Student loans: The financialized economy of indentured servitude

by Danny Weil Get ready students: your college student loans are due to double on July 2013!  The cost of higher education is spiraling and with it the cost of student loans, one of the biggest Wall Street rackets currently in existence.  Both the Obama administration and the Republicans are seeking “market solutions” they say will staunch the bleeding [1]. Do not be fooled: it is ‘market solutions’ that caused the crisis and with the financialization of education, students are seen as little more than commodities to be bought, sold and monetized for profit. Education is now nothing more than a pernicious, … Continue reading Student loans: The financialized economy of indentured servitude

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

Lockdown, USA: The Boston marathon manhunt

by Henry A. Giroux A tragedy of errors: nobody knows any more who is who. The smoke of the explosions forms part of the much larger curtain of smoke that prevents all of us from seeing clearly. From revenge to revenge, terrorism obliges us to walk to our graves. I saw a photo, recently published, of graffiti on a wall in NYC: ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’. — Eduardo Galeano[1] The American public rightfully expressed a collective sigh of relief and a demonstration of prodigious gratitude towards law enforcement authorities when the unprecedented manhunt for … Continue reading Lockdown, USA: The Boston marathon manhunt

The New Extremism: Politics of distraction in the Age of Austerity

by Henry A. Giroux The debate in both Washington and the mainstream media over austerity measures, the alleged fiscal cliff and the looming debt crisis not only function to render anti-democratic pressures invisible, but also produce what the late sociologist C. Wright Mills once called “a politics of organized irresponsibility.”[1] For Mills, authoritarian politics developed, in part, by making the operations of power invisible while weaving a network of lies and deceptions through what might be called a politics of disconnect. That is, a politics that focuses on isolated issues that serve to erase the broader relations and historical contexts … Continue reading The New Extremism: Politics of distraction in the Age of Austerity

The planetary emergency

by John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark Capitalism today is caught in a seemingly endless crisis, with economic stagnation and upheaval circling the globe.1 But while the world has been fixated on the economic problem, global environmental conditions have been rapidly worsening, confronting humanity with its ultimate crisis: one of long-term survival. The common source of both of these crises resides in the process of capital accumulation. Likewise the common solution is to be sought in a “revolutionary reconstitution of society at large,” going beyond the regime of capital.2 It is still possible for humanity to avert what economist Robert … Continue reading The planetary emergency

The economy of violence: Waste, expenditure and surplus

by Sanjay Perera
We are living in a time when the world is seeing the full effects of the economic violence of capitalism on all life forms and the planet itself. The violent process of capitalism is one of extraction and exploitation as it operates in a framework of polarity that exacerbates the difference between taking and giving, storing and sharing, and the separation between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Continue reading The economy of violence: Waste, expenditure and surplus

Neoliberal terror and the age of disposability

by Henry A. Giroux The winners in the disposable society circulate close to the top of the power pyramid… Those who can’t afford to be on the move stand little chance…Market freedom means few people have a hold on the present and that everyone is expendable.  — Zygmunt Bauman In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, shocking images of dead bodies floating in the flood waters of New Orleans appeared on national TV against a sound track of desperate cries for help by thousands of poor, black, brown, elderly and sick people. These disturbing pictures revealed a vulnerable and destitute segment … Continue reading Neoliberal terror and the age of disposability

Taking notes 7: Human Rights or Imperial Partnership?

by Zoltan Zigedy Amnesty International has a bee under its bonnet. A human rights advocate, educator, and labor attorney, Dan Kovalik, mustered the audacity to challenge the world’s most prominent and highly regarded rights-based advocacy group. Claiming over three million members since its birth in 1961, AI is the poster child for modern “non-governmental organizations” or NGOs: The hundreds of thousands of hazy entities that play an ever-growing, influential role in international affairs. Despite AI’s sterling reputation among middle class liberals in the English-speaking world, Kovalik was troubled by AI’s stance on the war in Libya and its role in … Continue reading Taking notes 7: Human Rights or Imperial Partnership?

Taking notes 6: We are fine in Gaza — How are you?

by Magid Shihade In celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Communist Party in Syria and Lebanon, the Palestinian singer and writer — Khaled El-Hibr sang these words: We are fine in Gaza How about you? We are fine under attack How about you? Our martyrs are under the rubbles Our children now living in the tents And they ask about you We are fine in Gaza How about you? …. The sea is behind us But we fight back The enemy is in front of us But we still fight back We have all what we need: Food and arms … Continue reading Taking notes 6: We are fine in Gaza — How are you?

Petro-market civilization

by Tim Di Muzio Prologue: The Rule of Threes Lending weight to the popular saying that bad things always come in threes, three events in April of 2010 underscored the level of capitalist civilization’s addiction to carbon energy.  On the 3rd of April off the coast of north eastern Australia, the Shen Neng 1, a Chinese owned coal tanker hauling 68,000 tons of coal collided into the Great Barrier Reef – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – at full speed.  The impact ripped the ship’s haul, leaked three to four tons of the worst quality fuel oil into one of … Continue reading Petro-market civilization