Neoliberalism and the machinery of disposability

by Henry A. Giroux Under the regime of neoliberalism, especially in the United States, war has become an extension of politics as almost all aspects of society have been transformed into a combat zone. Americans now live in a society in which almost everyone is spied on, considered a potential terrorist, and subject to a mode of state and corporate lawlessness in which the arrogance of power knows no limits. The state of exception has become normalized. Moreover, as society becomes increasingly militarized and political concessions become relics of a long-abandoned welfare state hollowed out to serve the interest of … Continue reading Neoliberalism and the machinery of disposability

Hope in the age of looming authoritarianism

by Henry A. Giroux I can understand pessimism, but I don’t believe in it. It’s not simply a matter of faith, but of historical evidence. Not overwhelming evidence, just enough to give hope, because for hope we don’t need certainty, only possibility. — Howard Zinn In the current historical moment, the line between fate and destiny is difficult to draw. Dominant power works relentlessly through its major cultural apparatuses to hide, mischaracterize, or lampoon resistance, dissent, and critically engaged social movements. This is done, in part, by sanitizing public memory and erasing critical knowledge and oppositional struggles from newspapers, radio, … Continue reading Hope in the age of looming authoritarianism

Public Intellectuals Against the Neoliberal University

by Henry A. Giroux The University is a critical institution or it is nothing. — Stuart Hall Let me begin with the words of the late African-American poet, Audre Lorde, who was in her time a formidable writer, educator, feminist, gay rights activist and public intellectual who displayed a relentless courage in addressing the injustices she witnessed all around her.  She writes: Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into … Continue reading Public Intellectuals Against the Neoliberal University

The ghost of Authoritarianism in the Age of the Shutdown

by Henry A. Giroux In the aftermath of the reign of Nazi terror in the 1940s, the philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote: National Socialism lives on, and even today we still do not know whether it is merely the ghost of what was so monstrous that it lingers on after its own death, or whether it has not yet died at all, whether the willingness to commit the unspeakable survives in people as well as in the conditions that enclose them.[1] Adorno’s words are as relevant today as they were when he first wrote them. The threat of authoritarianism  to citizen-based … Continue reading The ghost of Authoritarianism in the Age of the Shutdown

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