Totalitarian Paranoia in the Post-Orwellian Surveillance State

by Henry A. Giroux Surveillance, in any land where it is ubiquitous and inescapable, generates distrust and divisions among its citizens, curbs their readiness to speak freely to each other, and diminishes their willingness to even dare to think freely. — Ariel Dorfman The revelations of whistle-blowers such as Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond and Edward Snowden about government lawlessness and corporate spying provide a new meaning if not a revitalized urgency and relevance to George Orwell’s dystopian fable 1984. Orwell offered his readers an image of the modern state that had become dystopian — one in which privacy as a civil … Continue reading Totalitarian Paranoia in the Post-Orwellian Surveillance State

India and the politics of ‘corruption’

by Anjan Chakrabarti & Anup Dhar Politics begins where the masses are, not where there are thousands, but where there are millions, that is where serious politics begins. — Lenin Think of all the people in Tagore’s Red Oleander, residing perhaps in post-independent India –– who did not have names and were identified as mere numbers, 21F, 79D, 84M, etc. — forming their own party with the assistance of Nandini, the female rebel protagonist (Ranjan — the other rebel protagonist had already been killed by the King) and challenging the King, the Gosain (clergy), the Adhyapak (professor) and a host … Continue reading India and the politics of ‘corruption’

Radical democracy against cultures of violence

by Henry A. Giroux Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. –– Nelson Mandela Guy Debord once argued that the spectacle suggests society’s desire for sleep.[1] He was enormously prescient, and his words and work are more important today than when they were first written. The spectacle has been energized and reworked under the forces of neoliberalism and now promotes a mix of infantilism, brutality, disposability and lawlessness. As the visibility of extreme violence is endlessly reproduced in various cultural apparatuses and screen cultures, it functions increasingly, alongside a range of other economic and political … Continue reading Radical democracy against cultures of violence

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

End of Enlightenment? Not if we fight for it

by Angelo J. Letizia In a recent article, Dr. Henry Giroux argued that we may be witnessing the dismantling of democracy (Giroux, 2013). He pointed to the neoliberal assault on public education and the transformation of public education into workforce training for the global economy at the hands of state and federal law makers (Giroux, 2013). Giroux’s remarks are sobering. They may actually be more telling than even he realized. Perhaps the neoliberal assault on education is not the destruction of democracy, but rather something much more profound; it may be the end of the Enlightenment. While it is impossible … Continue reading End of Enlightenment? Not if we fight for it