Capitalism’s dead zone: Chicago’s lessons on the violence of inequality

by Henry A. Giroux I consider the survival of [fascism] within democracy to be potentially more menacing that the survival of fascist tendencies against democracy. — Theodor W. Adorno Americans are confronted daily with the violence of inequality. The rich have longer life spans, better health care, access to better educational opportunities, and an abundance of food. [1] Many live in palatial homes in gated communities and wield a disproportionate amount of control and power over the major social, cultural, and political apparatuses that shape everyday life.[2] Unlike most Americans, the extravagantly rich are protected from the massive degree of … Continue reading Capitalism’s dead zone: Chicago’s lessons on the violence of inequality

Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

by Henry A. Giroux “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. The American public is suffering from an education deficit.  By this I mean it exhibits a growing inability to think critically, question authority, be reflective, weigh evidence, discriminate between reasoned arguments and opinions, listen across differences, and engage the mutually informing relationship between private problems and broader public issues. This growing political and cultural illiteracy is not merely a problem of the individual, one that points to simple ignorance. It is a collective and social problem that goes … Continue reading Beyond the politics of the Big Lie

The warfare state and the brutalizing of everyday life

by Henry A. Giroux Since 9/11, the war on terror and the campaign for homeland security have increasingly mimicked the tactics of the enemies they sought to crush. Violence and punishment as both a media spectacle and a bone-crushing reality have become prominent and influential forces shaping American society. As the boundaries between “the realms of war and civil life have collapsed,” social relations and the public services needed to make them viable have been increasingly privatized and militarized.(1) The logic of profitability works its magic in channeling the public funding of warfare and organized violence into universities, market-based service … Continue reading The warfare state and the brutalizing of everyday life

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