Mar 9, 2014
The Scorched-Earth Politics of America’s Four Fundamentalisms
Posted on Mar 7, 2012
By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout
Changing consciousness is not the same as altering the institutional basis of oppression, but at the same time, institutional reform cannot take place without a change in consciousness that recognizes the very need for such reform and the need to reinvent the conditions and practices that would make it possible. In addition, it is crucial to raise questions about the relationship between pedagogy and civic culture. What would it take for individuals and social groups to believe they have a responsibility to address the realities of class, race and gender oppression, and other specific forms of domination? For too long, those on the left have ignored that the issue of politics as a strategy is inextricably connected to the issue of political education and entangled with power, ideologies, values, the acquisition of agency and visions of the future. Fortunately, power is never completely on the side of domination, religious fanaticism or political corruption. Nor is it entirely in the hands of those who view democracy as an excess or burden. Increasingly, more and more individuals and groups at home and around the globe - including students, workers, feminists, educators, writers, environmentalists, senior citizens, artists, and a host of other individuals and movements - are organizing to challenge the dangerous slide on the part of the United States into the morass of an authoritarianism that threatens not just the promise, but the very idea of democracy in the 21st century.
1. Jonathan Turley, “10 Reasons the US Is No Longer the Land of the Free,” Washington Post (January 13, 2012).
2. Glen Greenwald, “Obama’s Illegal Assaults,” In These Times, (08/26/11).
4.Jim Garrison, “Obama’s Most Fateful Decision,” The Huffington Post, (12/12/2011).
5. Jonathan Schell, “Cruel America,” The Nation (September 28, 2011).
6. Erik Hoffner, “Punishing Protest, Policing Dissent: What is the Justice System For?” Common Dreams, (February 11, 2012).
7. Chris McGreal, “The US Schools with Their Own Police,” The Guardian UK (January 9, 2012).
8. Cited in Chris McGreal, “The US Schools with their own police.”
9. Sheldon S. Wolin, “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism,” (Princeton University Press, 2008); Chris Hedges, “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America,” (New York: Free Press, 2008).
10. Henry A. Giroux, “Youth in a Suspect Society: Democracy or Disposability?” (New York: Palgrave, 2010); Sarah Jane Forman, “Countering Criminalization: Toward a Youth Development Approach to School Searches,” The Scholar 14:2 (2011), pp. 302-373.
11. See Henry A. Giroux, “Why Teaching People to Think for Themselves Is Repugnant to Religious Zealots and Rick Santorum,” Truthout (February 22, 2012).
12. Frank Rich, “I Saw Jackie Mason Kissing Santa Claus,” New York Times (December 25, 2005), p.8.
13. Paul Krugman, “Looting the Future,” New York Times (December 5, 2003), p. A27.
14. Robert Kuttner, “The War on America,” The American Prospect 22:8 (2011), p. 3.
15. Frank Rich, “The Year of Living Indecently,” New York Times (February 6, 2005), p. AR1.
16. See Henry A. Giroux, “Education and the Crisis of Public Values,” (New York: Peter Lang, 2012).
17. On the relationship between democracy and iniquitous wealth, see the forthcoming Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, “Dollarocracy: How Billionaires Are Buying Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It,” (New York: Nation Books, 2013).
18. Robert McChesney and John Nichols, “Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media,” (New York: Seven Stories, 2002), pp. 52-53.
19. Andrew J. Bacevich, “The New American Militarism,” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), p.1. See also the more recent Andrew J. Bacevich (ed.), “The Short American Century: A Postmortem,” (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012).
20. Tony Judt, “The New World Order,” New York Review of Books LII:12 (July 14, 2005), p.16.
21. Tony Judt, “The New World Order,” New York Review of Books LII:12 (July 14, 2005), p. 6. See Cornel West, “Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism,” (New York: Penguin, 2004).
22. David Price, “Weaponizing Anthropology” (Petrolia, CA: AK Books, 2011).
23. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, “Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire,” (New York: Penguin, 2004), pp. 12-13.
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