“Resistance is no longer an option, it is a necessity.” —Henry A. Giroux
“Resistance is no longer an option, it is a necessity.” —Henry A. Giroux
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This week on the Project Censored Show Mickey Huff welcomes new co-host Chase Palmieri as they welcome back world-renowned educator, author, and public intellectual, Professor Henry Giroux. They discuss Giroux’s latest book from City Lights Books Open Media Series, American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism.
How should we think about the recent gun violence in Parkland, Florida? How do we understand the ascent of Donald Trump as part of a longer trend? What does the coming administration portend? And what is the way forward? Allen Ruff is in conversation with radical social critic and educator Henry Giroux.
Donald Trump‘s election marked a perilous watershed for the descent of democracy in the United States into authoritarianism. Not only is the public in peril, democracy is on the brink of collapse as the economic, political and cultural institutions necessary for it to survive are being aggressively undermined. There is hope, however: A robust intersectional resistance can result in radical social and political change. Read more…
The dark times that haunt the current age no longer appear as merely an impending threat. They have materialized with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. Trump and his administration of extremists epitomize the dire dangers posed by those who longed to rule American society without resistance, dominate its major political parties, and secure uncontested control of its commanding political, cultural, and economic institutions. The consolidation of power and wealth in the hands of the financial elite along with the savagery and misery that signifies their politics is no longer the stuff of Hollywood films such as Wall Street and American Psycho. If George W. Bush’s reign of fear mongering, greed, and war on terror embodied the values of a kind of militarized Gordon Gekko, Trump represents the metamorphosis of Gekko into the deranged and ethically-neutered Patrick Bateman. Yet, Trump’s ascent to the highest office in America is already being normalized by numerous pundits and politicians, including Barack Obama, who are asking the American public to give Trump a chance or are suggesting that the power and demands of the presidency will place some restraints on his unrestrained impetuousness and often unpredictable behavior.
By Henry A. Giroux Tikkun January 19, 2017
AGAINST NORMALIZING AUTHORITARIANISM
The United States has tipped over into a full blown government run by extremists. Any talk of working with a president who has surrounded himself with militarists, racists, neo-fascists, anti-intellectuals, and neoliberal fundamentalists should be resisted at all cost. Normalization is simply a retreat from any sense of moral and political responsibility.
The word and any reference supporting it should be seen as an act of political complicity with authoritarianism and condemned outright. The United States has morphed into an alliance of dreadful fundamentalisms that extend from the economic and military to the educational and ideological. This is the script for war, militarization, the destruction of the welfare state, the elevation of finance capital and state violence to the center of politics, and the death of the very ideal of democracy.
Every element of resistance from debunking policies, offering resources for an informed citizenry, creating study groups, inspiring others to resist, engaging in constant acts of civil disobedience, creating thousands of alternative educational outlets, and endless demonstrations have to be used to develop and sustain a militant sense of hope, resistance, and social engagement.
We need to light up the darkness overcoming the U.S. with the collective anger and resistance by those who want a radical democracy, who reject the deeply violent registers of militarism, finance capital, and exclusion. America is at war with itself and it is time to prepare for a battle in which all of humanity is at stake. The rhetoric of fascism has become normalized and is organized around a collapse of civic literacy and the inability to deal with complex issues on one hand and the attempt by those who maintain power to ruthlessly promote a depoliticizing discourse of lies, simplicity, and fear.
Memory has no home in the culture of fear and produces a moral vacuity tied directly to the extreme violence that now saturates American society. Violence is both symbolic and material and we need to push back not just by brave and tireless individuals who are outraged but through a social movement for democratic socialism that unifies diverse groups in the name of economic and social justice.
How do the conditions that inform today’s social and economic struggles differ from those that prevailed in the 1930s, when the United States entered an era of progressive reform?
In part, the U.S. today lacks organized labor movements, and the ruling class exhibits no sense of obligation to guarantee the well-being of the general public, cultural critic Henry Giroux tells The Real News Network’s Paul Jay. (Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig.com)
I think that what youre suggesting, and what I believe is actually quite true, is that Trump and the Democrats really represent two different elements of the same coin. I mean, what you have is a savage form of neoliberalism that now dominates most of the globe, in which questions of power and questions of justice are completely removed from any sense of accountability.
Neoliberalism fosters the viewing of pain and suffering as entertainment, warfare a permanent state of existence, and militarism as the most powerful force shaping masculinity. Politics has taken an exit from ethics and thus the issue of social costs is divorced from any form of intervention in the world.
Commenting on Trump’s speech, columnist Eugene Robinson argued that his talk added up to what few journalists were willing to acknowledge — “a notorious white supremacist account.” What is shocking is the refusal in many mainstream media circles to examine the role that white supremacy has played in creating the conditions for Trump to emerge as the head of the Republican Party.
We are in a new historical era, one that is marked a culture of lawlessness, extreme violence, and disposability, fueled, in part, by a culture of fear, a war on terror, and a deeply overt racist culture that is unapologetic in its disciplinary and exclusionary practices. This deep seated racism is reinforced by a culture of cruelty that is the modus operandi of neoliberal capitalism–a cage culture, a culture of combat, a hyper masculine culture that views killing those most vulnerable as sport, entertainment, and policy.
The left needs a new political conversation that encompasses memories of freedom and resistance. Such a dialogue would build on the militancy of the labor strikes of the 1930s, the civil rights movements of the 1950s and the struggle for participatory democracy by the New Left in the 1960s. At the same time, there is a need to reclaim the radical imagination and to infuse it with a spirited battle for an independent politics that regards a radical democracy as part of a never-ending struggle.
Trump has repeatedly indicated his support for such actions by saying he “would like to punch a protester in the face” and labeling protesters as “bad Americans.” He also incited this violence through his response to the November incident that occurred in Alabama…
Giroux: At a policy level, violence drives an arms industry, a militaristic foreign policy, and is increasingly the punishing state’s major tool to enforce its hyped-up brand of domestic terrorism, especially against black youth.
Giroux: Donald Trump’s blatant appeal to fascist ideology and policy considerations took a more barefaced and dangerous turn last week when he released a statement calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Giroux: The seeds of terrorism do not lie simply in ideological fundamentalism; they also lie in conditions of oppression, war, racism, poverty, the abandonment of entire generations of Palestinian youth, the dictatorships that stifle young people in the Middle East and the racist assaults on Black youth in urban centers in the United States.
Giroux: Power in its most oppressive forms is deployed not only by various repressive government policies and intelligence agencies but also through a predatory and market-driven culture that turns violence into entertainment, foreign aggression into video games, and domestic violence into a goose-stepping celebration of masculinity and the mad values of unbridled militarism. At the same time the increasing circulation of public narratives and public displays of cruelty and moral indifference continue to maim and suffocate the exercise of reason and social responsibility.
Giroux: Far too many youth today live in an era of foreclosed hope, an era in which it is difficult either to imagine a life beyond the dictates of a market-driven society or to transcend the fear that any attempt to do so can only result in a more dreadful nightmare.
Giroux: Pedagogy is a moral and political practice because it offers particular versions and visions of civic life, community, the future, and how we might construct representations of ourselves, others, and our physical and social environment. But it does more; it also “represents a version of our own dreams for ourselves, our children, and our communities.
Giroux: Few journalists have acknowledged the presence of white militia and white supremacists groups at Trump’s rallies….
Trump is simply the most visible embodiment of a society that is not merely suspicious of critical thought but disdains it.
Giroux: As David Sirota observes, “Getting cooperation,” means being willing to make seemingly apolitical entertainment products into highly ideological vehicles for pro-war, pro-militarist propaganda.” It gets worse. Sporting events are now infused with the spirit of militarism and can be seen in fighter jets flying over football games, NASCAR races, and the Super Bowl.
The Nobel Prize-winning author Ngugi wa Thiong’o has insisted rightfully that “Children are the future of any society,” adding, “If you want to maim the future of any society, you simply maim the children.” By Henry A. Giroux PhilosophersforChange.org August 8, 2015 The National Center on Family Homelessness reports that “One in 45 children experience […]
Giroux: We celebrate violence in the name of security and violate every precept of human justice through an appeal to fear. This speaks clearly to a form of political repression and a toxic value system.
Giroux: Rather than viewing Trump’s comments as a political virus that has deep roots in nativist apoplexy and a long legacy of racism and state violence, his despicable remarks are reduced to an uncivil rant by a bullying member of the billionaire class with no reference to the unmarked status of white privilege and its underlying logic of white supremacy. Such commentary at its core is superficial, duplicitous, and represents a flight from responsibility and a politics of denial.
Subjectivity has been stripped of any meaning, reduced to the gaze of public relations industries that feed the dispossession by extraction machine. Capitalism has reached its endpoint, blind to its death march. Fortunately, more and more young people and others are refusing to stand by and let state terrorism and market fundamentalism define their everyday […]
Poulin: Giroux argues that the country is in the midst of a counter-revolution, one that cannot be understood simply by pointing to police brutality. He claims the left needs a larger theoretical and political framework to understand the uniqueness of the current historical moment, one that has forged a number of fundamentalisms, including educational fundamentalism, military fundamentalism, economic fundamentalism and religious fundamentalism, which together have given rise to a new form of financial and cultural totalitarianism or more broadly a pernicious and unique brand of authoritarianism.
Giroux: Many people in the United States now live in a culture that is not only being increasingly militarized, but also supports a growing indifference to such cruelty, reinforced by a notion of exaggerated self-reliance, rugged individualism and privatization, all of which renders group solidarities repugnant and reinforces the idea that care for the other is both a pathology and a liability. Hence, it should come as no surprise that the United States currently has more police, prisons, spies, weapons and soldiers than at any other time in its history – this coupled with a growing “army” of the unemployed and incarcerated.
Giroux: Notions of democracy increasingly appear to be giving way to the discourse of revenge, domestic security, stupidity and war. The political reality that has emerged since the shattering crisis of 9/11 increasingly points to a set of narrow choices that are being largely set by the jingoistic right-wing extremists, the US Defense Department and conservative-funded foundations, and fueled by the dominant media. War and violence now function as an aphrodisiac for a public inundated with commodities and awash in celebrity culture idiocy.
Giroux: Already imperiled before the aftershocks of the terrorists’ attacks, democracy became even more fragile in the aftermath of 9/11. Almost fourteen years later, the historical rupture produced by the events of 9/11 has transformed a terrorist attack into a war on terror that mimics the very crimes it pledged to eliminate.
Giroux: What has become clear is that the attack on the social state, workers and unions is now being matched by a full-fledged assault on higher education. Such attacks are not happening just in the United States but in many other parts of the globe where casino capitalism is waging a savage battle to eliminate all of those public spheres that might offer a glimmer of opposition to and protection from market-driven policies, institutions, ideology and values.
Susan Giroux: The racial fissures that have split US society migrate globally, translate locally and return with a vengeance. We live, thus, in a moment marked by widespread confusion over the meaning and political significance of race, both within and outside of the academy [i.e., academia].
Giroux: The current historical moment calls for a politics that is transnational in its scope, global in its sense of responsibility and capable of creating new democratic public spheres in which it becomes possible to show private troubles can be connected to larger social issues, and public connections and modes of solidarity can be sustained beyond the private sphere. Only then will the promise and possibility of creating a radical global commons in the service of a radical democracy come into view.
Giroux: The critique of the flight from privacy fails to address how the growth of the surveillance state and its appropriation of all spheres of private life are connected to the rise of the punishing state, the militarization of American society, secret prisons, state-sanctioned torture, a growing culture of violence, the criminalization of social problems, the depoliticization of public memory, and one of the largest prison systems in the world, all of which “are only the most concrete, condensed manifestations of a diffuse security regime in which we are all interned and enlisted.”
The stories that now dominate the European and North American landscape are not about economic reform; instead, they embody what stands for common sense among market and religious fundamentalists in a number of mainstream political parties: shock-and-awe austerity measures; tax cuts that serve the rich and powerful, and destroy government programs that help the disadvantaged, elderly and sick; attacks on women’s reproductive rights; attempts to suppress voter ID laws and rig electoral college votes; full-fledged assaults on the environment; the militarization of everyday life; the destruction of public education, if not critical thought itself; and an ongoing attack on unions, social provisions, and the expansion of Medicaid and meaningful health care reform.
With the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on the CIA’s use of torture, it becomes clear that in the aftermath of the loathsome terrorist attacks of 9/11, the United States entered into a new and barbarous stage in its history, one in which acts of violence and moral depravity were not […]
Right off, it is crucial to make corporate power and its effects visible. And that means not just material relations of power but also the ideologies that legitimate corporate power. This means that it is crucial to recognize that there is no correlation between corporate power and democracy. When corporate power speaks in the name […]
If you want a picture of the future imagine a boot stomping on a human face forever. —George Orwell By Henry A. Giroux Truthout | Op-Ed December 5, 2014 Comments by Giroux posted on his Facebook page: My newest Truthout piece on the connection between the new totalitarianism and the killing of black men and […]
Across the globe, a new historical conjuncture is emerging in which the attacks on higher education as a democratic institution and on dissident public voices in general – whether journalists, whistleblowers or academics – are intensifying with sobering consequences. The attempts to punish prominent academics such as Ward Churchill, Steven Salaita and others are matched by an equally vicious assault on whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond and Edward Snowden, and journalists such as James Risen.
Henry Giroux discusses the increasingly negative impact of neoliberalism across the world, politically, socially, economically and in terms of education, and he offers some suggestions for what we must do now. By Michael Nevradakis Truthout.org | Interview 19 October 2014 (Image: Hand selects, world map via Shutterstock) Michael Nevradakis for Dialogics: Let’s begin with a discussion […]
Those who fight against neoliberalism must not settle for reforming a system that is as broken as it is dangerous. Any viable, transformative struggle will need a boldly democratic vision; durable, longstanding organizations and strategies that make politics meaningful. To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country. —George […]
Surely, fighting “the inhuman” does not justify the indiscriminate killing of Syrian civilians by drones and high-tech fighter jets, among other dastardly crimes? The human and inhuman too often bleed into each other, destroying this wretched, unreflective rhetoric. This is a dangerous binary because it closes down questions of history, politics, power, justice and the […]
(Image: Open Source Way) This excerpt from the chapter titled, “Twelve Theses on Education’s Future in the Age of Neoliberalism and Terrorism,” is taken from the book, Neoliberalism, Education, Terrorism: Contemporary Dialogues, by Jeffrey R. Di Leo, Henry A. Giroux, Kenneth J. Saltman and Sophia A. McClennen and is offered with the kind permission of Paradigm […]
The quest to merely survive is now legitimated through spectacles of violence that misdirect moral and political outrage into entertainment and the abyss of a moral coma.
Instead of responding to crises with the desire to correct a wrong and reimagine a different future, all that appears to be left in American culture is the desire to merely survive in the face of endless representations of state and non-state violence.
“But I want to introduce a caveat. I think it is a mistake to simply focus on the militarization of the police and their racist actions in addressing the killing of Michael Brown. What we are witnessing in this brutal killing and mobilization of state violence is symptomatic of the neoliberal, racist, punishing state emerging […]
In The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disamignation Machine, the newest book published by City Lights, Henry A. Giroux explores the intersections of political power, popular culture, and new methods of social control. By ADMIN CityLights August 12, 2014 Giroux examines how neoliberal discourse (that is economic liberalism, not political liberalism) and the commodification of […]
America descending into madness Published on Aug 13, 2014 Author and scholar Henry Giroux sits down with Piya Chattopadhyay to discuss his new book “The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine.” Giroux argues that the United States’ embrace of a surveillance state and culture of violence have replaced the values of freedom, […]
The apostles of militarism offer jobs to the public that engage in the production of organized violence; they preach war as a cleansing solution, while they sanitize language of any meaning, erasing the suffering, misery, and horror inflicted by their drone missiles, jets, Apache helicopters, and bombs. All that has to be invoked are the […]
That is, there are no dangerous thoughts for the simple reason that thinking itself is such a dangerous enterprise. . . . nonthinking is even more dangerous. —Hannah Arendt Thinking is not the intellectual reproduction of what already exists anyway. As long as it doesn’t break off, thinking has a secure hold on possibility. […]
The current mainstream debate regarding the crisis in Iraq and Syria offers a near perfect example of both the death of historical memory and the collapse of critical thinking in the United States. It also signifies the emergence of a profoundly anti-democratic culture of manufactured ignorance and social indifference. By Henry A. Giroux Truthout.org | News Analysis […]
The economic crisis is not matched by a crisis of ideas and many people have surrendered to a neoliberal ideology that limits their sense of agency by defining them primarily as consumers, subjects them to a pervasive culture of fear, blames them for problems that are not of their doing, and leads them to believe […]
As more and more individuals and groups are now considered excess, consigned to zones of abandonment, surveillance and incarceration, dystopian politics has become mainstream politics and the practice of disposability has intensified. There are alternatives. By Henry A Giroux and Brad Evans, Truthout.org | Op-Ed 01 June 2014 (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout) Also see: Henry A. Giroux | Disposable […]
As Chomsky reminds us, caring about other people is a dangerous idea in America today and signals the transformation of the United States from a struggling democracy to a full-fledged authoritarian state. By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout.org | Op-Ed Monday, 12 May 2014 Noam Chomsky at the University of Toronto. (Photo: Andrew Rusk) Noam Chomsky is a world renowned academic […]
It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have. — James Baldwin Henry A. Giroux truthout.org April 26, 2014 The following is the introduction to Henry Giroux’s new book Neoliberalism’s War on Higher […]
A number of neoliberal societies, including the United States, have become addicted to violence. War provides jobs, profits, political payoffs, research funds, and forms of political and economic power that reach into every aspect of society. As war becomes a mode of sovereignty and rule, it erodes the distinction between war and peace. By Henry A […]
Modeled after a savage neoliberal value system in which wealth and power are redistributed upward, a market-oriented class of managers largely has taken over the governing structures of most institutions of higher education in the United States. by Henry A. Giroux PhilosophersforChange.org March 25, 2014 As universities turn toward corporate management models, they increasingly use […]
In a special interview, Truthout contributor Henry Giroux takes us back to the basics of what can be seen as an ongoing and accelerating war between the rich and everyone else, an event that has resulted in a mass inability “to translate private troubles into larger structural public considerations.” Subscribe or “Follow” us on RiseUpTimes.org. Rise Up Times […]
“The biggest problem facing the US may not be its repressive institutions, modes of governance and the militarization of everyday life, but the interiority of neoliberal nihilism, the hatred of democratic relations and the embrace of a culture of cruelty.” By Henry A Giroux Wednesday, 26 February 2014 Moyers & Company | Op-Ed truthout.org (Photo: Caroline Schiff Photography / […]
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 By Henry A Giroux, Truthout.org | Op-Ed Monday, 10 February 2014 09:15 (Image: Jared Rodriguez […]
We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy. —Chris Hedges By Henry A Giroux Wednesday, 25 September 2013 Truthout.org | Op-Ed What kind of society emerges when it is governed by the market-driven assumption […]
A society consisting of the sum of its vanity and greed is not a society at all but a state of war. — Lewis Lapham By Henry A. Giroux 13 January 2014 Truthout.org | Op-Ed (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout) The Gilded Age is back, with huge profits for the ultrarich, hedge fund managers and the major players in the financial […]
We blame the poor, homeless, unemployed and recent graduates suffocating under financial debt for their plight as if individual responsibility explains the ballooning gap in wealth, income and power and the growing state violence that supports it. Poor people end up in debtor jail for not paying parking tickets or their bills while the corrupt […]
Published on Nov 22, 2013 In his book, Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, author and scholar Henry Giroux connects the dots to prove his theory that our current system is informed by a “machinery of social and civil death” that chills “any vestige of a robust democracy.” Subscribe or “Follow” us […]
HENRY A. GIROUX: THE PLAGUE OF AMERICAN AUTHORITARIANISM Giroux: As David Sirota observes, “Getting cooperation,” means being willing to make seemingly apolitical entertainment products into highly ideological vehicles for pro-war, pro-militarist propaganda.” It gets worse. Sporting events are now infused with the spirit of militarism and can be seen in fighter jets flying over football […]
“The University is a critical institution or it is nothing.” – Stuart Hall By Henry A Giroux Tuesday, 29 October 2013 Truthout | Op-Ed (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout) I want to begin with the words of the late African-American poet, Audre Lourde, who was in her time a formidable writer, educator, feminist, gay rights activist and public intellectual who […]
“For those who have refused to participate in the willful amnesia that marks the contemporary slide into authoritarianism, the totalitarian practices of the past few decades have been quite clear. Domestic spying; secret prisons; kill lists; military aggression; the rise of corporatism; the death-dealing culture of hyper-masculinity, drones and the spectacle of violence; and a […]
What does hope teach us at a time in which government lies and deception are exposed on a daily basis in the media and yet appear to have little effect on challenging the deeply authoritarian attacks on civil liberties initiated by President Obama? By Henry A Giroux Posted on Sep 6, 2013 truthdig.com This piece first appeared […]
Within the existing neoliberal historical conjuncture, there is a merging of violence and governance and the systemic disinvestment in and breakdown of institutions and public spheres that have provided the minimal conditions for democracy. By Henry A. Giroux Monday, 22 July 2013 Truthout | Op-Ed “People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring […]
“In a society where critical analysis and explanation of violent attacks of this nature are dismissed as terrorist sympathizing, there is a stultifying logic that assumes that contextualizing an event is tantamount to justifying it. This crippling impediment to public dialogue may be why the militarized response to the Boston Marathon bombings, infused with the […]
The Politics of Disimagination and the Pathologies of Power “The imaginary of war and violence informs every aspect of American society and extends from the celebration of a warrior culture in mainstream media to the use of universities to educate students in the logic of the national security state.” By Henry A Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis Wednesday, […]
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