Sunday, February 28, 2016

Henry Giroux on State Terrorism and the Ideological Weapons of Neoliberalism — Leslie Thatcher Interview

Public intellectual Henry Giroux discusses his new book, America's Addiction to Terrorism, and the terror that "is now such a central part of the political nervous system in the United States that it's become the major organizing principle of society."
Truthout
Henry Giroux on State Terrorism and the Ideological Weapons of Neoliberalism
Leslie Thatcher, Truthout | Interview
Henry A. Giroux is the founder-animator of Truthout's Public Intellectual Project, a member of Truthout's board of directors and a frequent contributor - currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and the Paulo Freire Chair in Critical Pedagogy at the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning. He is also a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University.

6 comments:

Random said...

The mission of police has changed from reducing crime to reducing *fear* of crime to appeal to millions of middle aged and older divorced or widowed property owning ladies in the suburbs.

nivekvb said...

I will be getting that book.

Seve141 said...

Thanks for posting the Article Tom.

I will be getting that book, as well.

jrbarch said...

"... writing helps me to breathe, to connect with others, to cultivate an image of the public good, to engage in acts of solidarity and to labor constantly in a state of wakefulness. I can't imagine living if I could not write." [Henry A. Giroux]

In the interview above, Giroux touches on what I believe is foundational - that human dignity must be restored.

To do that in reality - unconditionally - you first must find something essential inside of yourself. Exactly what that is, is a mystery to people? Westerners sometimes look at an indigenous person, and marvel at their sense of dignity and composure; obvious self-worth. How could anyone possess self-worth, without a burgeoning stock portfolio, or social status (?) - (overlooking they are slaves to something, have to brown-nose all day, and the heavily conditioned ‘circumstantial I’ can be popped like a bubble).

This tribes(wo)man does not have fancy clothes or a fancy house and car; they may have no education or power - and yet they have human dignity. Like small children have human dignity. Crikey – I have seen gorillas in a wet jungle conducting themselves with more dignity, than the humans scrabbling on the forest floor, filming them.

From this ownership of dignity and self, arises a certain tangible contentment and peace. Peace is a quality, a reality, an energy within the human heart. It is an inner quality and belongs in the inner world. Its perfume, its ‘air’ wafts to the outer world. On the inside, it seeks its own fulfilment. It is to be felt; not thought about (there are other inner senses too). When awakened, it is as tangible as food on the palate. When alive in the human heart, peace impacts the mind and persona. It turns the dull little arena of the human mind into a place of understanding and inclusiveness; gentleness and reverence. For me, Peace is the second human treasure.

As for the individual, so for the society. As for the grain of wheat, so for the loaf of bread. The quality of one determines the quality of the other.

Dignity and peace are not luxuries; they are mandatory - we must understand this. When the body is clothed fed and sheltered it can survive, mind and ego will carousel until the breath fades out; but the inner self, the inner soldier, the soul of both the individual and the society, cannot grow, breathe, blossom, and overflow into the life of the outer persona, providing shade and shelter, fruits, as ‘the Tree of Life’, without dignity and peace. We can pretend, we can aspire - but we can never be human unless these seeds of human dignity and peace are beginning to unfold. Just because we are ignorant (or ignore) what is inside of us, does not mean that it does not exist. Mind is arrogant and thus blind.

For me, the world could be admirably full of Girouxs, using up all of the paper and all of the ink, every email box on the planet – the realm of concepts, ‘world-views’ could multiply a billion-fold, the discussions go on and on forever, the libraries overflow with books and Google crash with too many magnetic imprints: - but without actually feeling human dignity, feeling peace, without these seeds germinating – nothing of human reality will ever manifest on the outside. That is a FAQ. Mind is a limited sphere.
(cont).

jrbarch said...

(cont).
If all 7B of us human beings all thought like Henry A. Giroux - all had identified and agreed the problems and solutions of historical cognisance, possibilities beyond the critique, and reinvention of politics as a global power cooperative – would an improvement be forthcoming?

For me, people have a hard enough time sticking to a sensible diet, even when their life depends upon it. 200,000 years of human history has taught me that all problems arise in the mind. It is the problem-maker, not the problem-solver. If someone thinks of a reason to do something, someone else will think of a hundred more, not to. ‘The wordly mind’ (says the Upanishads somewhere I think) ‘is born in darkness, lives in darkness and dies in darkness’. Darkness is ignorance. Maybe mind will come up with ideas that look to be great solutions, but there is human nature. Without a change in human nature progress is painful.

There needs to be something, to come into the human mind, ‘enlighten’ the mind, make it reprioritise its values; make kindness, compassion, inclusiveness, learning, development, evolution the favoured values - rather than unfettered desire. Technology brings schoolyard bullying onto a global stage and renders human existence frightening, valueless, and uncontrollably terminal.

When a human being possesses dignity and peace, then human prosperity is possible. We should not mistake our society as human prosperity - it is just a mirror of how material, how inhuman we have allowed ourselves to become; how conditioned and enslaved - our beautiful planetary home, trashed in the stampede. The magic of being alive is manacled to the factory floor and theatre of war; the bulk stupidity and inertia of our institutions. The age old question – ‘what does it mean to be alive; what does it mean to be human’ – swept under the conceptual and societal carpet.

For me, this is all because of our crippling inability to touch our innermost self. We are experiencing machines; mind is for understanding. We live, we breathe, we feel – and every day we get up and experience, experience, experience. We can think and think and think. But it is experience that turns the lights on. To experience Peace is our sovereign human privilege. Human dignity, peace, and prosperity are the virtuous circle of Life! We spin the wheel backwards. Seeking the good life in the good society, but only taking our steps on the outside - never understanding we must take our steps on the inside too.

The greatest challenge for mankind is to discover peace; this seed, waiting for water, in the heart. This seed is our only reality, which we get to keep. It is our only reality - I am not the first one to say this by far. On the outside is our responsibility.

We cede our territory of Self to fools, knaves, ‘experts’ and concepts about life – unconsciousness. We need to experience something that is real. Without human dignity and peace, every royal, head of state or priest, is just pretending – and we like good little trained seals clap and bow for stale fish. From our shadows, predators rule. Where is the active intelligence in that? Where the Love-wisdom; who will awaken the Will to good in human hearts? The answer is also in the mirror. So why not look, or find someone who can show you how. Because what you are really looking for, is already inside of you.

Do everything in your power, without fear, without threat, to awaken the humanity in yourself, and by doing so, in others around you. That for me is, and I believe is the same for Henry A. Giroux, the most powerful weapon on the planet - your humanity. Deploy!

Tom Hickey said...

Well said, jr.

Ignorance manifests as self-interest and self-importance, and darkness as "me and mine" The antidote to ignorance is knowledge and the antidote to darkness is light. The knowledge that illumines darkness and removes ignorance is "the light of life," which is love. The cognitive component of this is apperception or apprehension of the unity of being; the affective component of this is joy or bliss, and the volitional-behavioral component is service.

The wise have been saying this from time immemorial. While it is simple in reality, it is not easy in a consensus "reality" that doesn't support it and even invalidates it.