Taking notes 56: On hope and hype: reflections on a New Year’s tradition

by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi
How, I ask myself, can declaring my hopes to others make a dent in a world oblivious to our dreams? How can we expect the mere change of a date to alter the conditions under which we live? Continue reading Taking notes 56: On hope and hype: reflections on a New Year’s tradition

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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

To go beyond the capitalist state

by Steve Fraser “All that is solid melts into air” is even truer about the hyper-flux of everyday life today than it was when those words first appeared in the Communist Manifesto more than a century and half ago. Truer, that is, with one major exception.  In our political life we are fixated on the past, forever looking backward. Arguably, national politics over the last half century has polarized between efforts to defend and restore the New Deal Order and relentless attempts to repeal it and replace it with something even older.  The liberal left has fought to extend or … Continue reading To go beyond the capitalist state

Hope in a time of permanent war

by Henry A. Giroux Revolution is not ‘showing’ life to people, but making them live. A revolutionary organization must always remember that its objective is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation. – Guy Debord The war drums are beating loudly and America is once more mobilizing its global war machine. How might it be possible to imagine hope for justice and a better world for humanity in a country that has sanctioned state … Continue reading Hope in a time of permanent war

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

Towards a post-Occupy world

by Richard J. White Running deeply through radical critiques that have emerged across dissident academic, activist and public communities — critiques that have pricked the mainstream consciousness through their repeated denouncement of both the legitimacy and the desirability of the current orthodox economic and political system — is the spirit of Ya Basta! (‘Enough! Now for something else!’). As Wight (2012: 161) argued: One thing is clear, irrespective of how it will all end, the Arab Spring, looting in London, riots in Greece, wars across the Middle East and beyond, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the Occupy Movement are … Continue reading Towards a post-Occupy world