Taking notes 59: radical politics in the age of American authoritarianism

by Henry A. Giroux
Struggles will only succeed if more progressives embrace an expansive understanding of politics, not fixating singularly on elections or any other issue but rather emphasizing the connections among diverse social movements. Continue reading Taking notes 59: radical politics in the age of American authoritarianism

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Beyond Orwellian nightmares and neoliberal authoritarianism

Central to George Orwell’s nightmarish vision of a totalitarian society was a government so powerful that it not only dominated all of the major institutions in a society, but it also was quite adept at making invisible its inner workings of power. This is what some have called a shadow government, deep state, dual state or corporate state.[1] In the deep state, politics becomes the domain of the ultra-wealthy, the powerful few who run powerful financial services, Continue reading Beyond Orwellian nightmares and neoliberal authoritarianism

Taking notes 39: Beyond the Spectacle of Neoliberal Misery and Violence in the Age of Terrorism

by Henry A. Giroux The spectacle of violence and terrorism looms large in the post 9/11 world. As the recent beheading of James Foley by Islamic extremists makes clear, mass-mediated terrorism is now joined with the spectacle of violence, torture, … Continue reading Taking notes 39: Beyond the Spectacle of Neoliberal Misery and Violence in the Age of Terrorism

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

Teaching democracy and revolution

by Angelo J. Letizia The next dialectal step toward demolishing capitalism and bringing the next phase of the Enlightenment is brewing. As Marx noted, the present world contains the seeds to its own destruction. The present world is the womb of the new world. But this dialectic or historical movement is not immutable; we cannot sit around and wait for it to sweep us into the golden age of history like Marx prophesized (Zizek, 2009). We must take control of it and the first step to controlling the dialectic of history and the Enlightenment is through education, this includes higher … Continue reading Teaching democracy and revolution

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

The scorched earth politics of America’s fundamentalisms

by Henry A. Giroux Americans seem confident in the mythical notion that the United States is a free nation dedicated to reproducing the principles of equality, justice, and democracy.  What has been ignored in this delusional view is the growing rise of an expanded national security state since 2001 and an attack on individual rights that suggests that the United States has more in common with authoritarian regimes like China and Iran “than anyone may like to admit.”[1] I want to address this seemingly untenable notion that the United States has become a breeding ground for authoritarianism by focusing on … Continue reading The scorched earth politics of America’s fundamentalisms

Dangerous pedagogy

by Henry A. Giroux All over the world, the forces of neoliberalism are on the march dismantling the historically guaranteed social provisions provided by the welfare state, defining profit making and market freedoms as the essence of democracy, while diminishing civil liberties as part of the alleged “war” against terrorism. Secure in its dystopian vision that there are no alternatives to a market society, free market fundamentalism eliminates issues of contingency, struggle, and social agency by celebrating the inevitability of economic laws in which the ethical ideal of intervening in the world gives way to the idea that we “have … Continue reading Dangerous pedagogy

Toward a new social ecology

by Brian Tokar As a rising awareness of the consequences of environmental problems comes to reshape the agendas of critical thinkers and activists around the world, it is more important than ever to fully appreciate the origins of eco-socialist thought. Perhaps foremost among those who brought a coherent left analysis to environmental issues, while first introducing ecology to many on the left, is Murray Bookchin, the founding theorist of social ecology. Bookchin was a pioneer of left ecological thought and action beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, and his voluminous and many-faceted work continues to influence theorists and activists to … Continue reading Toward a new social ecology