movement

by Henry A. Giroux A group of right-wing extremists in the United States would have the American public believe it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of a market society.  Comprising this group are the Republican Party extremists, religious fundamentalists such as Rick Santorum, and a host of conservative anti-public foundations funded by billionaires such as the Koch brothers[1] whose pernicious influence fosters the political and cultural conditions for creating vast inequalities and massive human hardships throughout the globe. Their various messages converge in support of neoliberal capitalism and fortress … Continue reading Borderless pedagogy in the Occupy movement

Fahrenheit 451 redux

by Henry A. Giroux “The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it…. A violently active, intrepid, brutal youth—that is what I am after… I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin for my young men.” — Adolf Hitler “They that start by burning books will end by burning men.” – Heinrich Heine Every once in a while events flash before us that might at first seem trivial or commonplace given how in tune they are with the political and ideological temper of the times; but in reality they sometimes … Continue reading Fahrenheit 451 redux