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

Lockdown, USA: The Boston marathon manhunt

by Henry A. Giroux A tragedy of errors: nobody knows any more who is who. The smoke of the explosions forms part of the much larger curtain of smoke that prevents all of us from seeing clearly. From revenge to revenge, terrorism obliges us to walk to our graves. I saw a photo, recently published, of graffiti on a wall in NYC: ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’. — Eduardo Galeano[1] The American public rightfully expressed a collective sigh of relief and a demonstration of prodigious gratitude towards law enforcement authorities when the unprecedented manhunt for … Continue reading Lockdown, USA: The Boston marathon manhunt

The politics of disimagination and the pathologies of power

by Henry A. Giroux You write in order to change the world knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that [writing] is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter even by a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it.  – James Baldwin The Violence of Neoliberalism We live in a time of deep foreboding, one that haunts any discourse about justice, democracy, and the future. Not only have the points of reference that provided a sense of certainty and collective hope … Continue reading The politics of disimagination and the pathologies of power

Criminalizing dissent and punishing Occupy protesters

by Henry A. Giroux Military-style command and control systems are now be­ing established to support “zero tolerance” policing and urban surveillance practices designed to exclude failed consumers or undesirable persons from the new enclaves of urban consumption and leisure. — Stephen Graham Young people are demonstrating all over the world against a variety of issues ranging from economic injustice and massive inequality to drastic cuts in education and public services.1 In the fall of 2011, on the tenth anniversary of September 11, as the United States revisited the tragic loss and celebrated the courage displayed on that torturous day, another … Continue reading Criminalizing dissent and punishing Occupy protesters

The economy of violence: Waste, expenditure and surplus

by Sanjay Perera
We are living in a time when the world is seeing the full effects of the economic violence of capitalism on all life forms and the planet itself. The violent process of capitalism is one of extraction and exploitation as it operates in a framework of polarity that exacerbates the difference between taking and giving, storing and sharing, and the separation between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Continue reading The economy of violence: Waste, expenditure and surplus

USA Inc.: Challenging the culture of violence and corruption

by Henry A. Giroux What is happening in America these days? From acts of violence to the corruption of corporations and the abuse of children, the USA seems quite far from the light of dawn that comes after twilight’s last gleaming. The promotion of violence in virtually all aspects of the media, the degradation of its education system and the war by the elites and the rich on the underprivileged and the have-nots, have created a new meaning for the war on poverty – there is indeed an active war waged upon the growing underclass and vulnerable, if not the … Continue reading USA Inc.: Challenging the culture of violence and corruption

The warfare state and the brutalizing of everyday life

by Henry A. Giroux Since 9/11, the war on terror and the campaign for homeland security have increasingly mimicked the tactics of the enemies they sought to crush. Violence and punishment as both a media spectacle and a bone-crushing reality have become prominent and influential forces shaping American society. As the boundaries between “the realms of war and civil life have collapsed,” social relations and the public services needed to make them viable have been increasingly privatized and militarized.(1) The logic of profitability works its magic in channeling the public funding of warfare and organized violence into universities, market-based service … Continue reading The warfare state and the brutalizing of everyday life