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

The scorched earth politics of America’s fundamentalisms

by Henry A. Giroux Americans seem confident in the mythical notion that the United States is a free nation dedicated to reproducing the principles of equality, justice, and democracy.  What has been ignored in this delusional view is the growing rise of an expanded national security state since 2001 and an attack on individual rights that suggests that the United States has more in common with authoritarian regimes like China and Iran “than anyone may like to admit.”[1] I want to address this seemingly untenable notion that the United States has become a breeding ground for authoritarianism by focusing on … Continue reading The scorched earth politics of America’s fundamentalisms

Post-racial America

by Henry A. Giroux  The killing of a young African-American boy, Trayvon Martin, by an overzealous white Hispanic security guard who appears to have capitulated to the dominant post-racial presumption that equates the culture of criminality with the culture of blackness, has devolved into a spectacle. While there is plenty of moral outrage to go around, a recognition that racism is alive and well in America, and that justice has been hijacked by those who can afford it, the broader and more fundamental questions and analyses are not being raised. Complex issues get lost when spectacular events are taken over … Continue reading Post-racial America

Dangerous pedagogy

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

Toward a new social ecology

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

Alternatives to capitalism

by Gregory Albo It is said so frequently now that socialism is dead that even socialists no longer notice.  This view is based, in good part, on the end of the political formations that came to represent socialism through the twentieth century (tiny Cuba notwithstanding).  The statist command economies of Eastern Europe, the diverse state-led national liberation projects of the South, and the social democratic welfare statism of Western capitalism have all fallen victim either to internal collapse or external de-stabilization.  The old joke of the Soviet leadership that the central question facing the US was the prospects for capitalism … Continue reading Alternatives to capitalism