Taking notes 12: On the state of movements

by Antonio Negri Some American and European comrades have asked me, Why didn’t you have an Occupy movement in Italy? Why is the No TAV movement the only expression of social struggle? The No TAV, despite their strong success, despite their original expression of post-modernity class war, lacks the characteristics of the Occupy movements: an extension of social change, the power to remove old hierarchies, and, above all, a shared and “common” political dynamic open to radical political upheavals. But here’s another paradox: what sense does this question have now? The Occupy movements seem already dead. The Arab springs have … Continue reading Taking notes 12: On the state of movements

Taking notes 5: The truant insurrection

by Uri Gordon “When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people and for each portion of the people the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties”. — Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, Article 35 We live in a time when the last pretenses of elected governments to serve their citizens are falling away. A decade ago, an international coalition invaded Iraq on a fraudulent pretext, deaf to the protests of millions. Today, austerity measures and bail-outs transfer the cost of the financial crisis onto the people, blatantly ignoring … Continue reading Taking notes 5: The truant insurrection

Protest and power: The radical imagination

by Henry A. Giroux “This isn’t a student strike, it’s the awakening of society.” — Quebec protest banner In many countries throughout the world, young people are speaking out.[1]  They are using their voices and bodies to redefine the boundaries of the possible and to protest the crushing currents of neoliberal regimes that ruthlessly assert their power and policies through appeals to destiny, political theology, and the unabashed certainty bred of fundamentalist faith. From Paris, Athens, and London to Montreal and New York City, young people are challenging the current repressive historical conjuncture by rejecting its dominant premises and practices. … Continue reading Protest and power: The radical imagination

Zombie functionalism and the return of neo-instrumentality in education

by Danny Weil For decades now, the debate in America over education has swerved back and forth between student testing, teacher accountability, standards, competitiveness and what curriculum should contain. With No Child Left Behind ushered in at the beginning of the George W. Bush presidency, America entered into the cartographic reality and morbid morass of high stakes testing, the location on the chess board where the Wall Street financiers and seedy politicians wanted to put public school education after years of neglect and underfunding.  Why?  For not only is the attack on public education one aimed at destroying teacher unions … Continue reading Zombie functionalism and the return of neo-instrumentality in education

Occupy and the unleashing of possibilites

by Henry A. Giroux “To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair inevitable.” – Raymond Williams American society has lost its claim on democracy. One indication of such a loss is that the crises produced on a daily basis by crony capitalism operate within a discourse of denial. Rather than address the ever proliferating crises produced by market fundamentalism as an opportunity to understand how the United States has arrived at such a point in order to change direction, the dominating classes now use such crises as an excuse for normalizing a growing punishing and warfare … Continue reading Occupy and the unleashing of possibilites

The Tao of economics

by Geoff Davies In the tropical forests of Central America are great stone temples and monuments, remnants of the Mayan civilisation that collapsed over a thousand years ago.  We can never know exactly why the Mayan civilisation collapsed, but some of the main factors were probably shifting climate, over-exploitation of natural resources, warfare and internal rivalries.  However a telling observation is that the grandest temples were built just before the final collapse.  It is not uncommon that the grandest accomplishments of a past society came just before a precipitous decline.  This pattern indicates the society was busy, right to the … Continue reading The Tao of economics