Michael Sandel: what money can’t buy

Michael Sandel: what money can’t buy Continue reading Michael Sandel: what money can’t buy

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Memories of the future

by Ross Wolfe Today it is well known that the future has become a thing of the past. Gone are the days when humanity dreamt of a different tomorrow. All that remains of that hope is a distant memory. Indeed, most of what is hoped for these days is no more than some slightly modified version of the present, if not simply the return to a status quo ante — i.e., to a present that only recently became deceased. This is the utopia of normality, evinced by the drive to “get everything running back to normal” (back to the prosperity … Continue reading Memories of the future

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

Advocacy philanthropy and the leveraged buy-out of public schools — Part 2

by Danny Weil [Note: This piece concludes the two-part essay. For Part 1, please see: Link] Ted Forstmann and private advocacy philanthropy as a social movement When there is an obvious financial pay-off for those promoting public policy changes through ‘advocacy philanthropy’, it behooves citizens to critically examine those advocates, their agendas and the implications of their claims. Sadly, this is not the case in America today nor was it at the time the leverage buy-out of public schools was being driven by those who posed as charitable individuals but whose real agenda was and is the incessant accumulation of … Continue reading Advocacy philanthropy and the leveraged buy-out of public schools — Part 2

Advocacy philanthropy and the leveraged buy-out of public schools — Part 1

by Danny Weil In a newly released book entitled The Gates Foundation and the Future of US  Public Schools, author Kenneth Saltman argues that the entry into educational reform policies within the last decade by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other, what he calls “venture philanthropists”, is part of a broader ideological and economic trend.  More specifically, Saltman argues that this development is one connected to neo-liberalism and the shift from a capitalist industrial economy to a service oriented economy. Saltman continues by correctly identifying that this modification represents a shift from the public governance of education to … Continue reading Advocacy philanthropy and the leveraged buy-out of public schools — Part 1

Taking notes 16: The rebellion has started

by Jeffrey Harrod Rebellions are special social events. They are special because once they start they never end and because they provoke other events which eventually change the world. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British heralded the defeat of the British some 90 years and millions of Indian deaths later. The power of a rebellion is that it confronts the supporting images of power of its invincibility, of its claimed logic of superiority and of its absolute control of subordination. A tactical but failed rebellious challenge is eventually a strategic victory. In the global political economy the rule … Continue reading Taking notes 16: The rebellion has started

The ‘suicidal state’ and the war on youth

by Henry A. Giroux In spite of being discredited by the economic recession of 2008, market fundamentalism has once again assumed primacy as a dominant force for producing unprecedented inequalities in wealth and income, runaway environmental devastation, egregious amounts of human suffering and what Alex Honneth has called an “abyss of failed sociality.”(1) The Gilded Age is back with big profits for the ultra-rich and large financial institutions and increasing impoverishment and misery for the middle and working class. Political illiteracy and religious fundamentalism have cornered the market on populist rage providing support for a country in which, as Robert … Continue reading The ‘suicidal state’ and the war on youth

Another way is possible

by Kieran Allen The Wall Street Crash of 2008 destroyed an estimated €50 trillion of the world’s assets, which is equal to one year of the combined labour of humanity. As a direct consequence, millions of children face the prospect of ‘long-term irreversible cognitive damage’, according to Patrick Montjourides, from the UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report team. Rising food prices and growing unemployment have already led to the death of between 200,000 and 500,000 children and many more will suffer brain damage in future due to malnutrition. Yet many still claim that there can be no alternatives to capitalism. ‘We cannot … Continue reading Another way is possible