henry a giroux
Henry Giroux (born September 18, 1943), is an American cultural critic. One of the founding theorists of critical pedagogy in the United States, he is best known for his pioneering work in public pedagogy, cultural studies, youth studies, higher education, media studies, and critical theory.
18:50 min in – i find this one of the most difficult/poisonous/dangerous modes of what we might call the new illiteracy.. to condemn people to a mode of thinking in which it becomes impossible for them to do anything but to blame themselves for the situations in which they find themselves. the language of politics become the language of character
zones of abandonment now proliferate, punishment creep work their ways from the prisons to the halls of public schools
book links to amazon
Maybe it is time to reclaim the spirit of a diverse and powerful social movement willing to organize, speak out, educate, and fight for the promise of a democracy that would do justice to the dreams of a generation of young people waiting for adults to prove the courage of their democratic convictions.
forgetting has become an active rather than passive process; what the philosopher Slavoj Žižek calls a kind of “fetishist disavowal: ‘I know, but I don’t want to know that I know, so I don’t know’”
The logic of disposability and mean-spirited cruelty that now come out of the mouths of zombie-like politicians are more fitting for the authoritarian regimes that emerged in Russia and Germany in the 1930s rather than for any society that calls itself a democracy.
As poverty reaches record levels, the number of children in poverty has risen to 15.5 million, and there is barely a peep of outrage heard from either politicians and intellectuals or the general public.How might the testimony to which I bear witness help me not only to interrogate my own shifting location as a critical educator, but also provide an important narrative and locus for identification through which others can begin to understand the complexity and significance of the different conditions that have shaped our individual and collective histories?
The ideas of the public good, the notion of connecting learning to social change, the idea of civic courage being infused by social justice, have been lost in an age of rabid consumerism, media-induced spectacles, and short-term, high-yield financial investments.I have been asked many times since this incident whether I would have continued the critical writing that has marked my career if I had known that I was going to be fired because of the ideological orientation of my work. Needless to say, for me, it is better to live standing up than on one’s knees. Sadly, my story of being denied tenure at Boston University—at the time an aberration from the norm—is now becoming an all-too-familiar tale. Today, academics have become another group suffering from the threat of exclusion and disposability as their autonomy is increasingly questioned and constrained..Losing my sister to an orphanage, I experienced for the first time what it meant to be homeless in my own home.I saw a lot in that neighborhood, and I couldn’t seem to learn enough to make sense of it or escape its pull.
politics—we need along with young people to build those spaces, social relations, and institutions that give meaning to both the promise of democracy and a future in which young people matter.
We need to liberate the discourse and spaces of freedom from the plague of consumer narcissism and casino capitalism. We need to engage the struggle to restore and build those public spaces where democratic ideals, visions, and social relations can be nurtured and developed as part of a genuinely meaningful education and politics.
The widening gap between the rich and the poor has to be addressed if young people are to have a viable future. And that requires pervasive structural reforms that constitute a real shift in power and politics away from a market-driven system that views too many children as disposable.
sounds like Tavis’ education under arrest
after finishing disposable youth – and hearing both Henry and Ethan call for a new vocabulary/verbiage. then reading this http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/opinion/brooks-the-empirical-kids.html?_r=0
about the irony perhaps.. the last line: And, yes, I gave her an A.
1 – the “and yes” feeds the assumption we should be asking about a grade
2 – giving a grade feeds the mentality of proof. as if we could.
interview nov 2013:
the biggest lie of all is that capitalism is democracy
i have in mind a society in which the wealth is shared… but more than anything else… social freedom – freedom from want – getting ahead cannot be the only motivation…learn how to govern and not just be governed…
wow – here’s a space – debate teams
the violence of organized forgetting
oct 2014 interview w/truthout:
What is at stake here is the notion that thinking is dangerous.
.. create the formative culture globally that allows people to understand that their interests are being trampled on, that they live in a political system that has been constructed by human beings and can be overturned by human beings, but also, a political, economic, and social system that has nothing to do with their needs, that basically exploits their needs, then people will not be moved to think critically and act collectively.
Henry posted this on fb nov 5 2014:
The right-wing Republican sweep testifies to a massive memory and educational deficit among the American public and a failure among progressives and the left regarding how to think politics outside of the established boundaries of liberal reform. The educative nature of politics has never been more crucial than it is now and testifies to the need for a new politics in which culture and education are as important as economics in shaping individual and social agency. The cultural apparatuses owned by the financial elite are largely responsible for the political and social darkness that surrounds us. We are witnessing a new moment in history in the symbiosis among cultural institutions, power, and everyday life and this suggests taking seriously how identities, desires, and modes of agency are produced, struggled over, and taken up. The left and other progressives need to rethink Pierre Bourdieu’s insistence that the left “has underestimated the symbolic and pedagogical dimensions of struggle and have not always forged appropriate weapons to fight on this front.” Couple that understanding with a more comprehensive vision of change and the need for broad-based social movements and it may become possible once again to develop new opportunities for a new political language, forms of collective struggle, and a politics for radical change rather than cravenly center-right reforms.
The right-wing Republican sweep testifies to a massive memory and educational deficit among the American public…http://t.co/JqJZFRcelj
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/HenryGiroux/status/530031532657111040
ideological fundamentalism is dangerous, but even more so when it appears in universities, especially among the left pic.twitter.com/j3F6b1l7yg
Higher Education and the Promise of Insurgent Public Memory
As difficult as it may seem to believe, John Dewey’s insistence that “democracy needs to be reborn in each generation, and education is its midwife” was once taken seriously by many academic leaders.
.. at the present moment more than 50 percent of faculty are adjuncts barely able to pay their rents, conduct research and exercise any influence over the increasing corporatization and militarization of higher education.
Memory is no longer insurgent; that is, it has been erased as a critical educational and political optic for moral witnessing, testimony and civic courage. On the contrary, it is either being cleansed or erased by the new apologists for the status quo who urge people to love the United States, ..The current call to cleanse history in the name of a false patriotism that celebrates a new illiteracy as a way of loving the United States is a discourse of anti-memory, a willful attempt at forgetting the past in the manufactured fog of historical amnesia.
Instead, as part of the post-9/11 military-industrial-academic complex, higher education increasingly conjoins military interests and market values, identities and social relations while the role of the university as a public good, a site of critical dialogue and a place that calls students to think, question, learn how to take risks, and act with compassion and conviction is dismissed as impractical or subversive.
Within this democratic tradition, education was not confused with training;
Conant, a former president of Harvard University, argued that higher education should create a class of “American radicals,” who could fight for equality, favor public education, elevate human needs over property rights and challenge “groups which have attained too much power.”
april 2015 – domestic terrorism
Beyond exposing the moral depravity of a society that fails to provide for its youth,..
..the symbolic and real violence waged against many young people suggests nothing less than a perverse collective death wish – especially visible when youth protest their conditions.
The idea of the soft war considers the changing conditions of youth within the relentless expansion of a global market society. Partnered with a massive advertising machinery, the soft war targets all children and youth, devaluing them by treating them as yet another “market” to be commodified and exploited, and conscripting them into the system through relentless attempts to create a new generation of hyper-consumers.
Commercially carpet-bombed by an advertising industry that in the United States spent $170 billion in 2012, the typical child is exposed to about 40,000 ads a year and by the time they reach the fourth grade have memorized 300 to 400 brands.
The hard war refers to the harshest elements of a growing youth crime-control complex that operates through a logic of punishment, surveillance and control. The young people targeted by its punitive measures are often poor youth of color who are considered failed consumers and who can only afford to live on the margins of a commercial culture that excludes anybody without money, resources and leisure time to spare. Or they are youth considered uneducable and unemployable, and therefore troublesome.
How else do we explain the fact that in the United States today 500,000 young people are incarcerated and 2.5 million are arrested annually, and that by the age of 23, “almost a third of Americans have been arrested for a crime”? What kind of society allows 1.6 million children to be homeless at any given time in a year?
Nearly half of all US children and 90 percent of Black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood. What are we to make of a society in which there were more young people killed on the streets of Chicago since 2001 than were US soldiers killed in Afghanistan? To be more exact, 5,000 people were killed by gunfire in Chicago, many of them children, while 2,000 troops were killed between 2001 and 2012.
Young people need to enlist all generations to develop a truly global political movement that is accompanied by the reclaiming of public spaces, the progressive use of digital technologies, the development of new public spheres, the production of new modes of education and the safeguarding of places where democratic expression, new civic values, democratic public spheres, new modes of identification and collective hope can be nurtured and developed.
..we have few choices if we are going to struggle for a future that does a great deal more than endlessly repeat the present. We may live in dark times, but as Slavoj Žižek rightly insists, “The only realist option is to do what appears impossible within this system. This is how the impossible becomes possible.”
april 2015 – disposable youth – audio interview
75% tuition hike
the violence of organized forgetting.. (not available for recommend via overdrive/library – kindle 9 bucks, 2014)
guy standing – youth as the precariat
4 min – soft war on youth – kids are a market that are easily controllable.. lead kids to believe that only job they have as citizens is to consume.. ie: disney wanting to get kids in the womb… by 4th grade can recognize 400 brand names
9 min – hard war – crime control complex.. bad consumers/uneducable.. so constant surveillance..punishment.. school to prison pipeline..
11 min – blow away stats
14 min – school to prison pipeline.. punishment creep – zero tolerance policies .. u.s. only country to not sign to be unlawful youth life term w/o parole
16 min – oh my. 200 stun guns.. 5 die… ohio – judge sentence over 1000 kids…. et al.. 1995-2015 – and only now
17 min – a dead zone of the imagination… a site of terminal exclusion
34 min – if you can’t even describe the nature of your labor..
39 min – not a short term project of reform.. reclaiming spaces..
41 min – critique and possibility – one w/o the other is hopeless… bringing groups together instead of separating them off in isolated issues..
deep enough ness
43 min – servitude begging into a survivalist mode… comparing ed with war money – it’s not as if the money isn’t there..
so while acknowledging that.. let’s go deeper.. make money irrelevant.. no? ie: model everyday life.. w/o it.
45 min – do what appears impossible – how the impossible becomes possible
49 min – i’m a radical in that i believe you need to go to the root of a problem.. yes.. i’m a revolutionary in that i will do what i need to do.. but not a revolutionary via violence
may 2015: spectacle of postracial violence
Since the early 1990s, an entrenched militarism and “culture of war” (16) has seeped into civil society as the US Department of Defense, under a program known as 1033, provided “tens of thousands of pieces of military equipment to local police departments for free.” (17) Weapons no longer used on foreign battlefields found their way into police precincts across the United States and included “machine guns, magazines, night vision equipment, aircraft and armored vehicles.” (18) Overall, it has been estimated that the Defense Department program has provided more than $4.3 billion in free military supplies to local police.
The institutions of higher education are stripped of democratic values and turned into training centers for the financial elite. Young peaceful protesters are beaten and arrested for holding power accountable.
Since the 1980s, the war on poverty has been transformed into a war on the poor.
This is the face of domestic terrorism, one that far exceeds the violence enacted by police brutality, as shocking as that is in an allegedly postracial era.
To reiterate a central argument of this paper, reforming police policies and practices, however, meaningful and well-intentioned, will not bring about justice if larger structural conditions continue to go unchanged or worsen. Under a racist, militarized neoliberal state, the police embrace violence as central to their mission because the only interests they now protect are those of the corporate and financial elite.
All of these reforms, including the call to end mass unemployment and the failed war on drugs, should be addressed. (62) But they should be viewed only as necessary short-term corrections in the service of struggling for those deeper structural and political changes that would reject the existing form of neoliberal capitalism and the political, social, economic and ideological structures through which it is reproduced. What is needed is not liberal reform but the transformation of a political and economic system that is not merely broken but has developed into a bold authoritarianism.
Providing one argument, Peter Bloom argues that focusing on isolated incidents such as police violence often functions to prevent “radical challenges to the existing order.” (63) Condemning state and corporate violence is not enough and can serve to reproduce a larger ideology of containment.
Poor youth in the United States live in the belly of a predatory system that has been depriving them of economic and cultural resources while criminalizing their behavior for quite some time. These youth are the objects of a low-intensity war waged by a rapidly consolidating authoritarian state. Rather than being nurtured, even respected, by the commanding institutions they come in contact with every day, they are humiliated, harassed and often brutalized and imprisoned.
If young people are protesting, sometimes violently, it is not because they are “thugs” and “looters” as conservatives label them, but because they are too frequently treated as potential criminals
Hannah Arendt. He writes: “Power, which she distinguishes from strength, force, authority, and violence, arises and grows spontaneously through participation of citizens. Power is not to be understood in a vertical fashion, where power means control or domination over some individual or group. It is a horizontal concept – power springs up when individuals act together.”
“time to go for broke.
Paulo Freire, reviving the radical imagination and destroying capitalist systems http://t.co/kXjIqE9avZ
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/HenryGiroux/status/611669344314093568
there is something else..
from Pedagogy of the Precariat by PETAR JANDRIC and HENRY A. GIROUX
on border crossing
Whereas for me, the real question is: What kinds of borders need to be erased and collapsed so that we can start arguing about the ways digital technology works to improve the human condition?
the only way that the Internet is going to work for you is in alternative public spheres. It is not going to work in dominant public spheres, because they will not let you in. Or if they let you in, they will limit what you can do.
When you live in a culture which tells you that the only thing that matters is the ‘survival of the fittest’ ethic, that social Darwinism is the way that we should deal with each other, and that social combat is more important than social solidarity, you will find that technologies are open to an enormous abuse.
PJ: In an interview with Victoria Harper about your recent book The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine (2012), you said: “We live in a historical moment when memory, if not critical thought itself, is either under attack or is being devalued and undermined by a number of forces in American society” (Harper, 2014). However, the Internet has brought the direct opposite of forgetting – the hive mind remembers so many things, and in such detail, that it becomes harder and harder to escape own history. Obviously, organised forgetting works on much subtler levels than mere access to information – as you say, it is about depolitization, and lack of critical thinking, and even pure ignorance.
how do we move away from the surface? And the other question is: In what ways do digital technologies hold the promise of reclaiming public memory? Digital technologies carry the inherent promise of reclaiming public memory. They develop archives, they offer huge amounts of knowledge, and they control access… But the real question here is that public memory is not just simply, about making information available but what kind of information matters and makes a difference in people’s lives for the better. The question is: What are the larger political conditions that would take public memory seriously in the first place and hence shape digital technologies in ways in which they can contribute to that expanding the possibilities for a global democracy?
You can resolve certain aspects of these issues in terms of short-term projects. For instance, we can reduce carbon output in Chicago – which is helpful. But the fact of the matter is that sustainable long-term solutions really need a politics that is both global, and a politics that is international.
I think the question of social democracy is dead. And I will tell you why. It is dead because social democracy argues for social provisions. As opposed to social democracy, radical democracy argues for redistribution of wealth, which is much more radical and much more necessary.
Critical pedagogy is now seen as dangerous in its ability to create critically engaged citizens and its willingness to hold power accountable.
Critical pedagogy is now seen as dangerous in its ability to create critically engaged citizens and its willingness to hold power accountable. It gets worse. We have infinite tolerance for bankers and financial elites, and we have zero tolerance for teachers, whistle-blowers, and anyone else willing to stand up, take a risk, and challenge the crisis of authority that we find ourselves in. ….Pedagogically, the question is: Why are we supporting an educational system that is based on oppression? …Your generation needs to pay close attention to how oppression works not just structurally but also through the realm of ideas, knowledge, that is, intellectually.
Second, we need to revive radical imagination. We need both the language of critique and the language of hope as a way to reimagine the promise of a radical democracy and the myriad conditions necessary to support it. . We need to allow people to realize that capitalism is not all there is. That there is something else. That one cannot act otherwise, unless one can think otherwise. If we want to talk about Paulo Freire, let us be honest. Paulo was the guy who did not believe in reform. He believed in radical change! Paulo was not about reforming capitalist systems. He was about destroying them! He was about getting rid of them! Paulo talked about systems that worked because they are not built on massive amounts of inequity, inequality, wealth, and power. He understood that.
One thing we can learn, for sure, is that the degree to which various technologies were taken over by the concentration of wealth is also the degree to which these technologies are abused and serve very narrow individual, political, and financial interests….. So it seems that studies of information and communication technologies really can learn from the question: How do we insert the notion of democracy into their language?
I cannot imagine not imagining different futures. I cannot imagine that people cannot rise up, even in the mist of the worst forms of domination.
I believe in human ability to imagine a different future and to form future conditions through various forms of collective and political struggle. I believe that the contradictions have become so great, that resistance is not simply a possibility, one choice among man – it is hard wired into what it means to recognize that human beings are unfinished and that history does not simply repeat itself.
Honored to have written the foreword for Chomsky’s newest book Because we Say So.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/HenryGiroux/status/638083737784348673
Politics has become an extension of war, just as systemic economic uncertainty and state-sponsored violence increasingly find legitimation in the discourses of privatization and demonization, which promote anxiety, moral panics and fear, and undermine any sense of communal responsibility for the well-being of others. Too many people today learn quickly that their fate is solely a matter of individual responsibility, irrespective of wider structural forces.
This is a much promoted hypercompetitive ideology with a message that surviving in a society demands reducing social relations to forms of social combat. People today are expected to inhabit a set of relations in which the only obligation is to live for one’s own self-interest and to reduce the responsibilities of citizenship to the demands of a consumer culture.[..]One consequence is a society stripped of its inspiring and energizing public spheres and the “thick mesh of mutual obligations and social responsibilities to be found in” any viable democracy. (5) This grim reality marks a failure in the power of the civic imagination, political will and open democracy. (6) It is also part of a politics that strips the social of any democratic ideals and undermines any understanding of higher education as a public good and pedagogy as an empowering practice, a practice that acts directly upon the conditions that bear down on our lives in order to change them when neces
[..]There is a need to use education to mobilize students to be critically engaged agents, attentive to addressing important social issues and being alert to the responsibility of deepening and expanding the meaning and practices of a vibrant democracy. At the heart of such a challenge is the question of what education should accomplish in a democracy. What work do educators have to do to create the economic, political and ethical conditions necessary to endow young people with the capacities to think, question, doubt, imagine the unimaginable and defend education as essential for inspiring and energizing the people necessary for the existence of a robust democracy? In a world in which there is an increasing abandonment of egalitarian and democratic impulses, what will it take to educate young people to challenge authority and in the words of James Baldwin “rob history of its tyrannical power, and illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.
What role might education and critical pedagogy have in a society in which the social has been individualized, emotional life collapses into the therapeutic and education is relegated to either a private affair or a kind of algorithmic mode of regulation in which everything is reduced to a desired measurable economic outcome.
[..]Central to any viable notion of what makes pedagogy critical is, in part, the recognition that pedagogy is always a deliberate attempt on the part of educators to influence how and what knowledge and subjectivities are produced within particular sets of social relations.[..]Pedagogy is always about power because it cannot be separated from how subjectivities are formed, desires are mobilized, some experiences are legitimated and others are not or how some knowledge is considered acceptable while other forms are excluded from the curriculum.[..]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. But such dreams are never neutral; they are always someone’s dreams and to the degree that they are implicated in organizing the future for others they always have a moral and political dimension.
[..]In this instance, critical pedagogy emphasizes critical reflection, bridging the gap between learning and everyday life, understanding the connection between power and difficult knowledge, and extending democratic rights and identities by using the resources of history and theory.
However, among many educators and social theorists, there is a widespread refusal to recognize that education does not only take place in schools, but also through what can be called the educative nature of the culture.
[..]1\The Responsibility of Teachers as Public Intellectuals
2\Critical Pedagogy as a Project of Insurrectional DemocracyIn opposition to dominant views of education and pedagogy, I want to argue for a notion of pedagogy as a practice of freedom – rooted in a broader project of a resurgent and insurrectional democracy – one that relentlessly questions the kinds of labor, practices and forms of production that are enacted in public and higher education
[..]Such a project suggests recasting pedagogy as a practice that is indeterminate, open to constant revision and constantly in dialogue with its own assumptions.
[..]The notion of a neutral, objective education is an oxymoron. Education and pedagogy do not exist outside of relations of power, values and politics.[..]3\Critical Pedagogy and the Promise of a Democracy to Come
4\Making Pedagogy Meaningful in Order to Make It Critical and Transformative[..]They not only fill their worlds with commodities, but have become working commodities. Clearly, such experiences must be critically engaged and understood within a range of broader forces that subject students to a narrow range of values, identities and social relations. Such experiences should be both questioned and unlearned, where possible.
conclusion[..]Children and young adults are under siege in both public and higher education because far too many of these institutions have become breeding grounds for commercialism, segregation by class and race, social intolerance, sexism, homophobia, consumerism, surveillance and the increased presence of the police, all of which is spurred on by the right-wing discourse of pundits, politicians, educators and a supine mainstream media.[..]invigorating and fortifying a new era of civic imagination
Where is the Outrage? Critical Pedagogy in Dark Times
Paulo Freire award – toward beyond positions of getting jobs..
need to look at larger structures that shape ed
never been a greater time for academics as public defenders..
9 min – market mentalities eroding society – a failed sociolality… a failure of the power of the civic imagination..
10 min – ed has to be seen as more than a credential or path to a job..
12 min – Baldwin ness… to make the world a more human dwelling place..
13 min – lost here is… care for the other..
16 min – thinking becomes dangerous along with the places that encourage that thinking
19 min – on pedagogy as not a method..
20 min – all of a sudden the dis imagination machine kicks in… parts of history, inferior forms of knowledge/et al… disappeared
26 min – no politics w/o a pedagogy of identification
28 min – on academics not knowing how to dance.. or get angry…
30 min – convos on fire.. competition didn’t exist..
31 min – pedagogy is nothing other than outgrowth of struggles…
33 min – something we’ve never seen before – a whole generation seen as disposable.. 0 jobs et al.. power (global) and politics (local) have been separated.. we don’t have a script for this.
37 min – now hiring temp services to hire temp teachers..
38 min – Chomsky – this is about increasing academic labor and academic servitude – take back higher ed
41 min – why does the uni now look like a mall.. selling books, giving talks.. where are the conversations..
ed as public good
42 min – we need a revolution in radical imagination.. Stanley Aronowitz – in which imagination is linked in reclaiming those spheres to provide a way of thinking about future that doesn’t mimick the present
46 min – don’t get trapped in single issues… need more comprehensive politics.. links in ways to mobilize..
we need to imagine not just reforming a society that’s broken but eliminating it..
48 min – q: on financial literacy – a: can’t get away in american not talking about financial literacy…but individualized.. you can: 1\ address as ideology 2\ address policies that legitimate it
3\ talk about alternatives taken that deal w/structural issues that would make question of financial literacy irrelevant as we know it
radical econ et al
53 min – my students can’t imagine basic income.. can’t imagine countries do this… because they operate you can’t have political/personal rights w/o social rights… (yet – ie: argentina, black panthers in 60s – social needs.. free breakfast programs et al, counter veil, chile, ..)
54 min – begs another questions – what kind of org’s need to be created that offer alt public spheres that begin model societies we want to see on a global level...
1:04 – the script has to be flipped.. unveils possibility to define your own agency
1:05 – we have to find ways to make connections with people in power who have a sense of civic ness
1:07 – when we think political moralism has a virtue.. and actually only trades off shame – how do you both invite people in with power and hope in the end they don’t have it any more
nov 2015 – hope in time of permanent war
More corrosive than authoritarianism is a loss of faith in the possibilities and promise of collective struggle for an open society, the promise of a radical democracy, and a society that is never just enough.
State violence against any display of moral courage and dissent by artists, intellectuals, journalists, and ordinary citizens has become normalized and has sent a chilling effect throughout a society in which all worldly criticism is equated with treason, anti-Americanism, or worse.
The American public yawns as they are inundated with statistics that should shock, and are complacent in the face of information that should make them ashamed.
The formative cultures, institutions, and modes of critical agency necessary for a vibrant democracy do not exist in a culture in which knowledge is fragmented, power concentrated in few hands, and time is reduced to a deprivation for large segments of the public—one consequence of which is the endless struggle by many Americans to simply try to survive at the level of everyday life.
There is no democracy in a country in which for most people time is a deprivation rather than a luxury. Time is crippled when it is trapped within an endless need to fight to merely survive in order to have enough to eat, have access to decent health care, day care, and a social wage. The struggle over time is inextricably linked to a struggle over space, institutions, public spheres, the public good, power, the future, and the nature of politics itself.
As Zygmunt Bauman has argued, “hope nowadays feels frail, vulnerable, and fissiparous precisely because we can’t locate a viable and sufficiently potent agency that can be relied on to make the words flesh.”
The fight over the cultural apparatus may be the most significant struggle that can be waged in the name of hope for a better and more just future.
Bloch believes that hope cannot be removed from the world and is not something like nonsense or absolute fancy; rather it is not yet in the sense of a possibility; that it could be there if we could only do something for it.
But for such a notion of hope to be consequential it has to be grounded in a pedagogical project that has some hold on the present.
wondering about huge emphasis on pedagogy.. unless we are brave enough to let that teaching ness be via self-talk.. reclaiming a more natural feedback loop.. trusting us.. ie: not so much something we have to teach.. as something we have to not teach in the first place.. under 5’s are good to go.. over 5s probably need detox..
Hope turns radical when its exposes the acts of aggression against injustices perpetuated by a militarized state that can only dream of war.
and perhaps even more radical.. when we decide to live a nother way.. ignoring state et al.. making state et al irrelevant.
jan 2016 – audio interview on book – america’s addiction to terrorism:
2 min – terrorism not just people attacking civilians.. also ways political parties use concept of fear toward their own interests..
3 min – punishment creep – fear becomes a legitization.. violence touches every aspect of american life… response to almost every dilemma
5 min – reveals death of democracy..where people would think critically.. now have ignorance coupled with fear that i call manufactured insecurity…
incapable of holding power accountable..
7 min – on ed system.. when choices are so limited in a culture that so celebrates violence.. as entertainment/sport/policy… when that prominent and we reduce tools for engaging otherwise… ed is not just about schooling.. it’s center of politics itself.. and the degree to which those are financed by elite.. grounded in militarism..
9 min – ed on producing identity rather than just knowledge..
doesn’t education – as we know it now – as a teaching thing – counter that..?
16 min – on radical individualism.. not a problem with society but with character…
18 min – the script was.. they blamed themselves.. they blamed others.. the degree to which people buy into this market logic… presupposed every problem they face is individual… coupled with violence/fear.. and you’ve got a very toxic mix
26 min – the notion that if you work hard you will inherit the earth is nonsense.. the real issue is.. how is power used.. how can people collectively come together.. .. given that logic… how do 400 people have half the wealth in the world.. often the reverse is true.. nothing to do with hard work.. everything to do with consolidation of class power..
29 min – not about pointing finger at certain people.. but what kind of systemic conditions in a country that produce these people.. why is it that sociopaths get rewarded.. ie: debates..
31 min – can’t talk about choice w/o talking about constraints.. ie: ivy league kids compared to others.. inequality produces great inequity around constraints of choice..
34 min – we have to rethink politics itself.. ie: global rather than nation states..
35 min – media doesn’t cause violence.. it legitimates it..
39 min – after 9 11 we subverted our ideals..
My interview with Chuck Mertz on tipping point of authoritarianism in the U.S.: truth-out.org…/37506-what-is-the-tipping-point-…
When you can’t translate private troubles into larger public issues, you have no way of understanding the forces of oppression in which you find yourself
notes/quotes from audio
2 min – authoritarianism provides easy answers… presents anger in misrepresented way.. becomes easy to id problems but not underlying causes.. so you get ie: immigrants are causing problems.. passion overtakes reason.. isolation produces a pathology against community.. a disdain for common good
4 min – an enormous appeal emerges.. which glorify national greatness.. mass followings… intellectual ness… suggest that violence only way to address problems that we have and only one man can do that..
5 min – not just the violence.. but the violence that becomes normalized..
extremist logic.. that govt is always on side of demonization/oppression.. that a revolution can go either way.. only way to deal w/govt is to overthrow it.. what you see in that kind of logic is a celebration of freedom.. individualization becomes only weapon you can rely on.. fascism needs enemies
7 min – spirit of rugged individualism.. ie: taxes.. govt will always undermine question of freedom.. which is basically about self-interest.. hating others..
8 min – democracy becomes confusing.. seems to suggest.. you have to exhibit a compassion for other.. over emphasis on self-interest doesn’t allow for democracy to function.. in u.s. so focused on agency et al.. so pathology toward any community..
9 min – in authoritarian society.. not what can we do for others.. the issue is.. how to live in sink or swim econ and survive.. little to do with democracy..
people have been left out.. disposability now encompasses so many groups.. difficult to imagine who the enemy is.. so get confused expression of anger.. around govt, immigrants, democracy
10 min – this is not simply about trump as authoritarian.. this is about whether want to live in a democracy or not..
people are saying.. democracy doesn’t work.. can’t trust people.. we’ve heard this before… people are stupid.. we need smart people.. that’s the logic of elites.. (ie: david brooks)
on other side.. anti intellectual.. saying.. that’s right.. democracy doesn’t work.. we need to protect white people..
12 min – chuck: for handicaps.. or veterans..
13 min – when culture of war/militarism begins to engulf entire society.. and highest honor around soldiers.. only masculinity that is worthwhile is wedded to violence.. when those models replace civic virtues: compassion, helping others, … civil society only for violence.. that’s the logic of extermination.. end point of that logic is prison/concentration camp..
think about what’s happened to public schools, public services… people being punished/criminalized.. ie: tank on ohio state..
when language is transformed/militarized like this.. result is a massive degree of justified violence..
16 min – i accept general premise.. he (trump) truly dangerous.. reps symbol of extreme violence.. she reps system of long term normalized violence… a vote for her is a vote against authoritarianism.. but we have to make that more complicated… we’re voting long term vs short term strategies..
18 min – need to restructure.. not reform the system.. there is a momentum for a revolution.. much more encompassing that what bernie talks about..
19 min – on reaching a level of intolerable violence..
i’m with chomsky on this… this is a pragmatic/moral decision
20 min – i certainly wouldn’t call u.s. a democracy.. but i think we need to recognize.. soft/hard forms of authoritarianism.. hard: resorts to overt repression… soft: uses commodification/privatisation.. leading people to believe they can be driven by fear.. responsible for places they find self in.. or minorities are
22 min – at some point.. question has to be raised.. where is the tipping point.. where no longer org’d by ideology.. but by repression of state
first have to recognize.. authoritarianism emerges in diff forms/times.. we’re now seeing it wrapped in the flag.. elements have been coded over for a long time.. by .. language.. ie: constantly told problems are about character.. rather than larger issues..
23 min – paul krugman – yesterday – responding to trump that we live in hell.. he said we don’t live in hell.. just look at stats.. and i’m thinking.. is this guy tripping out.. does he not recognize the great ineq’s that are going on..
25 min – this romanticized notion of u.s. making it difficult to see these ineq’s.. but with rise of sm.. seeing something diff
when you talk about guns in u.s. .. not just talking about who has them.. but about people who make millions off them..
26 min – violence becomes ultimate measure of how to solve problems.. talking about more than violence limited to police.. rather a war culture that legitimizes/normalizes violence…
27 min – chuck: on connection of hollywood and govt.. on militarianism.. why tone it down .. how much does propaganda determine our foreign policy
28 min – when you water down language.. you water down own complicity.. we find a way to use language to make invisible the complicity.. when language becomes nullified it creates a moral coma…
29 min – most important problems of society.. rabid individualism.. work against all forms of solidarity.. produce competitive attitudes.. lead people into blaming selves.. into discourse susceptible to questions of hates/bigotry..
30 min – When you can’t translate private troubles into larger public issues, you have no way of understanding the forces of oppression in which you find yourself…
to eliminate all questions against structural/socially.. should not look for larger/systemic issues.. that’s a form of organized powerlessness that’s really at the heart of the strength of the neoliberal world view..
My interview on theorizing a new radicalism, new media, and youth canadiandimension.com…/theorizing-a-new-radicalism…
the way in which we begin to govern through crime. The prison becomes the model for a whole range of other institutions in which people are seen as suspects, their behaviour is criminalized, and we deal with social problems primarily through the medium of state violence. You see it in schools, you see it in municipal governments extorting money from the poor to basically pay for their retirements and cover the expenses incurred by the court system, and you see it, of course, in the paramilitarization of the police. So the punishing state really is the way in which various aspects of society are being militarized, especially with respect to young people, and especially poor minorities.
The real issue here is we need some time to begin to develop alternative institutions and move away from single-issue movements. We need to bring them together so people have more power with which they can make a difference in how society is understood. We don’t need reform. We really need dismantlement.
one of the ways in which that struggle is being waged is by doing everything you can to kill the imagination of students. It’s being done in four way: one is by defining them as consumers. Secondly it’s spying on them which means they’re constantly living in a culture of fear. Thirdly, they’re increasingly burdened by debt. And four, they increasingly find themselves in neoliberal institutions that are more about metrics than learning. They’re governed by an instrumentalism where all the players that matter are redefined in market terms. Students are clients. Faculty are adjuncts or clients. Research that matters has to somehow translate into business culture. All of these things add up to a real war on education. It wipes out. as much as possible, any possibility for critical thought and public intellectual thought. Higher education should be free. It’s not an entitlement it’s a right.
Too often intellectuals don’t speak in terms that suggest they’re addressing real social problems, or in terms that people can even understand. They hide behind a firewall of jargon.
young people are so savvy about this technology, that all it takes is linking that technology to a different set of values…..I think young people get a bad rap about technology. I’ve never been more inspired in my life than I am right now by the faith of young people.
My interview on the social and public imagination: robhopkins.net/2017/04/19/hen…
I think we are witnessing all over the world, in many places anyways, an attack on the public imagination.
imagine 1 yr to be 5 again
That is an imagination capable of understanding why the public good matters. Why the question of a commons matters.
imagine 1 yr to try commons ness
This notion of Universal Basic Income is absolutely essential.
imagine it only as a temp placebo.. otherwise.. we circle back around
I would put an enormous emphasis on the importance of education and lifelong learning, and provide the conditions for that to happen.
What we really need to talk about are the public spaces that bring people together that allow that imagination to blossom, because it doesn’t happen alone.
Brad Evans (@HistofViolence) tweeted at 0:49 AM on Fri, Mar 01, 2019:
Why must we accept the notion that politics is about friends & enemies? Can’t it be about a love and respect for mutual difference? And not based on enmity? Just a thought…. https://t.co/xWMLmBsYDZ
See below Russell Brand interviewing me and my dear friend Brad Evans.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/HenryGiroux/status/1101920655396823041
17 min – being homeless/poor is a crime.. not having enough food is a crime.. or an assault on one’s character.. you have people suffering w troubles.. they have no language to situate those troubles in ways that they can understand them systemically.. because i’m poor doesn’t mean i’m stupid.. i’m poor because there is a redistribution network at work in capitalism that makes people poor..t.. it’s designed to make people poor.. it prides itself on a culture of cruelty
russell asking if we offer alt’s rather than nostalgia
24 min – two things: 1\ power should always be made visible.. so people have to wake up and get some sense of what’s going on 2\ not go back to centrism/nation-state.. we have to begin to understand ‘democracies in exile’.. how do you imagine a future in which capitalism and democracy are not seen as synonymous ..
25 min – let’s make sure we define all forms of dependency as a weakness.. that’s the cruelty..
27 min – r: do you think the machinery of democracy will ever allow those kinds of convos .. to dismantle the architecture on which they’re dependent.. how bold are we willing to be..t
you can’t act otherwise unless you can think otherwise.. and it seems to me to think the impossible is the first step toward imagining a democracy that is never at its end.. it always have to be fought for..t
imagine deeper.. never at its end.. and doesn’t have to be fought for ie: cure ios city
28 min – the degree to which we can inject a sense of possibility in which the future doesn’t mimic the present.. is the beginning.. not the end.. the beginning.. you have to break the notion that there is no alternative..t
so talking about 3 things 1\ need for new language 2\ need to theorize politics differently 3\ producing institutions that make it possible..t
31 min – b: fascism thrives when people are passive..t
b: fascism also thrives on people’s outrage.. so how do we think of politics beyond the passive/aggressive.. what does a politics look like that confronts fascism.. all these claims that we have to confront fascism w violence are so self defeating.. t .. leads us to quagmire in which breads more fascism.. that’s the real danger
h: that’s exactly what the state wants.. the state legitimizes violence in a way that allows the punishing state to grow/grow/grow.. state violence is a way to defend democracy.. the script gets rewritten so badly..
32 min – h: the other side of this.. how do we talk about ignorance.. ie: fascist politics does everything it can to dumb people down..
in a way that seem to suggest that emotion is more important than reason
that dissidence are really troubled and should be killed.. journalists shot.. that anybody who speaks out in some fundamental way is a traitor
two kinds of ignorance 1\ not knowing – which we have to address.. that’s the role we play as public intellectuals
2\ willful ignorance – refusal to know
35 min – to talk about ignorance.. is not about the people who are oppressed.. but the people who have power eliminate institutions that allow people not to be ignorant.. i don’t understand a politics that doesn’t take passion seriously.. that allows us emotionally to touch each other
so emotion from above..?
38 min – we’re not just talking about emotions in the most limited sense.. we’re talking about the ability to feel.. empathy.. what it means to make a connection.. it’s not simply rational
are you saying rational and reason are two diff things? i’m confused
40 min – only obligation today of citizenship is consumerism.. competition.. and we have this massive opioid crisis.. social atomization.. obligation of citizenship.. rethinking of justice and spiritual happiness.. in ways that my gain is not your loss and vice versa
42 min – people don’t have the language to break thru it because it can’t be normalized..t
how do we talk about the future w respect to this
why talk about the future?..
i love to talk about youth.. i want to raise the question.. what kind of future do you want your children to have
what are some *visions we can imagine that are so incompatible w the realities of capitalism.. of every day life.. that we have to challenge this.. we have to tell a diff story.. we need new stories.. rather than people who are so objectified that they don’t even know who they are anymore
44 min – b: people don’t need to read karl marx to find the world intolerable.. young people full of imagination/spirituality/wonder.. we kind of drag that out of them
kind of ?
45 min – b: children have a lot of answers to the world.. we kind of need to listen to them better in a much more open way.. t.. what you call be spiritual.. i would simply call being human
1 yr to be 5 et al
b: we’re not reductive/automated robots.. we can’t just be determined by language alone.. we long for things in life which give meaning to life.. much beyond this capitalist nightmare.. the urgency at the moment is precisely the type of future we’re creating w greater speeds/intensities.. increasingly violently fated
the political that can’t be reduced to the political –
48 min – bertrand russell: ‘3 things matter.. 1\ longing for loving 2\ respect for knowledge 3\ compassion for suffering of others..’ that’s spirituality to me.. i don’t care how good a writer i am or how much i believe in a better world.. if i don’t have love in my life i feel alone.. i feel something has happened to me that is dreadful.. we have to figure out ways to amplify that meaning so that it’s not just having a (?) about you.. what it means to find who you are in the world.. i want to project that model for kids..i want to get up on the stage
why a stage..?
50 min – i realized (on talking academia) best and brightest – princeton.. i began to realize this was a criminogenic culture.. it produces criminals.. the best and brightest gave us nam/iraq/ineq
r: when rationalism and logic lead us there.. makes me realize the significance of spirituality.. earlier in convo you said.. when you connect w someone something passes between us.. my problem w the atheistic model is that when you regard a human being as a mechanical unit.. that is in decay/decline.. to be human implies love/community.. i don’t see that argument working very well.. and when you say the reasons are undefinable.. but my personal feeling is that unless we find a way of bringing them to the forefront we will not be able to compete w appealing tribal ideas such as this new emergent nationalism.. evolution of fascism..
52 min – r: i feel the only way we can countenance/challenge/oppose it is by reaching thru the illusions that our individual/material nature is secondary to these eternal principles.. that we are temporary but these values are permanent and therefore they must be prioritized
when i say spirituality is undefinable i mean i don’t think it can be reduced to a prescription.. i think that’s what org’d religion does.. reduces it to a text/formula.. there’s something about the abstractness/willingness of the formula to talk about love.. this more than human that has to be constantly remembered and fought for..
again.. if we go undisturbed ecosystem no need for fighting..
53 min – it’s the formulas that kill us.. the formulas are always wrapped in circles of certainty
b: how do we foreground this new politics.. it’s not easy
54 min – b: the forces we are coming up against are also educational forces.. capitalism is a pedagogical force.. teaches you a particular image/narrative of world.. which is held by formidable forms of thinking.. the real challenge for us.. to make leap to spirituality.. there’s never been a greater time to rethink what the political might mean.. unless we do it now w great urgency.. the world will be catastrophic
55 min – spirituality in its essence boils down to something wonderful..and we saw it in 68 – in a slogan – all power to the imagination.. it seems to me the *imagination in some way is so central to questions of spirituality.. questions in which you don’t live in a circle of certainty.. questions in which you are willing to be self reflective..questions in which a culture of questioning is really an act of joy.. and a pedagogical practice that matches the humility that bring to the world in terms of who we are w an indication of what it might mean for a diff kind of future for **everybody.. ***i’m so hooked on this kind of model
***if only you could hear deeper
(then goes on to describe himself giving a lively/engaging lecture to youth) who come up to you afterwards and say “wow.. you gave me language.. that really feels like it changed my life.. ‘.. that’s politics..
that model..? wtf? you just talked about humility..? dang.
? dang guys.. but makes sense i guess.. i’m sitting hear listening to you talk .. you can’t hear me
(then russell goes into ie: of podcast w harari where harari says.. ‘ed should be teaching us to line up w tech (skills).. and the russell says.. i feel like we should be teaching them the opposite.. that they’re not econ units..).. but that’s just the same as henry saying about his lectures to youth.. that he’s modeling a street kid who knows stuff (knowledge/job units) .. doesn’t matter what the stuff is.. it’s not from the youth.. it’s filling them w supposed to’s.. w a language they had to learn from henry.. not the language on their heart.. we have to let go of thinking we have to teach.. what we need to do is listen.. deeper.. to for everyone.. everyday.. as the day.. or it won’t work
57 min – r: unless people have an alternate paradigm around which to org what life is (besides what the agri/industrial/tech revolutions have told us).. i don’t think there is a chance for us and i don’t think it can be formulated as merely oppositional to what exists.. i think it has to be transcendent of it.. this is why i’m obsessed w the language around spirituality.. and the ways of welding/bonding it to the way we org our community..t
58 min – r: when you say that thing about all power to the imagination.. for me that’s almost a .. pulling down imaginations of world that don’t yet exist but could exit..
r: not.. the relentless march of tech.. better start teaching our kids to code..
can say same for language.. have to start teaching kids right words et al..? this is so fractal.. wish/hope you could/can see that
let go of teaching
r: we’re continually responding and it seems like we need to be opposite.. creating alternative models for community..t
indeed.. everyday.. all of us.. or it won’t work.. the day.. everyday.. has to start with 7bn plus people.. talking to themselves.. or it won’t be an undisturbed ecosystem.. it will be contrived/coerced..
r: we’ve let go of radicalism.. of the need to be.. you said before brad.. that it’s going to have to be pretty hard core.. this is the moment in time..
r: a willingness to look at indigenous ideas.. i feel these ideas exist.. but they don’t exist in the ways we currently organize systems
59 min – first thing you do is *separate ed from training.. training isn’t education.. education means you’re educating people to live in a world in a way that **allows them to govern rather than be governed.. let’s begin there.. ***right
*spot on.. but what you’re describing (described earlier) .. is training.. teaching is training
**you said yourself kids come that way.. and we scrub that out of them.. they don’t need to be taught that
***indeed.. let go man
secondly.. always have to talk about the question of power.. to take control over conditions in which they find themselves.. thirdly.. can’t do it alone fourthly.. have ot have a vision that moves people.. need 2 things.. language of critique and language of possibility
1:01 – we need to talk about what it means to have a public pedagogy
wow – sinclair perpetuation law much? (not even salary.. just who he is.. teacher/writer..got to make sure new vision fits w that)
i tell my kids.. you put one foot in and one foot out.. you have to create your own radio/tv stations (like russell).. you have to learn how to do all these things.. one foot in institutions trying to change..
ugh.. this is all teaching/training/coercing
1:02 – all law implies violence.. believing in law unquestionably.. is the ultimate fall of lawlessness
1:04 – on yellow vest movement
b: last 15-20 yrs i’ve been reluctant to street protest.. makes no diff.. quickly descends into violence.. much of it seems tired to me.. how do we do it diff
ie: short bp
1:06 – b: if we’re going to rethink politics in 21st cent we need to rethink strategies
b: to me historically the greatest changes by far have been catastrophes.. danger today.. what kind of tragedy will it take.. let’s not wait till that happens
hasn’t it already.. ie: suicide/opioid/refugee et al
1:08 – i have a diff take.. diff between demonstrations and movements.. demos can be basis for movements.. i’m always interested when working class comes out.. sight of struggle.. how do we develop a language where pedagogical useful demos.. how now get turned into movement.. now have to talk institutions.. yes demos matter but turn them into movement.. and.. my first response is to have people eat..
1:11 – r: pragmatism quite important
political purity – i’m right you’re wrong
b: so point is .. how do we construct a more open/public convo around this question which doesn’t retreat back into ideas of ideological purity
1:12 – political purity is an identity crisis.. it means you have to define yourself in a way that excludes everybody else.. because the self righteousness makes you feel good
for those of us.. all of us.. who engage in this work.. remember.. in any fascist regime the first people to go are the intellectuals.. don’t kid yourself.. they’re the first to go
dang.. hubris man
it seems to me that when brad and i write the stuff that we do and you (russell) take on a role beyond harmless comedy.. and are really saying things that threaten people.. that’s a risk.. and that risk can have serious consequences in the long run.. always .. how many times have i been fired.. not tenured.. 20 yrs of my life in exile because of what i write
so.. it’s about money and job security?
not dissing your heart.. just saying we have to look deeper.. because if you stop where you’re stopping.. ie: intellect.. we’re just on the same cycle..
1:13 – you have a choice and i hate to put it so simply.. you can live on your knees or standing up.. but if standing up.. don’t think you’re going to be rewarded for it
reward ness is part of the poison man .. let go
r: that is disincentivizing
and de politicizing
1:14 – r: we’ve always had this polarity.. is it something we can let go of
it might be the most important thing you’ve said all night.. rethinking politics.. nation states are outmoded.. if we can’t imagine a world that is global with federations.. taking wealth away from richest.. it’s over
how do we have a crisis in econ but not in ideas
because we can’t hear all the voices..
begs tech as it could be..
1:17 – b: we need to think in more expansive global terms.. local power.. global ethics.. live on a shared planet .. which doesn’t seek to destroy diff..
r: people won’t care about immigration/tax/et-al .. if they had a real meaningful engagement w the power in their lives
b: the difficulty of history.. there’s no end state.. it’s a constant to retain ethical integrity.. it’s a process.. always mindful of shamefully (dancing) w power
1:24 – (henry going on about things that beg the need to be taught things)
r: you can teach more than we can learn – then shares books- henry’s book – what is means to make the pedagogical the political..
1:28 – what really amazes me is the power of popular culture as a pedagogical practice.. interview gets me hits.. reaches enormous amount of people.. anybody who believe entertainment isn’t teach is full of it..
only because we’re all zombies..
the mech of de politicization.. something about not using your position..
1:30 – b: the moment you try to do something meaningful.. that’s when power listens.. power is not going to pay attention to you if you’ve got nothing *meaningful to say
only to those we’re listening to.. not to be everybody.. it has to be everybody guys.. now you’re acting like how you described pinker in the beginning of this podcast
and by *meaningful.. you must mean.. a threat to their power.. which .. isn’t meaningful to humanity guys
b: there’s a reason why all the great tyrannical regimes fear the artists.. those that have greatest expression
h: that really is fabulous.. russell steps out .. says something’s important.. and power comes down to (squelch) you.. power is about threatening you and seducing you
1:36 – r: on the beauty in each person.. i feel like if we are certain about what we believe in.. we can approach people w a non condemning approach
1:38 – b: many diff forms in which violence manifests itself.. by far the greatest violence i’ve encountered is polite violence.. behind the mask of politeness can be a great deal of institutional violence.. that kind of manifests itself..
b: what do we do w those figures in society that are playing the game because they are seduced by power.. how do we counter those strategic games.. we need to have a diff convo..
1:39 – maybe i’m terribly wrong.. we all want to be humble.. but we have to be careful about reducing their agency.. that stems on giving them the benefit of being so polite that we might miss the full nature of the unhumanness which sometimes is quite evil.. ie: people in academia.. smiling w passive aggressiveness.. we have to be careful.. being nice doesn’t mean anything if somebody is putting people in gas chambers.. or black people in prison.. go to any ruling class club and they’re all so gracious and sweet.. i mean they’re criminogenic in their actions some of these people.. the damage/destruction they cause/produce..